Golden Retriever Dog Forums banner
1 - 20 of 37 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,126 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We are in the process of getting a female golden retriever, and are quite stoked about the whole process. Knowing the history of our prior dog, who had better medical records than we did at the time, we feel "the responsible thing to do" is to get pet insurance. We will be taking our golden to the vet, and have no qualms with that. We just felt that it then made sense to also get pet insurance.

But...

We are seeing rates from $65/month (90% reimbursement, $250 deductible) up to $150/month. And, this only addresses accidents and illnesses. I recognize that goldens are more prone to cancer and joint issues, but...

#1 - We are planning on spay and, even though we are not planning on breeding, OFA checks at 2yrs
#2 - We realize that our vet will likely want to see the dog annually, and there are other screenings/checks that should be done
#3 - Of the various illnesses goldens are prone to, "cancer" seems the most costly to treat (one site said $8K to $15K)

Looking at the various plans and coverage statements..

a) The least expensive plans will run $1,020/yr, and we're still responsible for the first $250 (yes, that can go very quickly) and 10% of the remainder.
b) The more expensive plan will run $1,800/yr, and the same $250/10% rules apply.
c) The "big delta" between the two levels is that the higher-cost plan has no cap on claims
d) From reading on other posts, it seems that pet insurance (like human) may argue for lesser-cost treatments, even if the vet feels they will not work.
e) At 5 years, we will have somewhere between $5K-to-$9K spent on pet insurance, on top of all the checkups/grooming/etc. costs out-of-pocket.

With all that said, it seems like the insurance is "not worth the cost" if you can afford to pay out-of-pocket if/when the need arises. For all intent-and-purposes, it's a forced savings plan, that the bank hopes you'll never need, and gets to keep if you don't use it. I'd love to hear from people who have experiences that counter my current perception.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,833 Posts
Unless said puppy has a habit of inappropriate ingestion...
I have a friend who just this week blew through her $1k deductible (Trupanion/$45 a month premium) and spent another $3.5k on two packing peanuts... in the jejunum of a year old puppy. I always believed those were made of corn starch (dk why I thought that) and they'd dissolve but apparently they look like wine corks after a few days in gastric acid. So if it were me, and I had only one dog to pay premiums on, I would also look at the policy that AKC gives you a free 30 days on and probably take a high deductible in favor of low premiums for those times there is a big ticket ER visit and forget about it otherwise for the regular care.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,606 Posts
I have insurance for catastrophes with a 1000K deductible. It runs around 44 per month. Enrolled Oscar when he was three and the rates have not changed. Serious illness/surgeries can be very expensive. It's like any insurance; you don't need it until you need it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,833 Posts
I thought of another recent puppy catastrophe- went into back yard and met with a copperhead. Had they not had go-home insurance, pup would have likely died since that was another several thousand dollar ER visit and they'd just spent $3k on a puppy. This was the first day they had their puppy- and thankfully, the breeder had insisted they enroll in the free 30 days before they left her home. That was lucky! I always tell people to do it on their way home but will be changing my MO after this event. Too easy to forget to do or put off til later.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,126 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the responses. I will discuss the high-deductible option with my better-half. I guess, depending on the costs, it makes much more sense as a worst-case backup plan, vice a go-to for even moderate medical expenses.

"If you have a senior dog? Yes. Puppy? No."

Yes, this makes sense...but (three little letters, so much drama). Since most all plans have exclusions for pre-existing conditions, waiting could render the whole discussion moot.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,661 Posts
Having had a Golden with cancer, I know what I paid during the two months of her illness leading up to her death.

I had a $5000 emergency vet fund at the time - it was gone inside of the first week. So that gives you an idea. I decided I'd rather use my savings on her than on a new car, and I was lucky I had the money available.

I got insurance with my next puppy and hoped to never need it until she was older or never at all. I've had to use it 3-4 times, and it has been great to have it. Mine is catastrophic illness or injury, no incident or annual cap, deductible of $500. It's expensive because I am in Canada, but I do not regret having it for one minute.
 
  • Like
Reactions: OscarsDad

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,385 Posts
I ALWAYS recommend pet insurance to my friends when they get puppies.

Before we got Denver one of our friends told us a story of their female puppy needing surgery to correct an issue with her vulva being inverted and that because they had pet insurance it was covered. We decided to get pet insurance through FIGO just in case we ended up needing it. We pay about $40/month, 80% coverage after a $250 deductible. We were SO SO thankful to have pet insurance because in the first year of Denver’s life it covered a surgery to fix an imperforate puncta in his right eye, and paid for 80% of a hospital stay when he picked up a brick of rat poison in his mouth and we rushed him to the E-Vet thinking he may have ingested some (he didn’t...thank god and I told the whole story on another thread here somewhere). There was also another time where he was vomiting up his dinner three days in a row and we took him into the E-Vet for imaging to make sure he hadn’t ingested anything (he didn’t, just had mild pancreatitis associated with a stomach bug).

I can’t emphasize enough how thankful we are to have had insurance, so that we did not have to hesitate to provide the best care for Denver when he needed it. I don’t know that we will insure him for his whole life, but when we get our next puppy, that puppy will be insured regardless.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,056 Posts
So happy that we got a Trupanion certificate from our breeder. I had to use it early on for giardia and have used it for Maggie's tear duct issue. It is good peace of mind knowing she is covered for things other than routine care.
Jules
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
3,356 Posts
There are even very expensive health issues that aren't life-threatening - those are kinda the worst because then you're shelling out $$$ consistently over the dog's entire life. Ends up being way more expensive than the $1k/year for insurance. If I could redo any decision I made about Kaizer's life, I wish I would have put him on insurance.

Kaizer has environmental allergies in the form of consistent ear infections, whole body skin infections, and red, swollen paws - he is pretty dramatic in everything he does lol. It actually started with GI issues two years, so then he went on an expensive RX diet and saw a whole bunch of specialty vets cause they thought it was food allergies to begin with. It took me TWO years to get him healthy, and we're starting all over again this season with the ear infections/skin infections/swollen paws. I spent something like 6k on vet bills last year (I am estimating based on how much each vet bill cost and how often we were going in).

He was 2 when he really started to fall apart, but had skin issues and ear infections starting at 5 months old (according to records I kept). Insurance for him from the start would've pretty much covered every health issue I have ever had with him.
 
  • Like
Reactions: diane0905

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
We pay $52/month with 90% coverage and $100 deductible. (For our 5 year old golden. I think it’s started at $40-$45 when we got him at 3 years old) I feel it’s totally worth it. We usually use up our deductible every year and get service worth the annual expense almost every year without any major mishaps. We use “healthy paws” they have an app to photograph the invoices and it’s a breeze to use.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Kate
Joined
·
22,992 Posts
Unless said puppy has a habit of inappropriate ingestion...
I have a friend who just this week blew through her $1k deductible (Trupanion/$45 a month premium) and spent another $3.5k on two packing peanuts... in the jejunum of a year old puppy. I always believed those were made of corn starch (dk why I thought that) and they'd dissolve but apparently they look like wine corks after a few days in gastric acid. So if it were me, and I had only one dog to pay premiums on, I would also look at the policy that AKC gives you a free 30 days on and probably take a high deductible in favor of low premiums for those times there is a big ticket ER visit and forget about it otherwise for the regular care.
I've had dogs eat those things - but nothing has happened! o_O

I should probably admit that my Jovi did have an emergency dental surgery when he was 6 months old. He had a shattered and displaced baby tooth (from an injury) that had to be removed (all the pieces). We went to a specialist because the pieces were so close to the roots of other teeth and there was a danger in the surgery causing harm to the other roots. Entire thing cost me about $2000. <= that was pretty unique. I typically have dogs who never have any issues as pups and little to no need to see the vet outside of shots.

AKC does offer a pretty cheap insurance package for the first month after you register your puppy. You could definitely extend that for a while....?

I guess my point is I've never had to get insurance for a puppy and the type of expenses related to raising a pup typically are easily out of pocket (Even that $2000 counted as that since I expect anyone bringing a pup home to have that much saved up for emergencies). But insurance by the time the dogs are older (8+) is terribly expensive - and that's the point when you really do need insurance.

With my Jacks, I spent about $5000+ in his last 2 years.... this was a dog who did not have any vet expenses over $200 until he was about 5 years old ($500 dental surgery - removing a broken tooth). After that he had a few visits that were more expensive - $800 for one related to what I strongly believe was pancreatitis, etc. He had a quiet few years until the very last when his nosebleeds started.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,357 Posts
I have insurance for catastrophes with a 1000K deductible. It runs around 44 per month. Enrolled Oscar when he was three and the rates have not changed. Serious illness/surgeries can be very expensive. It's like any insurance; you don't need it until you need it.
This sounds about what we pay for ours -- same deductible. When Luke had cancer, needed surgery, and then we did all the subsequent treatment, it was about $20,000. We decided, this time, we'll go the insurance route.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,661 Posts
There are even very expensive health issues that aren't life-threatening - those are kinda the worst because then you're shelling out $$$ consistently over the dog's entire life. Ends up being way more expensive than the $1k/year for insurance. If I could redo any decision I made about Kaizer's life, I wish I would have put him on insurance.
That is SO true. I forget that my insurance covers all of Shala's supplements and medications that she takes for her elbow dysplasia. The fish oil capsules aren't crazy expensive (but they cover them because they were prescribed as part of the treatment), but her monthly cartrophen and Dasuquin add up. It's nice that I pay only 10% of the cost of them. She was diagnosed at age 3... so fingers crossed, she will be on them for more than a decade.
 
  • Like
Reactions: aesthetic

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
3,356 Posts
That is SO true. I forget that my insurance covers all of Shala's supplements and medications that she takes for her elbow dysplasia. The fish oil capsules aren't crazy expensive (but they cover them because they were prescribed as part of the treatment), but her monthly cartrophen and Dasuquin add up. It's nice that I pay only 10% of the cost of them. She was diagnosed at age 3... so fingers crossed, she will be on them for more than a decade.
Yep! If I had gotten Kaizer insurance when he was a puppy, it would have covered his Cytopoint shot and his Zyrtec. Not to mention all of the antibiotics/ear meds/steroids he's prescribed throughout allergy season.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Our Golden was diagnosed with soft tissue sarcoma before he was even a year old. His parents and litermates are all perfectly healthy and this was just a one off situation that unfortunately happened to him.

He has had two surgeries and is currently cancer free. But he will need constant monitoring to make sure he stays this way. An ultrasound alone is almost $500. I don’t even want to get into the xrays, blood tests, surgeries....

Get insurance. We almost did the month before he was diagnosed but decided to wait. We now severely regret that decision.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,833 Posts
That's so sad- I am sorry for you and him. The one off things are always so sad...

I'm glad he is doing well!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
I’m glad I ran across this post. We’ve been debating on insurance for Lola (9 weeks old), but haven’t jumped on yet.
For those of you in Canada, who did you go with & what type of plan? I’m leaning towards Trupanion.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,661 Posts
I’m glad I ran across this post. We’ve been debating on insurance for Lola (9 weeks old), but haven’t jumped on yet.
For those of you in Canada, who did you go with & what type of plan? I’m leaning towards Trupanion.
I have Trupanion. I have been very happy with how efficient they are and they cover everything they say they will, no problems at all.

I have a $500 deductible. (They have a sliding scale, you choose your deductible, and it affects the rate you pay). What I like about Trupanion is that they have neither an incident cap nor an annual cap. For a dog with cancer, for example, a cap of $10,000 could easily be reached before the end of treatment.

It is not cheap. You will hear about rates from our friends to the south, but as with most things, pet insurance is more expensive here. I live in downtown Toronto, where vet care is very expensive, so that affects the rate, too. If you are in a more rural or even suburban area, your rate may be less. When I got the plan when Shala was 8 weeks old, I probably was paying about $40 a month. It has gone up every year and I now pay $85 a month. But I still am very glad I have it. I have made 2-3 claims for unexpected incidents or illnesses, and they also cover all of Shala's prescribed meds and supplements for her elbow dysplasia, and that will be many years of coverage (she was diagnosed at age 3), fingers crossed!
 
  • Like
Reactions: JulesAK
1 - 20 of 37 Posts
Top