I’ve been struggling with this question. We’ve had pet insurance with Healthy Paws for 5 years and now that my pups are getting older, I expect I’ll break even, but with future pups I’m not sure I will get insurance for them.
One reason is it’s kind of a pain in the ass. I have five dogs and a cat. So to remember to file claims I try to do it the same day of the vet appointment. As long as everything is fine with the claim, this is fine, but if there is an issue, frankly it’s confusing. If you don’t stay on top of the insurance company they close the claim, without paying for it.
My recent example of this is Madeline’s acupuncture sessions. Dr. Forrest writes the invoice on the pet notes which apparently is not a format the claims processors are familiar with. Healthy Paws paid a claim without question last year for acupuncture done this way. This year I had to call and explain and the last two claims have not been paid. They are going to call my vet to “discuss”.
Besides being a pain in the ass, insurance for 5 goldens is expensive – $295 per month – $3500 per year.
In addition, no wellness care if covered. An annual appointment with blood work, urinalysis, heartworm test, vet exam and no vaccinations is about $500 per dog. My pups are getting older and really should get a check up every six months. One time I was lazy and rather than searching for a good deal online, I bought a year’s supply of flea and heartworm prevention for Ruby Tuesday and my completely healthy girl’s check up cost $810!
And don’t forget the deductible. I’m a cheapskate and our deductible is $500 per dog, or another $2500 each year before I can be reimbursed for medical care expenses for all five pups. Right now, the only dog who has met her deductible is Madeline, Riley’s close, and the year is more than half over.
So $6000 each year before I really feel “insured”.
Peace of mind is a positive of having insurance for my gang.
Being able to pay for cancer treatments, or an MRI, or an expensive surgery such as an ACL tear without getting a second mortgage is another positive.
Of course, if I had a normal number of dogs, like two, my expenses would seem minimal.
In the future, I might go with a company that pays wellness visits even though the premium is a bit higher.
I’ll stick with a company that has an annual deductible rather than a per incident deductible.
So, if two or three of my dogs have a serious illness at the same time insurance is a good thing. If I only had one or two dogs, because of the low price of coverage, insurance is a good thing. For peace of mind insurance is a good thing, but for managing multiple claims and minimal care for five dogs, insurance is questionable.