Pets

Dog insurance premiums - crazy increase?

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  • Nov 6th, 2018 3:57 pm
[OP]
Newbie
Feb 4, 2017
27 posts
3 upvotes

Dog insurance premiums - crazy increase?

I've searched pet/dog insurance and see threads a few yrs old..

people are paying around $40/month, with $100 deductible. I just checked the Trupanion site and for $46/month, the deductible is $700. Am I readying this right?
Choose the $200 deductible, and price jumps up to $82/month.

Have rates really skyrocketed that much in a few short years? Thanks..
11 replies
Member
Apr 15, 2014
324 posts
266 upvotes
Toronto, ON
I was with PC until they got out of the pet insurance biz. My insurance changed over to a company called pets plus us and my bill is $30 a month with a $100 deductible. There are limits though, my pup had surgery when he was 6 months and they covered $1500 of the $3000 surgery.
Please respond
Deal Addict
Jul 29, 2006
3680 posts
526 upvotes
Trupanion is one of the more expensive insurance companies so not surprised about those rates.

We're with OPSCA and our 2 month old puppy had to have surgery and it was 100% covered (about $3k) since she was less than a year old.
Jr. Member
User avatar
Feb 11, 2009
143 posts
22 upvotes
gvr
My cat was on Trupanion and it kept going up... So I took him off the plan 2 years ago and he got sick... within 2 months.. and we had to pay out of our pocket...
I put him back on insurance after he recovered and been on pet plan since. It's roughly $55 a month with $300 deductible. (80% covered for some limited coverage)
We haven't done any claim since... So I don't know how good/bad they are.

He just turned 10 this year and I don't think we will switch him out to any other plan now. May be cancel the insurance when he turns like 18 or so.
Deal Addict
Sep 22, 2009
1797 posts
450 upvotes
Markham
I rather put the money aside, give my pets a healthy lifestyle and food.
If anything comes up, I will use the money that was put aside.
Jr. Member
User avatar
Feb 11, 2009
143 posts
22 upvotes
gvr
That was my plan when I took my cat off Trupanion. I actually opened a separate saving account and started to put $50 monthly for him. But 2 months in it... and ... to much $ for that few days...
Sigh. I went back to get him insurance right after.
Newbie
Apr 19, 2018
56 posts
82 upvotes
Insurance is really only for people who can't afford the financial consequence of an occurrence of what is being insured. I haven't bothered with insurance but I don't have a multi thousand dollar purebred either. The two biggest expenses since our dog has been with us over the nine years were a $1,000 removal of anal glands and a $1,200 teeth cleaning with benign lump removal at the same time. I did quickly learn how to brush the dog's teeth after that.

The bottom line is that 100% coverage self - insurance only cost me $20 a month. Maybe something else will come up in the future, but I'd have to spend an awful lot to get the average monthly cost up to what I'd have to be paying in monthly premiums to get such coverage.

One could get stuck with a sickly pet that gets a lifetime of medical interventions, but I'd take a hard look at the situation and have to decide if it's really fair to the pet to go through life unable to enjoy it the way it should.

One has to remember that insurance companies only pay out on average 50 to 60% of premiums in claims expenses. Some people benefit from coverage, but most don't. It is more a "peace of mind" thing than a real financial benefit to the insured.
Deal Addict
May 11, 2003
2405 posts
299 upvotes
I had a dog for over 14 years, and had insurance for about the same amount of time. The premiums and the payouts were, at the beginning, very reasonable. As time progressed, the premiums went up (tripled over a period of 14 years) and the payouts got more complicated. For example, at first, there was no deductible and they covered the taxes. As time went on they added a deductible and stopped covering taxes. Over the life of my dog, I think she had about $14,000 worth of extraordinary treatments. For example, she had $6000 worth of surgery to remove a tumor, $3000-ish worth of dental work and $2000 for an MRI. There were other things too, but I can't remember them all. All-in-all, I think I ended up breaking even.

The industry evolved quite a bit during the time I had my policy. When I mean evolved, I mean that they figured out ways to make it hard for the consumer to determine if it is a good deal or not. What I would be concerned about is that they will continue to look for ways to pay you less but charge you more, during the period of time where your dog needs the treatments, therefore making it hard for you to cancel. In my case, I considered dropping the insurance when she hit 10 years old because the premiums were getting out of hand. But that is the exact period when you know your dog will have issues.

Insurance comes in handy in three situations: 1) when the dog is young, and you are discovering if the dog has serious issues (or does something stupid, because of their age), 2) when the dog is old and you know that the dog will have life-threatening issues and 3) if something comes up out of the blue. I would prefer to have insurance in #1, because you could discover issues that will require lifelong treatments. And I would prefer to have insurance in #2, because I never want to hesitate when my dog needs treatment. #3 is just part of life.

For my next dog, I think I will get insurance up until the dog is 2 years old or so. After that, I will tuck away money every month to pay for stuff and agree to never hesitate if something comes up. Money is important, but I'll hold off on a vacation or drive my car for another year if I get to keep my dog healthy.
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Deal Addict
Jan 28, 2014
2954 posts
438 upvotes
e-man - I do not post on this red flag deals any longer, but happened to see your post as I was cleaning up my computer. I just don't fit with the mind set.

I think that we most likely had (in our case still have) the same pet insurer. A Canadian company that was sold to a U.S. company. Initially no deductible. Our story is much like yours. Our dog is nearly 15 so we are not about to cancel coverage. He did not have a claim until he was 7 - had he had one before age 3 we would have considered stopping the policy.

It drives me nuts that rechecks are not covered since he needs to see a specialist a few times a year - and the supplies used by the specialist are not covered. They used to be because I have the paperwork.

At least you broke even, we have not. This will be our last dog due to our ages but in your case you might consider the OVMA (it is run by the Ontario (if you are in Ontario of course) Veterinary Association. They have 3 plans. It is run a bit differently than some of the plans - note though that as your pet ages premiums will increase. With our current insurer they supposedly don't - except of course for the fact that our dog's rate is about 4 1/2 times higher than when he was signed up at 13 months. He did not have any pre-existing conditions prior to enrollment and is now suffering only from age related arthritis etc. (except for having to see the specialist for a different reason and we have to pay for it anyway). If we were to get another pet we would most definitely look at this plan - most likely the unlimited plan since we pay that amount now anyway for a lot less! It is kind of funny that most people that he is maybe 6.

We were going to just start a bank account for him - which in the end would have made more sense for us. It is a cr*p shoot no matter what you do. We were speaking to people from England who have pet insurance. Their plan covered everything (including the annual visits and rechecks) for the same cost we were paying.

We have our dog's annual physical coming up - that together with the annual test for heartworm adds up - and the heartworm and tick medication costs a considerable amount each month. I am sure he will need another dental (shape of face etc., prone to developing tartar etc.) - and our insurance does not pay any of the cost related to cleaning just a portion if there are extractions.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do. I can't imagine not having a dog, but then again you have to do what is best for you. In our case it will be the best decision.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Feb 3, 2011
1935 posts
342 upvotes
Pet insurance is no different than people insurance, it's there to hedge your bets and give you peace of mind. You can treat your pet as well as any human, but you can never prevent accidents to happen. This is the coverage you're paying for.

My in-laws had their healthy 15 year old dog admitted to a hospital for an emergency for a couple of over night stays, and had surgery to remove an eye. Over $10k out of pocket because they didn't have pet insurance and never saw the need to over the years. Saving 20 bucks a month in the dog's lifespan wouldn't even have come close to what they had to pay out of pocket.

My puppy is on Trupanion and it costs me about $50 a month with $200 deductible. To me, this is very little money to avoid ever having to decide between saving my dog's life or saving thousands of dollars.
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Deal Addict
May 11, 2003
2405 posts
299 upvotes
The big lesson learned for me was that it will take more than one material incident to make insurance a worthwhile investment. Let's use my former insurance company Trupanion as an example:

If I sign up with a Golden Retriever puppy, it will cost $92.88 + 13% tax = $104.95 per month. There is a $200 deductible per incident, and Trupanion doesn't cover taxes.

Let's say the dog has to have surgery of $3000. With 13% tax, it will be $3390. Trupanion will pay you ($3000 - $200) x 90% = $2520, which is about 74% of what you actually paid out.

Now divide that by the premium per month: $2520 / $104.95 = 24 months. This means that, in order to break-even, your dog has to have a $3000 incident every 24 months or less. I can't imagine a dog having a $3000 incident every 24 months or less, unless it is a chronic condition.

You could argue that you don't want to get hit with a $10,000 bill at the end, but you are forgetting that you are already paying Trupanion $104.95 per month. If you set the $104.95 per month aside anyway, that $10,000 won't seem that big. The only way to avoid sticker shock if you don't get insurance is to set money aside every month and be prepared to spend it when it is required. Don't treat the money you set aside as a vacation, rainy day or retirement fund. You should consider it spent money with a possible upside.
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Deal Addict
Jan 28, 2014
2954 posts
438 upvotes
e-man - yes Trupanion is our insurance provider - formerly VetInsurance. I agree with your analysis. We pay $130 per month before tax - and this is just for the basic program - we were not initially offered the add-ons. The price when we signed up was $32.00 per month. And yes, we do have a deductible - thank heavens I read the fine print and noted that it was per condition - not everyone did.

Our breed of dog is generally healthy - but it is a gamble because you never know what will happen.

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