Pets

Pet insurance?

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[OP]
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Oct 9, 2003
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Pet insurance?

We are getting a dog tomorrow (a rescue) and are looking for recommendations on insurance. I understand that it’s more sensible to save the money ourselves but the wife wants piece of mind. Any suggestions on this would be greatly appreciated. We don’t want the Cadillac, but want something that will cover respectable care.

Dog is a German Shepard husky cross and is 10 weeks old. Shots are included as well spaying, microchip, and rabies shot already.
23 replies
Deal Addict
Jan 28, 2014
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I suggest you do a search on pet insurance - you will get many viewpoints. (Note, I am with your wife on this!) But in the meantime, you can get quotes on various types of insurance. I also strongly suggest that you read the fine print. And that you get the insurance while your pet is a puppy. Also you should note that shots, consultations etc. are not covered.
[OP]
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Oct 9, 2003
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Blanche123 wrote: I suggest you do a search on pet insurance - you will get many viewpoints. (Note, I am with your wife on this!) But in the meantime, you can get quotes on various types of insurance. I also strongly suggest that you read the fine print. And that you get the insurance while your pet is a puppy. Also you should note that shots, consultations etc. are not covered.
We have been doing this too and the search comes up with everything under the sun. It’s hard to tell on what is good, bad, or great. I’ve never gotten insurance for a pet before so it’s new ground

On the bright side, she gets her last parvo shot next Tuesday so we can start walks finally
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Jan 28, 2014
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Super strokey - dog is 10 weeks old??? Usually it is 16 weeks before final shots. Personally, I like Trupanion Pet Insurance (I like the way it is per condition) but it is not cheap. But do a comparison of the other plans. The other plan I like is the one offered by the OVMA (the Ontario vet governing body) - they offer 3 types of insurance - I like the "most popular one". It says it is the most popular which is why I called it that. It is the most expensive. I do not know where you live but you do not have to live in Ontario to get the OVMA insurance. I asked for my BIL who lives on the west coast.

You might also check the cost of things such as a broken leg, an ACL surgery, hip dysplasia etc. It is not cheap - and basically pet insurance is private health care. You can start a bank account, but if something happens in year one you are up the creek. We have 2 senior kitties and obviously we could not insure them - but we did insure our dog as a puppy. He died last year at 17 years of age.

How much you will have to pay per month depends on many factors - number of dogs in your city, services available (we are in Toronto so we paid a lot). I hope you managed to get a good vet.
Sr. Member
Mar 14, 2013
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My kitten and pup have been with Trupanion. Claims were easy and effortless if able to be direct billed by your vet. I signed them up right when I got them.
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Oct 2, 2018
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My thoughts are nuanced with purchase pet insurance if you have a purbreed as many carry genetic defects from breeding to obtain trait specific characteristics.

General mutts from the pound I would not personally recommend getting insurance, unless you suspect it is a mix with a high percentage of breed specific traits.

However we all judge risk factors and make personal decisions.
“Laughter is timeless, imagination has no age.....and dreams are forever.”
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Jul 11, 2010
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Any vets office will have information on pet insurance. We bought a Yorkie from a breeder. She actually took insurance for us for 3 or months. Sure enough we got the dog and he got one of his front legs stepped on. One bone was cracked and there was a slight crack on the other. We ended up having a plate put on the bone. It was really costly and luckily the insurance covered as I recall about 80% of it. You have to read the allowable conditions for each type of insurance carrier to see what they would cover and not cover.
Newbie
Jan 15, 2018
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Instead of insurance, I would put away some money every month in a special doggy bank account.

IMO pet insurance costs more than it's worth due to deductibles, stuff that isn't covered.
Member
Apr 19, 2018
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Kitchener/Waterloo, …
The short answer on insurance is that it pays out between 60 and 80% of premiums in benefits, so it is a money loser in the long run. It is generally a losing proposition for most people unless they get a sickly pet or one prone to injury. Purebreds also might be worth insuring as many have congenital defects requiring surgery or medication over their shorter lifespans.

My recommendation is to get any potential pet checked out by a vet before acquiring it to get a handle on its general level of health and possible concerns going forward. Insurance is no replacement for getting a healthy pet in the first place. After that, make sure they get a proper diet, aren't overfed, get regular checkups, stay up to date with shots, ensure they are protected against fleas and ticks, keep them happy and keep them well exercised. Brushing their teeth also helps with long term good health.
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Nov 24, 2012
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I wouldn’t bother. While things do happen, rarely are they ever in excess of a few hundred dollars (at worst). The most import things are like mentioned above : good diet, vaccines/check ups and general common sense with dog ownership. I’ve never brushed my dogs teeth or paid for heart worm. IMO, not necessary. I’ve owned mainly large breed mutts/farm dogs ( labs/hounds/shepherds/sheep dogs ). All of which have lived long lives 10+ years.
Jr. Member
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Nov 27, 2013
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I too believe that saving money aside in a long run is worthwhile compared to buying insurance for it...

If you have work perks, there is currently a promotion on pet insurance. I think 10% off Trupanion.
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Nov 12, 2011
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Those who argue that you should just put money aside each month for your pet have never experienced getting a new pet and having thousands of dollars in vet bills within the first few months of having the pet. We were on the fence about getting insurance, but eventually decided to. We're glad we did as our pup has cost over $15,000 within the first 6 months because of a genetic issue no vet could have predicted happening. The $600-700 in insurance money we have paid has paid for itself multiple times over. I'm glad we weren't in the position of having to balance finances and our pup's health.

If it's an older dog whose medical history is somewhat predictable I understand not taking out insurance. If it's a younger dog, save yourself the headache and get insurance.

Trupanion is what we went with and have been very happy with them. We read the fine print before hand so we knew what was covered and what wasn't.
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Oct 25, 2017
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Typhoonz wrote: Those who argue that you should just put money aside each month for your pet have never experienced getting a new pet and having thousands of dollars in vet bills within the first few months of having the pet. We were on the fence about getting insurance, but eventually decided to. We're glad we did as our pup has cost over $15,000 within the first 6 months because of a genetic issue no vet could have predicted happening. The $600-700 in insurance money we have paid has paid for itself multiple times over. I'm glad we weren't in the position of having to balance finances and our pup's health.

If it's an older dog whose medical history is somewhat predictable I understand not taking out insurance. If it's a younger dog, save yourself the headache and get insurance.

Trupanion is what we went with and have been very happy with them. We read the fine print before hand so we knew what was covered and what wasn't.
This, we were also on the fence and also ended up going with Trupanion. Heard too many horror stories of tens of thousands in vet bills, haven’t had to claim anything luckily but have friends who have for various reasons in first year of ownership which have already covered a lifetime of expense. I guess end of the day it’s personal comfort, yes I’d rather have the $2000 in my account but sleep ok at night knowing I’m not on hook for $15k tomorrow for a covered scenario.
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Jun 2, 2005
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There is no doubt the majority of pet owners will come out ahead if they don't buy pet insurance. That's the way most insurance works. Car insurance is similar too. However, if you're in a situation where a major health issue for your pet, costing $10,000 or possibly much more, is going to be a huge financial burden then you might consider pet insurance. You don't want to be in a position where you need to tell your kids that Rover isn't coming home because the surgery would cost too much. I decided to go with Trupanion with our puppy but keep the deductible high. Essentially I'm only buying coverage for a major health issue as I will cover all other situations out of pocket
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Jan 28, 2014
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LD500 wrote: There is no doubt the majority of pet owners will come out ahead if they don't buy pet insurance. That's the way most insurance works. Car insurance is similar too. However, if you're in a situation where a major health issue for your pet, costing $10,000 or possibly much more, is going to be a huge financial burden then you might consider pet insurance. You don't want to be in a position where you need to tell your kids that Rover isn't coming home because the surgery would cost too much. I decided to go with Trupanion with our puppy but keep the deductible high. Essentially I'm only buying coverage for a major health issue as I will cover all other situations out of pocket
Apparently the sweet spot for the deductible was $250, now I expect it is $500. But since it is per condition it isn't too bad. I think Trupanion is the only company in Canada that bases its insurance on per condition. Can you just imagine people who pick a deductible of $3,000, and do not read the paperwork. So over a short period of time their pup has a broken leg, requires surgery for a blockage etc. etc. We had Trupanion for our dog for 17 years - none of the above occurred with our dog to my amazement - particularly the blockage. We adopted senior kitties last year because of our ages and one was too old to insure and the other one at age 11 would have had too many pre existing conditions. Otherwise we would have signed up. I did talk to them.
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Oct 21, 2006
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LD500 wrote: There is no doubt the majority of pet owners will come out ahead if they don't buy pet insurance. That's the way most insurance works. Car insurance is similar too. However, if you're in a situation where a major health issue for your pet, costing $10,000 or possibly much more, is going to be a huge financial burden then you might consider pet insurance. You don't want to be in a position where you need to tell your kids that Rover isn't coming home because the surgery would cost too much. I decided to go with Trupanion with our puppy but keep the deductible high. Essentially I'm only buying coverage for a major health issue as I will cover all other situations out of pocket
No small pet is worth spending $10,000 in medical fees, covered or not.
Kids need to understand the value of money.
Sr. Member
Aug 10, 2004
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Toronto
The question of getting insurance or not is really a tough choice. Some ppl do recommend just setting money aside each month. Depends on if you're able to do that. At the same time, insurance is for what ifs and it's something that only you can justify.

That said, I do have insurance for my dog with Trupanion. I got the insurance once we got her. Fortunately or unfortunately enough, I had to use the insurance when she was 6 months old and had a terrible case of diarrhea and vomiting that resulted in a 2 night stay at the ICU as she needed around the clock care. I was able to get her the best care without worrying about the money (too much given we still have the pay the deductible, initial assessments, etc.). We recently did a teeth cleaning with her (she's 8 years old now) and the vet determined that 3 teeth needed to be extracted. The cleaning itself was not covered by the insurance but the removal of the 3 teeth were because it was for her wellbeing to have them removed due to how deteriorated they were (my bad). I expected to pay for the full bill but managed to recoup some of the extractions via insurance, which was a nice bonus. All in all, I'm still ahead vs. what I've paid all along.

Based on the breed of your puppy, they're on the bigger size and might be more prone to finding themselves in trouble (eating small toys, etc.) We were advised to keep the deductible lower at the beginning as puppies tend to find be more curious and do things they're not supposed to. Once they get older (2+) you can increase the deductible to lower your costs.

At the end of the day, it's really up to you if you think insurance is worth it. For me, I'm very attached to my dog. I don't want to have to struggle between the financial choice and getting her the care that she needs, which is the number 1 reason why I got insurance. Also, when I researched this years ago, Trupanion was the one who didn't have a max for claims for the same illness so that was why I went with them. But there are definitely more options now than when I looked 8 years ago.

Congrats on the new puppy and good luck with your choice!
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Jul 4, 2009
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Hood_Rep wrote: No small pet is worth spending $10,000 in medical fees, covered or not.
Kids need to understand the value of money.
And you need to understand the value of a life.

I would spend whatever I can afford to save the life of my pet. If my young pet is suffering from something that can easily be fixed but is expensive, I would do it. If that means giving up years of vacation, a new car etc, I would do it.
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Oct 21, 2006
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kittypink wrote: And you need to understand the value of a life.

I would spend whatever I can afford to save the life of my pet. If my young pet is suffering from something that can easily be fixed but is expensive, I would do it. If that means giving up years of vacation, a new car etc, I would do it.
For example, right now $10,000 can save a few Ukrainian children's lives.
You cannot be blind to the human plight and live your sheltered life ignoring what is going on in the world.
Seems like for you, a pet's life are more valuable than a few human lives.
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Hood_Rep wrote: For example, right now $10,000 can save a few Ukrainian children's lives.
You cannot be blind to the human plight and live your sheltered life ignoring what is going on in the world.
Seems like for you, a pet's life are more valuable than a few human lives.
You can say the same for everything if you're going to use that example.
You can save children's lives by not buying that $100,000 car or that million dollar cottage, or that $40 dollar steak.

To you it seems an animal is an animal, but when I take a life into my home and agree to be responsible for it, that's exactly what I do. It becomes my family and I will do whatever I can to meet my responsibility. It becomes a member of my family, be it an animal, fish or plant.

But to answer OPs question, I'm with Fetch (renamed from PetPlan). It's cheaper than Trupanion, but it's a max of $10,000. I never made a claim with them, so don't know how good they are. I'm paying $35 a month. I also put aside $100 a month into a separate account. Once that account reaches $5000, I will cancel the insurance and still put $100 plus the $40 into the account.

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