Friday, March 4, 2011

pet insurance

Do you have pet insurance for your beloved kitties?

With my cats being curious and very active, accidents are going to happen, so I decided shortly after I got each of them to sign them up for insurance with Pet Plan USA. I researched the various insurance offerings at that time and I liked what Pet Plan offered the best.

Like with human health insurance, there are many options when it comes to pet insurance. I wanted a plan that would cover everything but the usual annual check-up and vaccines. I also wanted low deductible and no-copay. Pet Plan lets you choose your maximum annual benefit level ($8,000, $12,000 or $20,000), deductible ($50-$200) per condition (not per visit!), and reimbursement (80%-100%). Of course the choices you make in your coverage will effect your premium. I chose the $8,000 benefit, $50 deductible and 100% reimbursement and I pay less than $200 per cat for a year (although the rates are starting to creep up).

After I got Theo I procrastinated a few months before getting him signed up, which was a costly mistake. In those two months he fractured a tooth which needed to be extracted, he was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism (the youngest cat the vet have ever seen with a thyroid issue) and he had his mysterious chronic diarrhea which brought about numerous expensive diagnostic vet bills and time with a specialist. Now all these issues are pre-existing conditions and therefore not covered. My procrastination bites me in the bum again!

I didn't wait to get little Rose signed up. The insurance doesn't cover elective procedures and they consider spaying to be elective, so that wasn't covered but when Rose had the weird diarrhea episode which required all sorts of diagnostics and exploratory surgery it was all covered. The vet bill was nearly $1,000 and all of it was reimbursed minus the $50 deductible.

I have had other occasion to use the insurance as well, more the little infections and such. I have been very pleased with Pet Plan USA. The entire process seems straightforward (well, as straightforward as insurance can be!) They pride themselves on getting prompt payment and I can testify to this. I had Rose's large reimbursement check in my hand before I got the credit card bill with the charge. In my book, that is the way it ought to be, not waiting for months and having to fight the big bad cold insurance company to get what is truly due to you.

Another reason I like having my cats insured is that I sleep better. If something happens and they need some crazy expensive surgery or diagnostic, I am not going to have to choose between giving them the best care or financial ruin. It tears me up to hear stories of people choosing to put down their pet because they can't afford the expensive surgery. I don't think I could ever make that choice.

I can't speak to the other insurance companies out there because I haven't worked with them, they may be good as well. And please know that Pet Plan USA is not a sponsor of fourwhitepaws and has not given me anything to give this review. I have no connection to Pet Plan USA except being a satisfied policy holder.

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