Pet Insurance

I’m looking for pet insurance for my cat. He had a URI last December but otherwise has been a pretty healthy boy. Any recommendations or even companies to avoid?

As a followup to my OP, I’ve been looking at PetPlan. They started in England and have moved to providing coverage in the US as well. It looks like they get great reviews from customers. Does anyone know any more about them?

We have PetPlan. It’s okay. It’s $89 per month. Nothing but the best for little Clover…

I signed up my two kittens for PetPlan this morning. It was recommended by the shelter I adopted them from, and the vet when I took them for their vacinations. £18.50 a month covers both of them for up to £5000 each a year. I got the ‘lifetime’ plan , which means any illnesses they get are covered for life.

I have Veterinary Pet Insurance for my cat. Its about $25 a month. They were very good about coverage for my cat with cancer. Note that it is a reimbursement plan and you need to print out a form and have the vet fill it out when you send in your bills. Kind of a hassle, but they were very quick with the reimbursement for the emergency vet bills for the cancer cat.

I second Veterinary Pet Insurance. If they haven’t already, they’ll soon be launching a cafeteria program for cats where you can pick and choose covered treatments to save money.

I interviewed for a position with them a few months ago and they have one of the most dedicated and kick-ass team of experts I’ve dealt with in any field.

No, I didn’t end up getting the job; so this isn’t a pitch for “my” company, although I was impressed enough to take out policies for my 2 dogs and my cat. I haven’t had to use them yet, though. for more info.

VPI is the only company I’ve had dealings with. They’ve been around a while, and I’ve never heard any complaints. I don’t know my current client base numbers, but only 3 or 4 clients use pet insurance. I would recommend it though; probably once a week I see an animal that winds up euthanized due to economics.

Care Credit is another option that the LSU vet school and other clinic I shadowed at both used.

VPI is the one I had heard about, and even got a seminar about how it worked almost 2 years ago. Before you sign with them, check out what is excluded. IIRC, certain genetic conditions are not covered.

Like previously mentioned, it IS a reimbursement thing, instead of CareCredit. Of course, with Care Credit you need to… you know, actually have credit. We still had pets euthanized due to lack of approval through Care Credit (or in one case, swallow the cost and get a big sucker sign on our foreheads).

Care Credit is a consumer loan, not insurance. IME, clients who cannot afford veterinary care, more often than not, do not qualify for a loan through Care Credit. In fact, I currently do not offer Care Credit because unless I send them a certain amount of business each month, I have to pay them for the luxury of offering their service.

I looked into pet insurance last year, and the feedback I got was that many things aren’t covered under the standard packages, so you end up paying vet bills anyway over and above your insurance premiums. I didn’t research extensively but the only reviews I got were negative.

Any experience with that, or was I misled?

All the plans I’ve seen offer multiple levels of coverage. Some are all inclusive, and therefore more expensive. Others do not cover routine care, are cheaper, but are great if your dog needs a knee reconstructed.

Like I said, VPI wouldn’t cover some conditions considered genetic (some breed specific conditions). They would cover cancer treatment, at a higher cost than their basic plan. And they would cover emergency treatment (such as hit by car accident).

I don’t like the “you still have to pay, but you’ll get reimbursed” part of it. I’d rather have something analagous to care credit… but again if I can get a similar thing (payment plan option) from my vet, I wouldn’t know if I would use it.

Our cats are both insured through Banfield (the vets that work out of PetSmart, I’m not sure if it’s just a US chain or not, though). We pay nothing for office visits, ever. Their immunization shots are covered. A dental cleaning is covered, in full, once a year (this alone actually would cost more than insurance if we were paying out of pocket). We also get a discount for prescrptions. We originally just got it for one cat, because he is diabetic & we figured we’d need it, but it was saving us so much money we added the other cat, too.

Between the two cats, we’ve saved about $3,000 since we got them.

Do you have to use the PetSmart vets, too, or can you carry the Banfield insurance and still keep your current vet? I checked their website and it wasn’t very clear.

Banfield carries its own insurance policy that covers wellness things (yearly checkups, dentals, vaccines, that sort of thing). It only covers Banfield doctors, and there are very few (if any) left that do not work out of a Petsmart.

I’m not sure how well it does on emergency things, but then Banfield vets are not usually the emergency vets (they refer somewhere else if it gets too specialized/delicate).

Our own vet is where we go for emergencies, but I’m not sure about any other Banfield. But we love our vet, and if he left we’d just go to his practice anyway. It probably varies as much as any “chain” type of place, some are wonderful & some are crap.

PetSmart (Banfield) insurance would only cover services obtained at a Banfield location.

IME, veterinarians take a job with PetSmart only if they can get nothing better. Their turnover is notoriously high. I’ll stop there.

I’ve heard good and bad things. I’m glad you like your vet and the service he/she provides.

I was thinking more of things like hit by car, weekend/late night accidents (vomiting for the whole day, again hit by car, trauma, collapse… Banfield IS NOT going to be open at those hours), very specialized organ or disease (ophthalmology, cardiology, initial oncologic diagnosis and treatment, dermatology). Maybe it is because my state had the vet school (and it was close), but I saw many pets whose regular vets were working at Banfield during my clinic rotations (again, only specialty). All those things mentioned above are expensive, and I’m not sure 1. if Banfield wellness program covers it or 2. if the necessary service is even offered.

I have noticed that the other vets that work in the office are almost never the same ones.

Check out results of two searches:

Banfield + Petsmart+ insurance vs vpi + pet + insurance

Also, note that I am very careful in what I say pertaining to Banfield.