Share your pet insurance experiences


Snoopy was a- Beagle
Purred: Thu Mar 5, '09 1:32pm PST 
Do you currently have pet insurance or have you had it in the past? Share your stories about your pet insurance company, policy, or claims here to help others who are looking to learn more about pet insurance. Recommendations and advice welcome!

Winnie Joy- CGC

I may be pretty,- but I am all- dog!
Purred: Mon Apr 6, '09 10:56am PST 
Hello Miss Molly! wave

I have VPI. I have only had it a few months, but I got sick right after I got it and they have been amazing. My vet faxes in the forms and VPI sends Mom checks. Mom says they have really helped us out. Mom got the plan that pays toward flea & heartworm stuff, teeth cleaning and shots and that's worked out just fine, too. In fact, recently I got my teeth cleaned without anesthesia. A man sat on the floor and held me in his lap and cleaned my teeth, which turned out great! The charge was $100.00 and VPI allowed $100.00 toward teeth cleaning and so they paid for my entire cleaning. Thank you VPI!


Little Orphan- Annie
Purred: Tue Apr 7, '09 12:54pm PST 
We have Embrace insurance for our 4 monsters... catastrophic coverage only. We lost one of our beloved companions 2 yrs ago. Had we known she had cancer, we realized we would have bankrupted ourselves to help her. As it was, she died from a ruptured tumor. It made us realize we would do anything for our furkids, and insurance means we will never have to put down one of our friends simply because of money. Embrace has been fantastic! I sent email asking questions and the company owner actually called me. I like this company because of their flexibility in choosing coverage & deductibles.


Lets Ride!!
Purred: Mon Apr 13, '09 1:35pm PST 
My mommy has PetFirst Healthcare for us. She says they have good coverage for reimbursements, but they are very slow at processing the claims.


Purred: Mon Apr 13, '09 1:57pm PST 
I have VPI Superior Plan with Cancer Endorsement for each of my cats. The cost is $200-350 per year per cat. I receive a 5% discount through my union and a 5% multi-pet discount.
In 2007, I was considering dropping the insurance. VPI always paid reasonably, but with minor illnesses, I was breaking even. I decided to keep the insurance, as the cats were getting older.
In April, 2008, James was diagnosed with colon cancer, complicated by anemia. The bills were almost $4000 - VPI paid 88% of that including an ultrasound six months later (after James had blood in his stool). Today, James is healthy, active and a cancer survivor. And I'm not in debt, thanks to VPI.
The only problem that I have had is that unjustified exclusions for pre-existing conditions have appeared on my renewals. These have included non-recurring illnesses successfully treated years ago, and illnesses that the cat never had. VPI removed the exclusions after I appealed.

Member Since
Purred: Tue Apr 14, '09 2:41pm PST 
I had VPI and was very disappointed. My dog had a rare autoimmune disease that it took the vets many visits to diagnose. Each time he had to go in and I am talking sometimes twice a week and was hospitalized they charged me a full deductible again as the diagnosis would differ while they were running the tests. I got hit with so many hundred dollar deductibles it actually didn't pay that well. Also my understanding was they paid for euthanasia when it was the only possible way to relieve his sufferint - you got it another hundred deductible. I'm now searching for another reliable company to insure my two dogs.


Purred: Fri Feb 1, '13 2:17pm PST 
In April, 2008, my cat James had surgery for prostate cancer. James is doing fine, almost five years after his surgery. VPI paid for most of his care, approximately 90%, and was a real lifesaver.
Unfortunately, my girl Shadow died from lung cancer on November 7, 2012. VPI was anything but helpful. A lot of tests were necessary to finally diagnose her condition, The total bill was over four grand. VPI paid less than half, Surprised, I called to find out why.
I was told that since over four years had passed since James’ treatment, local costs must have gone up. And poor VPI couldn’t increase the benefit schedule without the regulators’ permission. Of course, each year Shadow’s premium had gone up. And I was told that wasn’t because of my cat’s age or health, but due to increased cost of veterinary services. I’m supposed to believe that the New York State Department of Insurance will allow rate increases, but not benefit increases?
And then I was told it was my fault, because I didn’t buy enough coverage. Both James and Shadow had the Superior Plan with Cancer Endorsement. I was told me I should have ‘upgraded’ to the Careguard program. This is a newer product that provides more Wellness care, but not increased coverage for catastrophic illness. At least that is what VPI’s sales rep told me when I enquired about Caremark at renewal time. I’m sure he would have sold more coverage if I needed it.
After my experience with James, I was an enthusiastic believer in pet health insurance. I’m not sure anymore. With Shadow, I would have done much better to self-insure. Her final illness would have cost me more than double, but I would have saved a decade of premiums. And I wouldn’t have had to listen to VPI’s annoying lies while I was mourning her.