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Old 11-19-2014, 10:56 AM   #1
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Dog Health Insurance

I have a 13# Maltese that is 7.5 years old. After a recent vet bill for a mole removal I am thinking about getting some health insurance for the boy as he gets longer in the tooth.

One quote from a USAA sub was $26.00 a month for a $5000 annual limit.

Anyone have comments or recommendations?
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Old 11-19-2014, 12:59 PM   #2
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We are all struggling to come up with enough boat money and you want to buy Obamacare for your dog???

Seriously, I have never heard of pet insurance. Was the mole malignant? Vets aren't cheap. Our cat had cancer and they wanted $550 to remove it. On further questioning, they said there was 90% probability it would return in 6 months. Had the cat put down. A very sad day.

Good luck on finding pet insurance.
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Old 11-19-2014, 03:54 PM   #3
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While we have had some pretty serious vet bills over the years I think we are ahead by just paying the bills ourselves. What you might want to check on is, are there any restrictions other than the maximum payout per year? Does the insurance company have a say in what you can have done? Can they refuse to pay for services that they feel are questionable? And of course will they pay any vet's bill or does the vet have to agree to a lower payment than the usual rate?

Remember they are in business to make a profit so it's unlikely that they often pay out more than you put in.
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Old 11-19-2014, 06:13 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Donsan View Post
Seriously, I have never heard of pet insurance. Was the mole malignant? Vets aren't cheap. Our cat had cancer and they wanted $550 to remove it. On further questioning, they said there was 90% probability it would return in 6 months. Had the cat put down. A very sad day.

Good luck on finding pet insurance.
Pet insurance has been around for years and the policies vary in what they cover. The primary reason to have it is like most insurance, to cover the exceptional needs. I would never want to be in position that I'd have to make a decision on a pet based on cost and some conditions and procedures can run into thousands of dollars. If you can afford those type costs and absorb them then perhaps no reason to have insurance. But if you couldn't afford a $5000 or $10000 bill then insurance makes a lot of sense.
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Old 11-19-2014, 11:05 PM   #5
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I would never want to be in position that I'd have to make a decision on a pet based on cost and some conditions and procedures can run into thousands of dollars.
The decision to put down the cat was not based on cost. We were in a position where we had to be on the road for 3 months and we were trying to find another home for her. In the process, we found out about the cancer. If the cancer removal would have cured the cat and a home could be found for her, we would have gladly had it done but no one would accept the animal with a 90% probability of disease return. In addition, the cat would have eventually succumbed to the disease in a very inhumane way.
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Old 11-19-2014, 11:22 PM   #6
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The decision to put down the cat was not based on cost. We were in a position where we had to be on the road for 3 months and we were trying to find another home for her. In the process, we found out about the cancer. If the cancer removal would have cured the cat and a home could be found for her, we would have gladly had it done but no one would accept the animal with a 90% probability of disease return. In addition, the cat would have eventually succumbed to the disease in a very inhumane way.
I'm not saying your decision was, just explaining the reason people do buy pet insurance.
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Old 11-20-2014, 11:03 AM   #7
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We looked into it when we purchased our pup, many exclusions and seems like they try pinning pre-existing on cases I looked up doing research. So not sure how 7.5 year old dog would work with these insurance companies, as an example if you dog got another mole would they cover it, good question for the insurance carrier. In the end we never bought it, then again I never get the extended warranty on anything either.
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Old 11-20-2014, 01:22 PM   #8
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We looked into it when we purchased our pup, many exclusions and seems like they try pinning pre-existing on cases I looked up doing research. So not sure how 7.5 year old dog would work with these insurance companies, as an example if you dog got another mole would they cover it, good question for the insurance carrier. In the end we never bought it, then again I never get the extended warranty on anything either.
Older dog would be very difficult with most policies and there would be exclusions.
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Old 11-21-2014, 11:59 PM   #9
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A 13# Maltese is barely middle aged. They live to about 14-15 years. Check out the coverage and the exclusions and then make a decision. Some companies are a good deal and others are a total ripoff. I've used insurance on my dogs several times and it was a considerable savings for me. USAA is an outstanding insurance group if you're eligible. Ben
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Old 11-22-2014, 01:00 AM   #10
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A 13# Maltese is barely middle aged. They live to about 14-15 years. Check out the coverage and the exclusions and then make a decision. Some companies are a good deal and others are a total ripoff. I've used insurance on my dogs several times and it was a considerable savings for me. USAA is an outstanding insurance group if you're eligible. Ben
Our friends used VPI which is now owned by Nationwide and they were very happy. It's maximum annual benefit is $14,000 so if you can afford to pay $14,000 a year out of pocket then it's probably a bad deal, otherwise good. And I've known two people to have bills over $10,000. One was after a dog was attacked by another and the other was undergoing cancer diagnosis and then treatment.
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Old 11-22-2014, 12:01 PM   #11
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Probably a moot point now. During the pre-op blood test for the mole they found that his ALT number was in the 400 range. After 30 days on low protein diet and prescription SAMe pills they numbers dropped down about 130 points. We continued the low protein diet and pills for 30 more days and the ALT number is back to 400. The vet has not made a diagnosis but my wife's research with Dr. Internet points toward a congenital liver shunt. We will continue the diet and pills which he dos not like. He has lost down to 12 pounds but is a lively as ever.

Bottom line is a pre existing condition that would probably make insurance out of the question.
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Old 11-22-2014, 04:00 PM   #12
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Probably a moot point now. During the pre-op blood test for the mole they found that his ALT number was in the 400 range. After 30 days on low protein diet and prescription SAMe pills they numbers dropped down about 130 points. We continued the low protein diet and pills for 30 more days and the ALT number is back to 400. The vet has not made a diagnosis but my wife's research with Dr. Internet points toward a congenital liver shunt. We will continue the diet and pills which he dos not like. He has lost down to 12 pounds but is a lively as ever.

Bottom line is a pre existing condition that would probably make insurance out of the question.
We're so sorry to hear that. But sometimes pets just like humans continue to live relatively healthy and enjoyable lives even after such a finding. Hope he does. The lively as ever part is certainly a good sign.
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Old 12-01-2014, 08:37 PM   #13
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We have pet insurance through VPI, I definitely recommend checking them.
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