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 Post subject: Pet Insurance - USA
PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2015 2:51 pm 
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Senior Bengal

Joined: Sat Aug 29, 2015 5:35 pm
Posts: 87
Hi all,

I'm wondering if any of you have pet insurance for your bengals or other cats. If so, who do you use and are you happy with their service? I am in the USA, but I believe some companies serve in both the US and the UK, so I'm open to thoughts from anyone. Thank you!

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 Post subject: Re: Pet Insurance - USA
PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2015 3:31 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 8149
Many members here recommend pet insurance. Note that most will not cover any pre-existing conditions. And you have to read through all the fine print as well as not all of them cover everything and different companies will have different limits on what they will pay. Personally, I do not have insurance on Raiden. I have the money to pay for any health care he would require. If you don't feel that you want to throw money away on premiums, I'd start a savings account and drop the premium amount in there every month. Insurance covers the unexpected. Some pets use up more than what the premiums cost, others don't use the premiums at all. Insurance is a balancing act, but the companies always come out in the long run.


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 Post subject: Re: Pet Insurance - USA
PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2015 6:17 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2010 1:00 am
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Location: Portland Oregon, USA
I use healthy paws, and definitely recommend them. I had Trupanion for a year, but that was a mistake. They are infamous for doing a "bait and switch", giving you a competitive, attractive deal when you sign up, then when they've got you, jacking up their prices to a ridiculous extent. If you're interested in researching various options, there is a site for that:

http://www.petinsurancereview.com/cat.asp

Note that I don't completely trust the info or reviews on there. I think there is a lot of bogus stuff on there. But it's a really good starting point, and lets you know what the options are. My advice is to get illness and injury coverage only. The preventative care stuff is always a bad deal. And make sure that your insurance pays based on actual costs, not some table of allowed costs.

The trouble with using savings is that you don't know when something catastrophic will happen, or what it's extent will be. It could be the first week you bring your kitten home, or on your cat's 20th birthday. You just don't know. But even if you do have sufficient savings when the event occurs, then you could still be forced with a tough choice: clean our your savings, or save your cat's life. Sometimes it's an even tougher decision than that: clean out your savings to try something that *might* save your cat's life, or let your cat die. I've been there, and don't ever want to be in that situation again.

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 Post subject: Re: Pet Insurance - USA
PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2015 11:26 pm 
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Senior Bengal

Joined: Sat Aug 29, 2015 5:35 pm
Posts: 87
Thank you both for the replies!

Brian - Healthy Paws was one of the providers I'm considering, so I appreciate hearing about your experience with them. I've got it down to them and PetPlan. PetPlan pays exam fees and Healthy Paws doesn't, but HP doesn't have a yearly coverage limit and their deductible is annual (not per incident) so I think that will probably win out in the end. If you don't mind me asking, how has your plan cost increased over time with Healthy Paws?

My family has also been faced with that type of financial decision in the past - my parents never had pet insurance for any of our animals when I was a kid. I don't want to be there again either, which is why I'm looking into the insurance plans. Thanks again, and still open to any other recommendations.

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 Post subject: Re: Pet Insurance - USA
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2015 12:10 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Location: Portland Oregon, USA
Munashi wrote:
Brian - Healthy Paws was one of the providers I'm considering, so I appreciate hearing about your experience with them. I've got it down to them and PetPlan. PetPlan pays exam fees and Healthy Paws doesn't, but HP doesn't have a yearly coverage limit and their deductible is annual (not per incident) so I think that will probably win out in the end. If you don't mind me asking, how has your plan cost increased over time with Healthy Paws?


I think the Healthy Paws premiums have increased maybe 15-20% (total, not annual) in the 4 years I've been with them. Something like that. I've had maybe a dozen claims or so with them in total. This year, Gaga had some problems with seizures that required some emergency care, plus a stay of several days in a specialists' care. Both bengals also had some teeth problems which required some moderately costly care. In all cases I've been satisfied with their response to my claims both in terms of what they've paid back and how long it's taken them.

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 Post subject: Re: Pet Insurance - USA
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2015 1:38 pm 
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Thanks again for the info, I really appreciate it. Good to hear they pay claims quickly and that the rates haven't gone up overly high.

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 Post subject: Re: Pet Insurance - USA
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2015 4:06 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
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Brian, I meant that the savings account is for the pet only -- not the family emergency fund! I started a savings account for my sister's expenses. Many years later, she was put in the hospital and unable to work and pay the rent on her apartment. That money was for her and separate from the household savings. It was nice to have it to pay her bills and not have to worry about using up any of "our" money. She passed away 18 months ago, and the money is still there -- and now it's for Raiden if something happens to him. It's quite a substantial amount and more than anything he'd ever need. I still put a set amount of money into the account every month. Most of the time I forget I even have the account.

I have no idea what monthly premiums for cat insurance are -- I've never checked it out. I may just out of curiosity!


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 Post subject: Re: Pet Insurance - USA
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2015 8:02 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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I had one of my cats on Trupanion for a year and the other was on it for her first 6 months. I don't recommend Trupanion. They try to say claims are pre-existing when they are not. You have to fight to get them to pay a claim, it's exhausting. Also they charge the deductible per condition rather than per year. I signed up for VPI through my payroll deductions and when the policy arrived it excluded so much that I knew I would not be happy and cancelled it right away. I am on the fence about not using any insurance or getting them covered with Healthy Paws.

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 Post subject: Re: Pet Insurance - USA
PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2015 1:30 pm 
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Senior Bengal

Joined: Sat Aug 29, 2015 5:35 pm
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CMYKjill wrote:
I had one of my cats on Trupanion for a year and the other was on it for her first 6 months. I don't recommend Trupanion. They try to say claims are pre-existing when they are not. You have to fight to get them to pay a claim, it's exhausting. Also they charge the deductible per condition rather than per year. I signed up for VPI through my payroll deductions and when the policy arrived it excluded so much that I knew I would not be happy and cancelled it right away. I am on the fence about not using any insurance or getting them covered with Healthy Paws.


Thank you for the info. I have been hearing that people have a hard time getting Trupanion to pay claims, which is too bad. I am likely going to go with a policy through Healthy Paws myself. I liked Pet Plan because they have a 100% reimbursement option and they cover exam fees (healthy paws doesn't, and they cap at 90% payment), but I am put off by Pet Plan's annual limits ($22k with their "gold" plan.. I've seen people go past that with a case of cancer very easily) and the fact that their deductible is per incident and not annual. Coupled with the positive comments about Healthy Paws being easy to work with, I think I'll be going with them.

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 Post subject: Re: Pet Insurance - USA
PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2015 4:49 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
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I checked Healthy Paws and Raiden's premium would be $27.03 a month for a $500 deductible and 70% reimbursement due to the fact he's almost 8 years old. I'd have to spend quite a bit of money before the policy even kicked in, thus it would be more for a catastrophic illness. And since Raiden has a Grade 2 heart murmur, that would never be covered as it's a pre-existing condition.


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 Post subject: Re: Pet Insurance - USA
PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2015 6:47 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Location: Portland Oregon, USA
My coverage with healthy paws is currently: $83/mo with 90% reimbursement, $50 annual deductible, for 3 5 year old cats. Which works out to about $27/cat per month.

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 Post subject: Re: Pet Insurance - USA
PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2015 9:12 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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I think they also figure in your location into that equation. I live in a town with very greedy vets, so my premium is a bit more from Healthy Paws. For 90% coverage and $100 deductible (the lowest available) each one year old cat's monthly premium is $39.18

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 Post subject: Re: Pet Insurance - USA
PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2015 1:55 am 
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Senior Bengal

Joined: Sat Aug 29, 2015 5:35 pm
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CMYKjill wrote:
I think they also figure in your location into that equation. I live in a town with very greedy vets, so my premium is a bit more from Healthy Paws. For 90% coverage and $100 deductible (the lowest available) each one year old cat's monthly premium is $39.18


I'm sure location does matter. In addition to cost of care, some areas are likely considered "riskier" than others for pets.

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 Post subject: Re: Pet Insurance - USA
PostPosted: Sat Sep 19, 2015 4:40 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 8149
I'd just be concerned about the premium increases as the cat ages. Health Insurance companies charge more for older humans, too!


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