Pet insurance? I don't need another expense. Plus, my pets are all super healthy! I feed them raw food, they get exercised regularly, I brush their teeth . . .
Yep, that's what I said too when I first had heard about pet health insurance. At 11 years of age my best friend, Audrey the Great Dane, had no arthritis, no illnesses, no allergies. Her vet, Dr. Fryer at Animal Clinic of Oak View, was always commenting on how healthy she was for an elderly gal. Until she wasn't.
Audrey was diagnosed with a rare form of quickly spreading stomach cancer. She was my best friend and soul mate, and I made the commitment when I adopted her that I would do whatever it took to keep her safe, happy, and healthy. Her cancer treatment with several doctors, an oncologist, two surgeries, medications, and more: $12,000. [Insert "thud" when my stomach dropped to the floor.] It was well worth the 6 more months I was able to spend spoiling her, however, I wish I'd been smarter and signed up for her health care reimbursement coverage as I'm still making up for that loss, even though I had savings just for her care.
Luckily today there are several choices when it comes to choosing pet health care.
So, how is one to choose the right plan?
When looking into purchasing a plan you'll want to consider the following:
Below, I've listed six pet insurance companies with links to their websites, Better Business Bureau listings, reviews, and other details I've learned. Each company carries plans where coverage and exclusions may vary so exercise your due diligence by reading up on their websites and don't be afraid to ask them questions. All make it easy to request a quote online, and all have much more detailed information on their websites that should be reviewed before making any decisions.
So who did I choose? Healthy Paws. Why? No cap on payouts, quick reimbursement, the best reviews, and an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. I love their customer service as they are personable, make things easy, and fast when it comes to processing a claim. I liked the options and that they are able to cover my elderly pup. But your needs and budget for your critters can be very different so don't take my word for it!
A year after Audrey passed away, we had a challenging night. After returning home from a day of sorting a tragic death in the family, our stressed pup, Greta the Redbone Coonhound, drank an entire bowl of water at once and bloated. We called VMSG in Ventura and headed out the door straight away as often dogs only have about 15 minutes to live in this situation.
Their vet techs were outside waiting for us with a stretcher and saved our girl's life. She was in shock, had to have her stomach stapled to the side of her abdomen to prevent the situation from happening in the future, and she was hospitalized for several days under the care of the amazing Dr. Mary Dulisch. Dr. Dulisch also found Greta had paralysis of her larynx which required a separate surgery in order to allow her to breathe during the other treatments. Bottom line, this cost us a pretty penny (and for good reason!) but because we had Healthy Paws Pet Insurance it was no question whether or not they should go full tilt on saving our girl's life. (She's laying next to me snoring as I type this, the little stinker.)
A small monthly payment goes a long way when it comes to saving your loved one's life. In my opinion, it's totally worth it and there is definitely the right plan and company for you. You want only the best for your little loved ones, right?
Best of luck on your search!
Hi! I'm Brandy, owner of The Peaceful Pup, a premium pet care business in beautiful Ojai, California. We're bringing peace of mind to pets and their people, one visit at a time!