Pet Insurance

Pet Insurance

When it comes to covering your pet’s health, the options can seem endless. Between choosing the right company and the right plan, the task can seem daunting. But be assured, there is a plan out there that will fit your specific needs.
A good website to help research pet insurance
An independent site run by a veterinarian who has compiled a list of the benefits, coverage and ‘gotchas’ of every policy available in the U.S

No Insurance covers pre-existing conditions so sign your pet up when they are young

Here are a few insurances plans to consider:

Trupanion, Healthy Paws, FIGO, Nationwide Whole Pet with Wellness

Trupanion, HP, and FIGO do not cover any wellness care, but your pet’s largest expenses will occur with chronic medical problems, with illnesses that need 24 care ($1000-1500/day) and with surgeries by board certified surgeons ($5000-8000).  

Premiums are influenced by the age of the pet when they are signed up, their breed, your zip code, and the deductible you choose (plus the level of reimbursement for Healthy Paws and FIGO.)   Premiums will increase over time with any insurance.  Nationwide’s premiums will increase as the pet ages, whereas the other insurance companies will increase their premiums as the pool of pets (i.e. labradors in Los Angeles) spend more money over time. 

Compare the plans at 90% coverage with unlimited annual reimbursement but please read the policies carefully. 

Trupanion has no annual or lifetime caps and covers 90% after the exam and deductible, which can be set from $0-$1000. The deductible is per medical diagnosis. If the problem is treated and resolvable (upset stomach, ear infection,) the deductible occurs at each visit. If you have a high deductible and your pet has multiple curable problems in the same year, you might not have any reimbursement that year. However, even a high deductible is wonderful for an expensive illness, for major surgeries, and especially, for chronic conditions.  Deductibles occur once per lifetime for ongoing conditions, many of which need expensive medications and lab monitoring (chronic skin allergies, autoimmune disease, intestinal problems, periodontal disease, heart disease, arthritis, kidney disease, liver disease).

Healthy Paws and FIGO have annual deductibles. (Expenses accumulate during the year to meet the deductible and the deductible recurs each year.) There are pros and cons to this difference. Healthy Paws has no annual or lifetime caps, and 70-90% reimbursement options after the deductible. FIGO has 10K, 14K or no annual caps options, no lifetime caps, and with 80-100% reimbursement options after the deductible. Unlike Trupanion & Healthy Paws, which don’t cover exams, FIGO reimburses the examination fee after the deductible is met. 

HP, FIGO and Trupanion will cover dental disease if regular dental care has been provided, but they won’t cover routine dental cleanings.

Nationwide’s Whole Pet with Wellness offers 90% reimbursement of everything that a veterinarian recommends or prescribes, including my house call exams, wellness labwork, vaccines, flea prevention, & routine dental care.  It is more expensive because it includes everything but my clients have been very happy with its coverage thus far.   

There are many pros and cons to consider with the different insurance companies.  Regardless, it can be very worthwhile for your pets.