Signing up for pet insurance

User avatar
GuineaPinny

Post   » Thu Apr 09, 2009 10:31 am


I've been worried ever since we adopted our 5th pig about financial costs, so today Matt and are signing up for pet insurance with VPI.

The premium is 8.30 a month per guinea pig, with a $50 deductible (which we don't have to pay if we don't file a claim during the year).

That's just $41.50 a month to insure all our guinea pigs! That's how much we're paying on meds alone.

Meanwhile, we're getting 90% coverage on everything excluding regular maintenance (I guess nail trims and well visits), but that does mean prescriptions. With 3 of our 5 pigs on heart meds, this is invaluable.

We get up to $2,000 on a given procedure, and $7,000 total in the year.

I just really wanted to let people know there's an insurance agency out there that covers guinea pigs, and that it's affordable. I know in these hard times it can be really expensive to have pets, especially special needs pets, and this is a great option.

I know that VPI has been written about before, but I couldn't believe how much sense it made!

After we adopted Brindy I was so happy-then I sort had this number crunching moment and went-"uh oh." Now I'm more going, "Oh whew!"

User avatar
WEAVER
one pig at a time.

Post   » Thu Apr 09, 2009 10:40 am


I think it is good if you already have problematic piggies, but for the average caregiver, I think they would be better off putting away that money every month and just having a vet fund, or a charge card that is just set aside for animal health care.

I am not sure about this, but I think I also recall my vet saying something about the VPI, that you have to still pay for the procedures up front and than you get paid back after filing the paperwork to them.

I am glad though for you this is going to work out in your favor. Anyway we can save money these days and still be providing the best care to our furbabies is a great thing!

User avatar
GuineaPinny

Post   » Thu Apr 09, 2009 10:59 am


I think it's definitely worth crunching numbers and seeing if it makes sense-it definitely wouldn't for everyone. But with a herd of seniors it's a necessity for us. We're still going to keep up with a savings fund too, that 10% could add up!

"I am not sure about this, but I think I also recall my vet saying something about the VPI, that you have to still pay for the procedures up front and than you get paid back after filing the paperwork to them."

This actually depends on the vets discretion. I think that's the general protocol, but if you have a good relationship with your vet or if it's a payment plan, VPI has no issue with you filing a claim on something you haven't paid yet, reimbursing you, and then having you use that reimbursement to pay the vet bills.

I think the premium might differ from state to state too. I just couldn't believe it was only $8.30 a month!

edit: I think after Rifka especially I never want to be in a position to not be able to care for my pigs. With us not making much money right now this is the best option to be able to assure we can care for them financially.

User avatar
JHand
For the love of pigs!

Post   » Thu Apr 09, 2009 11:57 am


Are you sure they are going to cover your pigs due to their preexisting conditions?

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GuineaPinny

Post   » Thu Apr 09, 2009 12:00 pm


Yep! I was on the phone for an hour with the guy.

User avatar
WEAVER
one pig at a time.

Post   » Thu Apr 09, 2009 12:17 pm


I was surprised about that as well. I know when I looked into this pet insurance a few years back for my dog they were not going to cover it because it was pre-existing.

Maybe small animals is different...?

User avatar
GuineaPinny

Post   » Thu Apr 09, 2009 12:36 pm


It does depend on the condition, maybe that's what you are thinking of?

I was just getting a quote, so when I sign up it might turn out that some our pigs don't actually qualify. I'll be happy to get those that do on there.

User avatar
Britts15

Post   » Thu Apr 09, 2009 12:36 pm


It is only available in the States, right?

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GuineaPinny

Post   » Thu Apr 09, 2009 12:47 pm


Hmm, I'm not sure about that one.

Well, I called back. Heart disease isn't an enrollable condition, so that means Moisha, Sophie, and Lisbon couldn't be covered. But we could get Esme and Brindy on a plan. That would certainly give peace of mind. I really need that right now.

If they were to develop heart disease, for example, once covered they would not be unenrolled from the plan.

slavetofuzzy
4 the Good of all Pigs

Post   » Thu Apr 09, 2009 1:20 pm


But the heart meds-would they cover them if the condition developed?

User avatar
GuineaPinny

Post   » Thu Apr 09, 2009 1:25 pm


Yes, I asked about that. They said they would (so long as it wasn't within 14 days of enrollment).

You have to have owned the pet for 60 days, but they made an exception for Brindy since we'd been fostering her before.

There's no signing fee, but you do have to pay for two months at once, and you can be enrolled in the program for as long as you want.

I know it's probably not a good fit for everyone, but Matt and I don't have much money and after Rifka I really want this protection for our pigs. We already have our savings account for heart meds, etc. each month but I always count on Esme to be healthy. I didn't count on Brindy period! This way I can feel more secure about their veterinary care.

slavetofuzzy
4 the Good of all Pigs

Post   » Thu Apr 09, 2009 1:45 pm


Now that you have pet insurance, they will always be healthy! Murphy's law and all that!

We are kicking ourselves we did not get it when we got the puppies 12 years ago. Little did we know Max was going to be the $10K dog and Puck is now trying to get up there in $$ spent too!

User avatar
GuineaPinny

Post   » Thu Apr 09, 2009 1:50 pm


I know-and if I ever take them off of it, then that month-disaster!

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JHand
For the love of pigs!

Post   » Thu Apr 09, 2009 2:36 pm


I don't know, I agree with Weaver, I think you would be better off putting the money you would spend on the policy into an account for the pigs. But piece of mind is worth something...

User avatar
GuineaPinny

Post   » Thu Apr 09, 2009 2:38 pm


This is something I am doing after losing a pig because of conditions that were beyond my control. I am trying to limit that from happening again as much as possible. Matt and I also have a savings account.

Peace of mind is worth a great deal to me right now.

The symbolism of this may be worth me to than it is you (you not being in my shoes right now, and not being me). Either way I've enrolled two of my pigs in it regardless.

User avatar
JHand
For the love of pigs!

Post   » Thu Apr 09, 2009 2:53 pm


I am sorry GP, I didn't mean to sound like I was judging you. And As I did acknowledge, Peace of mind is worth something. And if it means that much to you, then you should do it. And believe me, I know what it is like to lose a bet due to circumstances beyond ones control. It is a very painful thing to go through.

User avatar
GuineaPinny

Post   » Thu Apr 09, 2009 2:57 pm


I think I also worded mine awkwardly-that is, not to say that you would not know what I am feeling, but you might make a different choice being you in your situation. You know? I think it came out more aggressive than I meant it.

User avatar
WEAVER
one pig at a time.

Post   » Thu Apr 09, 2009 3:16 pm


GP, no one is judging you. I think it is great that you have a plan that works for you. Everyone needs some kind of a plan, and one that they are comfortable with. Truly that is what matters the most.

I personally use Care Credit and that works for me. That probably would not work for everyone either :)

I think to some degree most of us are in pretty bad situations at the moment. Even Doug and I are pinching our pennies lately. It is scary, and I do understand that. Keep your chin up and don't bet yourself up over "what-if's.

User avatar
Webs
Cavies 'n Cobwebs

Post   » Thu Apr 09, 2009 4:31 pm


I enquired about insurance after Chilli's illnesses recently and this may be of interest to UK members. I'll also post this in the UK vet thread.

The plan is from Pet Plan's Exotic Direct policy.

Cost £82.20 per animal per year (£6.85 per month) from 8 weeks to 5 years old.

Covers vet fees for accident, sickness or disease per policy per year up to £2,000.

£45 excess per animal per course of treatment. Larger excess may apply to certain treatments such as x-rays, ultrasound etc up to 50% of the treatment cost. I can't remember if they do not cover consultations to vet schools etc. or cover just a percentage.

Existing treatments are not covered, those that start after the policy start are taken on a year by year basis as long as treatment hasn't lapsed for more than 60 days.

Do not cover theft, escape or mysterious disappearance.

Do not cover preventive treatments.

Do not cover any treatment relating to coming into season, breeding, pregnancy or giving birth.

Do not cover spay/neuter or euthanasia.

Do not cover any injury caused by you, your family, your other pets or any animal coming to your premises.

Do not cover more than 50% of dental treatment less the excess depending on preventive and routine care having been provided.

A more comprehensive list of exclusions is on their Current Policy Terms.

So far after discussion in a follow up call with Exotic Direct, I've decided at this time there are too many exclusions and the excess is too high for me to insure Tiggy. Chilli is too old and has too many pre exisiting conditions.

User avatar
Halva
Supporter in '10

Post   » Thu Apr 09, 2009 4:51 pm


Webs,

Thank you very much for this info. I'll definitely be following this up for my three.

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