For Dogs, Cats & Other Pets And The People Who Love Them!


Pet Insurance Reviews

Written By: Teri Champigny - Jan• 30•12

Top 5 US Pet Insurance Companies Compared

Pet insurance reviews can help you find the best deal for your pet. When you are considering pet insurance, it is important to shop around. In this article we will look at some of the major players in the US pet insurance market and the services that they offer.

Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI)

VPI is the longest established pet insurance company in the US. They are also the biggest: in 2007 they held 71% of the market. Therefore, VPI are the first company that many people look at when they are considering pet insurance.

At the time of writing, VPI is the cheapest for their standard (‘economical’) plan, so they will come out top of many pet insurance reviews on the issue of cost. However, you should be aware that there is a lot that this plan does not cover, and the payment limits are lower than many plans. So your savings on policy fees could be quickly exceeded by what you have to pay if your pet needs expensive treatment. VPI also offers a ‘comprehensive’ plan which is a little more expensive but gives you better cover.

Embrace Pet Insurance

Embrace are known for their customizable plans which offer you the opportunity to set your own deductible and benefit limit. This is ideal if you and your pet are in unusual circumstances. It can also make your insurance very cheap, depending on the options that you choose.

Embrace are one of the few companies to offer insurance cover for hereditary conditions such as hip dysplasia in golden retrievers. If you have a dog of a breed that is subject to hereditary disorders, you should look carefully at their policy.

ASPCA Pet Insurance

The ASPCA have teamed up with the Hartville insurance group to offer a pet health plan. This means that even though it carries the ASPCA name, you are not getting your insurance from a non-profit organization as you might expect. However, the ASPCA do benefit from your choice.

ASPCA/Hartville only covers 90% of most costs and have a deductible too. What is covered varies according to your state.

PetCare Pet Insurance

With PetCare you can choose from six different plans for either dogs or cats, including a senior plan for older pets. Some plans cover wellness and hereditary conditions, others have limits on how many new illnesses you can claim for per year.

Pets Best

PetsBest have no upper limit on the pet’s age at the time you take out the policy, so this could be a good choice for older pets.

Like most plans, Pets Best standard policies cover cancer but not pre-existing conditions. For a small additional cost, you can add cover for preventive care and sterilization. There are three levels of plan with different limits.

These are just a few of the major pet insurance companies that you will want to consider when you are looking at plans and pet insurance reviews. You can expect to pay around $25-$35 per month for most plans.

Pet insurance providers, like health insurance companies for humans, should be regulated in each state where they offer insurance, so you will need to check that they are good for your state.

Please keep in mind that we have not tried out all of these plans for ourselves. The services offered by different companies can change at any time and may have changed since we researched this article. Just because a company is on our list does not mean it will be right for you, and if a company is not on our list that does not mean it does not offer a good plan. We do not claim to have investigated all the possibilities in these pet insurance reviews.

Technorati Tags: , , , , ,

 

Cat Insurance: What Is Covered

Written By: Teri Champigny - Jan• 30•12

Cat insurance is a good choice to get when you adopt a cat, but what is covered? If you are considering cat insurance, you need to know what is covered in the standard policies. This will help you to shop around and compare plans.

The main aim of cat insurance is to provide cover for any expensive veterinarian treatment that your cat may need during her lifetime, so that you are not suddenly faced with having to pay out a huge sum of money for expensive surgery or other treatment, or having your cat put down when her life could have been saved.

So you can expect your cat insurance plan to cover emergency medical treatment for your cat, as a minimum. This should include veterinarian costs for treating any new illness or health condition in your cat (but see notes about deductibles and limits below).

Your cat insurance policy may not include cover for some or all of the following:

– routine shots
– preventive treatment that your veterinarian recommends
– foods for a special diet
– dental treatment
– treatment relating to neutering, pregnancy or birth of kittens
– treatment for behavioral problems
– the cost of medications
– treatment of issues that your cat already has (pre-existing conditions)
– treatment of geriatric illnesses (conditions caused by old age)
– life insurance for accidental death
– insurance for theft or loss of your cat
– cost of treatment in other countries if you travel with your pet
– cost of boarding if you are admitted to hospital and cannot care for your cat
– cost of canceling a paid-for vacation because your cat is sick

You will need to think about which of these options you might need or want. Cover for them will be worthwhile for some cat owners but not others. For example, theft insurance might be important to somebody who owns a valuable pedigree cat, but probably not to the owner of a regular mixed breed cat. For that reason, many plans offer these items as optional extras.

It is very important to read the fine print of any cat insurance plan carefully, so that you know exactly what you will get and what you won’t. Compare a couple of different plans, too. Don’t only look at the cheapest plans. You may see something in a more expensive plan that you had not thought about, and it might turn out to be important.

If the plan that you are looking at does not cover everything that you want, call the company and ask if you can have certain things added. It will cost a little more but it is often worthwhile.

As with many other types of insurance, you may find that you are expected to pay something toward each claim. This is known as the deductible in the US (‘excess’ in the UK and Australia). This might be $50 or $100 or more, depending on the company and the policy. You can often negotiate this amount. It will affect the cost of the insurance so, other things being equal, a policy with $200 deductible will be cheaper per month than a policy with $100 deductible.

There may also be a maximum payout for each condition or event. For example, your plan may cover up to $5000 of veterinary bills for a particular disease or injury. The cover may also be time limited: e.g. your cat insurance may only pay for the first 12 months of treatment for each problem.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , ,

 

Pet Insurance Ratings

Written By: Teri Champigny - Jan• 30•12

Can You Trust Them?

Pet insurance ratings, can you really trust them? Pet insurance ratings are used these days by many people to help them make a choice between the different insurance companies that offer plans for pets. But are they reliable? How much should you trust them when you are shopping around for a pet insurance plan?

In theory, pet insurance ratings and reviews are given by consumers who have tried pet insurance and want to report their experience to other potential users. They can be very useful, a little like getting a neighbor to tell you what he thinks of his insurance company.

However, it is important to remember that they are subjective. Each rating that is submitted is just one person’s view. It may not be a balanced view. It could even be untrue. Staff could go online and post positive reviews of their company or negative ratings of competitors. If they were feeling unhappy at work, they might even post negative reviews of their own company!

On the other hand, most ratings are made up of the opinions of a number of different people. So it is clear that you can have much more confidence in them if the rating is calculated from thousands of consumers’ opinions rather than just a few.

If you are a member of any online forums, you probably know that people often come to the internet to vent and rant when they are feeling frustrated with something in their lives. This is true of pet insurance just like anything else. People are probably more likely to leave a rating for any type of product or service when they have had a bad experience. If they have had a good experience or an OK experience, they do not necessarily bother to tell others.

So when you are reading pet insurance ratings online, keep in mind that they may be skewed toward the negative.

Another point to remember is that not everybody will be looking for the same things that you are. A company could have a plan that would suit one person just fine but another not at all. So even if somebody rates a company 5 stars, it does not mean that they will have the product or service that you want.

It is much more useful if people post individual reviews instead of just a numerical rating. Then you can see why everybody felt the way that they did.

Where To Find Pet Insurance Ratings

You will find consumer ratings for pet insurance companies on specialist sites that compare the market for this and other products and services. Just keep in mind that you should not use consumer reviews as your only reason for deciding to go with a pet insurance company.

You will also need to look carefully at what they offer, including reading their policy document which most companies put online so that you can check it before you sign up. Do not pass up that opportunity. Pet insurance ratings are not the only way to evaluate the service that a company offers.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , ,

 

Pet Insurance For Older Dogs

Written By: Teri Champigny - Jan• 30•12

You should think about pet insurance for your older dog just as much as you would a puppy. Pet insurance for older dogs is not always easy to find. Many pet insurance providers seem to assume that everybody wants to start insuring a dog right from a puppy.

But in fact, a lot of people need pet insurance for older dogs. Maybe you have had the dog for a long time and you are just starting to think about insurance, or maybe you have just welcomed a senior dog into your home. He may be a rescue dog or a pet who has been passed along to you by family members or friends who can no longer look after him. He needs insurance just like a younger one does – maybe even more.

So where should you look for pet insurance for older dogs? Just as for so many questions these days, you can find the answer on the internet! But to save you time searching through the plans available from every pet insurance company in the country, we have listed below a couple of the providers who offer plans for older dogs.

What age of dog are we talking about here? Most standard insurance plans have limits on the age of dogs that they will insure. They will not take puppies under 8 weeks old and in many cases, they will not consider a dog over the age of 8 years. However, there are some exceptions to this.

Of course, when you are looking for pet insurance for older dogs you probably already know that you are not going to be able to enroll your pet in the cheapest plans. Most companies have several different levels of cover with different monthly payments. If the company offers a plan for senior dogs it will be one of the more expensive plans.

Another point that you should keep in mind is that many plans will not cover the medical costs for treating ‘geriatric illnesses’. These are illnesses caused by old age. This is true even if the plan is designed for older dogs. An example might be osteoarthritis, which in most cases is associated with ageing. However, you will need to check each individual plan to see exactly what is covered and what is not.

Like most insurance policies, pet insurance does not usually cover pre-existing conditions unless they were completely cured the first time around. Before your dog is accepted you may have to have a veterinarian check him over for existing problems. So do not wait until your dog is already sick to take out that insurance!

Here are some of the companies who will consider insuring your dog even if he is over 8 years old:

– Pets Best offer two plans that have no upper age limit.
– PetCare has a ‘senior plan’ for older pets.
– Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI) standard plans offer cover for dogs up to 10 years old, instead of the usual 8. They also have a ‘senior pets plan’ that covers treatment for dogs over 10 for accidental injuries only – not illnesses.

Please note that this is not an exclusive list. Many other companies may offer plans for older dogs. Also, the information given may not be accurate. Companies can change their policies at any time. These are just a few examples to give you an idea of what may be available.

If you have a good history with a particular insurance company (for example, if you already have insurance for other pets, without a lot of claims) they might consider adding your older dog to your policy even if this is not something that they offer on a standard pet insurance plan. It would be worth giving them a call to ask if they would consider offering pet insurance for older dogs in your individual case.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , ,

 

Is Pet Insurance Worth It

Written By: Teri Champigny - Jan• 30•12

Is pet insurance worth it? This is a question on the minds of many pet owners. Most veterinarians will advise you to get a health insurance plan for your pet.

Of course, you don’t have to, but you can then find yourself stuck with huge bills if your dog develops a serious health condition. You might even find yourself in a situation where you could not afford the health treatment that your dog needed. Once you and your family are attached to your pet, it would be heartbreaking to lose him (or her) when his life could easily have been saved if you had insurance.

Both first timers and experienced pet owners may ask themselves the question: is pet insurance worth it? Maybe you have had a pet for many years, you have been paying out for insurance every month and your pet has stayed healthy. Some people cancel their insurance in that situation. But remember, just because your pet has stayed well until now, does not mean it always will. Your pet could fall sick the day after you cancel the insurance.

In many cases, pet insurance is worth having simply for peace of mind. It is wonderful to know that you can give your much-loved pet any care that it needs.

There are some cases where pet insurance might not be worth the cost. One situation would be if you do not care that much about the pet, or if the costs of its health care are not likely to be high. To take an extreme example, it is probably not worth insuring a goldfish, because veterinarians do not often perform expensive surgery on fish. This may sound heartless if you love your fish, but if they are sick it is usually better to accept that they have short lives and buy another one.

Another case where you might not want to take out pet insurance is if you have plenty of money. You might not mind taking a risk because you know that you could easily pay out several thousand dollars for surgery at short notice, if it was necessary.

Any kind of insurance is a gamble. In a sense you are betting on the possibility that a high cost problem will occur. If your pet lives a long, happy life and then dies of natural causes without ever needing more than routine shots from the veterinarian, the insurance might seem like a waste of money. But if your pet does develop a serious health issue, you will be very glad that you took out the insurance and you will probably have saved a lot. Unfortunately, there is no way to know ahead of time.

If you have a dog, it is important to remember that your pet insurance will usually cover you for injury or damage caused by your dog as well as health issues. It is very important for dog owners to be sure that they have this kind of cover. Think how terrible it would be if your dog was to cause somebody a permanent injury – and how much you might have to pay that person in compensation. Even small dogs can be aggressive. It is certainly worth taking out insurance for that.

So is pet insurance worth it? If you care about your pet and you want to be free of anxiety about the cost of health care or compensation, the answer is a resounding yes.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , ,