Response to Pet Insurance
Day before yesterday I did a post about end of life situation for our dogs and one thing I said was to save 20 dollars a month to pay for those end of life vet expenses. Here is part of a response I received from reader Sammie :
'It is true, dogs don’t cost thousands in vet care but there are times when you have to take some object out of your dog’s stomach or they have cancer that requires quite a bit of money. That’s why I would personally recommend doing pet insurance over just saving 20 dollars in your bank account. Or what would even be better is to do both.'
Now because Sammie is with Trupanion Pet Insurance I wanted to do an additional post as to why I don't pay for Pet Insurance.
For starters, if you put 20 dollars a month away for 14 years then you would have over 4 grand to pay for those old dog vet bills...all the pet insurance I have seen is a big crock, especially Banfield's insurance.Banfield calls it their Wellness Plan, it would be better called Pull the wool over your eyes plan. Free office visits, whoopee.Discounted vaccinations, discounted my big toe, those shots cost pennies,pennies! And they charge you an arm and a leg for them. Remember I have spent the last few years selling those vaccines and medications to veterinarians and before that I was working for veterinarians so believe me, I know what I am talking about. Unlike human hospitals, veterinarians are not paying their nurses 32 dollars an hour, they do their own anesthesia, (the gas they get from local distributors and it is not expensive) and they pay some kid minimum wage to clean cages and kennels.
Veterinarians already charge too much and they promote insurance so that they can charge more.
Last week I spoke with a woman whose Belgian Malinois had turned her leg in a sink hole and probably broken it. She took the dog to a Banfield hospital because she had 'paid for the Wellness Plan'..well guess what, this was on Sunday and they TOLD HER TO COME BACK ON WEDNESDAY!!!!!!!!! The dog was in pain folks. The Xray machine was out of order...for crying out loud why didn't they at least have her go to a Banfield hospital that had an Xray machine that worked...I told her to get the dog to the emergency clinic pronto...she said 'but I paid for the Wellness Plan..' well apparently they are good at Banfield for doing weight assesments (part of the Wellness Plan I really hooted over)but bad at having the Xray machine fixed.Remember the post where I took Puff to the vet with an interdigital cyst on his foot and was told he had an ear infection which he never has ever had and I demanded (and got) my money back?? Guess where that was...
Now on to my objections about real pet insurance...
It is a nice concept, but it doesn't cover preexisting conditions, like hip dysplasia and the need for surgery, most only cover routine dental cleanings,(which you would hardly ever need if you stayed on top of your dogs teeth, Puff is ten and hasn't had to have a dental yet and he is a toy dog) spay and neuters,(which you can have done at a discount at most city spay clinics)vaccinations...Rabies are easily gotten at Rabies clinics for less than 15 dollars..other shots are not needed after all the puppy shots have been done. Antibody titer tests are a great way to avoid over vaccinating your adult dog but the insurance companies don't pay for titer tests.Office visits are covered but if you are a regular client, most vets will waive the office visit if you actually spend money there.Wormings are covered but a fecal only costs about 10 dollars and you can drop off a fecal sample and save yourself that office visit anyway.
Injuries are covered and hopefully you won't have any...I injured Puffs' back and it didn't cost me anywhere near what pet insurance would have cost.
So as I said before, until the Pet Insurance companies come up with a Pet Health Savings account plan with a nice interest rate...I am not interested.