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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone, I'm new and it's great to be here.

I'm thinking about getting pet insurance for my pug and poodle after hearing all the horror stories about super expensive vet bills. I live in the U.S. and I was wondering if anyone has any recommendations? Thanks a bunch!
 

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I use Embrace, as I think it's the most comprehensive one that's relatively budget friendly. The plans are very customizable. It's one of the few that has dental coverage, and there is some forgiveness for pre-existing conditions. There are a lot of differences between companies so I would advise doing a lot of research if covering certain things are important to you.
 

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I use Embrace, as I think it's the most comprehensive one that's relatively budget friendly. The plans are very customizable. It's one of the few that has dental coverage, and there is some forgiveness for pre-existing conditions. There are a lot of differences between companies so I would advise doing a lot of research if covering certain things are important to you.
Thanks for sharing. Yes, I've looked into Embrace and I do find their monthly premium more affordable compared to the other companies. Like you mentioned, every company is a little different which is why I wanted to get some feedback from people who's used them before. I'm also looking into HealthyPaws because I heard great things about them.
 

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Healthy Paws kept upping my premiums, even though I had never filed a claim. So I decided to do what one member suggested - self-funding insurance. This amounts to a savings account for your dog. I initially put an amount in to start and then have added in, every month the monthly premium of my last insurance or whatever you can monthly afford. For me that was a little more than my last premium. Now I feel I have enough money in Asta's account to cover most any expense.
 

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We are self insured with a generous 5 figure reserve fund that is for any sort of household unexpected expense, including dental work for Lily next week. I built the reserve by putting in what would have gone to premiums plus some extra when we have had windfalls.
 

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I had insurance for Snarky and Pogo. I'm not getting it for Galen, as I rarely had a bill high enough to meet the deductible. My reasoning in getting insurance was that Snarky and Pogo spent a lot of time around horses. I thought there was a very good chance one of them would get kicked or stomped, and I would have to come up with $5000 for surgery.

Instead most of their medical bills were in the $100 to $400 range for infected tick bites, colitis after eating too much cat food, a cut paw, etc. Emergency surgery to remove Snarky's dewclaw after he fell down the stairs was almost the only thing that exceeded the deductible, and that was only by $100 or so. I was paying a fee every month for insurance I never used and still paying vet bills.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Healthy Paws kept upping my premiums, even though I had never filed a claim. So I decided to do what one member suggested - self-funding insurance. This amounts to a savings account for your dog. I initially put an amount in to start and then have added in, every month the monthly premium of my last insurance or whatever you can monthly afford. For me that was a little more than my last premium. Now I feel I have enough money in Asta's account to cover most any expense.
This is a great idea! The only concern I have is even if I start saving $100/month now, in 5 years I'll have $6000. But I was told if the dog gets cancer, the surgery + hospitalization could easily reach $10,000 - $20,000.
 

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We are self insured with a generous 5 figure reserve fund that is for any sort of household unexpected expense, including dental work for Lily next week. I built the reserve by putting in what would have gone to premiums plus some extra when we have had windfalls.
Thanks for sharing, I'll definitely keep this in mind as an option. I'm only concerned about the major medical conditions that could easily cost over $10,000 - $20,000... obviously, it's a rare case and it might never happen. But it's just like car insurance, you don't use it often and you're not expected to. But when accidents happen, you definitely wanna be covered.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I had insurance for Snarky and Pogo. I'm not getting it for Galen, as I rarely had a bill high enough to meet the deductible. My reasoning in getting insurance was that Snarky and Pogo spent a lot of time around horses. I thought there was a very good chance one of them would get kicked or stomped, and I would have to come up with $5000 for surgery.

Instead most of their medical bills were in the $100 to $400 range for infected tick bites, colitis after eating too much cat food, a cut paw, etc. Emergency surgery to remove Snarky's dewclaw after he fell down the stairs was almost the only thing that exceeded the deductible, and that was only by $100 or so. I was paying a fee every month for insurance I never used and still paying vet bills.
Thanks for sharing your experience! Yes, most of my pet visits don't cost as much, but I'm just concerned about accidents or major illness that could cost a lot of money.
 

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Thanks for sharing your experience! Yes, most of my pet visits don't cost as much, but I'm just concerned about accidents or major illness that could cost a lot of money.
Your concerns were exactly why I signed up. What I found is that my policy didn't really help with illness, because each vet visit was treated as a separate incident. Poodles are a bit more prone to autoimmune disorders than some breeds: stuff like sebaceous adenitis, inflammatory bowel disease, and so forth. Pogo's worst diarrhea flare up cost me close to $1000. None of it was covered under my policy, because he got treated over a series of three visits. None of the individual visits met the deductible.

Cancer or major surgery are, of course, a different kettle of fish. I thought about how I might handle some of these more expensive scenarios. Cortisone and metronidazole are pretty cheap compared to chemo drugs. However, I'm not sure I would put a dog through chemo out of concern for quality of life iissues. Hip and knee surgery are pretty common in many breeds. However, a well bred dog shouldn't need hip or patella surgery. I will take that chance. Blowing out a ligament playing fetch does happen. Repairing a torn ligament costs about what I sank into policy payments. Again, I will take that chance. Getting hit by a car, stomped by a horse, or torn up badly in a dog fight - these would result in a cost large enough to justify the policy. I'm going to gamble that I can keep Galen safe from these threats.
 

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Your concerns were exactly why I signed up. What I found is that my policy didn't really help with illness, because each vet visit was treated as a separate incident. Poodles are a bit more prone to autoimmune disorders than some breeds: stuff like sebaceous adenitis, inflammatory bowel disease, and so forth. Pogo's worst diarrhea flare up cost me close to $1000. None of it was covered under my policy, because he got treated over a series of three visits. None of the individual visits met the deductible.

Cancer or major surgery are, of course, a different kettle of fish. I thought about how I might handle some of these more expensive scenarios. Cortisone and metronidazole are pretty cheap compared to chemo drugs. However, I'm not sure I would put a dog through chemo out of concern for quality of life iissues. Hip and knee surgery are pretty common in many breeds. However, a well bred dog shouldn't need hip or patella surgery. I will take that chance. Blowing out a ligament playing fetch does happen. Repairing a torn ligament costs about what I sank into policy payments. Again, I will take that chance. Getting hit by a car, stomped by a horse, or torn up badly in a dog fight - these would result in a cost large enough to justify the policy. I'm going to gamble that I can keep Galen safe from these threats.
This brings up a good point. Different pet insurance companies handle "incidents" differently. Some have a "per incident" way of determining coverage. Embrace, what we use, does not distinguish between "incidents." There is just a yearly deductible and yearly maximum payout that you can determine when you sign up. There are advantages to both approaches.

I determined my need based on previous family dogs. We've had one dog swallow a cat toy and cost $5-6k for surgery etc. and another dog that had two anaphylaxis episodes totalling $7k together and then got cancer. He didn't survive because it was inoperable, but it was still multiple thousands of dollars to get to diagnosis (I don't remember). I know that I'm not currently prepared to pay $5k for any basic issue needing surgery, so I'd rather have peace of mind. If I can ever store up $10k for a pet fund, then maybe I won't opt for the insurance.
 

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We have Healthy Paws. My first girl racked up about $6000 the last month of her life and my wife said please buy pet insurance on the puppy. I thought I’d never use it but it was affordable so I said ok. That puppy had several vet checkups and had a good report from 2 different vets early on. He started coughing like kennel cough at about 7 months and we couldn’t find a cause. I took him to a specialist hospital when he started to go downhill, he was diagnosed with a rare inoperable congenital heart defect. I spent about $12,000 in the last three months of his life and healthy paws reimbursed 80% just like the policy stated. I have a new boy now and he has Healthy Paws without hesitation on my part
 

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I have PetPlan and it’s okay. After a PF member spent $3K on a broken leg, I signed Buck up at 6 months or so. Never made the deductible until we had to consult a specialist after he had three seizures. His neurologist prescribed a human seizure medication which is expensive and very effective. He has not had a seizure since, and we are breaking even on the premiums vs. out of pocket for the medication. That could change, if so, I can easily self-insure. There were plenty of previous decades when I couldn’t say that, however.
 

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I do both... years ago I started a self fund and a few years went by so I used it to buy our property at the lake which our dogs also enjoy very much lol! But I kept saving and then also got trupanion insurance for the Frenchie given that the breed is known to have issues, but I decided on a $1000 deductible so monthly premiums are low

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks to everyone for sharing your experience with me. I'll probably go with HealthyPaws as their premium is quite reasonable and they also have an unlimited payout.

I found this website to be very helpful and wanted to share it here in case anyone else is looking for pet insurance. You can compare quotes from different companies and read reviews of each insurance provider.


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