Tuesday, April 10, 2018

What Happens To Your Pet If You Can't Pay the Vet?

It's a pet parent's worst nightmare.  Your dog or cat has a terrible accident, gets attacked by another animal, is hit by a car, or gets a devastating health diagnosis from your Veterinarian.  

Once the shock and pain have set in, the fear comes.  Not just the fear of Will my pet be ok, but the fear of How in heaven's name am I going to PAY for this?!  What if I can't pay and the Vet won't treat my pet?  After all, Veterinarians need to make a living too.   With medical school, malpractice, staff payroll and other mounting costs, they can hardly be expected to act as charity institutions.  Many people are turning to Pet Health Insurance to help ease the fear of being blindsided by a hugely expensive Veterinary bill they can't afford.


Finding good Pet Insurance can be mind boggling, Consumersadvocate can help.  Health insurance for Dogs, Cats, Pets,
Finding good Pet Insurance can be a daunting task
Pets are Family, and every family member deserves medical treatment, especially in the face of an emergency or life threatening illness.  The fear of not being able to pay for Veterinary services in the event of a serious pet injury or illness has led to substantial growth of the Pet Insurance industry.



This post is sponsored by Consumers Advocate® . I am being compensated to share information about Consumers Advocate's  information and reviews of the Pet Insurance landscape and product offerings.  As always, we only share information we feel is relevant and helpful to our readers.

In 1982, Lassie was the first dog in the U.S. to have a pet insurance policy.  Since then, along with the rise in pet health care costs, the pet health insurance industry has exploded.  According to the North American Pet Health Insurance Association (NAPHIA), the governing body of pet insurance in North America, the North American pet insurance industry is estimated to be upwards of $774 Million!

According to Statista, a large statistics and studies organization:

🐶 There are nearly 90 million dogs and over 96 million cats in the U.S.

🐈 The cost of Pet Care in the U.S. is estimated to be $47 Million


🐶 The estimated annual cost of medical expenses for a pet in the U.S. is $425


The pet business as a whole is a more than $66 Billion industry!  Included in that $66 Billion, is a hefty chunk of change that is spent on providing medical care for pets.  With that kind of potential revenue in all areas of pet care it's no surprise that more companies want to claim their fair share of the pet insurance pie! 

Each year more people are purchasing health insurance for their pets, especially in the U.S.  According to NAPHIA, by the end of 2016, nearly 1.6 Million pets in the United States had pet health insurance.  The majority of those pet health insurance plans cover both illness and accidents.


Understanding Pet Insurance can be difficult, there are so many differences in companies & plans. Consumersadvocate provides information & ratings for pet health insurance companies.  Dogs, Cats, Pets, Pet health, Pet Insurance.
Pet Insurance companies and plans vary widely but finding the right health insurance plan for your dog or cat is vital. 
It seems so simple, just go out and buy a Pet Health Insurance policy and you'll never have to worry about being hit with Vet bills you can't afford.  Right?  If only it were that simple.  

Although there has been a huge increase in the number of pet owners purchasing health insurance for pets, not all pet insurance plans are alike.  In fact, navigating the Pet Insurance landscape can be mind boggling.  Prices, which illnesses and accidents are covered, when and why a claim may be denied, and what Veterinarians you can go to, vary widely from one pet insurance company and plan to another.  


Consumersadvocate does a great job of explaining the benefits and limitations of the many Pet Insurance companies and policies out there, on their web site.  Check out this video to see how Consumersadvocate can help you find the right Pet Health Insurance plan for your pet.



Years ago when Icy was a puppy, I won a year's worth of Pet Insurance.  It seemed like a good thing to have in case of an emergency, but when I read the policy I saw that we would have to leave our beloved Veterinarian and use a Vet from their list of participating Veterinarians.  Because of that restriction, I wouldn't use the insurance.  Our fabulous Veterinarian was too important to us!


A financially devastating injury or illness can strike at any age in your dog's life.  Pet Insurance can help ease the fear of not being able to pay your pet's medical costs.  Pet health, Pet medical care, dogs, cats, pets, pet health insurance.
A financially devastating illness or injury can occur at any stage of your dog's life.
Since then, I have thought about getting Pet Health Insurance for Icy and Phoebe but it seemed so confusing to me.  There are so many companies and differences in policies that finding a pet insurance policy was overwhelming!  The years ticked by and now my girls are both senior dogs over 8 years old.  

Thankfully my dogs haven't had health issues we couldn't afford to pay for, but I have friends with pets who have had prohibitively expensive medical issues.  Pet Insurance can be a Godsend in those instances, IF you have the right policy. 


Visit the Consumersadvocate Pet Insurance page on their web site to figure out what questions to ask and see which companies offering Pet Insurance are rated the best.  They provide so much great advice and insight about pet insurance in general, pet insurance companies, and policies on their web site.  


If you're thinking about getting health insurance for your pet and want to learn more about how to go about finding the right plan, their web site is a great primer.  I suggest you go there first to start learning about pet insurance and the top pet insurance companies available.  

If you're lucky you'll find a great pet insurance plan that can help pay for unexpected and expensive medical issues that come up for your pets.  If you don't, you'll end up like some pet parents I know who were totally blindsided when they found out that their pet's medical treatment wasn't covered by the pet insurance plan they bought.



One of my blogger friends at McSquare Doodles has beautiful Goldendoodles.  As a young puppy, her dog Bernie was diagnosed with atypical Addison's disease. Certainly an unexpected, serious illness for which you'd want your pet insurance to provide coverage.  Unfortunately, simply because Bernie had been to the Vet once for vomiting 2 months prior to his diagnosis the pet insurance company denied coverage for any costs related to his Addison's disease, claiming he must have had a "pre-existing condition"!  It's no surprise that she dropped that pet insurance, but the "damage" of being denied coverage was already done.  Learn more about Addison's Disease and how Irene is dealing with her dog Bernie's atypical Addison's Disease on her blog.

Conversely, my friend Jodi at Kohl's Notes, got insurance for her dogs, Felix and Kol.  She was lucky to have a great insurance plan that, over the years, covered several thousand dollars worth of treatments for Felix' torn ACL's and Kol's IVDD (Intervertebral Disk Disease) attack.  In fact, this week Jodi just told me that Felix hurt his back and her pet insurance company once again reimbursed her - for 80% of the cost!

You want to make the right choice and find a pet insurance company and plan that is reliable and provides great coverage.  One that won't look for a reason to deny your insurance claim just when you need it most.  There is some leg work involved, but Consumersadvocate is a great place to start your research!

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With the rising cost of Veterinary care for pets, many pet owners are buying Pet Health Insurance. The right Pet Insurance plan can be a life saver, but finding a great company & plan isn't easy.  Here are some tips for finding great Pet Insurance for dogs, cats, and other pets.  Pet Care, Pet Health,  Dog Health,  Find a Pet Insurance Plan
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 Consumersadvocate provides reviews and ratings of companies across 110 different industries so you can make informed decisions when choosing a company or product.  Pet Insurance is just one area in which you can find helpful information and ratings to help you make informed choices.  You'll also find information and thorough reviews on Mortgage Refinancing, Travel or Car Insurance, Home Security and much more!  They make it easier for you by doing the legwork!


VISIT  Consumersadvocate  ON FACEBOOK AND TWITTER


Have you ever had, or thought about getting, pet health insurance?  Tell us about it in the comments, we'd like to hear about your experience with pet insurance.


26 comments:

  1. Pet insurance is complicated. Consumersadvocate sounds like a helpful resource. When our previous insurance company denied our claim, we were devastated. Bernie will have atypical Addison's Disease for the rest of his life, so treating him will be costly over time. Of course we'll pay to treat our boy, but we thought we were being proactive by acquiring insurance while he was a puppy. One of the things I learned about pet insurance from our unfortunate experience is that pet insurers don't have to limit their denial to a pre-existing condition. They can deny a claim based on a pre-existing symptom, which is different than human insurance.

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    1. I think it's so unfair that your insurance company denied the claim. A pre existing Symptom?! That is absurd. I'm so sorry you had that experience, I know it will be costly to treat Bernie for many years to come. Consumersadvocate does a great job reviewing & rating pet insurance companies.

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  2. Consumer Advocate sounds like a great resource. I have never had pet insurance. It sounds insane when I say it, and I have no explanation for why I haven't, then when I started thinking about it my animals were seniors and I couldn't get coverage or it would have cost a fortune. When I adopted my first younger dog I thought about it for 5 minutes but my husband thinks insurance is a scam so we figured what's going to happen he's so young. Well, sudden paralysis and a £5000 bill (whatever that is in US money) shocked us. Serves us right I guess.

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    1. It's definitely a great resource, for pet insurance and so many other products & services! Pet insurance is something people are just beginning to get onboard with. I wish I had looked for a good plan when my dogs were younger, now they're seniors. Too bad I didn't know about Consumersadvocate years ago!

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  3. If my peeps could find a pet insurance company that would cover ALL of us for a flat rate, they'd likely get it, but when they looked into insurance way back when, because of the number of us, it was a lot cheaper to self insure. purrs

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    1. I think it has changed & evolved a lot, it's worth another try. Healthcare for several pets can get so expensive. Maybe give it another try?

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  4. We are very blessed to belong to a non profit called PAWS who has some amazing assistance for us : 1. Free Annual check ups and now that Layla is a senior she gets them twice a year, they have at their office a vet clinic where I can go for free on certain days only if necessary plus my vet clinic costs are covered by them if there is an emergency. So I am blessed not having to worry about vet costs

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    1. Wow, that truly is a blessing! I'm so glad Layla is well protected. Good for you!!

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  5. I am STILL looking for a pet insurance that will cover medical costs when overseas and not just in North America. We travel all over and honestly that is my #1 concern. That and getting him home if we are both injured or worse....I have yet to find such a thing.

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    1. I think North America is the biggest market right now, but I'd be surprised if it didn't start catching on overseas as well. International is always a bit tricky. I hope you do find something, and if you do please share. Might be worth an email to ask someone at Consumersadvocate if they know of any companies outside NA you might look at.

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  6. What a great post. So many people don't have insurance and don't realise there are things like this, and pet loans to ensure their pet stays healthy.

    Will share this!!

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    1. Thank you! I'm so glad you like the post, Marjorie. I wish I had found a good plan years ago. I've not heard of pet loans, that's interesting.

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  7. It is difficult to choose a pet insurance and something to consider before getting a pet. Consumersadvocate sounds like a wonderful resource.

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    1. They are a terrific resource, for so many things. I was really pleased to see how much information they shared on their web site! Pet insurance is definitely something that can give so many people peace of mind.

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  8. There is nothing worse than not having the money to pay for treatment or diagnostics your dog needs. We've been there in the past. The second worst thing is if you do scrape enough credit but then you pay it off forever and it messes up your whole life. We've been there too. We now absolutely won't go without insurance. Though the premium for comprehensive insurance is pretty stiff too.

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    1. I agree! I can't even imagine not being able to provide my pets with the care they need. Insurance is always costly, but the alternative is pretty bad too. You just never know what could come up.

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  9. This is a great resource to help people through a very confusing decision. Thank you for sharing! ~ Dear Mishu

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    1. Thanks Mishu! I appreciate the kind words. It really is a tough decision, there are just so many differences in pet insurance companies and plans.

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  10. I've had pet insurance with Trupanion for the girls since they were kittens and with my previous cat. I was able to select my deductible and copay. I pay a little higher premium to have no deductible and reimbursement at 90% but it's worth it. I do have to pay upfront at most vets (that's why I have a Care Credit card), but get reimbursed within a week.

    Truffle recently had surgery to remove stones from her bladder. The total costs (including two visits to the vet, tests, medications, surgery, labs, etc.) was approximately $1300. I was reimbursed a little over $1100 and it was in my bank account today (one week later). It's definitely worth it!

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    1. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences, I think this will help a lot of people! I'm so glad you've had great experiences with Trupanion. You made a great choice!

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  11. We don't have pet insurance, but I'm going to look into it. With 3 dogs over the age of 8, and a cat who is 17, I'm not sure we can find a policy that will cover what we need, but it is worth finding out more.

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    1. Same here, my girls are both over 8 so I'm not too hopeful. I think they'll either be rejected or it will be too cost prohibitive. I wish I'd gotten pet insurance years ago!

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  12. I don't have pet insurance. I know I should look into it but haven't. My pets often arrive with pre-existing conditions and I assume they would not be covered - the same way pre-existing conditions are covered for people.

    Sadly I know many people give up their pets because they can't afford the vet care. Fortunately we have a care credit card for emergencies and large vet bills.

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  13. I am wrestling with which pet insurance to get. I paid cash when Kilo got a check up and when he ate chocolate. I want to get it before he turns 6 later this year. I'll have to ask Jodi which one she uses as I did lots of comparisons for a post and still came out confused. Thanks for reminding me.

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  14. This is so true. Emergency vets are typically more expensive than regular vets as well. Luckily my dogs have not yet needed major surgery or even had big emergencies. Gracie got a cut on her eyelid once and I thought she had cut her eye. All she ended up needing was an ointment, but had it been her eye that was cut, I am sure it would have been a bigger issue. Yoshi has juvenile cataracts. Luckily his are very mild at this point and not impacting his vision. If the advance, he could need a $3,500 surgery to correct it. Of course juvenile cataracts are not typically covered by pet insurance.

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  15. We also have pet insurance. We submitted a claim a few years ago for something we believed was unrelated to Henry's pre-existing auto-immune disease. The insurance company disagreed and the claim was not processed. We stayed with this insurance company as the cost, due to age(s) was less expensive than switching providers. Also, a pre-existing condition is the same regardless of which provider you use. I can't even imagine having to euthanize one of my companions, or hand them over to a rescue in order for their treatment to be covered, and have them adopted to someone else! I can't believe that happens!

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