|Barked: Mon Oct 16, '06 9:35am PST |
|Hi, Boomer and Dottie
Thanks for posting your question about pet insurance. Bentley, Tread, Tommy, Sophia and Templeton -- who've recently posted messages on our group page -- all have VPI insurance and can perhaps settle your nerves. If you don't get a response from the forum posting, try reaching out to them via the message board to ask for some feedback on their experience with VPI. Of course, I'm a bit biased because I've had VPI for four years (since I was a wee pup) and my mom works for the company. It has brought my family peace of mind, knowing we can get some reimbursements for vet bills and in case we have an emergency (and I've had a few!). And guess what? VPI offers a multiple-pet discount for families with two or more pets. In addition to hearing from Protected Pooches members, check out the VPI Web site: petinsurance.com or call Customer Care at 800-540-2016.
Right now VPI has two different policy plans (Superior and Standard). Your annual premium is based on your dog's age and health and can start as low as $19 a month, which can be paid annually or monthly. There is a $50 deductible for each different vet visit (if you're going back for a recheck, the deductible does NOT apply). You pay the bill in full at your vet's clinic, then submit your claim to VPI in order to get your reimbursement. Each plan pays out benefits up to 90% from a benefit allowance schedule...for example, if a particular condition has a benefit allowance of $100 for the year and you file a claim for $120 for that particular condition, only $100 is eligible for reimbursement. THEN that $50 deductible is applied. So you have $50 left for your 90% reimbursement, which comes out to $45. What's left in your benefit allowance is $55 -- which will be available to you throughout the rest of the year until you exhaust all benefits. There is a list of all eligible expenses (i.e., prescriptions and treatments) on the Web site.
Since Boomer and Dottie are in the 1-3 age bracket, you're still starting out early, which means a lower premium. The next age bracket is 4-7. As with any insurance (even for humans), insurance increases with age due to the higher risk in health.
To decide whether or not you need insurance, just think about how often you visit your vet...how your health is...some dogs are just blessed with good health...especially those mutts. We had Lucky for 17 years -- she was a Retriever mix and her only ailment was a bum knee from too much hunting/running. Lived a long, healthy life and rarely went to the vet. Died from natural causes at home earlier this year. I'm a Lab and tend to have all sorts of Lab issues, and I'm very, very active outdoors, so my mom feels comfortable knowing she's covered if I get hurt or sick. All in all, it has been worth the $185 she spent on her premium this year. And to date, based on the number of vet visits so far this year, we've gotten back all $185 through our reimbursements, so we've broken even so far and still have a few months left in the year in case we need it.
We hope you find a plethora of answers here on the group site. Our goal isn't to sell insurance plans, but mainly to answer questions just like yours...for pups who aren't sure what it is, how to use it, or if it's worth it. Check out some of the messages that have been posted by other VPI pups and reach out to some of them.
Woofs and tail spins, Shelby Dog
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