May 10, 2010

Why Buy Pet Insurance? It Saves Lives and Your Bank Account!

Posted by Bob under from the owner, Horse Injuries

Although this blog is focused on dogs and arthrtis, this great story by our own employee, April, supports the prior posts about pet insurance.

April T:
You know you’re going to do just about everything you can to save the life (and improve quality of life) of your beloved pets. Why make the decision any more difficult by deciding whether or not you can afford it?  Pet insurance saved me from paying $8,000 for surgery, which would have hurt for a long time.

I was on my honeymoon and virtually unreachable when my horse colicked and needed emergency surgery.  Luckily, I had given all of my information (and a credit card) to a friend, my ranch owner, and my vet. I don’t know what possessed me to prepare to that extent…maybe intuition, maybe fear, probably both.  My ranch owner later said she had a bad feeling about it when I was giving everyone the details.  My directive: if anything happens, get him the medical care he needs and call my insurance company.  I had a friend set up as “power of attorney” just in case, and I called my insurance company to let them know that if she called in, they had my permission to deal with her.  It was because of that seemingly neurotic preparation that my horse got the care he needed and almost a year later is doing really well!

Pyritte turned 18 years old last week. I’ve had the pleasure of being his mom for 10 years and expect many, many more to come.  Within 6 months of getting him, he punctured his cornea and needed a $3,000 eye surgery.  Ouch.  A week after surgery, he was moved to a barn stall (which was apparently very scary with only one eye) and proceeded to kick through the wall and wedged a 2-inch long splinter into his coronet band.  Another $1,000 went to my vet.  The day after that, I got him insured. 

I paid just around $400 for that first year of insurance, made in quarterly payments, which at the time covered him for up to $10,000 in major medical and colic surgery and included mortality.  Now, the cost is up to $500 because of his age, and of course no longer covers colic because that’s a one-time deal.  Over the years, I just about broke even on what I spent on insurance and what I ended up needing last year when he had surgery.  It was better than a savings plan, because from day one of his Markel Insurance plan,  I might’ve needed help and they would’ve provided it. 

Now, he’s covered for any non-colic emergency, and I will never own a pet without coverage again.  We got a kitten late last year and she’s insured too.  The bottom line, if she got hurt, I would spend thousands on her.  That’s just what I would have to do.  Gone are the days of putting an animal down without exploring every option (for me).  They are my babies and I want to be able to give them the best care possible without killing my bank account.  The cost for Jinx’s insurance through Pet Plan?  $120 for the year, again paid quarterly, including up to $8,000 of surgical coverage.

And to know that stem cell therapy is covered, at least partially, under most plans is the icing on the cake.  Believe me, it’s worth it!  April T

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