Buying Pet Insurance… Which is Best for Your Pomeranian?

By on December 3, 2014

Buying Pet InsuranceBuying Pet Insurance for your Pomeranian is a difficult decision and not one to take lightly. As with all insurance it can be quite confusing but most of all we as Pommy Mommies question… do we really need it. That’s an even harder question to answer. None of us ever wants to believe that their furry baby will get sick or hurt but it does happen. As a Pommy Mommy you need to be prepared because Pomeranian health issues can be costly.

I know first hand just how costly it can be… that’s why I decided to go out looking for insurance or what I thought was insurance. Pet insurance companies call it insurance but what it is really seems to be a glorified re-imbursement program… which it is. So when I was doing my research for buying Pet Insurance for Yoki, Niko and Sophia, I interviewed what ConsumersAdvocate.org considers the Top 5 Pet Insurance Companies. It wasn’t pretty… to say the least.

I’m not sure what criteria Consumers Advocate used to rate these companies but I decided to only include 3 companies that passed my scrutiny. Those were Healthy Paws, PetPlan and Embrace… Trupanian and Pet First had customer service reps that were horrible… I was so unimpressed that I had to hang up on them because it annoyed me so much… and I’m usually not like that. buying pet insurance

Before I compare the different companies and their programs it’s important to understand that Pet Insurance really isn’t insurance, it is a re-imbursement program. Which means you have to lay out the money and then you get re-imbursed (get your money back) between 10 days and 6 weeks. Plus there’s a deductible of either $250 or $500 dollars and obviously the lower your deductible the higher your premium. Also, your regular check ups and routine shots aren’t covered… so that’s pretty annoying. Some companies have added benefits to include those things but you have to buy a policy to be able to include them… again, annoying.

So before you begin on your venture of buying Pet Insurance for your Pomeranian there’s a few caveats you need to address that no one else will tell you about. Number one… you need money somewhere, before buying Pet insurance. This is where the dilemma happens with re-imbursement programs… do you buy the insurance and spend that money or just develop a Pomeranian fund. That’s exactly what happened when I became a Pommy Mommy. I always feel if I wasn’t living comfortably it would be impossible to give these babies a comfortable living. That may be the mid-west in me but it’s absolutely true.

Buying Pet InsuranceThe second we rescued Maggie and Sheika I started a health fund for my furry babies. Both of my babies had heart murmurs and Sheika had seizures… so I knew we would be at the Vet several times a year just to monitor them. I never really heard of Pet insurance until I worked for Wells Fargo… and it was a product I was supposed to sell as a banker. My husband and I thought about it but when we called to get a quote from VIP Pet Insurance we were so turned off, I felt bad I worked for Wells Fargo. The customer service totally sucked… for an example, I told the woman helping me that Sophia was 12 years old and she said… exact quote: “Why didn’t you think about calling us before she was so old”… we rescued Sophia 2 years before, which was told to the representative. All I could do was hang up, a little bewildered.

So for the time being, buying Pet Insurance for my Pomeranians was put on hold. Going back to what I was saying about having money before you buy insurance is very important. You either have to have very high credit limits on credit cards or a fund for your furry babies, because Pomeranians have specific illnesses that are very common in this breed… especially, and more importantly in rescues.  Here’s the nuts and bolts of what I do as a Pommy Mommy of now only three Pomeranians. I have a credit card with a $10,000 limit and a cash fund that I put a minimum of $100 dollars in each month. I know this sounds insane but we’ve had 4 Poms die since 2009 of everything from seizures, cancer to heartworm and kidney failure… all rescues.  The reason why we do this is because you need to have either cash or credit on hand to get the right treatment and willingness to treat from any Vet. It sounds a little negative but with pets you really do need to pay to play… and sometimes playing costs much more than you thought.

This was a great decision for the Pommy Mommy household because we were able to accumulate a good amount of money in our fund that was able to take care of our babies in their time of need and give us peace of mind. We did finally choose a Pet Insurance company… one which fit our specific needs. I know, you’re probably saying to yourself what a jerk, why won’t she tell us who she uses. Well, as I found out it isn’t that easy picking out what insurance is best for you. So that’s why I’m going to help you compare the 3 different companies that I feel you should pick from. buying pet insurance

Buying Pet Insurance:

HPPI_Logo

 

  • Consistently #1 in customer satisfaction
  • Most comprehensive illness and accident coverage
  • Unlimited lifetime benefits + no claim caps! (which is awesome)
  • Annual deductible $100, $250, $500 (recommended)
  • Free mobile app & no claims forms
  • but… Most expensive

Healthy Paws had great customer service… really. They were knowledgeable about everything and it really felt like they wanted your business. What’s really cool about them is that they are the most stabile financially of all the insurance companies. They are majority owned by Aon Corporation (world’s largest insurance broker) and it’s insurance underwriter is ACE Group, an A+ Rated Company with over $25 billion in surplus to pay claims. Not too shabby. Your insurance takes anywhere from immediately to 15 days… with exception to 12 months before they cover hip dysplasia.  Check out a quote I got for my little boy Niko: http://bit.ly/1tD74yM

Buying Pet Insurance

 

Pet Plan Pet Insurance offers some of the best coverage around. Their customer service is excellent and when it comes to coverage for your dollar their bronze, silver & gold policies all stack up really well against competitor plans.

  • Choice of $50, $100 or $200 deductible
  • $100%, 90% & 80% reimbursement options (only plan with 100%)
  • Covers all accidents and illnesses without restrictions for hereditary or congenital conditions
  • Covers medications, advanced testing and hospital stays
  • Policy limits that range from $10,000 to $22,000 depending on the plan.

This plan is really made for catastrophic type stuff… it has a flat-rate reimbursement for veterinary bills. Which means that, Petplan reimburses you the cost of your vet bill (minus your deductible, up to the policy limit you selected).  Deductibles are per condition, per year… which is a little tricky because you are always paying a deductible per illness. That’s why they have deductibles so low. You are actually getting re-imbursed per illness. So if you have to go to the vet 10 times for the same illness all the Vet bills are covered minus your deductible. Any unrelated illnesses will create a reset on your deductible and it will start all over.  That means that if you file claims for multiple unrelated conditions in a year, you will pay your deductible twice. It will also reset each year at renewal.

This plan does not cover routine care and will not pay for pre-existing conditions. Your waiting period is only one day for injuries, 14 days for illnesses after you purchase the plan. buying pet insurance

PetPlan is licensed in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, as well as select provinces in Canada. AGCS Marine Insurance Company, a member of the Allianz Group (the world’s largest property and casualty insurer group, is their underwriter.) Check out the quote I got for Niko: http://bit.ly/1CGC0HW

Buying Pet Insurance

 

Embrace is the American sister to PetSecure in Canada. Almost everyone I have talked to loves this company. When I was on the phone the customer service was awesome. The representative was very knowledgable and answered every question I had with confidence… even when I asked him to compare Embrace to other Pet Insurance companies. Some of the problems I had with Embrace was that their coverage was a lot lower then the other companies. Only $5000 or $10,000 limits but when I talked to my Vet they said that most illnesses really won’t go above that so it’s really not that big of a negative. The one thing I did like about them was that they offered a “Wellness Package” in addition to the regular premium… the negative on that was that it couldn’t be purchased separately but it did cover routine visits, shots, and Dentals which I thought was pretty cool. You can either pay $14.95 or $28.85 a month.  This is on top of the regular insurance that you are paying per month… the quote for Niko was $23.04 for $5000 and $43.80 for $10,000.00 coverage. Click here to see Niko’s quote: http://bit.ly/1yeBRsx

Pet insurance is a little more complicated then it should be. I hope this blog post helps you make the right decision when buying Pet Insurance for your Pomeranian. buying pet insurance