January 2015

February 2015: Editor's Note

Author: Maggie Washo

Is Pet Insurance Worth the Money?

If you have a pet that is constantly at the vet, you may have asked yourself this question. I was at Heritage Animal Hospital paying for one of these frequent vet visits when the woman checking out next to me started talking about her policy. She said she had VPI pet insurance and it had been one of the best investments she had ever made. She had my attention.

My baby, Miss Lucy, is a Bernese mountain dog, and her breed ranks number five on the list of most expensive dog breeds to own.* I knew this going in. I did the research and made the financial commitment, knowing full well what I was getting in to. So far, at age four, she hasn’t disappointed me. Lucy broke her toe the first week I had her. She developed an allergic reaction to the first round of shots. She’s had multiple urinary tract infections. I could go on, but this column isn’t big enough.

About the same time Obama was ordering everyone to buy health insurance, I decided it might not be a bad idea to have health insurance for Lucy. I looked into a few different policies and decided to go with VPI. I purchased the Major Medical Comprehensive Plan with a Wellness add-on and a $100 deductible for the year. I wanted to write about this last year, but decided I would wait until I had a year under my belt so I could share my personal experience with you.

After one year, this is where I stand in expenses and reimbursements: I pay $43 a month for VPI Pet Insurance. That comes to a total of $473 spent in the last 11 months. I have spent $2,349 with Dr. Hennessey and Plantation Animal Hospital since February 11, 2014, or, the last 11 months. Of the $2,349 in vet bills, VPI Health Insurance has reimbursed me $784, making my out-of-pocket expense to the vet only $1, 565. So far, for the year, I am $311 to the good.

In conclusion, I think if you have a “problem breed,” pet insurance is well worth the money. Also, if your dog (or cat) is more like a child than a pet, it is probably worth the money, as you will be running him to the vet every time he gets a sniffle.

Has anyone else had a good or bad experience with pet insurance? Write to me if you have and I’ll share your experience with our readers as well.

Have a great February, and don’t forget to celebrate my favorite holiday this month. Groundhog Day is February 2.

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