Having a dog has been one of the best experiences of my life, aside from raising my son. As a child I never had any dogs only a hamster and some fish, but I always heard of the unwavering love you would receive should you own one.
So when my son was six years old I bought him a mini dachshund we named Moose. We loved him so much and the joy he brought to our home was undeniable, so we ended up getting Lulu, an eight-week old mini dachshund, just eight months later.
Of course, we would get lots of love and lots of laughs but what I did not know, being an inexperienced pet owner, was how much dogs would actually cost. I basically have three kids on one income, my son and two dogs.
Moose and Lulu were both puppies when we got them so I was well aware of the shot routine and checkups to make sure they were growing as they should, much like an infant, fine… I was prepared.
What I was not prepared for (which having insurance was undoubtedly the second best decision I had made) was the unexpected illnesses, injuries and the FHO surgery I would have to pay for within their first years.
Accidents happen, puppies get sick, dogs eat unimaginable things and bad genes start to rear their ugly heads within the first years.
While in the process of getting Moose, someone had mentioned pet insurance and immediately made the decision that I would purchase one. So I did some research and came across Petplan which was the most affordable and user-friendly insurance company I could find.
People thought I was nuts when I told them I had purchased insurance for both pets. Some days even I did, but I knew it would beneficial in the long run so I was willing to rally through the unused years of the policy.
Boy was I wrong!
Within ONE YEAR I had filed 7 claims for Moose and 4 for Lulu, ranging from UTI’s, to a minor back injury, one fell off my couch and the latest, FHO surgery, which was a huge payout for Lulu’s plan. Now you must think I am a neglectful pet mom, but I live in a condo the size of a shoe box and things happen, my dogs get into EVERYTHING!
Below are my current policies on both dogs so you can get an idea of how much I pay. Both Moose and Lulu are one years old and have been on a PetPlan policy since they were 6 months old.
When I signed them up I purchased their “recommended package.” They offer a basic package, a recommended package and the premier package. All with different annual coverage amounts and deductibles, but all cover 80% (minus the 20% deductible). To see what these include visit their website at Petplan.com.
So here is the breakdown for reimbursement for FHO Surgery:
Now my $250.00 deductible had already been met prior to this claim because of the surgery consult and prior medical exams, so I received the full reimbursement amount of $2,091.20.
Not bad right?
Had my deductible not been met, I would have still been reimbursement $1,841.20. Still, not bad.
Now if you figure how much I paid already on health insurance for the year $405.96- $1,841.20 (reimbursement w/o deductible met), I would have still gotten paid $1,435.24!
Pretty good deal.
Did I mention that I typically get reimbursed within twenty days of filing my claims? Well, its true.
Now there are a lot of other insurance companies out there selling pet insurance, some with more coverage, covering 100% which is great and all but you will be paying for that 100% coverage, like double the amount of what I pay, maybe even triple. I live on a tight budget so PetPlan worked best for me and I still made out significantly.
PetPlan also has an easy app, making filing claims really easy. Just fill in a few questions, take a picture of the invoice and hit send, claim is submitted. If they require additional information, they will either email you or call your veterinary directly.
One of the features I like the most is the live chat offered on their website. You can get a one-on-one, real conversation with a Petplan representative anytime during the day. With our busy schedules, between work and sports, I found it a lot easier to text someone as opposed to making a call and sitting on hold.
I have had PetPlan for my two dogs since they were six months old and I have yet to be disappointed. Obviously the sooner you get them on a plan the better your monthly fees will be and the less likely you will be denied a claim because of a “pre-existing condition.”
If you are interested in setting up a plan with PetPlan, click on this Ebates link where you will be offered SIX different coupon codes for PetPlan!
So there you have it, the breakdown of how much pet insurance would cost if you choose PetPlan and when is the best time to purchase a plan. Don’t get stuck using payment plans for unexpected surgeries and treatments for conditions, pay in full and get reimbursed up to 80%!