OK here is an interesting take by some “experts” on the topic of pet health insurance and their claims that it is rarely needed and could be a waste of your money.
Heres the link - Pet insurance rarely needed, experts say a reprint of an article from the Washington Post by Amy Orndorff. A couple of points in the article that are of importance -
- The average dog owner spends $261.30 per year in vet bills
- Less than 4 percent of American pets are insured, though that number is growing.
- There’s a greater variety of life-extending procedures and higher demand for them.
So the question that was asked at the beginning of the article -
“…should you shell out hundreds of dollars a year for puppy insurance just in case he needs an expensive life-extending operation?”
I guess as is the case with most questions like this, the answer is personal preference. Financially is it responsible? Probably not when you consider you could take the premiums you would have paid out and placed it in a savings account for use in case of a life threatening emergency or operation that will cost you several hundred to thousands of dollars. However my answer to that is “WHO does that?” For the majority of dog owners that have a dog that is a family member that they would do anything for, pet insurance gives them the peace of mind that they can pay a little now and over a long period of time just in case something happens to their family member. Isn’t all insurance like that? It is a gamble. It is you betting against the insurance company. The insurance company bets that out of all their policies only a few are going to collect more than what they put in, and you are betting that it just might be you that will need the insurance.
When you look at it that way and then think about life insurance for yourself…you are betting you are going to die…LOL!
I am still looking into pet insurance companies - Embrace is still the leader in my eyes, but another company has asked me to give them a chance to talk with them and see what they offer. The problem they have is that they are so new of a company here in the states that they are not even offered in the state I live in, which is also the state I practice small animal medicine, and the state in which I would have my clients purchase pet insurance.dog health insurance, pet insurance
It is no secret that your vet bills are increasing. Dog health care costs are on the rise. Some of the reason is a shift in focus of veterinary medicine.
It used to be, go into your vet once a year for “shots” and heartworm prevention and one time in your pets life a spay or neuter. Now there has been a shift. We have discovered that annual vaccinations are no longer necessary and in fact may be harmful to your dogs health - Is your vet still overvaccinating your dog? Vaccinations were very profitable as they could be purchased for a small amount and sold for a great profit. The profit helped pay for all the other treatments and management of an animal hospital. In fact many times a veterinary clinics gross income consisted of 33% vaccination income. Veterinarians were more on a product based business by selling products and medications vs a service based business like they should have been. Now the shift is going to a service based business which means more services are going to be offered and the prices for those services are no longer going to be given away. The days of the $40 spay are almost over. A veterinarian actually loses money by giving away a $40 spay because it costs more than $40 to actual perform the procedure. Some vets are still providing a cheap cost spay for a couple of reasons one to help control the pet population and two in hopes that that client will return for other business.
So what does going to a service based business mean for your pet? Well actually it is a win-win situation, it means better health care for your dog by providing the most current diagnostic and treatment protocols. As vets are trying to make up for lost income from vaccinations they are actually offering services that can really improve the health of your dog. The objective of better diagnostics is to find disease early on when it actually is not causing symptoms. This makes it easier to treat, prolongs the life of your dog, and avoids really expensive treatments by avoiding having to bring in a really sick dog.
So there are a couple of the reasons why your dog’s health care costs are rising. Another perspective on the rising costs of vet care can be found in this article - Vet care becoming doggone expensive which discusses what can be done about dog health care costs rising by incorporating a pet insurance plan to help defray the higher costs of veterinary care. One thing that I would recommend is checking out pet insurance companies as they are not all the same. At this point in time I am actually leaning away from VPI the largest pet insurance company and looking to promote Embrace Pet Insurance
I’ll give my final decision and reasons in a future post. I will be meeting with a rep from VPI very soon and I will also do some more conversing with Laura Bennett or Alex Krooglik from Embrace so I will have a good handle on pet insurance before I write that post.dog health, dog health care, Embrace, pet insurance, rising costs
Many of you know that as far as pet insurance is concerned I have been recommending VPI; however, I have found some interesting tidbits from a couple of clients and some internet research, as well as a Twitter connection from Laura Bennett, CEO of Embrace Pet Insurance and fellow blogger, that has definitely changed my opinion of the company and my recommendation.
I am going to give you a couple of links that helped me in my search for a better insurance policy for your dogs…
Pet Insurance Review - http://www.petinsurancereview.com
You really need to read this information before you buy pet insurance and even if you have pet insurance if you are not with the right company I would suggest you read this and switch ASAP. I feel that Embrace Pet Insurance and Pet Plan US are the best plans to have. Embrace may have the edge right now for two reasons - 1. Pet Plan US is only available in 40 states and 2. Embrace is run by a person not afraid to be out in public and give away information i.e. Laura Bennett is a blogger. Check out her blog here –> Embrace Pet Insurance Blog
There is probably other differences between the two companies but I’ll have to do some more research to find out what that is. Oh and the Embrace blog is a real blog, it is not just hype about their product/service. It is well written and has very good information on a variety of subjects, not just pet insurance. Check it out and while you are there get with the right pet insurance. I am considering applying for their affiliate program because I think I am going to be promoting Embrace all over the place.
In the meantime I am going to have to ask Laura how I can be listed on the AllTop pets blog list, but maybe this blog doesn’t have what it takes yet! Stay tuned you haven’t read the best in dog health blogs yet, because I have not yet reached my peak!No Tags
You know when you go and rent a car they ask you whether or not you want to purchase insurance through them? Well one company in the pet health insurance industry is going to offer a program for boarding facilities which is going to be profitable to the boarding facility so I know we are going to start seeing it.
A company called Vsurance offers pet health insurance and they are offering the only program in the United States to provide coverage to boarding facilities for the boarding clients. A
premium of $2 a day will cover illness or injury while your pet stays at the boarding facility. For an additional premium of a flat $5 for up to a week and $15 for up to a month will cover up to $250 for accidental death. So basically if you pay about $20, your pet will be covered for illness, injury or accidental death with up to $1500 for injury/illness and $250 for accidental death for a one week stay. Reasonable??
Now all this might sound good to you because the vet bills will be covered if your dog becomes sick at the boarding facility, but heres what you see when you read between the lines. The boarding facility receives 50% of the premium as the administrator fee, so of course they are going to want to promote it. However with the insurance company only receiving $1 a day how is this plan going to pay for itself. 2 ways, one there are very few illnesses and injuries that actually occur while boarding and fewer yet that actually need $1500 worth of veterinary treatment. However there are exceptions and there will be claims so how does the insurance company justify this cost. I’ll let the CEO of Vsurance tell you in his own words from a press release to stock holders…
“This is a low risk and high demand program, which provides us an opportunity to service a growing desire among numerous pet owners. Further, this low risk program enables Vsurance to amass a database of pets and their owners, looking for comprehensive pet health insurance programs such as our get HIP Health Insurance for Pets program,” stated Russell Smith, CEO of Vsurance, Inc. “The strategy is essentially the same as in the sale of rental car insurance or
car insurance, which is offered to customers. This strategy has shown to be very effective in attracting new pet health insurance customers in the U.K. As the only provider of this service in the United States today, we expect to see considerable success.”
Basically it is a way to get new customers! I really liked pet insurance a few years ago. It was easy for customers to get andthe benefits were fantastic. Now it has taken the road of human
health insurance, it is expensive for the risk and many claims are starting to be scrutinized very closely for any problems and declined. Personally if you follow some of the advice I give you will have no need of pet insurance. If you are considering purchasing pet insurance, I would recommend a savings account with $2000 total in it for any emergencies that would require a trip to the vet. My suggestion is to use the monthly premiums of $25 to $30 to place
into the savings account until it reaches $2500.