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Is pet insurance really worth it?

Is pet insurance really worth it?

Postby JonBailey » Tue Jul 10, 2018 2:39 am

This assumes you have a young purebred dog or puppy from a reputable breeder that has a pedigree indicating that hereditary conditions, as hip, elbow and eye issues, are unlikely.
If your dog is injured in a car accident and it's the other driver's fault you can probably sue or claim against their auto carrier for vet bills. Injured animals might come under "property damage".

Probably the best insurance for your dog is preventive measures: be a good master and safeguard your animal against catastrophic (high cost) illness and injury as much as possible.
Restrain your animal properly: use a leash around motor traffic. Train your animal properly so he doesn't' get hurt due to disobedience to commands or get into trouble. Feed, water, house and groom your animal properly. Watch out for extreme hot or cold weather. Use proper flea/tick control. Get the proper shots for the dog. Make sure the dog is checked by the vet regularly. Get books on dogs so you know how to care for them right. Get a dog or puppy from a good breeder with strong family health history according to the pedigree bloodlines.
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Re: Is pet insurance really worth it?

Postby averageguy » Tue Jul 10, 2018 5:29 am

Hey Jon,

Down the road when you have put all your expertise in action, how about you post up some video of your dog hunting upland birds while on the end of a leash so as to prevent the possibility of injury. Please include your methods as to how you find, shoot and recover a lot of upland birds and avoid the risk of your dog working in heavy cover while doing it. We will all be anxious to see and learn what we have been doing wrong all these years.
Last edited by averageguy on Tue Jul 10, 2018 5:07 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Is pet insurance really worth it?

Postby JonBailey » Tue Jul 10, 2018 5:38 am

averageguy wrote:Hey Jon,

Down the road when you have put all your expertise in action, how about you post up some video of your dog hunting upland birds while on the end of leash so as to prevent the possibility of injury. Please include your methods as to how you find, shoot and recover a lot of upland birds will avoiding the risk of your dog working in heavy cover while doing it. We will all be anxious to see and learn what we have been doing wrong all these years.


I don't even own a dog right now.I don't even want to take up fowl hunting or hunting dogs until I am absolutely confident I can do it safely, for both man and dog alike.

The hunt is always successful when both man and dog come home alive, unscathed and in one piece. Safety is always paramount in ethical hunting.

I have seen some videos of dove hunters. They will hold their dog on line until firing ceases. Then dogs will then be sent on retrieves. While the guns are working the dogs are at the stand marking falls.
When the guns get to take a break to cool down, dogs are only then cast downrange.

I have no more expertise than what I have read in books and have seen in videos.
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Re: Is pet insurance really worth it?

Postby averageguy » Tue Jul 10, 2018 6:56 am

JonBailey wrote:
averageguy wrote:Hey Jon,

Down the road when you have put all your expertise in action, how about you post up some video of your dog hunting upland birds while on the end of leash so as to prevent the possibility of injury. Please include your methods as to how you find, shoot and recover a lot of upland birds will avoiding the risk of your dog working in heavy cover while doing it. We will all be anxious to see and learn what we have been doing wrong all these years.


I don't even own a dog right now.I don't even want to take up fowl hunting or hunting dogs until I am absolutely confident I can do it safely, for both man and dog alike.

The hunt is always successful when both man and dog come home alive, unscathed and in one piece. Safety is always paramount in ethical hunting.

I have seen some videos of dove hunters. They will hold their dog on line until firing ceases. Then dogs will then be sent on retrieves. While the guns are working the dogs are at the stand marking falls.
When the guns get to take a break to cool down, dogs are only then cast downrange.

I have no more expertise than what I have read in books and have seen in videos.


Jon, I recall in your first post you were going to proceed swiftly to competing in Field Trials. Yesterday you posted about non-toxic shot including tungsten and bismuth, which near never come into play while hunting doves but often does while hunting waterfowl.

A guy needs a program to keep up with your ambitions. Which is great and why I have taken some time to offer counsel. Today you are apparently homed in on just hunting doves. I heartedly recommend it.

I have not missed a dove season in 47 years. Love it, live for it. I have never hunted a commercial dove field or plantation hunt. My hunts are self scouted blue collar affairs and always include my dog of the era. Following are photos of this now deceased dog's last dove hunt at age 13. In this photo you could easily conclude the hunting was easy, safe, "ethical", conducted in essentially no cover with zero risk of an eye or nose injury to the dog.

Image

The Reality of that hunt was there was a wooded area of tall trees directly behind a newly seeded down pond dam. Doves were roosting in the tall trees and watering in the not yet filled pond on my farm. Below the tall trees was a jungle of multi-floria rose full of thorns and impenetrable for a human and extremely difficult for a dog. 12 of the 15 doves we bagged on that hunt fell into that jungle and my old dog brought them all to bag.

Here is me working my way out.
Image

And my faithful old dog bringing out the goods behind me.
Image
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Re: Is pet insurance really worth it?

Postby Urban_Redneck » Tue Jul 10, 2018 10:16 am

In two years pet insurance has saved me almost $1000.

merde arrive!
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Re: Is pet insurance really worth it?

Postby Mountaineer » Tue Jul 10, 2018 10:31 am

To the question asked for folks tuning in and considering the option...I don’t know. :)

I suspect there are times when it would have saved me some shekels and at other times and other dogs, nope.
Such is Life.
Probably doing what feels gut correct will work best for most of us and then as we learn we change up, or not.
Anecdotes of benefit either way will always exist.....”I wish” happens to us all.

Hard to get past the fact that birddogs are worth it, either way and only the extreme particulars of age, manner of illness, quality of life, individual realities, etc. should drive our decisions re their health.....not necessarily any dollar amount alone.
imho
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Re: Is pet insurance really worth it?

Postby JonBailey » Tue Jul 10, 2018 10:52 am

Thanks Mr. Guy:

I wonder if a Golden retriever could even handle that thicket with a "field haircut". The trouble is I don't own a farm or know a person who does. Idaho has plenty of Access Yes! properties and one of these days I will have to scout some out before dove opener if the landowners permit scouting. Ideally, these properties should be close to farmland and perhaps have a water hole for birds to drink. They might also have a tree line or some telephone wires for roosting. Once I am confident there is access to doable dove territory then I can seriously proceed onward.

What I will need in SW Idaho is:

1. access to doable dove land if not prime dove land
2. access or permission to even scout land I am considering hunting
3. access to the PROPER land to field train any future dogs I own: the city parks in downtown Boise won't do
4. to get to know folks at my local retriever club: might hook me up with people with connections to hunting opportunities
5. to get to know folks at my local shotgun sports club: might hook me up with people with connections to hunting opportunities
6. a professional wingshooting instructor
7. touch bases with fish and game and ask a ton of questions

People who were born into a hunting family, culture or community are definitely at an advantage over newcomers from the city or suburbs.
You may have learned most of what you know from fathers, uncles, grandfathers or older brothers.

Getting into hunting seems like a challenge on par with the daunting studies undertaken by graduate student in advanced chemistry or physics: there is so much to learn, the learning curve seems vertical
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Re: Is pet insurance really worth it?

Postby Sharon » Tue Jul 10, 2018 3:56 pm

Mercy. Are we talking about insurance here?
Sometimes you get lucky with insurance and sometimes you don't. MY setter had a huge accident and by the time I got the insurance money it was everything I had paid them over the year.

Wiser imo to save for emergencies rather than use insurance.
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Re: Is pet insurance really worth it?

Postby ezzy333 » Tue Jul 10, 2018 9:20 pm

I think many people do not understand the real purpose of insurance. Insurance is strictly to help pay for something you can afford, in other words a catastrophic type accident and is not there to pay your regular smaller incidents. Of course we use it if we have it but it should not be the basis of buying insurance or not.

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Re: Is pet insurance really worth it?

Postby Robbw » Mon Jul 16, 2018 10:39 am

My answer? Maybe it is worth it and maybe it isn't.

I have a 12 year old American Brittany that I rescued at 5. In the first 2 or 3 years I had her, she stabbed herself, cut herself and ate mouse poison after breaking into a cabinet. Always seemed to happen on a holiday weekend. I had no insurance and it cost me about $4k out of pocket for those vet bills. Got Pet Plan insurance and have paid a fair premium over the past 5 years but my girl has not had to use it. Karma? Chance? Who knows but I'd rather have it and not have to use it. I have recently changed her to Trupanion because it seemed a better policy for now.

We have a French Brittany that's about 4 and a half. She got a weird skin tear going into some wild rose. Cost over $600. I have insurance on her. I got back $128 after the deductible etc. We also have a 9 month old Weim. He ate a couple of socks last week and we had to bring him to the emergency vet after he only puked up one of them. Luckily he passed the other in an overnight stay but that's $1,500. I'll see what the insurance gives me back.
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Re: Is pet insurance really worth it?

Postby BuckeyeSteve » Tue Jul 17, 2018 7:06 am

JonBailey wrote:Thanks Mr. Guy:

I wonder if a Golden retriever could even handle that thicket with a "field haircut". The trouble is I don't own a farm or know a person who does. Idaho has plenty of Access Yes! properties and one of these days I will have to scout some out before dove opener if the landowners permit scouting. Ideally, these properties should be close to farmland and perhaps have a water hole for birds to drink. They might also have a tree line or some telephone wires for roosting. Once I am confident there is access to doable dove territory then I can seriously proceed onward.

What I will need in SW Idaho is:

1. access to doable dove land if not prime dove land
2. access or permission to even scout land I am considering hunting
3. access to the PROPER land to field train any future dogs I own: the city parks in downtown Boise won't do
4. to get to know folks at my local retriever club: might hook me up with people with connections to hunting opportunities
5. to get to know folks at my local shotgun sports club: might hook me up with people with connections to hunting opportunities
6. a professional wingshooting instructor
7. touch bases with fish and game and ask a ton of questions

People who were born into a hunting family, culture or community are definitely at an advantage over newcomers from the city or suburbs.
You may have learned most of what you know from fathers, uncles, grandfathers or older brothers.

Getting into hunting seems like a challenge on par with the daunting studies undertaken by graduate student in advanced chemistry or physics: there is so much to learn, the learning curve seems vertical


JonBaily..... don't overthink it, brother. It's just hunting. You need a hunting license, an online search of state game lands available to you or a drive around search for some land and knock on some farm doors -- people are nicer than we give them credit for), and the desire to go walk around a little. A shotgun would probably be helpful so you don't look silly throwing rocks at birds. Aside from that, you're a hunter. No professional wingshooting instructor needed. Just get outside and slowly progress from there. I promise you'll have more fun learning in the field than learning from online forums. If you walk around a bunch and never kill a single bird, are you any the worse for it?
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Re: Is pet insurance really worth it?

Postby birddogger2 » Thu Jul 26, 2018 1:09 pm

Pet insurance is like auto repair insurance or appliance repair insurance.

Some policies are better than others, some have higher or lower deductibles, some have stipulated amounts for procedures, etc.

One thing is for absolute certain...the pet insurance company is offering a product with the expectation of making a profit. The rates they charge for the coverages they offer are designed to yield them a profit. They are a middleman and take a cut.

Just like Medicare, they may cap the amount that "participating" vets may charge their customers...which sounds good, but may lead to either refusal to treat or require choices regarding animal care that are less than optimal.

That means, put simply, that... all things being equal, it is a wiser financial decision to provide for your pet's veterinary needs as they arise.

Shags had it right... put some money aside...every month...for both the routine care, vaccinations, etc., that you are going to incur...and a little extra for that unexpected incident.

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Re: Is pet insurance really worth it?

Postby JONOV » Thu Jul 26, 2018 2:56 pm

No insurance is "worth it." If it were, they'd all be out of business. That includes State Farm and USAA and Auto Owners.

It serves to make the financially unbearable, bearable.

I have an inexpensive policy with a higher deductible on my dog in case of an expensive afterhours emergency room visit or catastrophic accident. The one that stuck out at me was an ACL situation when I bought it. Honestly, I'm embarassed to carry it, but life being what it is my cash position isn't what it was right now. If you can't self-insure through bumps and scrapes and belly aches, then you have no business owning a dog IMO.

Whether or not Pet Insurance is closer to Car/Homeowners Insurance or an extended warranty on a pair of boots, I couldn't tell you.

So look at what it would cost if your dog got bit by a snake, had a situation require surgery, etc, and see if you can stomach that bill. If not, think about pet insurance.

That is the end of it. Whether or not you heel your dog outside or leash him across the street shouldn't really play into the equation; They are animals, things happen. They eat things they shouldn't. They get sick. They get hurt. No amount of good sense or over-cautiousness will solve that. If you do exercise that level of cautiousness...your dog will be a mess. I know, I've seen it, with a dog that was never allowed off a leash outside except in a small fenced in yard...Yeah, it was a timid dog that wouldn't get out from underfoot. All of the neurotic owner's doing.
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Re: Is pet insurance really worth it?

Postby averageguy » Thu Jul 26, 2018 4:45 pm

JONOV, What can you tell me/us about how many vets will accept the Insurance you have purchased? On my mind is how likely is a guy to find a vet to honor it in rural areas or while on an out of state hunt. Or does the Insurance coverage apply to any vet you might need to get services from?
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Re: Is pet insurance really worth it?

Postby shags » Thu Jul 26, 2018 6:58 pm

For insurance info, it might be helpful to give your vet a call and ask about which plans they/clients have good experience with. If your own vet doesn't know, try a larger practice for the info.
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Re: Is pet insurance really worth it?

Postby JONOV » Fri Jul 27, 2018 8:19 am

averageguy wrote:JONOV, What can you tell me/us about how many vets will accept the Insurance you have purchased? On my mind is how likely is a guy to find a vet to honor it in rural areas or while on an out of state hunt. Or does the Insurance coverage apply to any vet you might need to get services from?

Yes. I bought it from Nationwide. Some vets take it and work with it, but if they don't I submit the claim through them and they reimburse me.
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Re: Is pet insurance really worth it?

Postby averageguy » Fri Jul 27, 2018 8:47 am

Thank You, JONOV

Yesterday I decided I was overdue to educate myself a little further and Google lead me to Nationwide who claims to be the number one in this line of insurance. Their website provides a place to input information on your dog and provides quotes for full coverage and catastrophic coverages. The catastrophic coverage was quoted at $27 a month with a $250 annual deductible. And it has a list of medical items and the amount covered for each.

Having gone through an expensive stick up the nose with my current dog, I looked it up. They list something called Nasal Cavity Foreign Object which seems to fit, and the amount is $485 of coverage which is one fourth of what I spent to scope and remove the stick at a speciality Blue Pearl ER over a weekend. And I would have had to spend $574 prior to get the $485 back. So would not seem to have been a good payback in that instance.

We also just went through a Cornea Ulcer incident and I see the coverage there is $630 which is well beyond what I spent on that incident but having to spend $574 before any coverage kicks in would not have made that a good financial payback either.

Seems the bottom line is the insurance might work out to a persons advantage if something really expensive occurs AND the coverage happens to be good for that item. I suspect as more folks elect to get coverage the economics of group rates will start to make the insurance option more attractive. Not clear to me that is now. Might be, just depends ...
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Re: Is pet insurance really worth it?

Postby JONOV » Fri Jul 27, 2018 10:02 am

averageguy wrote:Thank You, JONOV

Yesterday I decided I was overdue to educate myself a little further and Google lead me to Nationwide who claims to be the number one in this line of insurance. Their website provides a place to input information on your dog and provides quotes for full coverage and catastrophic coverages. The catastrophic coverage was quoted at $27 a month with a $250 annual deductible. And it has a list of medical items and the amount covered for each.

Having gone through an expensive stick up the nose with my current dog, I looked it up. They list something called Nasal Cavity Foreign Object which seems to fit, and the amount is $485 of coverage which is one fourth of what I spent to scope and remove the stick at a speciality Blue Pearl ER over a weekend. And I would have had to spend $574 prior to get the $485 back. So would not seem to have been a good payback in that instance.

We also just went through a Cornea Ulcer incident and I see the coverage there is $630 which is well beyond what I spent on that incident but having to spend $574 before any coverage kicks in would not have made that a good financial payback either.

Seems the bottom line is the insurance might work out to a persons advantage if something really expensive occurs AND the coverage happens to be good for that item. I suspect as more folks elect to get coverage the economics of group rates will start to make the insurance option more attractive. Not clear to me that is now. Might be, just depends ...


I understand where you're coming from. The big thing in my mind was an ACL tear. They reimburse $2750 for that, and that was about the range I got talking to local vets.

One thing I will say about vets...Shop around, don't be afraid to ask questions. They aren't all created equal. No different than Doctors or Mechanics.
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