We're not sure what to advise regarding pet health insurance. Consumer Reports magazine had this to say in their 2011 article about Pet Insurance:
What to watch out for
We believe most pet owners will be better off passing up pet insurance and instead putting some money in an emergency "kitty." If you do decide to buy it, here are some suggestions:
- Download and read the company's sample policy, including its terms and conditions. Watch for limitations, cost-sharing, and service fees. Most policies require deductibles, co-pays, or both. Look for coverage with simple, percentage-based payouts and no reliance on judgments of what's "reasonable."
- Watch for what's excluded. No pet insurance covers pre-existing conditions. Carriers often exclude hip dysplasia, a chronic malady. QuickCare Gold won't cover any illness claims for Chinese shar-peis or their crossbreeds, though it will cover accidents. VPI has its own long list of excluded conditions. Some insurers will exclude a newly diagnosed ailment when the policy is renewed or charge you more to avoid such exclusions. An insurer also might impose a maximum limit on treatment for individual illnesses, or on the yearly or lifetime reimbursement.
- Avoid riders for wellness care, which we found are generally not worth the price.
- If you plan to use the insurance for catastrophic coverage—say, $1,000 and up—go for the highest deductible you can comfortably afford.
We think their advice is sound. If you're going to buy it, go with high deductible (major medical) coverage, and we agree that you should avoid "wellness" care.
Of all the companies we've dealt with, we (Elmwood-Grove Animal Hospital) are currently recommending these: