When Tucker was 8 weeks old my husband and I decided to get pet insurance due to him being a German Shepherd and at a higher risk for hip dysplasia.  Boy, am I ever happy we decided to get insurance.  In Tucker’s first 3 years the insurance company paid more to us than we did to them.  It’s so great to know that we have comfort that whatever (heaven forbid) comes our way in Tuckers life we can provide the best health care possible.

What is Pet Insurance?
Pet insurance is like having health benefits for your pet.  It’s a sure way that you can provide you pet with the best veterinary care in case of accidents or illness.

As I was mentioning earlier Tucker was very accident prone in his first 3 years.  He had 3 broken toenails (which needed sedation to take care of).  He stepped on glass at the park and need sutures (sedation again).  He needed hip and legs x rays.  We took him countless times for sore ears and allergies (just ask Dr. Michelle).  Was it ever nice to have the ability to say “whatever he needs just do it!”

The 411 on Pet insurance

Okay, so there is a monthly premium and yes the more you use your insurance the premium will go up. There is a yearly deductible or per condition deductible.  Here are some prices of vet care procedures if you pet unfortunately gets sick or injured.

  • Total hip replacement $ 6,000
  • Torn cruciate surgery $3000 per leg
  • Ultrasound $ 495
  • Cystotomy (stone removal from bladder) $1500 plus
  • Foreign body surgery $2000
  • Pancreatitis $2000 plus
  • Urinary Blockage $2000 
  • Basic x rays $300 plus
  • Basic diagnostics for unknown conditions $1000 plus

Looking at those totals makes $50-$80 a month not seem so bad. 

A little bit on how insurance works:
The pet insurance companies all have different protocols. Some will have just one annual deductible and once you satisfy that for the year then everything else is 80% covered. Another company has a deductible per condition but allows you to pick what you want you’re deductible to be (therefore dictating your monthly premium and covers up to 90% of a claim. Some companies have 1 plan while others have a variety of plans to suit your needs.

Premiums are usually based on species (Canine or Feline), breed, age, large breed or small breed.   Most of them also give you a certain amount towards dental, behaviour therapy, alternative treatments ie: Acupuncture, water hydrotherapy.

Here at Holland Street Veterinary Services we give all new puppies and kittens a free 6 week trial of insurance.  During that 6 week period if you make a claim there is a $100 deductible per condition and they will cover you up to $5000.  When there is a week left in the trial the company will call you to ask if you want to sign up for a plan. It is best to continue with a plan from there before the trial runs out, to avoid additional deductibles and waiting periods.

Insurance is one of those things you may never need to use, but it is definitely a blessing to have when you need it.  If you have any more questions or concerns about insurance please contact your veterinarian.