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Pet Insurance: Is It Worth It?

This is my story and my experience with pet insurance.

Pet insurance has saved the life of two of my children and I am forever grateful.

My dog, Kit, is my life – she has been by my side for 13 years and is everything to me. Before I  became a Registered Veterinary Technician I had never given much thought to insurance, but after working at Clarkson Village Animal Hospital for a year or so Dr. Mudrick, the owner, insisted that all employees get insurance that way we could talk about it from an experience standpoint. I signed up all four of my fur babies and for the first year didn’t do much with it.

That’s when it all changed. Kit was diagnosed with cancer on her leg, and surgery was performed twice to try and remove it all. Unfortunately, it grew back for the third time and many consults with specialists in both Surgery and Oncology departments at a referral hospital told me my the only option was to amputate her front leg. Kit had her amputation surgery about two years ago. Kit also has concurrent issues with her arthritis that were present prior the surgery but since has gotten worse due to the extra burden on the remaining three legs. She also has issues with her liver and we have done multiple tests, procedures and prescribed medications. She is on many long-term medications for all her health issues.

Even though I am a technician and work at an animal practice, the cost of what I have done to keep Kit living a happy and healthy life is something that I would not be able to afford without the help of insurance. They have paid out over $16,000 for her medical care. My other child who has benefited from insurance is Floyd, he is a 10-year-old cat I got when he was a kitten along with his sister and his brother. Floyd was supposed to be a barn cat, however he was not made for a life of a rough and tumble barn cat. He is so snuggly and the sweetest cat ever. He is a cat who suffers from Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD) and there have been several times that he was unable to urinate which is a life-threatening condition. He has since undergone a surgery to try and prevent such incidents where he cannot urinate. Since the surgery at a specialist referral hospital, he has had no issues. Floyd also suffers from Idiopathic Hypercalcemia, which is basically an increase in calcium in his bloodstream from an unknown cause. This also puts him at risk for developing calcium stones in his bladder which is part of his FLUTD condition. We have been to internal medicine specialist and he is on a medication to control it. Floyd is currently living a full and happy life with all his siblings, and like Kit, he would not be with me if it wasn’t for Trupanion insurance. For Floyds testing, surgery and continued medications, they have paid out over $17,000 for his care.

For some, it sounds crazy to spend this kind of money on “just a pet,” but for me and I am not alone, these are my children, my world and nothing would stop me from giving them the best life I can give them. If it was not for the financial support of the insurance company, Trupanion, I would have had to say goodbye to my children many years ago. I have insurance on all my children and thankfully have not needed for my other two but I will never give up my coverage for them, as they get older you never know what will happen and accidents can happen at any time.

I speak passionately about insurance because of what it has done for my family. I recommend to everyone who has a pet, it helps take the financial concern out of caring for our loved ones. Nothing is scarier than being at the veterinary office and worried about your baby and then have to stress and worry about how you are going to pay for what needs to be done. Working in this industry we see far too often people want to do what is right for their pet but are unable to do so because of finances. Please get insurance for your pet and eliminate this concern.

Every insurance company is different and I encourage you to inquire about multiple companies and find what is right for you and your pet. Trupanion is the company I have experience with on a professional and personal level, as I deal with them all the time working at the clinic, and the care they have given myself and my pets. The coverage with Trupanion covers accidents and illness at 90% coverage, and you have to cover the cost of exams, routine procedures (vaccines and prevention medications) and tax. You pay upfront and they will reimburse you, it is very simple and the processing time for your claims are fast. Usually, within a day, we have it set up at the clinic to submit your claims for you and you will be notified of coverage. They then will send you a cheque or they can do direct deposit into your bank account which only takes a few days. The customer service is exceptional and I have nothing but positive things to say about them from experience.

Thank you for reading my story and hope you understand why insurance is such an important part of my fur babies and my life.

Written by Jenna, RVT

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