This is my pet insurance story.
Six years ago, when I adopted my first dog, I had no idea pet insurance existed. I also had no idea how expensive veterinary treatment could be, or how sick dogs could get. In that first six months, I learned all of that and more.
My dog became extremely sick about 4 months after I brought her home. She refused to eat, lost a lot of weight, and the light in her eyes started to fade. When she started stumbling on her feet and subsequently had a seizure, I rushed her to the emergency vet.
She stayed in the hospital for days, receiving fluids, ultrasounds, X-rays, and even a blood transfusion. Finally, she was diagnosed with having a portosystemic shunt. I was advised that the best treatment would be surgery, and while I couldn’t afford it, I couldn’t not try, so I scheduled the surgery.
Unfortunately, for my dog’s particular shunt, the surgery was not effective, and I was sent home with instructions for a restricted diet, the best the veterinarian could do at that point.
She lived only two years after that, and had many problems during that time. It was devastating when she passed, and even more so because I had over $5,000 in debt to pay off because of her veterinary bills.
When I adopted my current dog a year later, I immediately looked into pet insurance. I had learned first-hand how beneficial it could be and didn’t want to be stuck in a position where I couldn’t pay my new dog’s veterinary bills. I had chosen the same dog breed and had a fear that she would develop the same condition at some point.
When I was looking into different providers, I didn’t really know what to base my decision on. I ended up going with the first provider I found. Only after, when I received the paperwork, did I realize that they specifically didn’t cover portosystemic shunts – the very condition I was hoping to insure against! And that wasn’t the only thing they didn’t cover. After reading through all the exclusions I realized it would almost be hard to find something they did cover.
I was so happy to finally find Trupanion, knowing that they covered all conditions – even congenital and hereditary disorders, as long as they weren’t pre-existing to the start of the policy date.
The moral of the story – make sure to read all the details of a policy before committing to a pet insurance provider. You may think you are covered for the very condition you are worried about, only to later discover that you are paying in to a policy that doesn’t cover what you want.
How did you learn about pet insurance? What is your story?