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Pet Insurance... is is worth it?

Each person's experience with pet insurance will vary. I can say that I have had overall good experiences and recommend to owners that they do insure their pet. Even just one emergency will making having the insurance worth it.

In the past, I have used Nationwide. Currently I am using Embrace. I did not have any problems with Nationwide, but rather just wanted to try a different company to see if there were any differences. So far I have found there are not, and prices are pretty typical across the board.

Before insuring, they will contact your vet and ask for medical records for the pet you are insuring. They will not cover anything that is pre-existing before you were insured (so for example if your cat had chronic ear infections, they would not cover that). There is also typically a 30 day waiting period, so if you signed up today, you would have to wait 30 days to submit a receipt. There are certain things that they do not cover, so read the information carefully when you sign up.  My monthly cost per dog was around $40. 

There is a list of what they cover, and there are different options of care to choose from. I don't recommend regular preventive care (but I also don't get (or recommend) vaccines every year and only do a wellness check-up). There is a deductible, (mine is $250), so when you send in your receipts they will basically not count any of them up to the $250 mark. But once you hit the deductible amount, they will start refunding you. 

Typically how it works is, you go to your vet and pay upfront for the care. Then submit your receipts to the insurance company. They then send you a reimbursement refund (either a check or direct deposit depending on what you choose when you sign up). They typically cover about 80-85% of the overall cost. 

Is it worth it? .... well, in 2019 I totaled just over $9000 in emergency care and end of life care for Ember and Harper. They paid most of that back to me. As an example they paid for all of Ember and Harper's emergency room care and euthanasia at the end. Would I rather have my dog here? Yes. But at least I wasn't saddled with thousands in vet bill debt. My monthly cost per dog was around $40.

Care Credit: I was in a situation where I was already drained from spending thousands in care for Ember only 4 months prior to Harper going into the ER (which I fortunately was able to pay upfront). If you do end up in the ER, you can apply for Care Credit. Care Credit is a credit card that can only be used for medical purposes and they will cover up to a certain amount (you figure that out when you go to the ER for care). When you apply (I literally applied on my phone in the ER because I knew Harper's ER bill was going to be around $3000) you agree to pay it back in a certain amount of time at 0% interest. They approve you and you pay them back over 6 or 12 months (based on what you choose when you apply). In my case I received the money from the insurance company that covered most of Harper's cost, so I was able to pay off the card.