The Ultimate Pet Insurance Guide for Canadians – 2017 Updated!

Pet Insurance CompaniesSo – you’re thinking of protecting that precious bundle of fur – while at the same time protecting your wallet from an unforeseen tragic turn? 

Humans have insurance and medical plans, so why shouldn’t pets?  Seems like these days, pet insurance companies have been cropping up like weeds.

As Canadian pet insurance industry has exploded over the last few years with pet insurance companies such as PetSecure, PetPlan, Trupanion, and PC Pet Insurance dominating the local market, we felt like stepping in and making sense of all the mess is in order. All of these new pet insurance providers claim to be putting out plans that allow you to not worry about a last-minute cost-benefit analysis when it comes to a treasured member of your family unit, but who ultimately is the best Canadian pet insurer?  The short answer is – as always – it depends.

Best Pet Insurance Company in Canada – 2017 Updated

This guide was originally written in December 2009 and a lot has happened since then, so it was overdue for an update that included all that we have learned in this field for the past eight years, as well as a look at the current market choices.  Our choice of the best pet insurance company in Canada is a combination of our subjective experience and pretty comprehensive research, as well as numerous responses we've gotten back over the years, but as always we are always happy to hear out your experience in the comment section. With no further ado, here is our choice for 2017's Pet Insurance Provider:

 

Available nationwide. You can use it now and you could use it in the future as long as you reside in Canada without needing to go through the complexities of moving your policy to a different pet insurance company.
Only company to offer medical insurance for your pet (instead of pet insurance).  This means that money goes straight to the vet – no need to pay upfront and wait weeks/months on a reimbursement!
One simple policy that is easy to understand – no confusing tiers and comparisons.
Unlimited payouts and no artificial limits on coverage
Super Fast Payouts – with award-winning customer service.
Covers up to 90% of vet costs!
Simplicity of the platform doesn't allow for elaborate custom plans.
If you have an older animal with significant health concerns, Trupanion is probably not the best fit for you.  Check out some other options below.

Our Rating: 4.7 / 5

Bottom Line: The simplicity and easy-to-understand nature of having a single plan makes a lot of sense to us.  Fewer decisions about confusing coverages and payouts just makes Trupanion much easier to navigate. (Who wants to spend all weekend comparing insurance packages?)  We also love the fact that Trupanion pays the vet directly and upfront – so that you don't have to carry massive debt bills around on your credit card until you are reimbursed!

Trupanion is simple, affordable, and pays upfront so you don't have to!

Read the full TruPanion review here

 

How Does One Save Money On Pet Insurance?

One HUGE tip to remember to save money with pet insurance is to START EARLY! Get your puppy or kitten on pet insurance sooner rather than later because the older your pet gets, the more expensive the monthly premiums are AND the higher likelihood that more and more illnesses will be “pre-existing”.  Basically, if your dog or cat was diagnosed with allergies early on, then whichever pet insurance company you choose will not cover your pet for allergies.

A year ago, after paying $1,500 for multiple vet bills in the span of one month, I thought “that’s it **** – I need to get some pet insurance!”  I, like most owners, don't want to put themselves in that awful position of having to decide between a huge hit to my chequing account (or even worse – a credit card balance) and my precious furball.  That's why I shopped around to get the best coverage for a monthly premium that wouldn't bankrupt me.

But Wait… Do I Even Need Pet Insurance?!

I’m biased because I have it, but pet insurance can be a great choice to protect your furry friend in the worst case scenario.  Unless you have thousands of dollars lying around to cover an emergency vet visit, pet insurance should be on your must-have list for any pet.

But even though I think it’s a great purchase, it’s not one you should make without thinking it through and doing your comparison homework, and there are some key questions you need to work through before you sign up with a pet insurance provider.  Read on to find out how we what we looked at when recommending our top favourite pet insurance provider.

a. What Do You Need Pet Insurance For?

Understanding what you want from a policy is a great first step to buying pet insurance, because there’s a lot of variability in the coverage that you can buy. You can get policies that will cover everything from your routine vet checkups, all the way to preventative medicine, or you can go with a policy that will cover most major injuries and illnesses, but little else.

Figure out what you need from your insurance policy to cover before you start looking around at options.  Like most insurance policies, it’s a bit of a tug-of-war between paying higher premiums now, versus what you’re covered for going forward.

b. What Kind Of Pet Do You Have?

There’s a lot of variability when it comes to how much different pets cost to insure—even between breeds of the same type of pet.

A small lap dog is likely less expensive to insure than a hyperactive lab mix, and a dog is likely more expensive to insure than a hamster. Additionally, if you have an exotic pet, or one that isn’t the standard dog/cat/small animal mix, you might need to look a bit harder to find insurance. Insurance for iguanas might be harder to find than insurance for a cat, after all.

c. What Will Your Pet Insurance Policy Make You Cover Out of Pocket?

If you’re cool with covering routine vet care for your pet out of pocket – and you have a plan for it in your budget – then you can save a bundle on pet insurance. Plans that cover everything are going to be more expensive on a monthly basis, whereas plans with coverage for only major, unexpected illnesses and injuries will be more affordable month-to-month.

Going with a slimmed down pet insurance policy does mean that you’ll need to have a plan for things like vaccinations, preventative medication, and small injuries. That’s where something like a pet emergency fund can come in really handy (whether or not you have pet insurance).  For me, I’m a geek for budgets, so planning for what I can plan for isn’t much of a sacrifice.  My pet insurance plan is simply to protect me from an impossible-to-predict worst case scenario that could cost thousands of dollars.

d. How Much Is Your Pet Insurance Deductible?

The other area where you’ll want to have a pet emergency fund in place is to cover your insurance deductible.  If you’re not familiar with the term, a deductible is the amount your insurance policy states that you have to pay on something.  For example, with car insurance, if you get into a 50/50 fault accident, and the total damage is $8,000.  You would pay your $400 deductible, and the insurance company would cut a cheque for $7,600.  When it comes to pets, the deductible is the part of the vet bill that comes out of your pocket.  It’s possible to find plans that have a very low deductible, but just like plans that cover everything, that low deductible will raise your monthly insurance costs.

If you have a high deductible, make sure you know how much you’d need to cover in the worst case scenario, and save up to make sure you have the cash on hand. For example, my dog’s coverage tops out at $8,000 per calendar year, and we have a 20% deductible (that’s considered pretty high). We keep a stash of $2,000 in an emergency fund specifically to cover the deductible in a worst-case scenario.  

e. What Is Your Coverage Limit?

It’s important for you to know the costs of different common vet treatments for your pet before buying insurance, because it can seriously impact how much coverage you need or want to buy. Especially if this is your first pet of this type, you might be really surprised to learn that some fairly common surgeries for cats and dogs can run into the thousands of dollars.

Make sure that your policy’s maximum coverage amount is going to truly have you covered in the worst-case scenario—otherwise, why have the insurance at all?

f. What Isn’t Covered In Your Pet Insurance?

Just like any insurance policy in Canada, pet insurance comes with clauses and exclusions. Make sure to read any policy before you buy it, so you know exactly what is and isn’t covered by your plan.

One memorable example from a friend was when his dog needed surgery for a known issue with his dog’s breed. The surgery cost thousands of dollars, and it was only afterwards that he found out that his pet insurance policy had a clause excluding “known breed-specific issues” from coverage. That’s why you need to make sure you know exactly what you’re buying, and read the policies to find out exactly what’s covered.

g. What Are The Terms Of Your Coverage?

When you start your policy, make sure to look for a specific section about the validity of the policy, and what you need to do to maintain it.

Most of the time, you’ll need to schedule a vet visit for your pet within the first 30 days of the policy, to rule out any pre-existing conditions. Anything found in that visit won’t be covered on your policy, but it’s important to get this visit done as proof later on that there weren’t pre-existing issues—and to make sure your policy stays valid over the long-term.

h. Use Good Canadian Pet Insurance Companies

Once you’ve got these questions answered, you’re ready to buy our pet insurance—and you’re more prepared for it than most people will be. Way to be a responsible pet owner! (If you’re over 25, you probably have Bob Barker’s voice ringing in your head right now).  To get you started, here are some of the top pet insurance providers in Canada.  We examined these companies through the lens of deductible-to-coverage options, and the transparent nature of their policies.

Canadian Pet Insurance Reviews

Trupanion Pet Insurance Review

If you’re looking for a simple, easy-to-understand pet insurance policy that has withstood the test of time, then you really need to take a look at Trupanion pet insurance.  This standard policy applies to both dogs and cats, and emphasizes that they pay 90% of actual costs – not just anticipated costs (which can be a big difference).  There is also no payout limit for medication, surgeries etc.  If you want to really pamper your pet, optional add-on therapies include homeopathy, naturopathy, chiropractic, acupuncture, and rehab (although these are a little high-end for my tastes.  Trupanion also provides 24/7 customer care support.  If you’re looking for an excellent value that is easy to understand, and easy to use, Trupanion gets our vote.  If you are looking for a more specific/custom (and more expensive) plan, with something like unlimited benefits for a 14-year-old pet, then we’d look elsewhere.   

  • one-excellent-size-fits-all policy.
  • Unlimited payouts and no caps on coverage
  • Can pay the vet directly – up to 90% coverage!
  • Award winning customer service
  • Per-condition deductible (good for chronic conditions)
  • Fast payouts and no penalties for filing claim

Petsecure Pet Insurance Review

Petsecure has been a trusted name for decades in Canada, as it the oldest and largest pet health insurance provider, having started in 1989.  To this day it is still 100% Canadian-owned and operated.  There is something to be said for reassuring tradition and stability when dealing with the health of our furry friends!

Petsecure offers owners four different tiers of coverage options, and has something for every budget.  Their policies reimburse up to 80% of covered treatments and vet bills.  One super unique aspect of Pet Secure’s insurance options is that they offer the ability to cover any dog or cat of any age or breed.  There are also discounts available if you have pet insurance coverage for more than one pet.

If you’re looking for a simple, budget-friendly plan, we’d still recommend Trupanion, but where Petsecure really shines is in it’s ability to offer incredibly comprehensive plans for older animals and a ton of optional add ons such dental coverage, out of country coverage, preventative work.

PetPlan Insurance Review

PetPlan is massive pet insurance company (as opposed to Trupanion – which is quick to point out that they are medical insurance for your pet). Their most common plan essentially covers anything that is not a pre-existing condition or a vaccine.  This includes medications, dental, MRI scans, CAT scans… even if it’s a dog ;), ultrasound, and even diagnostic work.  While not the cheapest provider in the market, PetPlan will allow you to put together a custom policy that could even include unlimited lifetime benefits – just be prepared to pay for it! 

PC Pet Insurance Review

As the only major financial institution to offer pet insurance (that we're aware of), President’s Choice (PC Pet Insurance) offers four plans (ultra, choice, value, accident) to choose from.  The coverage is more or less the same for each plan, the premium vs payout is the main difference.  Pre-existing medical conditions, foreseeable conditions (not sure how this is defined), obvious symptoms, and any injuries that exist before you purchase your insurance – are all not covered.  There is technically no age limit, but dogs over the 10-years-old and cats over 8-years-old need to qualify with a vet health check two months before you apply.  Unlike Trupanion, PC Pet Insurance does not pay the vey directly, but rather reimburses you several weeks later.

Purinacare Pet Insurance  No longer in business

I guess the pet food company is also stepping into the pet insurance realm.  Seems like everyone and their kitchen sink is, but I digress.  Purinecare has three different options:

One is just accidental ($2000 per incident) which would cost me $12 a month (with a $100 deductible) for my dog,  Preferred Plan ($48 a month- $100 deductible), and Preferred Plan Plus ($67 a month- $150 deductible per year).  They pay out 80% of your claim.  The preferred plan plus is just the preferred plan plus preventative health.  If they are going to charge you $228 per year extra plus the extra $50 per year for the deductible, I think I would much rather pay less and do the preventative health stuff out of my own pocket.  It seems cheaper that way.

Protecting a Part of Your Family

Attitudes towards pets have changed a lot over the years, and I think that while it's fair to say that humans have loved their furry friends for thousands of years, today's pet owners are willing to invest time and financial resources into their four-legged family members that hasn't previously been seen.  Our Trupanion recommendation vs the very worthy competitors of Petsecure, PetPlan, and PC Pet Insurance comes down to three things:

1) Simplicity

2) The Vet gets paid directly (no money out of your pocket)

3) Value for your dollars when the average pet is considered

It is certainly possible that you might have other priorities than the ones we listed, and consequently decide to go with another Canadian pet insurance provider that can give you a custom plan.  That's ok – we're just making this recommendation based on averages for the greatest number of people.

The real takeaway here is that you want to be prepared both mentally and financially in case tragedy strikes.  You don't want to have to be making financially-crippling decisions when a family's beloved pet is on an operating table and you're at a stressful breaking point!  Instead, plan ahead and be honest about your financial situation.

What do you think?

Do you buy pet insurance?

Anyone know of any other pet insurance companies that they would recommend for Canadians??

38 Comments

  1. Nancy Ball on February 15, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    Here’s another one I found while searching online today – CAA (B.C. and Ontario Only). The site claims if you are a CAA member, they will pay your first month’s fee
    www.caapets.com/sco/default.aspx

    I’m also with PetCare and received a denial of a recent $1200 claim for removing bladder stones from my 15 yr. old Shih Tzu. She is still very healthy and only issue she has is mild cataracts, everything else is good.



  2. young on February 15, 2010 at 6:21 pm

    Hi Nancy,

    Thanks so much for sharing that link to CAA! I’ll check it out. Though I think I’m going to go with the plan of stashing $35 away per month for my dog’s needs instead of paying it to an insurance company.

    What was PetCare’s reasoning for denying your claim?? Bladder stones couldn’t have been a pre-existing condition!



  3. Susan on October 7, 2010 at 7:54 am

    I use to work in the pet insurance industry and would llike to know if your subscribers feel that there should be an unbiased consulting company to help client’s with their denied pet insurance claims as I believe that this does not exist and I am thinking of starting this in the near future.



  4. young on October 7, 2010 at 9:05 pm

    @Susan- Interesting! We’ve got another “insider” here. I think it would be very helpful, but I suppose you would need to enlist the help of veterinarians, kind of like how they would do it for human insurance companies. That’s a fantastic idea. It can be very frustrating having your claims denied endlessly- you really feel at the mercy of the pet insurance companies.



  5. Sally on January 10, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    Hi, I am about to relocate from Australia to Vancouver with my 2.5 year old GSP. Am currently investigating insurance options and am very disappointed so far.
    The (main) thing that concerns me over there is that they seem to specifically specify what is covered, as opposed to providing a blanket cover. This makes it much easier for them to deny a claim. The premiums are crazy expensive, AND they expect you to contribute to the claim on top of the excess….. hmmmm, this is so different to what I’m used to and it’s making me question if I should even take out insurance cover???

    Basically, my dog’s policy here costs me $38 per month, is limited to $14,000 per year (which seems to be much more than the policies over there) and covers all accidents and illness (excluding pre-existing conditions which she doesn’t have any of). The excess is $100 and they pay 100% of the claim. They don’t try and find ways to deny the claim, and settlement of the claim is very fast (usually 2 weeks within receiving claim form and receipts). So, I am happy to pay for this policy as it gives me peace of mind, and so far has paid out more than I have paid in premiums and excesses.

    From what I’ve read so far, I would have to pay much higher premiums, higher excess, pay a contribution to the claim, and it still might be denied… I need to do more reading but I really am on the fence with this one and am wondering if it is even worth taking out insurance.

    Can anyone offer advice?

    FYI – the insurance company I am currently with is Pet Plan Australia. Here is the link if anyone is interested in checking them out.



  6. young on January 10, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    @Sally- Wow, Australia sounds amazing for pet insurance!!! You definitely won’t get a 100% payment of claim here with any amount of monthly premium. I think the best would be 90%. I hear that Vet Insurance is pretty good (it’s based out of North Vancouver) and my friend is happy with them so far. I had Pet Care and I wasn’t very satisfied. My friend with Vet Insurance hasn’t had any denied claim yet and they don’t separate the health problems like Pet Care does (e.g. kidneys won’t be covered but eyes will). Good luck and you will love Vancouver! Maybe I’ll see your dog at a dog park one day 🙂



  7. Hamster Cage on January 18, 2011 at 9:27 am

    I read these articles talking about the cost of pet insurance and it still amazes me how much it costs. Lets hope our government does not try to get involved.



  8. parisindy on July 18, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    I have had a lot of pets. And currently i own a puppy and two cats. i have been very lucky and have not really had any major health issues with them until recently.

    My puppy broke his leg 🙁 … the fee’s have been incredible. we are now hunting for pet insurance and its been very complicated. We don’t have a ton of money so totally a lower premium is needed.. we are leaning towards HBC but have not made a decision yet. I just wanted to thank you for your article.. its really helped us better understand out choices 🙂



  9. young on July 19, 2011 at 10:40 pm

    @parisindy- I’m sorry to hear that your puppy broke his leg! 🙁 But usually pet insurance won’t cover you for anything that happens after the fact. Are you wanting to protect yourself in case of future accidents/ illness?



  10. parisindy on July 20, 2011 at 10:22 am

    Oh i don’t expect them to pay for what has already happened.

    But after having to have such a large bill, i couldn’t afford to have another bill like that, so i need to get insurance just incase. Though i have had many pets and this dog is the first one i have ever had such an accident with. (clutzy puppy). But after talking to my friend in the UK i was shocked by what their insurance covers and ours don’t. (she gets free regular vet visits)

    In the end i think i am going to go with the HBC program. The premiums are the most resonable compared to the coverage at about 26$ per month. though i do worry they will increase as my puppy gets older.

    now if i can keep my puppy from giving the cats a concussion with his cast life will be a lot easier lol



  11. young on July 21, 2011 at 11:12 pm

    @parisindy- That’s what I did- and how I got my pet insurance in the first place. However I ended up cancellling because they always denied everything I claimed. I personally would recommend Vet Insurance or Trupanion. My friend had them (her cat was already 7 years old) and they were very good. She was actually very pleased with them. The thing you want to look for is a company that won’t scour your pet’s vet history and deny claims for pre-existing conditions.



  12. Sean on September 5, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    I have a basic petcare policy for my Dog, its the tenant care plan. Premiums were around $17 when we first signed up, and have increased to $21 (4years later). We have submitted 2 claims so far, with no problems at all. Both claims fell under the “first time illness” clause of our policy. Our Vet seems to be aware of how to write up the paper work in a way that makes then insurance company happy. I find it’s important to let your vet know that you have a policy and what it covers.

    So far I have to say i’m pleased with the coverage. We mainly bough it to cover a potential catastrophe, not wanting to make the tough decision if our dog required thousands of dollars worth of care



  13. Karen Hay on September 30, 2011 at 6:47 pm

    My toy poodle just passed away from cushings diease. We had several thousand dollars in vet bills. If we ever get another dog I will definiantly get pet insurance. I have been looking into it already and I like the HBC insurance best because your premiums will not increase, just your deductible and it is very reasonable deductible.



  14. young on October 3, 2011 at 9:03 am

    @Karen Hay- I’m sorry to hear about your poodle 🙁 Cushings disease sounds awful. Yeah, seems like HBC is the winner. I haven’t had any friends personally use it, they use Vet Insurance and were happy with it.



  15. Mady Wilson on September 16, 2014 at 1:54 pm

    Another to look up, for Ontario: OSPCA Pet Insurance (powered by PTZ Pet Insurance Brokers, which is connected to PetHealth in the States).

    My premiums for both dogs are approx $50 each, under the top plan (which includes a $500 wellness plan per year). I’ve been on it for just about 6 months now and I’ve only submitted claims twice. Processing time is pretty long (6-8 weeks) and they do hunt through your pet history to find a pre-existing condition… I had a claim for both my dogs for horrible diarrhea and one was rejected because I’d mentioned diarrhea at her annual checkup 2 months before that… in their minds diarrhea was a pre-existing condition -_-

    So I’d say that the prices are affordable, coverage is pretty good but unfortunately they will hunt for loopholes.



  16. Angie on October 23, 2014 at 10:00 am

    Does anyone know of any existing pet insurance companies that cover vaccination costs? we just adopted a puppy and she will be having several more vaccinations as well as her rabies shot and later we would also like to neuter her. Any information will help. Thanks.



  17. Hooman on March 9, 2015 at 7:28 pm

    24petwatch.com has a full package that you have to call the reps and get a customized quote for. But they will cover vaccination and regular check up bills as well.



  18. Colleen Baillie on March 27, 2015 at 9:10 am

    I’ve noticed all the insurance companies I’ve looked into are mentioned in this arrival. I just happened to come across another that isn’t mentioned, and that is the OSPCA Pet insurance. They have three different coverages and they start cheaper also. The thing I like most with them is when you add another pet you get a discount, and really I in my opinion are looking out for the best interest of the animal. Check it out and feel free to let me know what you think. I’m new at this insurance thing and could use advice. Thanks a bunch for opening my eyes up to some of these companies.

    CD Baillie



  19. Jill on June 26, 2015 at 1:43 am

    I was with Vetinsurance (Trupanion) for nearly 10 years. Although they assure you your premiums will never go up due to age or claims they still go up, apparently admin costs and inflation. When i started the insurance (for my Pug) I was paying $28 per month, 9 years later it was over $80 per month and no longer affordable. So, be very careful before you sign up with anyone because it is almost impossible to change insurances with an old animal, too expensive and too many excluded pre-conditions. I am about to get a new puppy and am in two minds wether to take out insurance again.



  20. DENISE on October 26, 2015 at 2:36 pm

    I think Vets should be involved in the claims process as they are the ones that understand the procedures.



  21. Annette on December 7, 2015 at 10:28 am

    I’ve been with PetSecure for 2 years now, Plan 4, most complete and the one who is suppose to give your family peace of mind.
    My Mica will be 3 y.o. this winter and already had luxation patellar and two cases of gastritis that required ultrasound. =(
    The good thing is that petsecure covered almost 80% of these treatments, the bad news is that now they have changed from 80% to 60%. There’s no free lunch and even when they stated that no changes were about number of claims you made and you know sales speech…. but sure they did. Even when my contract renewal was in August, they are going to change this rule from January.
    Their customer service is amazing at the beginning but then after a few claims it declines.
    Ah! they also excluded allergies for my Mica (allergic to vaccine also, most probably rabbies).
    I guess pet insurance is a necessary evil….



  22. Cara on April 7, 2016 at 9:30 am

    My little 2 1/2 yr. old Chi went to the vet yesterday for the 2st time since I got her 4 months ago. Sadly, I discovered she has an enlarged heart, heart murmur and 2 rotten, loose teeth with lots of plaque!!! When I asked about pet insurance (I’m on a pension) I was told I should have gotten it before I brought her in because now that I know her problems, they aren’t covered! WTH?! So now nobody will cover her and I’m on my own? But if I had purchased insurance and then gone to the vet I would have been covered? This is so unfair! I want to be able to provide my Sweet Pea with the very best care but how can I do that with no money? This is breaking my heart. ????????????



  23. Kyle on April 10, 2016 at 11:57 am

    I’m sorry to hear that you’re in a rough spot Cara. Unfortunately this is how insurance works. If we don’t purchase insurance when healthy, we can’t afford to pay out to all the claimants that need it.



  24. Theresa on April 11, 2016 at 2:55 pm

    I work in claims in another sector of insurance so thought to look up the different options. It appears that Western Financial underwrites (& likely adjudicates) Pet Insurance for CAA, Petsecure, PC insurance, HBC, Desjardin, and the Personal. Essentially, there may be slight differences in wording/coverage/pricing, but at the end, it will be the same individuals finalizing your claim and applying provisions of that claim. So my suggestion with any insurance is always read the small print/coverage, exclusions, waiting period etc before committing to paying. 🙂



  25. Julie Taylor on April 23, 2016 at 2:36 pm

    Such an informative website! We’re about to adopt a 14 month old dog that we’vebeen fostering. He has had a leg amputation 2weeks ago. Do you think any pet insurance companies will accept him?
    Thank you!



  26. Kyle on April 24, 2016 at 11:06 am

    Thanks Julie! It’s really tough to say for sure to be honest. It might cost a pretty penny to be honest.



  27. Dr. Pippa Elliot on April 28, 2016 at 1:11 pm

    Julie, I think it’s likely that there are plenty of companies that would be willing to accept him, but they’ll be extremely reluctant to cover ANYTHING related to the amputation and your premium will probably be pretty high.

    Unfortunately that’s just the way it goes with pets with pre-existing conditions 🙁



  28. Arlene Schneider on June 5, 2016 at 9:40 pm

    I think vetinarians are overcharging for their services and making it impossible for pet parents to care for their babies. You could pay $400. In one visit. Beware, they are preparing u for more charges because their planned treatment never ends.

    For seniors or people on social assistance this is beyond their income. If vets have compassion for animals then they should make it more affordable for their pet parents. These people are vulnerable to being able to pay or not, putting their only companions at risk.



  29. Kyle on June 6, 2016 at 10:33 am

    Thanks for commenting Arlene. Just to play Devil’s Advocate, shouldn’t vets get to charge what the market dictates is fair? It takes roughly seven years to become a vet and amass the knowledge & skills needed to save animals – shouldn’t they be rewarded for all of that hard work? In any case, perhaps folks on a fixed budget need to look at pet insurance carefully.



  30. Ashley on July 20, 2016 at 12:22 pm

    Hi! So I now have 3 dogs- when we had 1 dog we did the put $50/month away and all was good. Our second dog had a number of issues since he was a puppy- close to $8000 to get him stable and managed. So we investigated pet insurance for our 3rd dog as she was a farm dog on our farm. Thank god we did. We got a top plan to start from Pet Secure- Pet secure 4- $110/month. She was a rescue so we figured start with the best plan and after the puppy years around 2-3 years old we can reduce her. Well, at a year, she was diagnosed with a rare cancer. We did everything possible for her. Pet Secure was amazing- no hassles and covered 80% of all costs. It added up as our bills totaled around $22,000 all said and done. We couldn’t have done it without insurance. Unfortunately she passed away. Her plan covered her cremation and they sent a nice card- no hassles with any claims. We still have 3 dogs and all are on a plan now after that experience. We saved up an emergency fund for them and have that for quick access to cash $7000 right now. Then we put all of them on a plan with Trupanion- $105 for all three with a $1000 deductible. It’s meant for emergencies or long term conditions and they are unlimited after your one time deductible for that condition. So far we haven’t needed it but the key thing is understanding emergency insurance versus comprehensive (including preventative care) and consider those with your financial situation. We love on a farm so it’s a common thing to have a healthy animal emergency fund but I think all pet owners should consider what their needs maybe in an emergency. I’m always researching if we went with the right option so this blog is great for others experiences.



  31. Marie on August 22, 2016 at 7:23 pm

    Hi my name is Marie here in Calgary Canada.
    I have had my 2 dogs babies and they were on PetCare insurance. They now are 9 and 12 years old.
    August came and the insurance coverage renewal came through, i thought there was a mistake on the amount they took out of my account $ 208.54 which was pretty much double of what i was paying on a regular basis up until july this year being $115.16.
    Calked them and the only straight answer was that policy coverage was reviewed every year and that anount was the new amount of the insurance cover for both my dogs. I was so upset i asked them to cancel my insurance and refund that august payment, they had no problem and cancelled my insurance wuthout a say nor a try to look at ither coverage level with me, they just did not care at all. This said, i have been looking for another insurance and had to spend $ 350 vet to have blood test, urinalysis and complete examination as well as sending all medical history to another insurance so they ll let me know of all pre existing conditions that may not be covered. The sales guy for that new insurance promised that raised payment as i experienced with PetCare would not happen with them, however when i talk with another person few days later to check they receive all documents they asked for, i asked again as i could not see any clause mentioning how much yearly raise on payment could go to a maximum, and i was told they dont have any clause in that regard..
    I am waiting their conclusion on the pre-existing condition but i dont trust any of them no more. I paid over 12000 dollars of insurance in the past 10 years and could have just put that money aside and raise an emergency fund rather than loosing it to insurance company that just dont care. I do not think one might be better than the other. The cheaper the coverage you take the least they cover and yet there is a deductible like that new insurance would be $500??? I am unsure if i will really take that insurance or perhaps go for the minimum and start an emergency fund..
    Oh to top it off, there were some anomalies in the blood test of one dog and abnomalies in the urinalysis of the other, nothing major and nothing that never came up before, so guess what the vet tells me in that regard: for one dog the test abnormalities might be due to a metacam medication she took a couple months ago, and for the other dog, the urinalysis abnormality might be due because the dog was scared when they put the needle in her bladder, so we should do the test again in a couple months!!!@!@@ more expenses not covered because they cant get test results to be right???,?? So i talked to the new insurance about it, they also said they could leave those abnormalies to be rechecked in 6 months and perhaps down the road take them off their pre-existing conditions!!@@



  32. Amanda on November 6, 2016 at 9:27 pm

    8 years with petcare and have had no issues claiming the yearly General Wellness and a 3 surgeries. This year they switched to 24hr pet watch. I had major issues submitting the yearly vaccination and check up, it was denied twice. This month my pup has been very sick and numerous vet visits and a surgery. 24hr pet watch claims a delay in processing and it has been two months since I submitted my claim Very nervous it will be denied again. I would not recommend PetCare insurance as they have been sold to 24hrPet Watch.

    Overall I feel even with a few higher claims from surgery I have paid more in premiums than have received in claims made. I wouldn’t purchase pet insurance with my next animal. I would put my money in a separate account for the dog and use it if needed.



  33. Val on January 10, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    Hi there! I’m on the fence about getting insurance for my 2 year old cat. I’ve looked into various plans and one, which I’d thought I’d settled on is called Petplan. Do you have any insight on this one? Like many it has a sliding scale and I found a customized plan that I’d be satisfied with:
    Policy details
    annual coverage: $5,000
    annual deductible: $450
    reimbursement: 90%
    monthly premium: $19.98
    The only thing is Yelp reviews suggest this company is know for raising monthly premiums. Is there any way of predicting by how much?



  34. Marina on February 7, 2017 at 8:32 pm

    My puppy is under a year and I’m currently looking into insurance. Was interested in the President’s Choice plan, anyone have any experience with this?



  35. Duane on March 13, 2017 at 7:58 pm

    Hello
    I have had Pet inc on two dogs. The first dog(poor thing) had a lot of problems health-wise and If I did not have inc I would have spent just upwards of 20 grand. With the inc I payed half (still no chump change) The current company I am with was bought out by an American company and I was going to cancel the plan since putting in 5 claims and getting 0 back. So I am on the phone with the agent and he tells me they will not raise our premium if we stay with Petplan. So guess what I just received two letters from them about two claims I filed. Both denied due to the premium I was told would not be raised. This is outright lying to people to keep them on the plan. It gets to the point where if they spent as much time on customer service and loyally recognize as they do on their B.S. accountant spins I might be able to say “Well at least they seem to care” Skip PETPLAN. I can see why cats are more popular with people again.(Yes I know cats get sick too I had a diabetic one) they seem more resilient and IMO Inc companies are such a nightmare to deal with it hardly seems worth it anymore. BUT If someone recommends one I will look into it.@Susan I think that is a great idea and would be willing to volunteer my time to that cause.



  36. Kimberley on April 18, 2017 at 9:16 pm

    I am thinking that starting another pet insurance company is in order. I would love to do it, but I have no idea how to start and how to come up with the initial capital. I want to have unlimited coverage, free vet visits for maintenance as well and all conditions covered preexisting or not with 100% coverage. All for a low monthly premium of perhaps $50 or so. And or have a multiple pet plan that would cover everyone for say $100 a month up to a maximum of say 5 pets?



  37. Lia on May 22, 2017 at 7:42 pm

    I have to agree that PetCare is not a good option at all. Stay away. We were with them for 7 years and anytime we tried to make a claim they would come back with some sort of reason as to why this “could have been linked” to a surgery she had on her hip as a puppy, a false hip joint (LPC). ( She was not insured at the time and we paid for it in full. She recovered 100 % and there was no reason to ever connect it to that again, outside of ‘previous illness’ or ‘reoccurring issue’.) They even went so far as to try and ‘link’ her loosing a tooth to that same hip replacement. Unreal. They kept raising the rate and then sent us a letter canceling our policy… 3 months AFTER they claimed the policy premium did not go through. no previous notice. But when I checked my statement, it had gone through and the CC company backed it up. They also tried to say the CC was outdated by 3 years and I sent them the email they sent me when I had updated it 2 years prior. COLES NOTES: When I called to have it sorted out they apologized but said that due to technical issues in their system they would have to issue a new policy at double the monthly cost…even though they knew it was their mistake. It was never ending with them. After 7 years our vet kindly suggested we change companies, if we could afford to, as he was having issue after issue with PetCare. ‘Snakes of Pet Insurance Industry’ was his exact term. We opted to just put money away every month and stay out of the chaos that is this ever growing money maker unfortunately. @Susan YES!!! do it.



  38. Ann Guiden on August 6, 2017 at 7:24 am

    Good info!



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