I first got this insurance company for my cat around 1994. They had a different name then and over the years, their name has changed 2 or 3 times and underwriter changed at least once (about 2 years ago), but it was always the same company, located in Canada. It was the only pet insurance i'd heard of, i didn't know there was insurance for pets until then.
i did not have many claims for my cat over the 20 years of her life, she was pretty healthy, but all claims were paid in full, except for a $100 per incident deductible (they don't have that kind of plan anymore, as of a couple of years ago). For me, it reduces stress a lot to have insurance.
In those early days and years, it was easy to file a claim, there was a form (pre-digital/internet) and i would get a copy of vet chart notes, lab results, and invoice for my payment, and then fax those to the insurance company fax number. i could always reach someone on the phone to follow up, make sure they got it, etc. Processing claims was fast for a while, 2-3 weeks. Then, it started taking much longer, up to a couple of months, and that was hard, had to keep calling for an update, seemed like they needed more staff. That was not pleasant, but everything else was. They always covered what was included in the policy.
I got my dog in 2006 while my cat was still alive and on the plan, and signed him up too, it's now 2019 and he is 13 1/2. He is a cavalier king charles spaniel. a very high percentage, close to 100% of them get mitral valve disease of the heart sooner or later and i would not be able to afford his care without insurance, so i checked with my cat's company to clarify whether this kind of dog is covered, despite their likelihood to develop the disease. i was assured that it was a covered condition, as described in my policy. it didn't specifically mention my dog's breed, but it covered mitral valve disease, which makes sense. i was just unsure whether they would not insure this particular breed because no other breed has as high a percentage of the disease as this one does, and i was assured it's covered. This means, they don't discriminate based on breed.
My dog was diagnosed with the disease when he was 9, when a heart murmur was heard, and i took him for a full cardiology evaluation with a cardiologist. This was covered. My dog had the disease but not far along, he had no symptoms, he felt fine, and no treatment was needed. I have taken him for cardiology evals about once a year since 2014, they were always covered.
At some point during the time since then, the insurance co. got online with their claims processing, which is great. Technologically it has evolved and progressed, and now it's really fast, a short form to fill out on line, upload the documents (vet's medical history and paid invoice) to the claim form, submit and that's it. i get an immediate email thanking me for my claim. i can view the progress of the claim on line. if i have a question i can call on the phone and get friendly personable supportive information.
My dog finally started being sick from the disease about a year ago. i took him to a regular vet and they encouraged me to see his cardiologist. this did not explain the symptoms--he had been at the stage where the next thing that happens is, they get congestive heart failure. His heart was strong and surprisingly, he didn't get it until last year, but at first it didn't show up at the cardiologist. Then, back to regular vet, she tried different things, and i took him to a holistic vet because acupuncture was recommended by regular vet. I did all that, dog getting worse. Holistic vet said "no acupuncture today--i'd like to xray his abdomen." Abdomen didn't look right and she said see internal medicine specialist right away.
I did that the next day, same specialty clinic as cardiologist. She did ultrasound and said it looked like congestive heart failure, that was all it could be, and his cardiologist took over and removed 800ml of fluid from his abdomen and said it was right sided heart failure, put him on 3 medications. Up to then, he had not been on any medications, despite having that chronic deteriorating heart valve disease.
So now, finally my dog needs a lot more medical care and i need the insurance coverage i wanted to have when needed from the beginning. I've had several claims since this all started in late June. It's March now and he's on 4 medications. Because of scary symptoms like collapsing and gasping for breath, i took him to the cardiologist 3 times between early January and mid February. Everything is covered, after a $250 yearly deductible that starts over when the policy renews. My policy will renew at the beginning of next month and i will have to pay the deductible again after that. I also have a 20% copayment for every claim. This is different from that previous plan i had where i only had to pay $100 deductible per incident and no copayment at all. That plan had a $6000 lifetime maximum coverage. The new plan has $10,000 a year coverage.
My premium went up this year. i called to ask about it, not surprised because of the increase in claims, but i was told they don't increase premiums based on number of claims, it was because of my dog's age going up. i was not surprised when i saw that it had gone up. i expected it, though i thought it would be caused by number of claims. good to know it's not. The other thing that worried me was that i was afraid his policy would not be renewed because of his worsening health, so i was glad to know that didn't happen.
Claims are processed so fast now, the last one was paid in one week, less than a week of business days. Ever since they went on line, i can have my reimbursement electronically deposited in my checking account. So, for me, this is as good as it gets.
This has been my experience over 25 years of having this insurance company. i just submitted a claim before i came to this site (it's linked at the end of their claim form). it hasn't always been perfect but overall, i am glad to have them and have had a very good experience.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel