Chihuahua sized checks for Great Dane sized bills!

Out of 10

I have 3 Great Danes and have been with VPI for 3+ years. When I receive reimbursements from VPI, it feels like Chihuahua sized checks for Great Dane sized bills! For example - when one of my bitches had a major medical issue, the reimbursements amounted to about 1/3 of my out of pocket expense AND even though the total bill was 10K+ I did not receive the maximum annual policy per incident limit of $4,500. On numerous occasions, VPI made me jump through hoops where I had to dispute reimbursements. Sometimes they paid more, sometimes not. My experience with VPI has been an unwelcome education in how to cross T's and dot I's to obtain the best possible reimbursement for claims. VPI repeatedly asks for "more information" from my Vets beyond the diagnosis and receipts - for example treatment notes. Example - even when my vet used VPI's diagnosis codes on the claim form AND faxed the form from her office, VPI paid only on the code which offered the least amount they could reimburse. When I questioned this, I was told "they needed more information" and might pay more when they review the Vet's treatment notes. I see this as undue hassle for me AND my Vet! FRUSTRATING! I presently await resolution on this particular example. For the most part, VPI customer service representatives have been very pleasant and helpful. It just seems wrong there appears to be a learning curve to get claims paid. For that reason, and over concern for their "breed exclusions" for "hereditary conditions" I am unhappy and concerned my VPI coverage will continue to be frustrating and disappointing. It almost feels like VPI is gambling that if they pay a little and make it difficult to obtain maximum reimbursement, the frustrated customer will abandon the struggle leaving VPI with less $$$ paid out in benefits & more $$$ for VPI's profit margins. Sounds eerily similar to human health insurance doesn't it? I'm shopping around to see if I can find a better alternative, perhaps a company who has fewer exclusions and benefits that are more simplified than VPI. I've discovered lots of companies "out there" offering a multitude of confusing choices. I'm hesitant to switch from VPI without some sort of trustworthy reference for another company. Everyone I know personally who has pet insurance has VPI which leaves me sort of stuck in an information vacuum here. I hope reviews i read on this web site may help me make an informed decision. In all fairness, and even though VPI seems to work hard to pay as little as possible, the reimbursements I thus far have received more than paid for the premiums I've paid to them so there has been some cost benefit to me to have VPI insurance. Unfortunately, this benefit appears to be lagging the rapidly rising costs of Veterinary care. Frustrating though it often is, I'd rather have VPI insurance than no insurance at all. During a recent conversation with a VPI customer service representative, I was informed VPI is "rolling out" improved policy choices with improved coverage in 2010. At this point in time I can't help but be skeptical. My expectations for pet insurance are that when the big bills arrive I want peace of mind that I have an insurance company in my corner who will insure my financial ability to say "yes" to necessary treatment to save my dogs lives. With VPI, I'm not feeling all warm and fuzzy about that right now.

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