I have a 5 year old shepherd who is allergic to proteins and has severe hip dysplasia. He has had to go to the vet several times since I got him at age 5 months. He had a lump on his elbow that would need surgery, but it disappeared the day before surgery was to be done. Some insurances will pay for hip displasia problems, but not VPI, but, VPI is very good when you need them for other problems. My Buddy had "growing pains that were covered. It gives me great peace of mind to know that if he had an accident or illness, VPI has him covered. A big problem is that some vets is that they seem to be reluctant to put down on the charts for the dogs the diagnosis. I have had to explain to VPI that Buddy's growing pains were not the same as a preexisting injury to his "other" leg. The vet did not even relate what leg was the one diagnosed. VPI reviewed the case and I was reimbursed right away. Make sure that any vet you see, explains in detail why your pet was seen and his full diagnosis. I will keep him insured because of what could happen, accident or illness.