• Welcome to the Chronicle Forums.
    Please complete your profile. The forums and the rest of www.chronofhorse.com has single sign-in, so your log in information for one will automatically work for the other. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Chronicle of the Horse.



Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You’re responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it—details of personal disputes are likely better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts that violate these rules. Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting, but administrators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts upon request.

Outright inflammatory, vulgar, harassing, malicious or otherwise inappropriate statements and criminal charges unsubstantiated by a reputable news source or legal documentation will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it’s understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users’ profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses – Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it’s related to a horse for sale, regardless of who’s selling it, it doesn’t belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions – Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services – Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products – While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements – Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be “bumped” excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues – Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators’ discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the “alert” button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your “Ignore” list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you’d rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user’s membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 1/26/16)
See more
See less

VPI Pet Ins. reviews?

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • VPI Pet Ins. reviews?

    Anyone have VPI Pet Ins. for their dog? I have a new, young dog & just called for a quote. It seems very reasonable for quite a lot of coverage & low deductible. I called many years ago & remember being shocked at how expensive it was & how little they would cover at that time. Seems that the product has improved a lot. Just wondering if anyone had recent personal experience with VPI or pet ins. in general?

  • #2
    I am a critical care nurse for a small animal emergency and referral place. I would highly reccomend just putting your yearly quote into a saving account and not getting any insurance. I have rarely seen any one pay out and VPI is the worst of them all.

    I did have it for all 3 of my dogs. My 6yr dobie came down with liver dz and the insurance company never paid any of claims due to the fact that once as a puppy 1 liver value was a little out of the normal range. although his bloodwork was perfect for the rest of his life!!!!(until the liver failure of course)

    I have since cancelled everyones policy and am just placing the money into a special account.


    • #3
      I have the flip side of the coin - VPI was great to me. I had them for 8(?) years with my rottie and they paid out on schedule for me whenever I submitted receipts to them. Addison's disease treatment and meds. Thyroid disease treatment and meds. Benign nasal tumor removal. Even had benefit/reimbursement for euthansia. All covered at 70%ish (I think - I just submitted and they paid. I cashed the checks. It was always more that the yearly premium with that dog.)The only thing that was not covered for me was ACL repair when he was a youngster and that is only because I did not have the policy at that time.

      I would recommend getting quotes from a couple of different companies. One thing I would say is really push them on what the requirements for payments on claims are (time, documentation, etc..) AND what their reimbursement schedule is. I had one company try to tell me that they paid on any claim, any amount. Then it was based on local usual & customary. When I really pressed and asked if they really had someone call local vets and get prices each and every time a claim was submitted, then the usual & customary was off of a schedule.


      • #4
        I'll let you know. I just bought a policy for two of my dogs. I faxed the claim and it was in process the next day. So, we'll see. I have a lab. Eats anything. Enough said.


        • #5
          I had VPI, and they were very good about paying. I switched to Trupanion this year because they have a fixed rate for the life of your pet, and they have gotten great reviews here on COTH and on the net.


          • #6
            I have had VPI since my chihuahua was 2 months old (he's now 2 1/2 years). They've always paid reasonably quickly, and I like that they cover routine medical care since he's extremely healthy for a chi (and huge, did I mention huge, at 15 lbs and not fat?). I don't like that they have so many exclusions, since he IS a breed that's prone to so many hereditary issues, but he's dodged most of them so far. I looked at Trupanion as well and they have a very attractive plan - I am thinking about switching, but they don't cover well visits, do they? That was the one drawback for me.


            • #7
              Originally posted by superD View Post
              I have rarely seen any one pay out and VPI is the worst of them all.
              Well, that sure hasn't been my experience with VPI. I have had 3 claims in the past 3 months, and VPI paid all of them. They reimburse me directly -- and, I have to add, pretty quickly. My policy has more than paid for itself already. Out of the total of all 3 claims I submitted recently, a grand total of $11 was not reimbursed.

              Also curious how you would see the insurance companies pay at the hospital where you work. VPI reimburses the owner directly. Unless I misunderstood and you are just talking about owner's complaining that their insurance didn't reimburse them... I also wonder if those people had the "economy" insurance coverage, which is near useless. You have to pay a little bit more for the better coverage and there are very few exclusions. I would also avoid the cheap-o cat insurance VPI will offer for $10 that supposedly covers the 10 most common cat health problems. Of all the cat issues I have dealt with in the past couple decades, none of those issues were on my list. The better coverage is worth it. Had I just put the cost of the insuance in a savings account, I'd be out a lot of money right now.

              OP, I'm actually surprised at how happy I am with VPI. I was expecting to have issues (especially with my latest claim), but they have paid every time so far. On VPI's web site, there is a DETAILED list of what is covered and the coverage limits. I would go over that in detail if you are concerned.


              • #8
                Originally posted by thatmoody View Post
                I don't like that they have so many exclusions, since he IS a breed that's prone to so many hereditary issues, but he's dodged most of them so far.
                Do you have the "Major Medical" plan? I know the Major Medical plan through VPI does cover some hereditary isses, though definitely not all.


                • #9
                  I had VPI's major medical. It was great when my dog was a puppy (to cover getting fixed), but once he was older, it was going to be a break even given the standard medical care that my dog needed. I had a great experience with VPI, I just found that Trupanion covered a larger % of actual cost (versus usual and customary cost), had no exclusions for hereditary conditions (which was important because we adopted a puppy mill Standard Poodle), and that the rates did not increase with pet age (although they did with increasing medical costs). The rate stays the same as that for the age at which the dog enrolls. Enroll a puppy and keep that rate for its lifetime.


                  • #10
                    Just to make it clear for the OP... Currently, VPI's "Major Medical" coverage is not the coverage that covers wellness exams. Their wellness coverage is called "CareGuard," and it can be added to the Medical or Major Medical plans. The "Major Medical" plan is just the more comprehensive (and more expensive) medical coverage.

                    I did the math on the reimbursement amounts and the cost of the CareGuard / wellness coverage for one of my dogs recently and found that, if you do all of the tests covered every year, plus vaccines, etc., you will pay $100 to be reimbursed between $200 and $250. May not be worth it to some people for sure, especially if you don't do everything on the list.

                    One thing I found recently, though, is that some of the covered Care Guard things (fecals, etc.) helped me get more back on my major medical claims recently, than I would have without the Care Guard coverage. I'm still not certain it is totally worth it, but will be doing the math at the end of the year to see before I renew that.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Phaxxton View Post
                      Just to make it clear for the OP... Currently, VPI's "Major Medical" coverage is not the coverage that covers wellness exams. Their wellness coverage is called "CareGuard,".
                      Phaxxton is completely correct. I had CareGuard. (Or whatever it was called then).


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Phaxxton View Post
                        Do you have the "Major Medical" plan? I know the Major Medical plan through VPI does cover some hereditary isses, though definitely not all.
                        Yes, I have major medical, and I just pulled out my policy documents and saw that his hereditary issues were only excluded for the first year. My bad. A couple of the congenital conditions are excluded permanently, but not all of them.


                        • #13
                          We have had VPI for two dogs - one of whom ran up some pretty serious bills via transitional cell carcinoma and a colic/aspiration pneumonia. Paid for itself in spades. We did decide it was sorta breakeven to pay for the well health coverage, so we dropped that.

                          Guess I should sign the new dog up. After paying all the bluedog bills, we tell new dog we'll just take him out back and shoot him if he gets sick, but we kid, we kid!!



                          • #14
                            The issue with VPI is that, unlike many of the other companies out there, they do not pay a percentage of the bill. Instead, they pay according to a rate chart of what they believe things should cost.

                            I have been forced to use them for my rabbit, who I got insured the first week he was home because they can be fragile creatures (and I was a new mommy!) and are obviously expensive to treat, being exotics. Unfortunately, here in the US where rabbits are not common house pets, the only company to insure exotics is VPI.

                            About a year into ownership my bunny came down with some sort of nasty ulcer in his eye. We tried treating it topically for a while but eventually it was determined that the eye needed to come out. Bunny had to go to a specialty hospital, obviously (luckily my local place could do it or he was going to Tufts!), and the final bill came to $2000, roughly. I submitted the claim, and got a grand total of $400 back. Arguably worth it, I guess, since I paid $180 for the year of coverage. But still significantly less than I was hoping to get back.

                            The reason? An eye removal on their chart goes for $250 or something ridiculous. Anesthesia for the surgery is $150 max. (My actual bill for the sleepy drugs alone was like $450.) The last time that their chart was updated was 2000!! I asked about that when I called, and the lady very snippily told me "We have not seen a reason to change it. Anything else I can help you with?"

                            They are under the impression that vet costs have not changed in the last ELEVEN YEARS?!! I call BS on that one. I don't know if their dog and cat chart is from the same date, but it's something to be very aware of. I still have the VPI coverage on my rabbit, because there is literally no other option and I feel like it's maybe better than nothing, but that's it: better than nothing.

                            For my dogs and cats, I have Trupanion, who pays out a flat percentage rate of the bill, keeps their rates the same no matter how old the animal gets (they do raise with inflation every other year or so, moderately), and do cover some hereditary diseases. A great site to check out is http://www.petinsurancereview.com. The website is basic, but they have all the major companies on there with reviews from actual people who have submitted claims.


                            • #15
                              I pay about $77 a month for two dogs for illness and injury and well care at VPI. Just had a well check at the vet, vaccinations, fecal, heartworm testing and meds, VPI is processig a check for all but $25 and that was an analysis of a lump on his neck, which goes towards the deductible (according to the rate schedule). My vet IS very reasonably priced.


                              • #16
                                I love it.

                                I got Scarecrow insured again last year right before his 10th bday (and thus the cutoff between well care and just accident coverage)

                                They do reimburse quickly and worked with me a ton when in the enrollment process and 2 new questions arose on the dog during the underwriting. (NIGHTMARE)

                                Always do your own research but I ahve been very pleased with the coverage they provide and the fact that they seem to care what I want to do to maintain my animal's quality of life.

                                "Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all." ~2001 The Princess Diaries


                                • Original Poster

                                  Thanks so much, very helpful!! I have a mutt now (my first mutt). Little guy 15 lbs. Hoping for hybrid vigor but he is young and likes to get into everything. Looking at a Major Med Plan but do realize that it will not cover 100 % - - esp as my small animal vet is one of the more spendy ones. Just really want help if (g-d forbid) he has to have a surgery or some major expensive diagnostic tests. Don't need wellness coverage as will not be cost effective compared my vet's rates. But will do a little more checking - - thanks for the links!


                                  • #18
                                    I have my dogs with PetPlan....I researched all of the companies thoroughly and they seemed to be the most straight forward. So far I am happy with my choice.
                                    "A little less chit-chat a little more pitter-pat"


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by thatmoody View Post
                                      Yes, I have major medical, and I just pulled out my policy documents and saw that his hereditary issues were only excluded for the first year. My bad. A couple of the congenital conditions are excluded permanently, but not all of them.
                                      Oh thanks! I didn't know they were excluded for the first year. I need to check my policy docs, too.


                                      • #20
                                        I must say that I've have exceptional customer service from VPI. I had the coverage for several years but never quite got around to submitting my bills for reimbursement. I finally sat down and put everything together and mailed it to them with the disclaimer that I would understand if they didn't pay since I was at fault for not submitting claims in a timely manner. Even though some of the stuff was several YEARS old, they paid the allowed amount on every claim.

                                        A few weeks ago my shepherd herniated a disk in her back. She had a myelogram, a CT scan and surgery. The allowed VPI reimbursement was around 50% of the bill and that was a pretty serious chunk of change! I came out waaaayyyy ahead on what I spent on my premium!

                                        I'm not familar with the Trupanion program so I can't compare the two, but I can personally recommend VPI wholeheartedly.
                                        Old age is no place for sissies.
                                        Bette Davis