If you've been following my blog at all over the last six months, you probably have guessed that we've spent a small fortune in emergency pet bills. Between our desperate attempts to save Pudgy, to Captain the Psychotic Corgi's disaster last month, yeah... insurance would have been a really good thing. We've been talking about going ahead and doing it for him, because he scares me to death with some of his leaps off the back of the couch - I'm terrified he's going to break a leg one of these days. At one point I looked into it through one company, and the cost per month for him was $67 for a basic, $92 for full coverage, just for him! Yeah, um, a savings account would do just fine at that cost. (ouch!)
Now the insurance through Kroger Personal Finance (Fred Meyer's parent company) starts at just $9.95 like I mentioned above, and covers "accidents" only - so if you have a dog that seems to think he's Evil Knievel like mine does, this might be want you want. At that cost, it seems like a good deal to me. If you have a pet that's more sedentary, or getting a little older, there are several other plans available that run up to $39.95 a month - way less than I was quoted by another company. (and certainly cheaper than the emergency vet bills our family has run up) Some of these other plans cover everything from regular check ups and vaccinations, as well as illnesses like our Pudgy Princess suffered from. Plus, they have multi-pet household deals for folks like us with a mini petting zoo ;) I appreciate that!
There are some great vets out there that will work with you for a payment plan if an emergency happens (I suggest discussing the possibility BEFORE anything ever happens to your pet, so you are prepared when the brain fog of panic kicks in during that situation), and of course, if you have a credit card, you can always use that in an emergency. However, a lot of emergency 24 hour clinics will NOT work with you - many expect payment up front before they will even take a look at your pet, if you didn't know this yet, I hope I can help you learn a little after all this trauma we've been through. Here's a few things you may not have thought of that I've learned in case of pet emergencies:
*Have your main vet phone number in your cell phone. Also have the phone number of the closest vet to you in case you can't make it to your vet soon enough.
*Do you know what hours your vet clinic is open to daily? Many clinics have magnetic business cards at their office with the hours and an after-hours emergency clinic number. Stop by and pick one up on your next trip nearby - you don't have to have an appointment to pick that up. ;)
*Find out if your vet does any form of trauma visits, or if you have to take your pet to a different clinic in case of emergency. Again, this is something you can ask right over the phone - it only takes a moment to be prepared! If you have to take your pet to a 24 hospital, do you know where the nearest one is located? (Kitsap County folks, ours is located over in Poulsbo!) Do you know how to get there? If your pet is heavily bleeding, you don't have time to mapquest the location - keep the directions printed out in the glove compartment of your car or in your purse.
*Keep a folder with all your pet's medical paperwork in where you can grab it quickly in case of emergency. If you have more than one pet, have seperate folder for each, so you're not sorting through a pile of papers looking for what is needed. If you have to go to a different clinic, it may be hours before they can see a faxed copy of your vet records. You'll save time if you have the information with you. (If your pet travels in a carrier in the car, consider a waterproof folder attached to the carrier, taped down on top for instance.)
The bright side of this pet insurance that Kroger offers, is that it works with ANY vet clinic, as you are the one submitting the claim. You're not forced to go to a clinic you don't like or is out of your way. The downside is, you're arranging for payment up front, then being reimbursed, so keep this in mind if your checking account is low a lot. (Like I said, some vets will work with you, just ask ahead and mention you have this insurance if you get it) You can purchase this pet insurance online, or check out the service desk at your favorite store - they will have a brochure about it available, and can help you out.
Win it! One lucky reader is going to win a $25 gift card to the Kroger family of stores to spoil their pets for the holidays, which includes Fred Meyer out here in WA, as well as QFC, Dillions, and other Kroger company stores. To enter, I'd like to know about the pets in your life. (easy peasy as always) Have you ever thought about pet insurance for them before? Do you buy them gifts for the holidays? Do you pamper them more than you do yourself? Do they have a favorite treat?
As always, you can receive extra entries for:
-Subscribing to my feed or following my blog
-Blogging about this giveaway with a link back
-Tweeting about this giveaway (leave the link or @psychotichouse me)
That's four (4) possible entries! Giveaway ends December 12th at 11:59 PM PST (note the short run!), and please leave your email address in your entry or have it available in your profile. US only, sorry :( Good luck everyone!!
For sharing my thoughts, Kroger Personal Finance provided me with a $25 gift card for the pets in my life, as well as a gift card to give away to one of my readers.