We received a regular looking letter in the mail from PetPlan, and thank goodness opened it promptly. We were advised that this “first fully customizable pet insurance policy” was being introduced, and we were being “given the power to build your own plan”, but that they came up with a “policy similar to your current plan” and we would have to do nothing more… it would come into effect upon renewal.

Record scratch sound

Lets consider a few of the differences right off the bat:

  • My new yearly premium is about 20% more than the current year, both dogs
  • The per-condition/annual deductible is changing from $100 to $300 for Mort, $200 to $500 for Tig.

Those are some pretty big changes, actually. The “expenses allowance” increased from $22K to “Unlimited”, but that’s not too meaningful if you consider likely scenarios and statistics. That deductible sure is though! This puts things in the “insurance only useful for emergency or significant chronic problems” territory after you take that deductible off and then also deduct 10-30% off depending on your reimbursement level.

So I went into their “Build Your Plan” tool online, and tried to make a plan that was actually the same as my old plan. Want to guess the price difference? About a 110% increase for both dogs to keep the same terms.

So much for locking my dogs into a plan when they were a puppy.

If you are with PetPlan, please read your email and make sure you go and adjust your plan accordingly. Me? I’m really disappointed in such an abrupt and drastic change in coverage, and would be researching alternatives if it weren’t for the “preexisting condition” racket.

And for what it’s worth, over the past 5 years my premiums have tripled for Tigger despite never filing a single claim on her. Yes, I still believe in pet insurance (and PetPlan has been good so far) but boy is this making it hard to still feel that way and justify. I will be running some numbers soon and making a thorough evaluation based on the stats and risk assessment.

This is life, I get it. Just make sure to read your mail so you can choose how you want to update your settings.

About Author

Jen deHaan is graphic designer, small business owner, and dog person living in Bay Area, California. Jen enjoys learning about dog training and behavior, and has taken several courses and seminars since 2010. She also contributes articles to leading websites, such as Victoria Stilwell's Positively . It all started with a great dog called Mikey (aka "dude"), loved and lost but remembered forever. Jen also runs a freelance business focusing on graphic, web, and UI design at FoundPixel, and a small business creating hand crafted dog products at Stylish Canine.

  • I’ve always found the idea of insurance frustrating – not saying it’s a bad idea at all, just the idea of needing it due to possible ridiculous costs bothers me, but that’s a debate for another time. I don’t have insurance for Laika; for some reason I got stuck in the mindset of not bothering since I didn’t get it when she was really young and I’d heard about being able to lock in at that time.

    That letter you received reminds me of all the other perplexing insurance letters I’ve gotten over the years. Oh my car insurance is going up 40% even with no claims or accidents? Oh my health insurance is going up 30% because well – hell I can’t even begin to wrap my brain around that one.