Ever thought of insurance for your bunny? In today’s day and age, the cost of veterinary care can be overwhelming, so VPI (Veterinary Pet Insurance) has found a way to help us, help our beloved buns receive the care they deserve and need.

I first got VPI about 4 years ago for my buns after a very expensive 3 day emergency stay at Angell in Boston. My vet suggested VPI and I’m glad he did. I have probably submitted about 30 claims in the past 4 years (not the norm for most people with buns, so don’t let that scare you). Most of the claims have been with Bailey and Lucky. Another thing to note is that it depends on where you live with what they will cover. For example, for some reason, VPI won’t cover molar spurs for CA people, but they’ve always covered Lucky’s spurs, here in MA.

The main thing you have to do is bring the Benefit Schedule with you when you go to the vet. That way your vet can pick the exact medical term of what your bun has, etc. and write that on the claim. For example, instead of writing Stasis, you need to write Ileus (which is new as of 2 years ago – that was never on the schedule). Then a percentage will be covered.

As far as what they cover…well there are 4+ pages in tiny type, so I couldn’t even begin to get into that. They WON’T cover parasites however. Bailey had mites once and that was not covered. E.Cuniculi is also NOT covered. However, Lucky’s seizures are covered, (which are a direct result of the E.Cuniculi…weird). They don’t cover meds either. They will cover blood work, rads, and a multitude of tests, but again, only a percentage or what they allow.

You also have to pay up front, then VPI reimburses you. There is a $50 deductible for each related illness. You are also only allowed so much per illness per year. For example: Lucky had 5 spurs in one year. There was one $50 deductible for the first spur. His last check was for $4.00. YEAH!!! It wasn’t even worth sending it to me. So the more you submit of one specific illness/medical condition in a policy year, the less you receive in reimbursement. Normal reimbursement time is 2 months after you submit the claim. And you can now fax the claim, which is so much easier.

They have also covered a good percentage of Bailey’s physical theraphy and acupuncture and those are NOT on the benefit schedule. What the vets write is “Mobility and pain control due to kidney disease and spinal arthritis”. So if it’s not on there, call and ask. If they don’t cover something, call and ask why. They’ve always been very nice and informative on the phone. I think I’ve called maybe 6 times in the past 4 years to go over stuff. The last was to continue coverage on 3 of my buns.

The other thing with coverage depends on how much the vet charges. For example: Bailey was diagnosed with urethra stones and spinal arthritis 5 days after the insurance went into effect 4 years ago. He needed an ultrasound before surgery. Because the cost of the ultrasound was the same as what VPI allowed, the entire thing was covered ($160.00). That entire episode (surgery, blood work, rads, ultrasound, etc.) cost me $2000. VPI covered approx. $1000 of it. Of course that was after I submitted the last 2 years of his medical history proving that I didn’t know he had the stones, etc. But still, I had only paid $10.00 into the policy and it had already paid for itself more than I could have imagined…Well worth it!

I’ve had a few claims submitted with Cinnamon. Some for stasis, one for his heart condition (echocardiogram, etc.). Lily has had no claims since I insured her over 2 years ago.

If you’re interested in the insurance, go to www.petinsurance.com and you can get a quote and start the process right online. If you have multiple pets, you get a discount. I now pay $10.55/bun/month. That’s with my multiple pet and PSI member discount. If you’ve ever considered insurance, I’d highly recommend it to all!
-Shannon: HRN Member/Volunteer