The ShelterCare Pet Insurance Racket 2

Pet insurance.  Yes, pet health insurance.  We recently adopted 2 cats, and along with our adoption came 30 days of complimentary pet insurance through ShelterCare.  Insurance for your pet sounds like a pretty good idea if you’ve recently had any procedures performed at the vet.  It seems health costs for pets are approaching those for humans.  The truth is, if you are going to be a responsible pet owner, health care costs are part of the bargain.  That said, we thought there might be something to this insurance thing.  Boy, were we wrong.

Along with your ShelterCare gift comes a heavy dose of telemarketing.  The insurance isn’t cheap.  The costs range from $18-$45 per month.  That’s a substantial investment, but again, vet costs aren’t going down.  It’s with this set up that I give you the reality of pet insurance through ShelterCare.

Our kitten, Finnegan, decided to run under my wife’s foot as she turned the corner.  He started to limp, and we were worried that he might have a broken foot.  We took him to the vet and in order to determine if he had a fracture, the doctor performed an exam and ordered an xray.  Sounds logical enough, right?  The verdict was a soft-tissue injury, but luckily, no broken bone.  Finn was back to his normal self in about a week.  We followed all the instructions in the ShelterCare kit, and submitted the claim for a fracture.  The claim was…DENIED.

The ShelterCare 30 Day Gift coverage chart  is as follows:

  • Accidents
    • Foreign Body Ingestion Removal
    • Motor Vehicle Accident
    • Lacerations
    • Bone Fractures
    • Insect Bites/Stings
    • Defined Poison Ingestion
  • Ear Illnesses
  • Eye Illnesses
  • Flea Allergy Dermatitis
  • Infectious Diseases
    • Intestinal Parasites
    • Urinary Tract Infections
    • Upper Respiratory Tract Infections
    • Mange/ Mites/ Ringworm
    • Parvovirus/ Feline Panleukopenia
    • Tick Borne Diseases
    • Heartworm Disease

Maximum Benefit Amount:  $750 per policy
Deductible:  $75 per policy

The claim was denied because our kitten did not actually have a fracture; it would have been covered (supposedly) had he had a fracture.  I’m not sure how the doctor was supposed to diagnose the broken the bone…crystal ball?  This compares to going to the doctor with symptoms of strep throat and your insurance only paying if the test came back positive.  I had a ridiculous conversation with a ShelterCare representative on the phone about the rejection.  The representative told me that the insurance was complimentary, so I couldn’t expect them to pay for EVERYTHING.  Their logic makes absolutely no sense, and I can’t imagine why anyone would pay for this coverage. 

I suppose we’re lucky.  At least this happened during the complimentary trial period, before we made the decision to throw money into the black hole that is ShelterCare.  For anyone considering pet insurance — at least through ShelterCare — my advice would be to save your money and find a good vet.

2 thoughts on “The ShelterCare Pet Insurance Racket

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention The ShelterCare Pet Insurance Racket | Someupside - Email Marketing, Deliverability, Social Media and Some Such -- Topsy.com

  2. Reply Stacy Jul 20,2010 12:08 pm

    Hi there,
    I just came across your blog and was interested to learn about your experience with pet insurance. Considering you didn’t have the best experience with it, I don’t expect you to go out shopping for another company any time soon, but I just thought I’d let you know that coverage greatly varies depending on which company you use.
    Trupanion covers diagnostic tests, surgeries/treatments, and medications, so in your case, the X-rays would have been covered. (Also flexible deductible options, and no payout limits whatsoever)
    Please feel free to contact me if you’re curious to learn more.
    -Stacy at Trupanion

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