A General Overview of VPI Pet Insurance
For many pet owners, their dog or cat is more than just a pet – it’s a companion, friend, and family member. Yet, despite the love so many of us have for the animals in our lives, we’re rarely prepared – in particular, financially – for a medical emergency.
The Pet Owners Survey, conducted by the American Pet Products Association, found that only 4% of dog owners and 1% of cat owners have pet insurance policies.
The reason is often that owners simply don’t understand the benefits of pet insurance or the potentially devastating costs that can come with an emergency health situation. Pet health and emergency bills can quickly rise to thousands of dollars; however, pet insurance can protect animals and their families against these staggering costs.
With pet insurance from a trusted company, you can often choose your care provider, and it’s simple to submit bills for reimbursement. You’ll enjoy peace of mind and confidence when you invest in cat or dog insurance, and it will help you avoid having to use your savings or put pet care on a credit card with high interest rates.
Even if you recognize the benefits of dog or cat insurance, how do you choose the right company to meet your needs?
As with any insurance policy, whether for pets or people, the best course of action is to conduct comprehensive research. We created this in-depth guide to help consumers like you make the safest and most economical decision for your pet, and we’ve focused on one of the number one providers of pet insurance: VPI.
We’ll detail what VPI offers and other important aspects of the decision-making process so you’ll be able to ensure you’re making the right choice for your family, budget, and beloved pets.
Summary – VPI Pet Insurance
Veterinary Pet Insurance, also known as VPI Pet Insurance, has been delivering comprehensive pet insurance in the U.S. since 1982. In 2014, the company became part of Nationwide Insurance, making it a leader that falls under the umbrella of one of the top overall insurance enterprises in the world.
Image Source: Veterinary Pet Insurance Review
VPI has made a name for itself, not only as one of the best providers for dog and cat insurance but also in pet insurance policies for birds and exotic pets.
VPI is the longest-running pet insurance provider, and, in addition to standard medical coverage, there are available policies to cover accidents and a variety of illnesses as well as injuries. There are also inexpensive options for vaccinations and routine care coverage.
The company has an outstanding rating with the Better Business Bureau, and there are an estimated 500,000 active policies in the country. This long-term, positive reputation is one of the many ways that VPI stands out in the provision of the best pet insurance.
Dog Insurance Plans
VPI offers options that cover everything from accidental injuries to routine wellness veterinary care, and you can choose wellness coverage for dogs either as part of a more comprehensive plan or on its own.
There are three levels of available coverage options for dogs:
Whole Pet with Wellness
This plan features 90% reimbursement of veterinary bills, and it’s the premium plan option. It covers accidents, illnesses, and hereditary conditions without a waiting period. Whole Pet carries no maximum benefit, and chronic conditions are covered at no extra cost.
You can use any vet at any location, and your dog won’t ever be dropped from coverage, regardless of age or the number of claims you file. Some of the many specific conditions covered under this VPI plan include abrasion, caesarean section, cleft palate, dental cleaning, and deworming.
This policy is designed for accidents, illnesses, and hereditary conditions. It’s a more budget-friendly plan than what you’ll find with Whole Pet, and you can opt to set benefits amounts that will cover common expenses associated with pet health care.
This policy covers accidents and sicknesses as well as some hereditary conditions after a waiting period of one year. It features benefits renewal in full each year, and chronic conditions are covered at no additional cost to owners.
You have the flexibility to use the vet of your choice, and your dog isn’t dropped from coverage based on age or claims filed.
This plan is coverage for the essentials of your pet’s health and includes shots, flea control, and heartworm prevention. It’s a low-cost way to manage pet care, and you have the ability to choose your own vet at any location.
Other plans outside the primary three options include:
- Medical: This covers accidents and illnesses as well as cancer. Chronic conditions are included at no extra charge, and the deductible is flexible for this generalized plan.
- Injury: If you want to cover only emergency situations, you can opt for the VPI injury plan. This program includes the freedom to use any vet, including specialists and emergency care providers, as well as benefits renew in full each year and a maximum annual benefit of $14,000.
Cat Insurance Plans
Available programs for cats are the same as dog plans, with the exception of one particular option called Feline Select. Feline Select provides low-cost coverage aimed at 15 of the most common health conditions facing cats.
It covers chronic conditions; lets you use any vet, including specialists and emergency providers; and offers a maximum annual benefit of $9,000.
Image Source: Cat Insurance Plans
Some of the extensive covered conditions under the Feline Select plan are:
- Lacerations or bite wounds
- Primary kidney disease or failure
- Diabetes mellitus
- Feline lower urinary tract disease
- Asthma or upper respiratory disease complex
Bird and Exotic Pet Plan
This is one of the available options exclusive to VPI. You can cover pets beyond cats and dogs, including birds, reptiles, rabbits, and exotic pets. This exotic plan coverage includes things like exams, prescriptions, X-rays, and more.
Some of the pets covered under this plan from VPI include:
- Potbellied pigs
- Sugar gliders
- Turtles and tortoises
What Isn’t Covered
As a buyer of VPI pet insurance or any other type of policy, it’s essential to understand that some things aren’t going to be covered. This depends largely on the plan you select, but other factors may impact coverage as well.
The Whole Pet with Wellness plan does include some pre-existing conditions, but not all. It doesn’t include grooming, and it also doesn’t cover expenses not directly related to vet services, such as tax and credit card fees.
With other plans available from VPI, some potential coverage limitations include congenital anomalies or development disorders as well as ligament injuries that occur during the first year of coverage. Some hereditary coverage is available in the Major Medical Plan as well as under the Whole Pet with Wellness option.
Other Enrollment Details
To enroll in VPI pet insurance, pets must be at least six weeks old but less than ten years. Once you have your pet enrolled in VPI coverage, it won’t be dropped regardless of age. Monthly costs range from $12-$60 depending on the plan you choose, and deductibles range from $100 to $1000 per year, again, depending on your individual plan.
General coverage begins 14 days after the date specified in your policy; for plans that cover ligament injuries and hereditary conditions, there is a one-year waiting period.
There are two different reimbursement options available from VPI.
The Whole Pet with Wellness Plan will reimburse 90% of the costs you paid your vet while the Major Medical plan and Pet Wellness plan provide reimbursements based on a benefits schedule. Under these plans, reimbursements are capped at a set amount for each specific service or condition.
In order to receive reimbursement, you pay your vet when your pet is treated and then send the invoice to VPI. They’ll then issue a reimbursement check minus applicable deductibles.
To begin the enrollment process, first visit the VPI site to request a quote. To start the initial enrollment, all you need is your zip code, the type of pet you have, your pet’s name and age, and basic contact information. Once you receive a quote, you can move forward with enrollment.
As with everything at VPI, enrolling is extremely easy. You can go online and create a free account in just a few minutes.
Once you register, you can enroll in a plan and use the VPI website to keep up with your account. The VPI Policyholder Portal includes options to quickly update your contact and payment information, check your claim status and history, and download necessary forms, including the claims form and benefits schedule.
You can also use the Policyholder Portal to renew your policy.
Additionally, as a VPI customer, you’re offered the exclusive Companion newsletter, which features stories, pet information, and policy news. Policyholder Perks features special discounts available only to policyholders.
If you already have a pet enrolled, you can receive a 5% discount when you sign up a new pet with VPI.
VPI Pet Insurance Reviews
While the options and coverage may seem ideal, one of the primary things consumers are looking for when selecting this type of product is pet insurance reviews.
Generally, customers of VPI are extremely satisfied with the service and coverage they receive. Some of the notable mentions you’ll find in the typical VPI pet insurance review include the transparency of the company, as to what’s covered, as well as the accurate reimbursements provided. Most customers report feeling that their claims were handled in a reasonable amount of time, and, compared to other pet insurance providers, VPI has the most extensive medical and wellness plans as well as full policy options that cover both areas of care.
As with any insurance company, it’s up to consumers to thoroughly investigate the fine print and understand what’s covered and what isn’t. According to the majority of VPI pet insurance reviews, if you do this before making a purchase decision, you’re likely to be happy with your choice.
Is VPI Right For You?
Ultimately, as a pet owner, you want the best for this important member of your life. Just as you want to protect your family against the high costs of medical care, you likely want the same protection for your pet.
The decision to purchase pet insurance should be based on a variety of factors, including the type of coverage you need, the deductible you’re willing and able to pay, and your budget.
Undoubtedly, VPI is one of the best pet insurance options available. The company operates under Nationwide, so you’re getting a company backed by a tremendous reputation. VPI also offers plenty of plan options for every budget and need and is one of the few pet insurance providers offering a comprehensive plan that covers nearly everything imaginable.
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