Lesson Learned: $9,500 Loss… Check Your Pet Insurance Exclusions

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by CarriageGoose

I purchased a high deductible ($1,000) pet insurance plan for my dog Gooby. I understand it’s usually better to just “pay” the premium to yourself to stockpile funds as needed, but since the premium was only about $250 every year I was OK with probably “losing” just for the peace of mind. To me about $20 per month was worth not having to worry about potentially choosing between my dog’s life and $5,000 or $10,000.

Well, just two weeks ago Gooby swallowed a garden hose attachment that got lodged in his intestine and required a $9,500 surgery. It was around midnight when I noticed his symptoms and 2am when I found out what happened, so due to the situation being a medical emergency outside the insurance’s business hours I couldn’t first contact them to discuss pre-approval. All I could do was look through the policy myself which led me to give the go-ahead after I couldn’t find an applicable exclusion.

And yet the claim was denied because of this one:

Conditions arising from a repetitive or specific activity that leads to decontamination (e.g. the induction of vomiting), medical, or surgical treatment of your Pet, if the same or a similar activity occurred within 18 months prior to the treatment date, whether before or after the Policy Effective Date.

Turns out that in April 2019 my ex-girlfriend took Gooby to my old primary veterinarian that I no longer use to ingest charcoal so that he would vomit an elastic band without ever telling me. She paid for it which was nice, but since the visit was in my name it counted as being within the 18-month period. I guess the insurance company was able to track Gooby’s historical visits somehow.

I should have asked for all medical records from every place that I remember dating back 18 months and inspected them myself rather than going off memory. But hindsight is always 20/20 I guess.

Thank you for reading, I mostly just wanted to vent.




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