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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > HOUSE RABBIT Q & A > Schroeder's VPI pet insurance claim
Last Post by BB at 8/11/2009 7:39 PM (17 Replies)
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User is Offline KatnipCrzy
Holland, MI
2982 posts Send Private Message
8/08/2009 10:10 AM

Towards the end of July Schroeder was terribly uncomfortable one night- I could tell his belly really hurt.  So I took him to the emergency clinic, bought fluids supplies from the vet clinic where I work- and then took him to an exotics vet the next day.  So total expenses were $603.98

I have VPI insurance for him and Cotton- and this is the first time claiming anything for the "exotics" .

Emergency Clinic- Emergency Exam- $119, x-rays $167.22, pain injection (buprenophine) 52.72- totaling 338.94

My work clinic- bag of Lactated Ringers and IV lines/needs to give SQ- totaled 20.40

Exotics Vet Clinic- Exam- $64, x-rays- $170.10, Critical Care- 9.94- totaling 244.64

So that makes the Grand Total of 603.98- all of which I paid for and then can submit to insurance.  I waited about a week after Schroeder was well to submit the claim to make sure there was not going to be anything else added.

I just logged onto the VPI website and they are mailing me a check for $279.00.  They do not cover any portion of Critical Care since it is considered a diet/food.  And I had a $50 deductible for incident (not per visit) that was my responsibility.

Considering I only pay about 10.00 a month for his insurance I am getting a more money back than what I pay for a years worth of coverage!  Of course Cotton has had insurance for over 1 1/2 years and has had no claims.

Insurance laws and regulations vary from state to state- so anyone considering pet insurance I encourage you at least call and talk to the company- VPI (Veterinary Pet Insurance) is the only one in the US that I know of that insures bunnies and other exotics at this time.

Another option would be to create a savings account for vet use that you add a set amount to monthly-  but at $10 a month for as long as I have had Schroeder and Cotton would probably be less than the amount I am getting back for insurance- plus I still have coverage in case something else happens.


Cotton and Schroeder- Mini Lops Griffin- English Lop

User is Offline RabbitPam
South Florida
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8/08/2009 12:20 PM
That's good to hear, Katnip, and good advice. I have had VPI since I got Sammy, and am pleased to know that they came through on a claim. It adds up so fast that cutting that bill in half is a big savings. I felt I was lucky with Spockie without insurance, but am very, very relieved to pay for it with my new furbaby girl.
SPIKE, my snuggle bunny (aka Spikey Marbles)

User is Offline Sarita
18890 posts Send Private Message
8/08/2009 1:26 PM
That's very impressive. Makes me wish I had this for my rabbits.

User is Offline Miyuki
241 posts Send Private Message
8/08/2009 6:15 PM
I had no idea there was such a thing as pet insurance until I saw people discussing it here on the forums. If I get another pet I'll absolutely have to look into it. Even though I haven't ever used it I think it is worth it if you can get any money back. The last 2 months we paid for biopsy surgery (plus the overnight boarding after taking her in as emergency walk-in) and at least 5 vet visits. Plus long term pain medication and eye ointment. Don't get me wrong, I don't regret spending the money but it is always a great feeling to spend less . Then there was the time for her head tilt and seeing the specialist and stuff for the cataract.

So I didn't mean to go on and on. But I'm glad it seems that VPI is working for you guys! Things can really add up so I think getting pet insurance is a wonderful idea!
Inkblot Inkblot ~ Lost battle with sarcoma cancer 5/31/09

User is Offline BunnyLiz
Covington, Ky
1229 posts Send Private Message
8/08/2009 6:29 PM
Hammer and Lucy have VPI, but thankfully I havent had to use it. Thats great that they paid for a big chunk of it. Its a huge relief to know that if something ever happens ill have some help with expenses.
Photobucket Rose- Loved you yesterday, Love you still, Always have, Always will.

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Bay Area
Forum Leader
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8/08/2009 11:23 PM

Great thread Katnip! Not only does this help understand what VPI covers, but it is a reality check for what vet care can cost! This is a perfect link to post in the "Cost" page under Bunny Info. Thanks for starting this.

I also have VPI and it has really paid for itself at more! I just recently got a check for almost $700 from them! (Needless to say Jack's tests and surgery for the bladder stone was very expensive,.) Plus, I have had many reinbursements over the years for other illness.
I will pull out the vet receipts from the files and I'll be be back to post with the breakdowns and then the reinbursements from VPI.


User is Offline wendyzski
Chicago, IL
1316 posts Send Private Message
8/10/2009 7:38 AM

I can quibble with some of the "covered" and "not covered" things from VPI, but the fact of the matter is that without it Pepper would be at least  a $2500 bunny by now (she has chronic pasteurella).  I've more than gotten my money's worth from them.  I have to pay up front and they reimburse 90% of covered stuff after that $50 per incident deductible.  She actually maxed out her covererage limits for the pasteurella last year, but my vet was willing to work with me on appointment dates to take that into account.  I fax my paperwork in and usually get my reimburesement around 3 weeks later.

User is Offline bunnytowne
7552 posts Send Private Message
8/10/2009 9:34 AM

Hey it sure helps.  VPI reimbursed almost everything for Cotton so far all but 25.00   Thats great.  Considering I pay 24.00 a month for 2 buns. A big chunk like that helps pay off the vet a lot faster. 

 photo bunnytownesiggy.jpg

User is Offline skunklionshow
City of Brotherly "Shove"
1260 posts Send Private Message
8/10/2009 12:08 PM

I have VPI for the 2 rabbits & 1 cat.  I had some major expenses on my cat when the vet was doing several "exploratory procedures."  He had extensive blood work, an ultrasound, xrays, etc.   The total bill came out to about $1500.  I got about $1200 back!!!  They did request additional paperwork from me, which I believe was b/c they wanted to make sure it wasn't a pre-existing condition.  I knew it wasn't so it was really no problem.  We did annuals this weekend & my vet wants to do some additional testing on him & I felt confident to say "go for it!"  It's nice not to have to freak out when incidences come up.

Long & Short:  Katnip that's awesome!  I regret that I don't have VPI for all my pets.

"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." Ghandi

User is Offline KytKattin
1195 posts Send Private Message
8/10/2009 9:10 PM
I really wish that I had VPI for Hubble before I knew his teeth were a problem. Though even then it would probably count as a pre-existing condition. Does anyone have any experience with VPI and molar spurs? Do they give multiple pet discounts?

User is Offline Samantha
48 posts Send Private Message
8/11/2009 5:59 AM
I have this insurance for my Chinchillas (actual exotics) haha. They also usually cover about 250 of 500-600 dollar vet bills. It is good... but only if you have 1 animal on it. Otherwise, the yearly cost doubles and if your buns are well taken care of and healthy, it wont pay off. It would be much more worth it if you didnt have to do it out of pocket and they paid up front. oh well

User is Offline tabalab
321 posts Send Private Message
8/11/2009 6:06 AM
i think that sounds terrible. Sounds like horrible insurance u didnt even get half back what u paid so what is the point ?
My b/f thinks I've gone a lil TOO bunny crazy!! Image and video hosting by TinyPicImage and video hosting by TinyPic

User is Offline KatnipCrzy
Holland, MI
2982 posts Send Private Message
8/11/2009 6:46 AM

I have only paid about $70 in premiums on Schroeder- I pay monthly since I am on a large group plan thru the vet clinic I work at- so for the $70 I have paid in premiums they are reimbursing me $279 for vet bills for his illness.  That is awesome compared to having to cover all the expenses with absolutely NO insurance reimbursement.


Cotton and Schroeder- Mini Lops Griffin- English Lop

User is Offline tabalab
321 posts Send Private Message
8/11/2009 6:52 AM
I suppose
My b/f thinks I've gone a lil TOO bunny crazy!! Image and video hosting by TinyPicImage and video hosting by TinyPic

User is Offline MissPinUp
151 posts Send Private Message
8/11/2009 2:29 PM
Can someone tell me where I can go to read up on this? I'm extremely interested, but when I googled Veterinary Pet Insurance I don't think I got the right site. Help!

User is Offline MooBunnay
Dallas, Texas (Allen)
3088 posts Send Private Message
8/11/2009 4:24 PM

The VPI website which Katnip was discussing is at this site:

I'm still debating it myself.  The problem is that I have 8 bunnies so the premium would be quite high monthly...I'm guessing though that once a bunny needs an important surgery, I will probably regret not having it!  I'm considering insuring maybe just my oldest bunny - but she also seems to be the toughest of the bunch so I"m not sure if she needs it.

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Bay Area
Forum Leader
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8/11/2009 6:42 PM


Here are some examples of the insurance reinbursements over the years I have received: 

2003 -  Rucy's lip was almost bit off  by Bailey

Vet bill included: Exam, anesthesia, and lip repair.  TOTAL = $319.73    -----     Insurance paid 213.30 

2003 - Bailey had an abscess on her hip (probably as a result from the fight she with Rucy:

I cannot find the invoices for this - but I remember the vet bill was between $700 - $800 dollars, and the insurance paid between $500 -$600. (i just remember having to pay around $250)

2004 - Forrest was spinning  and falling down (ended up being just an inner ear infection at the time)

Vet bill included:  Exam, tests*, Treatment.  TOTAL = 184.11   ------ Insurance paid 120.00

       NOTE:  There was an additional test for ecuniculi that was not covered because it is a parasite and parasites are not covered.  That was 45.75 that I had to pay on top of the 184.11 bill. 

2004 - Bailey had tests to figure out what the nodules were on her ears

Vet bill Exam and test TOTAL 172.70.  ---- insurance paid 110.43

I had a couple of other little things like that througout the years - gi stasis,  water eyes/nose etc. I can't find all the bills, but a couple of hundred dollars here and there over the last five years with about the same type of reinbursement.

Rucy was not covered with her jaw abscesses because when I adopted her, she had recently had surgery to remove it so it was considered a pre-existing condition, however, if she hadn't gotten another abscess for two years, I would have been able to drop that as a pre-existing condition. 

2009 - Jack's bladder stone removal

The most recent vet care for Jack was the most expensive EVER.  Some of his the stuff we tested for like to figure out why he was so humpy - hormone tests etc, were not covered, but the surgery to remove his bladder stone, which included not just the surgery but xrays, tests, boarding overnight stay, stone test, etc etc. came out to $1380.78 ----- The insurance covered $752.  

Parts of the  insurance for allowed amounts were maxed out with amounts of testings  though they only paid 752.00 of it, that's still $752 I didn't have to pay.    And it's not an amount that I would have had saved easily on top of the $500 or so that I did have to pay out of pocket. 

So if we just take those incidents

My total cost of bills was 2877.00

Insurance covered 1794.00

I paid out premium over  6  years for 2 - 3 rabbits ( 4 1/2 yrs  for 3 bunnies 1 1/2 for 2 bunnies) /  =  to around 1700

That's how it worked out for me, with three bunnies- more like a savings plan.  But you wouldn't have to pay out as much if you weren't paying premiums on that many, but all and all I find it very beneficial because the two biggest bills are alot to pay out at once. 

Though the insurance won't cover everything, it's more than I would have had saved for expensive vet care costs (especially the last one for Jack! I was also lucky that the vet allowed me to make payments as that is a hefty bill to fork out or carry on a credit card with interest rates!)

So in my circumstances, I have found more than anything is that it is more like a big saving account that I can't get into - the only other thing you could do is just put money aside yourself every single month to prepare for some major vet bill, and when it comes to vet bills, most people won't put more than a couple hundred bucks to the side if even that.   And it's tempting to get into if you need it for other life emergenicies or when things get tight.  

Otherwise, if it's not something you want to do or don't find it valuable in your opinion, then I just recommend putting at least $500 dollars to the side as an emergency can easily get to that amount and don't touch it.   

 There have been so many posts that we have gotten over the years where people will say "Something is wrong with my bunny, and I just don't have the money as times have been very tight".  Life has a way of depleting our extra $$ even for the most prepared, and being in a bind during an emergency can be a heartwrenching place to be in.  Having insurance or your own vet fund that you don't touch can be a lifesaver - literally.  

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Bay Area
Forum Leader
9095 posts Send Private Message
8/11/2009 7:39 PM
kytkattin - yes, they give multiple pet discounts as well as decent discount if you pay one yearly premium instead of monthly. With those discounts, I pay $8.76/rabbit per month as opposed to $12/month.
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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > HOUSE RABBIT Q & A > Schroeder's VPI pet insurance claim

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