*** This post has been updated, you can read the latest at Ferret Pet Insurance Continued ***

With the little medical emergency we had with the reaction the rabies shot, I did some digging into ferret pet insurance. When you search on the web for pet insurance, there are plenty of providers, however the vast majority of them are only for dogs and cats. Of the fifteen or so providers I checked, only one US company, VPI Pet Insurance, insured ferrets. I'm familiar with VPI through some of their pet articles, and they seem like nice folks. My experience with their customer service department mirrors that opinion, they were fast and friendly. I wanted a little more detail on what they cover, particularly the most costly medical expenses I've seen with my ferrets over the years, Ferret Adrenal Disease and Insulinoma. Here's what their customer service had to say:

Thank you for contacting VPI Pet Insurance. I hope your ferrets are doing well.

VPI policies cover thousands of medical conditions related to accidents and illnesses (including cancer).

However, like most insurance policies, VPI has some exclusions to help keep premiums low. For ferrets, the diagnosis, medical management, or surgical correction of any endocrine tumors, both benign and malignant, or endocrine hyperplasias of any kind are excluded from policy coverage.

If you would like to enroll multiple pets and be sure that the appropriate Multiple Pet Discount is applied, please contact our Sales Department at 888-341-0789.

Please note that a Multiple Pet Discount is available when you enroll 2 or more pets. A 5% discount applies when you enroll 2 to 3 pets, and a 10% discount applies when 4 or more pets are enrolled. All pets must live within the same household, and all discounts are applied at the time of enrollment.

With VPI Pet Insurance, policyholders can take their pets to any licensed veterinarian. Our policy contract is with you and not your veterinarian. We do not have any doctor networks, preferred providers or agreements with veterinarians.

Thank you for your interest in VPI Pet Insurance. I hope you and your pets have a nice day!

Humn- so some of the big expenses aren't covered. Here's their benefit schedule for exotic pets. Given that surgery can run about $400 and the insurance is somewhere in the neighborhood of $15 a month, I can see why they would exclude them, I wonder if they cover prescription glasses for dogs?? So I kept looking, and I came across another company called Pet Assure. Their model is a bit different. Rather than sell insurance, they offer discounts- 25% off of vet visits, 50% off select pet products, and a pet locator service. There's also a few advantages over insurance. They don't have a waiting period, they don't have a coverage cap, and they don't have exclusions for any conditions- be it preexisting or particularly expensive, like Adrenal Disease and Insulinoma.

So what's the catch? Well it is a business, so they have to earn money. They do this by charging an annual fee- about $60. You also have to go to the in-network vets, however, they're doing a good job of recruiting them. The veterinarians receive a discount on office and medical supplies, as well as a steady stream of new clients. They also get a free website, so if your vet isn't in the network you may very well convince them to join.

So you have a few choices. You can go with ferret pet insurance, just understand that some expenses aren't going to be covered. The nice thing is you don't have to worry about an in-network provider if you go with VPI. You can go with Pet Assurance, which will give a discount on every visit and doesn't have exclusions. The down side to that is you have to visit an in-network vet to receive care. I have a pet medical savings plan- I just set a little aside each month since I was clobbered with some surgery expenses years ago. I'm going to have to sit down and gather up all my vet bills for the last year, and compare that to Pet Assure- seems like a good idea provided that the return bears out the cost. I know from personal experience an emergency vet visit on the weekend with x-rays can be over $400- that is worth the premium on one visit. And of course your last option is to just pay out of pocket as these expenses come up- regular and emergency medical care is just part of responsible ferret ownership. You can find ferret pet insurance, just carefully weigh your options and decide if it's the correct choice for you.

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"Ferret Pet Insurance" by was published on April 27th, 2009 and is listed in Ferret Care.

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Comments on "Ferret Pet Insurance": 11 Comments

  1. Ferret Pet Insurance Continued | Laughing Ferret wrote,

    […] year I wrote a post about Ferret Pet Insurance, and it turned out to be one of the most popular on the site. It seems a lot of "ferret parents" […]

  2. John Sander Sr wrote,

    I have been looking for ferret insurance for a while now.. And all I seem to be able to fine is comments about this or that,,, BUT no where haVER i FOUND A DECENT QUOTR FOR ferret INSURANCE. i WOPULKD BE GREATFUL IF SOMEONE COULD HELP ME WITH A LOW COST INSURANE FOR MY fereret aNISTASIA. Thyank You muchly!!!!

  3. Carpet Shark wrote,

    Hi John-

    The only one I found in the United States is VPI, but they don’t cover tumors, insulinoma, etc (details in the article above). We think Pet Assure is a better deal- but it’s not insurance, it’s a discount program with your vet. Another option would be to set aside in some extra money in your savings account- as they get older they’re going to get sick, and unfortunately it’s expensive for surgery.

  4. nnname wrote,

    Of course they don’t cover the ailment that ends most ferrets lives. Jackasses.

  5. Carpet Shark wrote,

    LOL, well I never thought I’d be defending an insurance company- but a surgery can anywhere from $500 to $1000. Last time I checked the VPI policy was a bit less than $200 a year, so they would have a real hard time staying in business covering expenses like that, especially since our little fur kids develop awful problems like insulinoma all too often in their way too short lives. If there was any money in it more companies would offer it- like they do with dog and cat insurance.

  6. Nicholas wrote,

    Well really it’s just total bull****, there are websites like “Trupanion” which is for cats and dogs that have a cap at 20,000 dollars with no medical exclusions and they cover 90% of medical expenses, AND they only charge around $30-$40 a month… WHY can’t there be something like this for ferrets? There ARE organizations that I am sure would be happy to donate to the cause and enough ferret parents to keep them in business so seriously, what the f***?

  7. Carpet Shark wrote,

    Hi Nicholas-

    Yes, regular pet insurance companies are not interested in insuring ferrets. I took another look at options- still the same as I presented in the article. I contacted Trupanion on the off chance they may have a program for ferrets, since the policy you describe above would be a great alternative. They don’t offer anything for ferrets. Here’s what customer service had to say:

    “So sorry for the inconvenience, but our policy is only able to insure cats and dogs. Please let us know if there is anything we can do for you in the future.
    Sincerely,
    Haleigh ~ Member Specialist”

  8. cutey ferret girl wrote,

    how come there is seriously more dog and kitty cat isuranse than ferrets its like they just dont care ferrets ae pets t ya know just becuse they look like a cat who messed around with a mouse ;D i have one and he is defenetly better than a lame cat or dog.

  9. Kathy wrote,

    It is true, VPI is the only ferret insurer I can find in the U.S. and they don’t cover treatment for adrenal disease or (I hear) insulinomas. The UK version of PetPlan is covering exotics, including ferrets. I have heard rumors that several other pet insurers in the UK and Europe also cover ferrets. So what the h** is wrong with the U.S. companies?? The usual lack of foresight and customer service you see across all types of U.S. companies, it seems. I would gladly pay a higher monthly rate (similar to what is paid for dogs) to have more complete coverage for all the problems commonly seen in ferrets. Of course, in the U.S. ferrets have more health problems due to inbreeding at Marshall Farms (the source of most U.S. ferrets). Perhaps we should have class action suit against Marshall Farms to force them to pay for our ferrets’ medical bills! Anyone want to try this???

  10. gemini june wrote,

    It is very sad that fact that you can find decent insurance for a ferret. I love my little girl and I can’t stand it when she gets sick. I have chosen to take her to the doctor rather than taking my self when I was suffering from an ear infection. I have only just began my search for insurance for her today after i was told that it would cost atleast $1000 dollars or more for her to have surgery if she needed it for an obstruction. does VPI cover surgery for obstructions. Also my lil girl is from Marshall Farms I did not know they were inbreeding the ferrets thats horrible and disgusting. Is there any proof of the inbreeding going on. You would need this proof in order to file a suit against them. Although the thought did run through my head today while I sat in the vets office. She is not even a year old yet. I wonder if thats why the offer a year warrenty on their ferrets. Well i will say that if she doesn’t make it (God forbid) they will be paying.

  11. Carpet Shark wrote,

    Yep, there just aren’t any good insurance plans for ferrets out there – the best alternative I found was pet assure, where you get your discount on every procedure, including insulinoma and obstructions. VPI doesn’t cover any of these types of issues because it’s not profitable for them to do so. I’ve had several ferrets from Marshalls; you can usually tell because they have two little dots tattooed on their ear (one when they get spayed, another when they’re descented). I’ve never had a problem with lifespan or congenital defects, so can’t comment on that.

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