*** 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.