After losing my first Boxer at age 4 to kidney failure and my second Boxer at age 4 ½ to nine Stage 3 mass cell cancer tumors within five years, maxing out three credit cards and having paid enough in veterinary care, hospital stays and medications to buy a new car — I knew I had to find out if there was insurance for pets like there was for humans!
I knew I would want to get a new pup someday, but this time I would be more financially prepared.
Prior to looking for pet insurance, I did a lot of research on the Boxer breed and what types of accidents and illnesses they were prone to. What I found out was I needed to look for an insurance company that covered congenital, hereditary and chronic conditions as they are susceptible to conditions such as cancer, heart disease and hip dysplasia. (Low and behold, my third Boxer, Capone, was diagnosed with heart disease at age 6 — good thing I did my research).
Like most people I used Google to do my research. Back in 2009, there weren’t as many pet insurance companies as there are now in 2016. I called the first three companies that showed up in my search. The first two companies only had recordings asking me to leave my information and “someone” would get back to me. They required me to fill out an online quote application and their websites had minimal information about the pet health insurance coverage. The last company I called — and a genuine, kind and animal loving lady answered the phone. She didn’t only ask about my dog, she asked about me. We immediately bonded and I had the greatest feeling inside, not only was I doing something to protect my new dog’s health, I was protecting my financial future!
I signed up and was sent my policy packet within 24 hours. I was instantly relieved knowing my new dog would receive best veterinary care possible without any limitations. The personalized attention I received from PetFirst Pet Insurance and their entire staff is the best EVER! I always felt like I was there only client. I was never rushed on the phone, and was always asked if I understood everything before each call ended.
On one specific occasion, I called PetFirst and was hysterical on the phone. My dog had suffered a heart attack and was in the ICU. I didn’t have a claim form with me at the hospital, and wanted to make sure I would be able to submit one for this issue – because I knew it was going to be expensive.
I called from my car and Darci in customer service immediately answered the phone. Before she asked what was wrong with my dog, she talked me down from crying and asking “why, why, why did this happen to my furbaby.” She asked me to talk about the good times and funny things he does, and eventually made me laugh. After Darci and I went over why I was at the hospital, she offered to send the claim to the hospital directly. Not only did she do all of that for me, she gave me the contact information for PetFirst Claims Department — that was just the beginning of building a wonderful friendship with Vicky in Claims.
When searching for a pet insurance, don’t base it on just the price.
Research the breed of dog or cat, and call the company directly. The customer service you receive over the phone is often what you will receive throughout your entire time as a customer.
ABOUT THE BLOGGER
Danielle Salice is a pet lover, and Boxer dog aficionado— she has owned three boxers during her adult life (CarlySue, AbbySue and Capone). She also has a penchant for German Shepherds, which was her family’s breed of choice growing up. Danielle is active in the animal welfare industry and currently volunteers at Last Chance at Life, All Breed Rescue and Adoptions. Danielle became a PetFirst Pet Insurance policyholder in 2009 and has been a pet insurance advocate ever since.