January 12, 2006
Thank you to diligent blog reader, Kristi, for helping me correct something I said about VPI that wasn't true. I originally thought that VPI reset the pre-existing conditions every year at policy renewal but it turns out that this is wrong.
According to VPI, the pre-existing conditions are set at the original policy effective date of coverage, which is great news. Having said that, you need to know the other half of the story about what VPI pay out for their claims.
VPI pay out their claims on a benefit schedule based on diagnosis, which means you get up to a specified amount for the items on the list. For example, if your dog gets diabetes, according to the Superior Plan Benefit Schedule, you would get a maximum of $568 towards that illness and then zero after that. So, while diabetes won't become a pre-existing condition at renewal, you won't get more than $568 in total over the life of the pet for diabetes (I'm all ears if I'm wrong on this VPI.) So, you don't get covered for the life of the pet, you get covered for as long as the benefit schedule lasts, which doesn't look like it would be for very long at all for chronic conditions.
I learn something new every day - and just when I thought I knew pet insurance!
BTW, their exact words in answer to my question were:
Thank you very much for contacting Veterinary Pet Insurance. Unfortunately, the pre-existing conditions on a policy are based on the original policy effective date of coverage. We apologize for any confusion you may have experienced.
This is an odd response - it's very good news that the pre-existing conditions are only set at the start of the policy, not every year, so I'm not sure why the word "unfortunately" is in the answer. A case of scripted answers to email questions gone awry, I suppose?
I did just try to call VPI to confirm that by "original policy effective date of coverage", they mean the first day the policy was taken out, not every renewal, but the wait was too long and when I selected the option to leave a voice mail for someone to call me back, the voice mail box was full - tut tut guys! You are losing business when small details like that go unnoticed.