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Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI) / Read the fine print in their policy!

1 United States Review updated:

I have filed 3 different claims with VPI Pet Insurance only to have all 3 of them denied because of exclusions in their policy. Read the fine print in their policy, there are A LOT of exclusions. Their customer service is worthless. When I called to complain about their lack of coverage, they offered no means to try and give me straight answers. Basically, they're looking for excuses to keep from paying on ANY claims.

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  • Pe
      19th of Sep, 2007
    +1 Votes

    Thanks for your comment. I'll take the easy way on and start the lawsuit next week. I've been paying over ten years and what I've submitted is minuscule. My dog is dead over a year now and have filed a claim for that and they send me back $129. instead of $540. for that time period!!! Do you happen to know where i can find out the officers of the VPI company names? They are not a public company I'm guessing.

  • St
      23rd of Sep, 2007
    0 Votes

    I couldn't agree more. My dog broke her knee and required two surgeries costing over $4,000. VPI will only reimbursed approximately $800 looking for any excuse not to pay. VPI is the lowest rated pet insurance on "Pet Insurance Review" I wish I had known before spending all that money on VPI insurance, what a waste.

  • De
      2nd of Oct, 2007
    +1 Votes

    Totally agree. Policy eff date is 5/07, on Aug 7,07 my dog was diagnosed with Addison’s disease. I submitted 6 claims to them spanning from 6/07 - 8/07. They denied all of them 2X's($2700). First b/c they wanted medical records, which they should have asked for prior to accepting my policy. Then they claimed that the medical records indicate that in 4/07 my dog "may have had” a pre-existing condition of Hepatitis therefore all claims for Addison's are excluded. According to them Addison's can result from Hepatitis. News Flash... My Dog NEVER did not have, nor does he NOW have HEPATITIS. His liver enzymes were slightly elevated b/c he was fighting off an ear infection, WHICH WAS DISCLOSED TO THEM. They changed my vet's diagnosis from Addison’s to Hepatitis. Every time I call customer service they are unhelpful, aggressive and down right nasty! I'm cancelling my policy b/c the next time I send them a claim they'll find a way of linking it to Hepatitis just so they don't have to pay the claim. Tell me, if my dog breaks his leg, did he have a pre-existing condition of playing that caused the leg to break??? I'm sorry I ever wasted the time.

  • Di
      3rd of Dec, 2007
    +1 Votes

    We have been waiting 3 months for anything to even look like a check. They keep making excuses, while my 3 dogs have to have follow ups and treatment that keeps coming out of our pocket. Our 1st claim, we were told, was being investigated because it happened near the beginning of our policy. My dog has blood in her urine on cue? First time it ever happened, but we are being investigated. Another joke is they claimed not to be able to read the price and the code the vet sent in and yet on the denial form they state The price and the code being denied. between premiums and vet costs we're out close to $3000.00 It seems they are a scam company, and will be dealt with as such. I am a pitbull and will not let go till they settle or are convicted of fraud.

    From the Attorney General's office to the SEC, from the newsrooms and onto every pet blog their story will be exposed.
    It's not so much the money at this point, they are playing with the health of my puppies, and NO ONE plays with the health of my puppies.


  • Sp
      20th of Dec, 2007
    +1 Votes

    I too have recently gone through a similar VPI debacle with my pug.

    "Curly" who is 13 was diagnosed with a collapsing trachea in 2001. I have been advised that this condition is not life threatening. However, in June of this year Curly became gravely ill with a respiratory infection and the resulting veterinary bills topped $3,000. On top of that, there is ongoing medication for chronic bronchitis that costs me over $100 per month.

    I have had Curly insured for a number of years and VPI rejected the initial claim as well as my appeal. Among the vets I took her too was one Dr. Philip Padrid of Chicago who is a world renowned respiratory expert. His considered opinion was possible aspirational pneumonia. Whatever the case, the anti biotics he prescribed promptly solved the problem. Two additional...though not as serious...flare-ups occurred in August and October. Again, both of these exacerbations were cleared with Dr. Padrid's prescribed anti-biotics. I am happy to report that Curly is just fine at this writing.

    VPI contends Curly's problems are related to the collapsing trachea which in turn they consider congenital and therefore not covered. I contend that any dog can have pneumonia/respiratory infections and therefore it is the insurance company's dereliction of contract to reject coverage. The proof of infection lies in the fact that the appropriate antibiotics resolved each occurrence.

    I have documentation for each step of this process but in exasperation I gave up further pursuit. At this time. Does anybody know any reasonable lawyers who would handle a lawsuit over this?

  • Co
      18th of Mar, 2008
    +1 Votes

    My dog was diagnosed with a Peripheral nerve sheath tumor and to date I have paid almost $3000 out of pocket (and he is not done with treatment yet!) The insurance paid me a total of $350. They said my dog doesnt have a malignant tumor so that is all I am intitled to. The thing is, it is malignant in the form that the return rate is almost a guarantee that it will be back. The part that is not malignant is the fact that is has a low rate of spreading to another part of his body. I enrolled in the insurance as soon as I got him and he is now5 years old. So I have paid over $2000 for the insurance and I am so pissed I dont know what else to do. Even the vet has called them to tell them how important all his treatment is to him and that they dont really have the diagnose proper. The insurance is just saying he had a large mass.

    The only advice I would give to anyone looking to enroll in any pet insurance is to open a savings account instead!! If I would have done that, then I would only be out of pocket around $1000 instead of $5000. (the insurance cost + the vet bill) Just put the same amount that it would cost you for the insurance on a monthly basis into the account. Plus the money in the account will gain some interest.

  • Ch
      10th of Jun, 2008
    +1 Votes

    My chihuahua had to have two hips done total cost 5, 000. They paid for the first hip. The doctor submitted the second leg and they told me that it was not covered because it was not trauma related and that it was a mistake that they paid some for the first hip. I asked what was considered trauma related and they said if the dog was attacked by another dog or it was hit by a car that they would pay. My dog was running and playing and broke the hip that was not a trauma...I cancelled my policy which did not say anything about trauma when I looked up the procedure...Policy said it would pay...

  • Ca
      15th of Jul, 2008
    +1 Votes

    VPI is a scam company. I agree that you are better off putting money away in a savings account. My dog was diagnosed with an auto immune disorder and they tried to tell us we were committing fruad. After sending them all the the paperwork they requested and waiting 3 months, after spending $4000 we received $1500. I sent a complaint prior to the refund to the BBB and you can imagine VPI's annoyance with that! We can make no more claims because this is now a "pre-existing" condition and they pay once and that's it. Not worth it.

  • Ni
      12th of Oct, 2008
    +1 Votes

    Agreed, I never had a major thing with my dogs, but I've insured them with VPI for some time now and they have promptly (within 2 weeks of filing) paid. I have the lowest possible insurance and so far I have been happy.

  • Bl
      5th of Jan, 2009
    +1 Votes

    I wish I had found this three years ago. VPI has been ripping me off and now I think I have proof. My dog was diagnosed with a plasma cell tumor (cancerous) in his mouth. After $2200 worth of tests and $3200 in surgery, he is cured but VPI only paid me about $1800. When I called, twice, to contest the reimbursement, I got the same run around and no good explanation for what they paid and why. In one case, I was veiwing the total eligible amount from their web site, I was logged into my account, and told them what I was seeing was not what they were supposed to reimburse. She said fax it to me and then called me back and said those numbers (from the Web site) were wrong. I am in process of adding it up and I would like to take action against them. If anyone has an ideas on what to do, please email me. thank you.

  • Mo
      24th of Feb, 2009
    +1 Votes

    Please post your complaints to the Better Business Bureau. I have been having many issues with VPI (after 3 years of a good experience) and am now realizing how terrible their customer service is when something does happen. When I went to the Better Business Bureau to complain, I was really surprised to see an A+ rating - especially reading about people's bad experiences elsewhere on the internet. The BBB explained that the A+ rating is because they have not received any complaints so please, while posting here is helpful for people who are considering purchasing policies from the company, it does not actually force the company to change anything. the Better Business Bureau is an organization that actually has the ability to pressure a company into improving because it is well recognized and while it can't force a company to do anything, a bad BBB rating is terrible for any company and most companies are desperate to avoid a bad BBB rating so they will actually care and try to change things if you complain to the BBB whereas they don't care how many complaints are on sites like this.

  • Co
      6th of Apr, 2009
    +1 Votes

    I used to work there, ask to speak to General Counsel, Phil Grevin, Esq., they are a low-life company that uses the company's profits to give "raises to all the Officers of the company" for no reason, and the Board of Directors approves it! Just like AIG in the news. Call the 800 number and ask to speak with Phil Grevin, then ask specifically for "Dennis" CEO the last resort is to file a small claims action, they have plenty coming in and almost always loses.

  • Te
      12th of Aug, 2009
    +1 Votes

    Readingthe fine print won't help - stay away from this company. They're worthless, bordering on fraud. We had policies for three years on two dogs and two cats, and never filed a claim. When our Flat Coated Retriever got cancer, they paid less than $500 of an more than $10, 000 bill. They interpret their exclsions so they cover nothing. And the amount of what they do say they cover doesn't come close to 80% of what it actually costs. And, as others have pointed out, their customer servie is horrendous. Save your money and heartache - don't do business with this company.

  • Ca
      6th of Oct, 2009
    +1 Votes

    this is our experience with VPI
    we lost a 5 year old doberman of congestive heart failure.
    I wanted to insure our new doberman puppy.
    I got the insurance through VPI.
    at 11 months old, my pup got sick.
    we had just moved to a new city and this was a friday night.
    she could not keep food or water down.
    we were concerned about bloat, about her ingesting a neighbors moth ball in her garden, but we had no idea what was causing her to to keep throwing up everything she ate or drank.
    we took her to an emergency clinic since we had no vet in this new city yet and it was friday.
    she spent 3 days at the emergency clinic getting hydrated and they were trying to rule out they did a lot of wait and see tests.
    turned out to be gastroenteritis and the cure was a stomach calming medicine. and that's all they would pay for. I was so relieved that we had insurance for my dog and when I submitted the $2, 000 emergency room bill, all they paid was a small fraction of the bill that pertained to her upset stomach and they paid for none of the tests that ruled out something serious and life threatening. I protested often and they refused to reconsider my claim. so pet health insurance doesnt' work the way human health insurance works and I would never recommend VPI to anyone.

  • Ja
      7th of Oct, 2009
    +1 Votes

    VPI is a scam. They deny everything. Why do they even offer a ferret policy?? I was shocked to submit a bill for my pet's surgery and then have VPI up and say adrenal tumors aren't covered. How convenient for them. I'd like to know what IS covered.

  • Si
      26th of Oct, 2009
    +1 Votes

    My 11 year old Shih-Tzu just died on Sept. 2nd from Cancer. I''ve had the cancer policy for almost 10years. They told me in order for the cancer endorsement to kick in I had to prove to them Gabby had cancer. They wouldn't take the word of 2 drs. and and oncologist and the xrays. They said I had to have diffinite lab results from the cancer. So I had to have my vet open her up after she passed, take cultures, and send them in to the lab for the results. Now they wont pay what they said they would AND they wont pay for the lab work or the autopsy. They said my dog was dead when they did it and therefore the policy was cancelled.
    My God they wanted me to put my little sweet dog thru that while she was still alive? That the hell is wrong with these people?
    i want to sue their butts. Anyone know of a good pro bono attorney that will help me?
    Thanks I miss my little girl so much...

  • Lo
      29th of Oct, 2009
    +1 Votes

    Thanks everyone for your posts. They have helped me to stay away from this company. I just called VPI to ask them some questions about their different policies and exclusions before I signed up, and their answers sounded SOOOO fishy in terms of how they would determine whether something was a pre-existing condition or not. I said, in theory, you could decide ANYTHING was a pre-existing condition, right? They went round in circles and I hung up. I am NOT going to waste my money on these scammers!

  • Ci
      6th of Jan, 2010
    +2 Votes

    Everyone should also file a complaint with their state insurance department and ask them to investigate them for fraud. VPI has to be licensed by your state insurance department to conduct business in your state. Hope this helps.

  • Di
      22nd of Jan, 2010
    +1 Votes

    I wish I had known about the experiences others were having with VPI before I took a policy with them almost ten years ago for my dog. I insured my Labrador with them when she was two years old. I got the Superior Plan and added the cancer coverage rider because my goal was to insure against catastrophic incidences. For nine years, my dog was never sick, so I never had any claims to file, but last year, my dog who is now twelve years old, became sick with severe diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, liver enzymes were elevated and then four months later, gross swelling in one of her legs that had a bleeding abscess. Long story short: I filed the first claim in the amount of $590 and I received a check for $94.50.! I was livid. I contacted the company and they reprocessed the claim and sent me an additional $223.20. That's where the somewhat positive experience ends. The last claim I filed was for the gross swelling in one of her legs that had a bleeding abscess which the doctor diagnosed as a deep infection that had abscessed. My total costs to treat this was $1, 065.10. The prescription medication alone was $500. I received a check from VPI for $302.40 - 28% of what I had to spend. My dog's leg is fine now, but dealing with VPI and their ineffective customer service has left a bad taste in my mouth. I paid my premiums every month for nine years and I get reimbursed 28% of my expenses! What a scam! If I had put all of the money I've paid in premiums to VPI into a savings account, I would have been able to cover the cost of these claims and still have a couple of thousand dollars left. When you read the impressive testimonials on their website you would believe that for most claims you would received upwards of 73% reimbursement. The reality is, those testimonials probably represent a very, very small percentage of the types of claims that VPI actually receives. For the types of claims they typically receive, the benefit allowances are a mere pittance. I have told VPI that I believe they are defrauding their policyholders and if I can find a lawyer to file a class action against I will do it.

  • Sa
      24th of Jan, 2010
    0 Votes

    VPI is not worth the premiums. They engage in false advertising by claiming they seek to help end "econonomic euthanasia" if you can afford these premiums, you can afford to care for your pet without insurance. It borders on being a scam. If you want to send VPI a message, don't give any business to Nationwide Insurance, Nationwide Mutual or any affiliated companies. Pet insurance is predatory.

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