There is an interesting post at Consumerist.com (one of my fave daily reads) about pet insurance (particularly a company called VPI) and whether it's a rip-off or not. I had been thinking about whether I would try such a thing with future dogs (my current dogs are old enough that the premiums would be exorbitant), but now after the article, and especially the comments, I'm thinking maybe not. It seems like people are very unhappy with the rates of reimbursement they get from pet insurance.
Currently we are on a plan at our vet that completely covers certain routine vaccinations, diagnostics and teeth cleanings and gives us a discount on most other things. It's worked out well for us, but if we were to need a specialty vet for rehab or a serious illness, that would all be out-of-pocket. (Currently I supplement their regular vet care with chriopractic, which has fortunately been affordable so far.) So I was very interested in one of the ideas that came up a few times of "self-insuring," that is putting aside a monthly amount to cover catastrophic costs. That amount could be earning interest until one needs it, which is one advantage over giving the money to an insurance company that seems reluctant to pay it back out, if the anecdotes at Consumerist are any indication.
I'd be interested to hear from anyone (other than a pet-insurance-industry flack) who's had a good experience with pet insurance.