We got Duke at 4 months of age. At around 1.5 years (before we had Petplan) he had lumps removed from his inner leg which the vet thought was a disease that could have aggressively spread if not removed. $1,000 later, we got Dukes biopsy results back and turns out they were just a form of follicular infection. Nothing to worry about.
The vet did in passing suggest Petplan for any future events that might occur as being a giant breed. We took this on board and set it up in the following week.
About 2 years later, Duke came into our bedroom early in the morning, head down, and with very laboured breathing. We rushed to the ER vet clinic where he stayed for numerous tests and monitoring for the day. Two days later we returned back again where he stayed for further testing and an over night stay. The test results showed Duke had CDM and anywhere between 5-10 months to live.
If we did not have pet insurance I'm not sure what we would have done. We would have found the money somehow but it definitely would have been stressful. When his medication was averaging $8-10 per day!! Not to mention the vet costs alone.
Unfortunately, we lost Duke late Jan this year, 8 months since diagnosis. Up until his last few days Duke was happy and was able to live a normal life. While the last few days of his life were hard, and have been since his passing, we are so grateful to have had that extra time with him and not be stressed ourselves.