noun: assurance; plural noun: assurances
1. a positive declaration intended to give confidence; ; a positive pledge; a promise.
"he gave an assurance that work would not recommence until Wednesday"
synonyms: word of honor, word, promise, pledge, vow, avowal, oath, bond, undertaking, guarantee, commitment
"you have my assurance"
2. confidence or certainty in one's own abilities.
"she drove with assurance"
synonyms: self-confidence, confidence, self-assurance, self-possession, nerve, poise, aplomb, levelheadedness;
What is 'Assurance'
Assurance covers against an eventuality that (sooner or later) must occur; death of the person covered under a life insurance policy being the most common one.
Assurance refers to financial coverage that provides remuneration for an event that is certain to happen. Assurance is similar to insurance, with the terms often used interchangeably. Insurance refers to coverage over a limited time, whereas assurance applies to coverage for extended periods or until death.
In the Service Dog world, Assurance is there to give you the confidence that you will always have a service dog with only minimal gaps in between. Service Dog training is expensive and time consuming and our dogs rarely have more then 7 or 8 service years in them. The Service Dog Assurance Program provides the funds needed to replace your current service dog due to injury, retirement or wash out.
With more and more service dogs being owner trained or trained with a trainer or small facility, the need for the assurance of the next dog isn't there. Even many of the larger service dog programs don't guarantee a replacement service dog and if they do, that 2 to 4 year waiting list still applies.
How the program works
The program is very simple. You pay a monthly donation to your own assurance account. That amount may change depending on the age of your current service dog. And like insurance, the amount you pay is multiplied many times to cover the actual costs of a new fully trained service dog.
When your current service dog retires, doesn't do well enough for certification and washes out, is injured past being able to function as a service dog, or crosses the rainbow bridge; the monies you have paid into your assurance program are turned around and a new dog is trained or retrained for your specific needs in a much shorter time period then your large programs.
Just like insurance, the age and health of your current service dog will affect your monthly/quarterly/yearly payment into your assurance account. The older the dog, the more training will be needed for the replacement dog in a much shorter time period.
From 8 weeks to 6 months - $10 per month, $30 per quarter or $120 per year.
From 6 months to 18 months - $15 per month, $45 per quarter or $180 per year.
From 18 months until replacement - $20 per month, $60 per quarter or $240 per year.
Simple, but not all of us start the assurance program with a puppy. The costs for starting a dog at an older age are the same as if you started as a puppy + $5 per month for each level.
First 4 months of training - $15 per month, $45 per quarter or $180 per year.
Next 12+ months of training - $20 per month, $60 per quarter or $240 per year.
Once certified - $25 per month, $75 per quarter, or $300 per year
The following is based on the age of the current service dog when you start paying into your assurance program. Not the age of your current service dog when it began training
Age from 3 to 5 years - $25 per month, $75 per quarter, or $300 per year
Age from 5 to 7 years - $35 per month, $105 per quarter, or $420 per year
Age 7+ years - $45 per month, $135 per quarter, or $540 per year
When it's time for your current service dog to be replace with the next one, the payout happens. Payout is never more then $10,000 as that is what we charge for a service dog. I know there are many programs and trainers out there that charge a lot more, but we feel those prices are unneccessary and exorbitant.
There are several different ways for payout to happen.
1. You select a dog and you decide how the training happens. The Assurance program will reimburse you for time and costs with adequate proof of training. This proof would be in the form of videos of tests being passed with a trainer of our choice doing the test, videos of training with or without a trainer, logs being kept either in written form or through our online training logs, and a final video of the Public Access Test with a trainer of our choice in your area. Payout would happen at the time of each of the 4 tests being passed (CGC, CGCA, CGCU and Public Access per ADI).
2. You select a dog and use one of our approved trainers in your area. The trainer will submit logs and video of the training, video of all tests passed including the Public Access Test and an invoice for reimbursement. Payout would happen at the time of each of the 4 tests being passed (CGC, CGCA, CGCU and Public Access per ADI).
3. You select one of our dogs and come stay here and do group classes and private lessons with us. We have many alliance members who are willing to have guests during the training here in Tucson. The payouts would be to the trainers here in our two facilities.
4. You select one of our fully trained service dogs, come for a 3 week training camp with your selected dog. Payout would be to the trainers who trained the selected dog and who work with you during your 3 week training.