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mark99

Insurance for Dog

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Very difficult. Our experience is that they all start off with low premiums, and ramp them up at every opportunity.

 

Petplan have a good reputation but they seem to start with high premiums, and ramp them up a bit less.

 

I would never use one underwritten by Royal Sun Alliance again, (they seem to underwrite many of the big reputable names, like Marks and Spencer’s etc.. ).

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6 minutes ago, mark99 said:

Anyone recommend a decent insurer for our new dog?

 

 

We have had a good deal last year and again last month with the insurance emporium, York. Very good cover at a very good price. We got a further 80 quid off for paying in one go rather than monthly. They tried hiking it fifty percent this second year but one fone call with no groveling and they dropped back to not  much more than last year.

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2 minutes ago, mrsmelly said:

We have had a good deal last year and again last month with the insurance emporium, York. Very good cover at a very good price. We got a further 80 quid off for paying in one go rather than monthly. They tried hiking it fifty percent this second year but one fone call with no groveling and they dropped back to not  much more than last year.

Yes, we've got the Emporium Bronze deal - we pay £12.01 per month for our GSD. They tried hiking the price with us too. We've never had to make a claim (thank goodness) so can't say how good they'd be if they had to pay out.

 

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48 minutes ago, cuthound said:

Seconded. 

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May I offer an alternative?  Self-insurance, in effect.

 

why not set up a savings account and  Save the amount (or more) you could pay into an insurance company.  If you have a spare amount, seed the account with an initial sum would be even better.

 

The reason of course that insurance companies offer lower premiums when the dog is young is that it is less likely you will need to claim. Hopefully, you will not need the money for while (or possibly ever) and build up a good sum over time.

 

It does mean that you are the one bearing the risk if that is an issue either by affordability or peace of mind then such a method may not be the best way for you.

Edited by churchward
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A difficult topic.


The insurances vary enormously, as I'm sure you have found out.  Not just how much maximum payout, but will you still be covered to the same degree after a claim has been made.

Our Labrador Odin is probably quite an unusual case, but he became critically ill before reaching 2 years old, and was eventually taken to the Royal Veterinary College Hospital, who declared his chances of survival as very poor, but were prepared to try treating him.

The policy we had for him covered most costs up to £8,000 - a great deal more than many policies do, (note the policy details above show £2,000 maximum, for example).  The eventual bill after several operations, a huge number of transfusions in what was effectively 2 weeks in "intensive care for dogs" was more like £16,000.  The insurers paid out their £8,000 without quibble - we had to find the same again.

It may seem easy to say "I'd pull the plug on it before it got to that stage", but when the insurance has covered the most risky bit to get back to a high chance of survival, I don't think I could then euthanase a recovering much loved dog, because from that point I had to pay for the treatment.  (The final £3,000-ish actually came from a complication we had not expected, meaning a final bill could never have been predicted).

Of course he was not yet 2 years when this happened - he is now over 6 years, so it goes without saying that maintaining that level of cover each year is now very expensive.

Is it worth it?  Only the owner can decide how much a dog means to them.  Suffice it to say that when we "inherited" my wife's mothers dog when she died very suddenly, we elected to put him under a similar level of cover.  He is now 7 years, and it is inevitable both will get more expensive every year as they age further - not unreasonable really - elderly dogs are more likely to need extensive treatments or long term medications.

If it is of interest, our insurer was (and remains) MoreThan, who were superb and hassle free at the time of the claim, (despite it being underwritten by Royal Sun and Alliance, that someone has singled out to avoid).

However they are no better than anybody else at not ramping up premiums, and not particularly generous any more with offering a loyalty discount if I challenge a renewal price.  It is always the case I think that you can take your business elsewhere, and find an introductory discount that will look very good compared to a renewal with an existing insurer.  However you are likely to find that the new insurer will insist on a couple f weeks before cover commences, and will not cover re-existing conditions, so there are plenty of potential pitfalls if you do change on a frequent basis.  It s really not like cars, houses or boats, unfortunately, and ultimately a pet can mean more to you than any of those things.
 

Edited by alan_fincher
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I am insured with Animal friends, £13 a month for chocolate labrador. Pays £4000 per condition up to £10,000 in any 12 month period. £99 excess. 

Diagnosed with a womb infection Thursday 6th December and had operation same day . £952 Paid directly to vets with no problems.

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I can't remember the insurance company we used, but we found that each time we renewed they excludes anything we had claimed for previously. This included when he had a cyst removed he was no longer insured for any lumps and bumps including cancer.

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1 hour ago, alan_fincher said:

If it is of interest, our insurer was (and remains) MoreThan, who were superb and hassle free at the time of the claim, (despite it being underwritten by Royal Sun and Alliance, that someone has singled out to avoid).

One of our Yorkies had over £6k of operations before she was 18 months old and just as you experienced More Than paid out promptly and with no hassle.  But... the renewal premiums were getting silly, despite her no longer being covered for the same complaint. When the premiums exceeded £125/month we decided to look elsewhere and that’s when we found Bought By Many who were happy to cover existing conditions and whose premiums were 50% of the More Than cost. 

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We have Petplan and they have paid out on every claim, and there have been many (lurcher). When we had to get emergency hospital treatment on a Sunday they paid out without question. The premium is expensive and goes up every year, as does the excess (now £130). My biggest concern is the limit of £4000 payout in any year, though they do do not exclude long term problems like many do.

 

With hindsight (having now owned? a lurcher for 8 years) it would have been better to pay the premium into a bank account each year and so do"self insurance" but we did get a huge bill when dog was only 9 months old which made insurance feel good at the time.

 

..............Dave

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1 hour ago, sueb said:

I can't remember the insurance company we used, but we found that each time we renewed they excludes anything we had claimed for previously. This included when he had a cyst removed he was no longer insured for any lumps and bumps including cancer.

You have to pay for lifetime cover to avoid this type of thing. However, in march, when Alfie was in his 12th year, and they decided to ramp the premium up to £2500 for £7500 of cover, where we pay the first £70 and the next 20%, we decided to self insure.

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Just food for thought.

 

When our Rusty was about 4 months old he picked up Parvo from puppy training classes. We lived in Spain at the time, and pet insurance there isn't the norm as it is here. Hardly anyone pays for pet insurance there, rather like we were a couple of decades ago.

 

Rusty was in intensive care for 8 days at the vet's hospital with day and night care, he almost died. He was on a saline drip, with loads of medication, and had ultrasound exams on his tum. We thought we'd have to remortgage to pay for his care. We couldn't believe the bill, it was under 500 euros. 

 

My suspicion is that the insurance companies have ratcheted up costs, to the point that we now need the insurance pet cover.

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Can you not insure the animal as a person? Then the claims could be very substantial. I can get whole life insurance cheaper for the wife than for a dog.

 

I always consider whether insurance is ever worth it.

Bearing in mind the government insure nothing, they consider that the amounts to pay in premiums are in excess of the probable damage.

I would only insure vehicles for 3rd party except that for some strange reason fully comp is cheaper than 3rd party now.

 

Its always a tear jerker when a loved pet is ill. Do you pay out massive amounts to prolong its life or replace? Difficult.

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Wise words from Alan/Sam, I'll self insure most things but not flesh n blood.

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11 hours ago, Richard10002 said:

 

I would never use one underwritten by Royal Sun Alliance again, (they seem to underwrite many of the big reputable names, like Marks and Spencer’s etc.. ).

Any reason for that?

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We have a rescue lurcher, been with use nearly two years and is now just over eight in age. Rightly or wrongly we had a quick look at the pet insurance plans and decided not to bother. 

 

Everyone is different, but we are both still in work but have voved to hold back an amount for if there is a 'rainy day' be that urgent uninsured car/house or vets bills. Obviously to an extent it's a lottery as to if he gets ill, and hopefully it won't happen the same time one of our cars conks out, and when paying cash rather than making a claim you would maybe think slightly longer if it's a for check for X or a uncertainty of Y, but we shall see. 

 

 

Daniel

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9 hours ago, sueb said:

I can't remember the insurance company we used, but we found that each time we renewed they excludes anything we had claimed for previously. This included when he had a cyst removed he was no longer insured for any lumps and bumps including cancer.

Hmm, I now opt for self insure because for a number of years our cocker Maisie had a small lump on her belly. I was not concerned because a lifetime of dog ownership and also a fostered for a number  of years had assured me that dogs can and do get little lumps that never amount to anything.

This lump had been noted by our vet and just cautioned to keep an eye on it. Go forward 4 or 5 years and the lump began to grow and  vet advised it MAY be a mammary tumour, removal took place and yes it did prove to be malignant. Cost was about 1k.

Animal Friends refused to pay out because we didn't have the lump removed when first noticed. 

I appealed on the basis that the OP would have been the same irrespective of when it took place and it is foolish to operate on a dog for every little lump or bump that occurred because most of the time nothing untoward is going on 

Animal Friends refused to pay out, so we cancelled policies on all our dogs and now set aside a sum each month for dog care 

Phil

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11 hours ago, churchward said:

May I offer an alternative?  Self-insurance, in effect.

 

why not set up a savings account and  Save the amount (or more) you could pay into an insurance company.  If you have a spare amount, seed the account with an initial sum would be even better.

 

The reason of course that insurance companies offer lower premiums when the dog is young is that it is less likely you will need to claim. Hopefully, you will not need the money for while (or possibly ever) and build up a good sum over time.

 

It does mean that you are the one bearing the risk if that is an issue either by affordability or peace of mind then such a method may not be the best way for you.

 

Before we has our current dog, Zeus, a rescue GSD who had not been socialised, I self insured all  of my dogs. Never had a claim of greater than £1000, but most were mongrels.

 

However some breeds (GSD's in particular) are prone to numerous illnesses/hereditary conditions which can be very expensive to treat. That coupled with my fear that (especially in the early days of owning him) that he might savage another dog if he got free, tipped me towards insurance.

 

Bought by Many used to sell discounted insurance by other companies, typically More Than and John Lewis. However in the last couple of years they sell their own branded insurance, mainly because More Than racked up their prices and introduced a clause whereby they could chose the vet, which may not be your own or indeed even that local. 

 

Personally I would research the breed and potentiL cost of treating its likely health problemd before deciding whether it not to self insure.

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In the unfortunate event of your dog having a chunk out of another, would your house insurance not cover you? Oh, rats, no house, no insurance! 

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We shop around every year with meercats site, next year it will be self insure as Taff is 9 and cover is both rubbish and expensive. Its really sad that loyalty is rewarded by huge hikes as Mrselly found out [we were with the same company]!

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We have a Family friend who recommended we use Animal Friends, he says the always pay out noproblems even for old dogs.

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As with anything like this... Its a gamble in a way (the insurers seem to always win)... One thing to bear in mind that some insurances give public protection insurance for your dog which could be important to some. Personally, I've given up with paying it after due consideration of present circumstances. 

 

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5 minutes ago, Clodi said:

We have a Family friend who recommended we use Animal Friends, he says the always pay out noproblems even for old dogs.

We insured both our cats with Animal Friends. This year it was discovered that one of them has hypercalcaemia - the vet decided to investigate as the cat had lost a little bit of weight two years in a row. Animal Friends decided it was a pre existing condition and refused our claim. The other cat has only ever had dental treatment, which isn't covered by insurance.Insurance cancelled, we now have monthly standing orders into our saving accounts. 

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