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Pet Insurance

(39 Posts)
JeeanieYuss Wed 23-Jan-13 22:34:25

Okay, so I know this isn't the right place so yes Iabu, but I need your help and I know there are a lot of dog lovers on MN.

So, I have a 7 month old Collie X boy, who I love dearly, I am currently looking to get lifetime insurance for him and I am just so confused by all the different policies, types, what it actually covers etc.. And obviously the most important thing (well in my eyes), who pays out easiest and fulfills there end of the bargain confused

I did do a search but the last pet insurance threads were from back in 2006, so again I'm sorry, but I know there is more traffic here and I want to get it sorted a.s.a.p as I've kept putting it off and putting it off again, I am the eternal procrastinator!!

So please 'Oh wise ones of MN' share your wisdom grin

JeeanieYuss Wed 23-Jan-13 22:35:30

Apologies for the over use of 'so' !

JeeanieYuss Wed 23-Jan-13 23:03:26

Anybody........... ?

Naysa Wed 23-Jan-13 23:06:39

Definitly speak to your vet re who pays out best. Some vets won't work with some insurers as they don't pay out.

Best thing is to ask your vet then check comparison sites.

Have a look on Horse and Hound forums under All About Dogs. They're great with stuff like this grin

kimberlina Wed 23-Jan-13 23:09:03

Petplan are undoubtably the best imo

LadyBeagleEyes Wed 23-Jan-13 23:10:49

I've got my cats insured but I didn't when I got my dog 2 years later.
I think because the cats are always out and about, and my dog is always with me, and I tend to worry about cars.
But yes, I know I should get my Alf insured, though please look at the small print, pet insurance is notorious for the 'exemption clause'.

HousewifeFromHeaven Wed 23-Jan-13 23:13:34

I use pet plan cover for £33.00 a month. She's a pug. I know it's expensive but IMO you get what you pay for and I've never had any trouble claiming (ok so only once!)

She's covered £7000 per year, and it's a life cover policy. I did look at others but felt more comfy with a specialist pet insurer.

No doubt ill get flamed for using them but I'm happy and would recommend smile

Ginshizz Wed 23-Jan-13 23:15:20

My dog is insured with the kennel club and my cat is insured with direct line; they have both been great. We went for the stupidly expensive option on both to get lifetime cover for ongoing illnesses rather than standard cover which only covers treatment for any one condition for a year.

Good thing too as GinCat has just been diagnosed with hyperthyroidism shock

Good luck!

HollyBerryBush Wed 23-Jan-13 23:16:13

Petplan all the way.

be careful though - they do several types of policy, I took out a life policy (so its more expensive) but the other policies were yearly renewable thus a condition wouldnt be convered after 12 months.

I do realise the liklihood of me using it is the cost of a cruise round the world, but she's worth it!

Lonecatwithkitten Wed 23-Jan-13 23:22:12

Avoid any company that uses E and L in it's title they have several guises, but us vets know them as evil and lying.
In all honesty you get what you pay for with pet insurance the easiest company to deal with is Pet Plan.

rosieposey Wed 23-Jan-13 23:24:19

I probably would advise you to use pet plan like me but that's because our vets only take the excess off me and then deal with the insurance company directly - as it would be hundreds and we rarely have that up front - they will only do this with pet plan as they say they never have any problems with them paying out. It's probably a Swizz though and pet plan make it worth the vets while iyswim?

Additionally I would buy lifetime cover because some conditions can cost a fortune to treat over a lifetime and a lot of policies only pay out for up to a year. If you have a credit card with a decent limit then you could go for a lifetime policy with another insurer which will probably cost half of what pet plan do though, read the small print!

catloony Wed 23-Jan-13 23:28:46

If you go on the moneysaving expert website their is an article explaining the diferent types of policies.

There is about 3different types,

Accident,pays out an certain amount but runs out after a year, these are usually the cheapest ones.

Per condition, pays out a maximum per each condition, once maximum is reached then no more can be claimed.

Lifetime, pays out maximum, per condition per year, the amount is reset when renew each year, by far the best but obviously the most expensive.

There is comparison sites for pet insurance

JeeanieYuss Thu 24-Jan-13 00:13:21

Thanks everyone, I've been looking at Petplan as vet recommended them, their is just so much conflicting information out there!

I didn't mention in my OP that we have already had to take him to the vets, he made a dash for it on a main road when my OH was walking him, to say I was livid is an understatement, not because of the cost but at the sight of my gorgeous little pup ( barf , I know, I am super guilty of being overly soppy about him ! ) coming home covered in blood, whimpering..
He tripped my OH up as he made the dash for it and ended up getting his paw ran over, twice, the driver went over it and then reversed ( not on purpose )the vet said he was lucky that his bones are still growing/soft so that nothing was broken.. He was bandaged up and sent home and is well healed now thank god!!

This cost us £325 for the x-rays etc, so I am now kicking myself for keeping on putting off getting the insurance sorted, I kept saying after Xmas as we we're so skint before, so it is now top of my list to sort out.

And I also gave my OH a lecture on how to hold the lead a little bit better sad

I actually haven't trusted him to take him back out again, I doubt very much anything would happen again, but I'd rather it was in my hands than his!

JeeanieYuss Thu 24-Jan-13 00:21:44

Your quote per month
£20.26
67 pence per day
includes 10% online discount
Kipper's details X
Your Details
Kipper's cover
Policy Benefits...LevelsExcess
Veterinary Fees
£4000
£75
Complementary Treatment
£1000
£75
Third Party Liability
£2m
£250
Death from Illness
£1500 (Optional)
NA
Death from Injury
£1500 (Optional)
NA
Advertising & Reward
£1500
NA
Boarding Fees
£1500
NA
Theft or Straying
£1500
NA
Emergency Repatriation
£500
NA
Quarantine Expenses & Loss of Documents
£1500
NA
Holiday Cancellation
£1500
NA

JeeanieYuss Thu 24-Jan-13 00:23:23

That's with Petplan, quite a reasonable quote I think? But do the the other bits look okay?

By the way my dog isn't called Kipper really grin

JeeanieYuss Thu 24-Jan-13 00:27:49

This is for the classic for life for £4000 a year or I could choose the £22.19 plan (still classic plan) and be covered for £7000..

Would I need £7000?

Sorry for all the Q's ...

musicmadness Thu 24-Jan-13 02:22:38

You're unlikely to need £7000 a year unless your dog gets ill with something that requires constant medication. My dog is on medication that would be costing around £6000 a year total if not for his insurance (thankfully we had lifetime cover), but the vet said we were basically very unlucky that he fell ill with something that required such expensive treatment. For the vast majority of things £4000 will be fine.

Petplan are really good, they pay the vets directly so I only have to pay the excess and there has never been a problem with them (have been dealing with them regularly for almost 4 years now). I'd definitely recommend them smile

TheNebulousBoojum Thu 24-Jan-13 06:44:54

Petplan in my opinion too. Operations, medication and tests have all been paid out for with no problems.

Chopstheduck Thu 24-Jan-13 06:52:13

I don't have dogs, I had rabbits, but I was advised to get a lifetime policy rather than a yearly one. If your pet develops a reoccurring conditions (e.g. diabetes) a lifetime policy would continue to cover that, providing you renew it each year. A yearly policy wouldn't cover pre existing conditions, so if your dog develops something like diabetes, once you get the next policy it won't be covered.

dangly131 Thu 24-Jan-13 06:59:37

I have mine insured with co-operative, not sure if they do a lifetime cover or not. Mine is £11 per month and covers for £4000 in one year for illness/injury. My dog had to be treated least year which came to £500 and they paid up without any bother. My excess is £75 and my new premiums only went up by 50p after the claim.

Dawndonna Thu 24-Jan-13 07:22:10

Check out what sort of illnesses your dog is likely to get. We went for the £7000 because we knew ours were prone to ear and heart problems. So far, in the last year, he has had four operations and seen a specialist. We have spent, well the insurance has spent, almost 7,000!
Fortunately, his problems seem to have been cleared.

crashdoll Thu 24-Jan-13 07:54:10

I went with pet plan for my toy poodle pup upon the advice of my vet. Biggest mistake. As a new dog owner, I thought £33 a month wasn't that bad. 4 years later, he has a knee condition, so if I ever changed policies, it would be excluded as pre-existing condition and also, I pay £46 a month. They've been a right PITA too, taking months to send me a cheque for £2000 after my dog had a knee operation.

miggy Thu 24-Jan-13 08:05:56

Id pay the extra £2 and get 7000 cover, have regularly seen people exceeding insurance limits once dog is referred to a specialist centre.
Animal friends is a good payer, and they donate a lot to charity, might be worth a look.

TheCatIsEatingIt Thu 24-Jan-13 09:13:10

I'm with Animal Friends - the Cats' Protection League gave me a leaflet along with the cat. It seems like the same sort of cover as petplan but cheaper. I've never had to claim, though, touch wood.

HousewifeFromHeaven Thu 24-Jan-13 12:54:44

I have the £7000 because my dog is a pug, and although a long lived breed is prone to problems.

Lifeisontheup Thu 24-Jan-13 13:11:56

We were insured with Direct line and they've always paid out quickly. At our old vet they would send the bills to the insurance company who would then pay directly, we only had to pay the excess.
Our current vet, we have to pay and then take the form into them and they send it to the insurer with copies of the bills.

stickyg Thu 24-Jan-13 13:17:45

Please look out for some policies that arent a lifetime cover. I took out what i thought was a lifetime cover with bloody Petplan and i found out 2 days ago that apparantly it only covers an illness for 12 months ( what the hell use is that ?? ) and the 12 months was up on 23rd Jan sad

My dog has a condition called anal furucolosis which she will have for life and Petplan will no longer cover it so im left with paying out £49 a week for drugs for her plus precription charges.

I'll be changing her policy over the next day or so to a lifetime.

Good luck

I'm also with Animal Friends for my 15 year old cat. Hell of a lot cheaper than Petplan for a much better policy but to be fair I've never had to claim off either.

Butkin Thu 24-Jan-13 13:23:46

We've been with Tescos and they have been great. We've had a few sizeable claims with our Shiba - especially when he slipped his tendon and had to go to Cambridge Vet Hospital for an op (2,000-3,000 pounds). They have always paid out promptly with no fuss although the premiums have crept up.

We've always gone for insurance which included 3rd party liability in case he ran in front of a car etc as well.

HousewifeFromHeaven Thu 24-Jan-13 13:28:57

stick ouch - for you and your dog!

Bakingtins Thu 24-Jan-13 13:46:00

stick that doesn't make any sense - surely that's even more reason to choose lifetime cover and read the small print. I don't think Petplan do any policies that are not lifetime cover but there are a lot of companies trying to pinch a share of their good reputation. I'm a vet and have ever had any problems with Petplan - we're happy to claim direct from them, and I insure my own pets with them. They paid out £2000 for my cat to have a blood transfusion and intensive care at the university hospital, and pay out regularly for my elderly dog's meds.
See which companies your own vet won't direct claim from, that should give you an idea of who is likely to wriggle out of paying.
It prob doesn't apply to the OP but the absolute minimum cover you need for a dog is third party, which you can get very cheaply from Dogs Trust. You are legally liable for your dog's behaviour, the incident mentioned up thread where a dog ran into the road could cost you thousands if the driver claimed against you, never mind the vet bills...

charlearose Thu 24-Jan-13 13:56:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

stickyg Thu 24-Jan-13 14:20:15

Baking tins ... petplan definitely told me that its a policy that covers illness for 12 months ! They recently paid out on a claim for the anal furuculosis and have now written to me that as of 23rd Jan 2013 they will exclude this condition as my vet first noticed it that time last year. Prior to that, they have been fab and just pay my vet direct. The policy is in my husbands name so i need to wait to friday to get him to call to swap it for a lifetime policy incase of any other condition that may occur.

We have been well and truley caught out with this and its shit. We just need to pay the presription charges and get her atopica from viovet which will cost £49 a week.

Its going to be tough but she needs her meds so we will just have to cut back on other things to get them xx

Housewifefromheaven ....tell me about it !!!

Bakingtins Thu 24-Jan-13 14:59:11

They must have changed their tune very recently then, they've always only offered lifetime cover, I've dealt with them for 14 yrs on behalf of clients. Lifetime cover only is their USP! (goes off to check website and call Vetline)

stickyg Thu 24-Jan-13 15:19:34

baking tins ...after reading your post i went to check their website and they do 3 different policies and one of which is 12 months per illness, i took the policy our about 3 years ago so they must have done it for a while.

I assumed ( like an idiot ) that it was all lifetime they did and thats what i had...nope !

They have really pissed me off with this, my dog is only 8 so im hoping she has a few good years left but ill be skint ! xx

Bakingtins Thu 24-Jan-13 15:43:21

Sticky, I stand corrected, I checked the website and they do a "12 month essential" policy now. I guess they have given in to the competition from other companies. Caveat emptor, even with Petplan. Mental note not to accept ANY direct claims without seeing the policy documents.

stickyg Thu 24-Jan-13 16:45:40

Yep i would definitely check all your customers policies. I really wouldnt anyone to get caught out like we did.

The 12 months starts from when the vet first notices the condition. In our case, the vet noticed our dogs condition in jan 12 but said that it didnt need treatment just yet but would do in the future so they havent even paid out 12 months worth of fee's as my dog didnt need treatment until september 12.

Ah well, lesson learned for me ! xx

Get a lifetime policy with petplan. The £7000 policy will easily cover the vast majority of things. I'm a vet and my dog's covered with petplan, I don't know any vets who would even look at a different company - the others will try anything not to pay out and have loads of get-out clauses in the small print.

willyoulistentome Fri 25-Jan-13 10:09:16

Petplan were always great when I made claim for my horse. Never a quibble on a claim. HOWEVER, each time I have claimed for a conditon ( rather than an injury) , it was excluded from the policy on the next renewal. I have ended up not bothering with vets fees insurance for her as there is very little left I can claim for.

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