Pet Insurance(28 Posts)
Hoping some of you might be able to point me in the right direction regarding this, please.
We are going to be getting a puppy at some point in the near future, so currently researching options - getting a bit confuddled with all the options.
We have three cats also and am aware there are multi pet policies out there...
Any recommendations welcome
We use petplan - seems like a reliable product but it's not cheap.
Do most people go for the lifelong cover? Because from what I can see, the other options only cover one accident per year? (Possibly wrong there )
Can I ask roughly how much people are paying per month, please?
Lifelong cover is not a must but as a VN i always recommend it. It basically means conditons arent excluded the following poilcy year, there is a pot of money per condition per year, and each year the pot is refilled. Without lifelong cover, the pot isnt replaced the following year. (Just updated my petplan training, got that one from them!)
Personally I think it is worth the extra money, I have lifelong cover for all mine. Petplan are very good, pay out quickly and are very fair from what Ive seen. I dont work for them! Just research well and read the small print. Some may catch you out with paying not just your excess but also a percentage of the final bill. (Petplan do this to all policies once the animal turns ten.)
My dog is a crossbreed, and I pay around £25 a month. She is 11 months old. The cat is about £15 a month now, and she is seven.
There are a few we refuse to claim direct from at work, due to them not paying out often. Equine and Livestock is the one I can remember offhand, but will have to check and see what the others are!
£18 per month for a 4 year old Golden Retriever through John Lewis pet insurance. Life long cover here.
I have just had an example of why lifelong cover is so important. Little dog was a bit itchy last spring, this spring very itchy ripping itself to shreds investigations reveal allergies to house dust mites and storage mites requiring lifelong treatment.
Sadly owners had one year policy for which renewal was January it won't pay out the £600 for investigations this year and last years episode was below the excess level.
£36 per month for lifelong cover here - and that was one of the cheaper quotes ... We have a rare breed which seems to have forced up the price (despite his breed generally being very healthy and despite the fact that all his relatives have been extensively health checked and tested grrr)
I have used PetPlan for all of my pets and have never had any issues, ever!
I would recommend whole of life rather than just 12 month cover. I say this because if they get diagnosed with a life long condition or reoccurring conditions e.g. diabetes, cardiac problems, digestive issues, they will only be covered until that 11 month period runs out. Then they will be classed as excluded (can claim for anything but the long term illness).
Also PetPlan will contribute towards complementary therapies like hydrotherapy and acupuncture.
They are by no means the cheapest out there by INE with pet insurance you get what you pay for. Also, PetPlan's underwriters have vets and vns to refer to. They also have great relationships with most veterinary practices so issues are resolved much quicker.
Lastly, at the practice I work at, they really don't mind doing direct claims with PetPlan. In other words, you pay the excess, complete a form and the practice will claim the balance on your behalf. My practice will not do this with any other insurance company.
Hope this helps and congratulations on the pup!
I am with morethan and their customer service has been excellent.
I'm with M&S and pay £12 per month for lifelong cover. I'm expecting it to jump up this year as I have claimed twice on it unfortunately.
I would recommend lifelong cover purely for peace of mind. I have had a diabetic dog in the past and it was very expensive to keep her.
I have lifelong cover with my 2, from Direct Line.
I pay £55 per month for both, but our older dog has had a fair few claims.
All I would say, is when you get your pup they will probably come with 4 weeks free insurance. I didn't realise that policies have a 2 week exclusion period at the start, so started my new policy the same day as the free one ran out. I needed to claim for a cut paw on day 11 and wasn't covered, so be aware of that - apparently this is quite common.
Animal Friends Lifelong is £11.85/month for our 7yo terrier. Swapped to them from Sainsburys as so much cheaper than them and other options.
We have an ongoing claim and they have been fantastic, settling quickly and so helpful when calling them. You don't even get held on the phone if they are busy, you just leave your number and they call you straight back when you reach your place in the queue.
We're with PetPlan and have a multi-dog policy with two large crossbreeds on it, which comes to a touch over £40.00 a month for lifelong cover.
I did lots of research and found PetPlan's policies to be the clearest in terms of what they will and won't cover and for not having any restrictions or caveats on things like cruciate repair and dental treatment. I also like the fact they will cover some behavioural and alternative therapies.
I've had dogs for over 25 years now and have never had a problem with PetPlan. I was going to go with someone cheaper this time, but after doing my research decided their policies are worth the couple of pounds or so extra.
I shall do a bit more research!
We use Healthy pets insurance it costs us about £25 per month for life cover and because our collie is broken its the highest cover they do (gold). They have paid out every year for the past 3 or 4 without any issues.
Healthy Pets is not lifelong cover. I've chosen them for my own dog but as I'm a vet I'm looking for something a little different to most people. I would pay for ongoing medication etc myself, I want the option to refer a pet to a University/ specialist if necessary. The HP policies are maximum benefit I.e pay out up to a ceiling amount per condition (£1000/4000/7000) with no time limit, but when you reach that ceiling the cover stops. A proper life policy will renew the cover amount every policy year, but will be correspondingly more expensive.
They are pretty good value, cheaper than many 12 m policies, mine is £10/month for medium level of cover on 1 yr old small crossbreed.
Can I add a plea to everyone reading that as an absolute minimum you need 3rd party liability cover. You are legally responsible for your dog, and dog laws are due to be extended in the near future, there will likely be more prosecutions under both the dangerous dogs act and local regulations as a result. Most pet insurance will cover 3rd party up to £1million, if you choose not to insure your pet the cheapest way to get 3rd party only cover is to join the Dogs Trust. Here endeth the sermon.
We self insure. We did the sums and to me they don't add up, especially when you take policy limits and excesses into account.
However, we do have access to money to pay a large vets bill if needed.
I'd also second the suggestion of asking your vet which companies they won't deal directly with, tends to mean they are slow to pay up and quibble over technicalities.
wouldn't touch E&L with someone else's barge pole
Good point bakingtins. Though we have liability insurance (in NL, you need it in case you have a cycling accident or something) which covers liability for pets.
Yes bakingtins you are right about the cover limit with healthy pets. We picked them as the vet accepts payment directly from them and they covered all the things we knew we would need for our collie.
I also second getting 3rd party cover by joining the Dogs Trust if you are not going to get medical cover.
I've been informed that my vets do insurance also- must look into that too. The above advice is great- thankyou
My vet said quite a lot are difficult to pay out these days
I'm just trying to factor in costs at the moment and as I don't have full details of dog yet, getting a quote is impossible. We think that we will probably get a collie/ collie cross (as this is the breed we have had in the past.)
We've not actually plumped for a specific mutt yet.
So the figures mentioned above are helpful.. Just gotta get gaps in hedges sorted now
Can I ask in what ways the law may change, baking?
Also, is it now mandatory to have your dog microchipped? Apologies for all the questions!
A very timely thread for me - getting my 2 dogs insured was one of my New Year's resolutions, and on Jan 7th one of them cut her paw while out walking and needed stitches & meds so we are already over £200 down on the year.
Having looked at loads of quotes I have come to the conclusion that with 2 youngish, healthy dogs I'd be better off putting £100 a month into a pot and using that for all their bills. Luckily we are not on the breadline so if we got any big one-off bills we could manage.
But I was worried about the 3rd party liability - so I was v glad to hear about the Dogs Trust membership cover. I've just signed up with them for £25 a year, that gives me up to £1million 3rd party cover.
Thanks so much for mentioning that, bakingtins, a very satisfying result.
Interesting to read that dog laws will be extended soon - I saw in my vets yesterday that microchipping is also due to become compulsory in the next couple of years. V good news, IMO.
Microchipping will be compulsory as of April 2016.
The rest is not entirely clear as it's being rejigged at the moment. I went to a Trevor Cooper seminar (the Legal Beagle!) recently and he was talking about new regulations coming into force this year to cover dog fouling, areas where dogs have to be on lead, nuisance dogs (in terms of harassing others or persistently straying) etc, plus a rewrite of the dangerous dogs act. Main change likely to be that the act will apply everywhere, previously only in public places, so can be used against you if the dog bites someone on your property. The postal workers are apparently intending to prosecute each and every incident. TC is rubbing his hands in glee at the prospect of endless work for him....
I'd be a bit doubtful that your vet is offering insurance, OP. Many practices have some sort of health plan but it normally covers vaccines, flea treatment etc, sometimes including a few consultations or a discount on services, but it's not insurance and would not cover you if your pet needed expensive surgery or referral. Double check what it covers anyway, and if they do offer insurance you need to know who is underwriting it, they will only be acting as an introducer for one of the big companies.
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