Is pet insurance worth it?

(9 Posts)
PipkinsPal Fri 08-Mar-13 16:36:35

My cat Barnaby, aged 2 is on tablets for life as he has crystals in his urine. He takes 2 a day and they cost with the vet, at the moment £67.20 for 240. With my sums they should last about 4 months. Total for year £201.60. I also pay £11.50 per month direct debit to Pet Plan ie £138 per year at the moment which increases annually. I have just found out that each year I must pay £75 excess when I submit a claim. So the price of the insurance for the year and and the excess is costing me £213 when the tablets only cost me £201.60. I appreciate that any extra treatment would be covered by the insurance if he gets a flare up but to be honest I am able to save £50, yes he and his brother have their own "kitty". What would you do?

lljkk Fri 08-Mar-13 16:42:20

The point of insurance is that most people never need to claim so statisically you can expect to never need it.
It's usually worthwhile if relatively low compared to value of what you might need to claim back (buildings insurance is classic).
Not usually worth it for most other things.
I don't have pet insurance.
I can find as much as I would think reasonable to spend on my pets.
I would have it if money was very tight, living month to month.

cozietoesie Fri 08-Mar-13 17:00:13

I didn't take it out when I got Seniorboy - he was too old even then to be taken on, realistically, by anyone. I hear, though, that costs are going up and the list of exemptions and level of excesses are rising every year. (My sister is currently fighting an insurance company tooth and nail for an expensive claim for her dog - which she looks likely to lose unless she takes them to law.)

I suspect that many insurance companies who waltzed into the field a few years back are now hurting quite badly in this area and it's going to get very tight indeed. Having said that, I've read, on this board, of posters who have had their bacon saved by insurance cover.

I don't know, Pipkins. In the insurance game there are always going to be 'winners' and 'losers'. I spent a good number of years with no costs for my boy other than the standard shots and check-ups. Even now, he's probably not costing me a whole load more than cover would have.

I'm also concerned that vet costs might rise and the use of exotic procedures increase if cover were to become commonplace. (An 'insurance job' as for car repairs.) I have no evidence for this other than apocryphal.

I can't advise you I'm afraid.

PipkinsPal Fri 08-Mar-13 17:12:58

I only took out pet insurance when Barnaby and Troy were kittens because they were nutters and I could see them getting into scrapes. I never had pet insurance for my late cat O'Malley and except for a couple of vets visits for abcesses after a scrap he didn't go to the vets until he was pts at the age of 16. (he had lost a lot of weight and I could not have him distressed with tests and force feeding him tablets at his age). Will have to think very carefully about this dilemma. Perhaps I should find out the cost of purchasing a prescription at the vets and buying the tablets cheaper online and cancel the insurance and save my money.

I think it really depends how tight money is. If the pills stopped working for some reason he could end up with a blocked bladder, the average cost for that is about £350 (although I know someone who was charged £7,500 - but that's for another thread!) If you are always in a position where you have that sort of money available, then insurance probably isn't that crucial. If you are living hand to mouth as it were, then having insurance could be the difference between your cat living or dying. And then of course you have to consider the possibility of all the other things that might happen. When cats survive car accidents you're unlikely to get change from about £1000. So again, if you could find an extra £1000 if needed at a moments notice then insurance might not be so crucial, if you couldn't then I would try to make sure you have it.

PipkinsPal Fri 08-Mar-13 17:55:36

Thanks for the replies. I think I was p***ed off because I thought I would be getting a cheque for £67.20, the price of the pills and I didn't. Also that he was first diagnosed in October (excess paid) and then the renewal was in November so I have had to pay out another excess in 5 months. Maybe I will hold onto my receipts until November for the following year renewal. As long as I submit the invoices within 12 months it could work out in my favour.

QueenStromba Fri 08-Mar-13 18:48:37

You're the last person who should cancel their pet insurance! If you subtract what the meds he's already on cost it's only costing you a pound a month to insure your cat against any future illnesses or injuries - that's bloody good value.

I hadn't done the sums QueenStromba. But now you point that out - yes quite right!

catlady1 Fri 08-Mar-13 18:59:59

Also, remember there are countless reasons for which he might need treatment, not just bladder flare-ups. And any kind of illness, accident, injury etc is likely to cost you a lot more than £50 if you're not insured - probably at least ten times that amount, and quite possibly into the thousands. As Queen said, you are the last person I would suggest should cancel their pet insurance!

Plus if you were to cancel it and then in the future wanted to take it out again, your premiums would be higher because of cat's age and you wouldn't be insured against anything to do with his pre-existing condition.

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