Recommendations for insurance plans for 2 cats

(28 Posts)
EverythingCounts Tue 02-Sep-14 11:20:48

I need to get pet insurance for 2 cats. Who would people recommend? The cats go out but have so far not got into any trouble from it. TIA.

We took ours out last October with Argos as that was the cheapest for our two at the time. It's worth going on comparison websites and cashback websites, you can save quite a chunk that way, also read the small print carefully the cheapest policies have a lot of limitations.

chockbic Tue 02-Sep-14 11:27:19

Pet Plan is a big name but have never used them.

Might be better off with a contingency fund. By the time you've paid the monthly amount, excess and listened to the get out clause or claws...

moggle Tue 02-Sep-14 15:13:36

We're with Argos too, the platinum one. Started off paying about �11 a month for 2 cats (5 years ago), now it is more like �22 a month but hasn't increased much in the past few years. Never had to claim though. Personally we stick with insurance rather than saving a contingency fund so there's never any difficult decisions (eg there's �5k in the contingency fund, do we pay for the surgery that only has a 20% chance of success or replace the car that is continually breaking down...)

whichever company you go with, it's important to know the difference between their levels. For Argos, with silver and gold, the quoted 'pot' (currently �2500 for silver and �4000 for gold) for treating a particular condition runs out 12 months after first diagnosis. so if your cat gets arthritis (say), the insurance will only pay for arthritis related conditions for the first 12 months after diagnosis. Then it will no longer pay out for that condition. With the platinum one the pot refills (currently �7000) every year, as long as you keep renewing, but I think that is the total limit on vet fees per year not per condition. There's info here
but it can be a bit confusing. Sometimes these kind of policies are called "lifetime" policies. You're stuck with them forever if you have to claim for a chronic / recurring condition (as it becomes a pre-existing condition) but at least you can keep your cover if you want it (obviously the premiums would increase). With the non-lifetime ones, if your pet gets a condition like that, the money to pay for treatment will dry up after a year.

cozietoesie Tue 02-Sep-14 16:42:47

Seniorboy isn't insured (circumstances) but my general rule with non-statutory insurance is to go with provision that might not be compromised by bankruptcy etc. (For the lack of hassle.) Not sure I would use Argos.

PinkSparklyElephant Tue 02-Sep-14 18:16:22

Harry is insured with Animal Friends. He was with Argos but they hiked the premium up to £30 a month. Animal Friends is slightly lower cover but only £12 a month.

We have just gone with Animal Friends as our vets deal with them directly and the cost was reasonablesmile

CatKisser Tue 02-Sep-14 18:20:48

I have insurance for my three with Animal a Friends. It's approx £3.50 a month for each of them, but they are aged between 4 months and 2 years so quite young.

RubbishMantra Tue 02-Sep-14 18:22:53

Just out of interest Cozie, why are you unsure about the Argos insurance? I only ask, because I'm with Petplan (lifetime policy), and pay around £35 for both my cats. I've been toying with the idea of switching to Argos because of the considerable price.

I've always used Petplan, but never needed to claim. Have you ever claimed Moggle, I wonder how they are at paying out?

Sleepytea Tue 02-Sep-14 18:34:19

I use pet plan. I've been getting insurance for far too many years and have claimed. Pet plan are good at paying out.
In terms of policies, it's good to get a lifetime policy. There are so many long term illnesses that cats get such as cystitis and arthritis and if you get a policy that will only pay out for a year then it can be expensive. Nobody else will cover pre-existing conditions so you will be left to cover the costs.
I would also go for a company that's well known. I nearly changed a few years ago. One of the companies I was thinking of choosing, suddenly declared that they were pulling out of pet insurance and left several pets with pre-existing conditions unable to find insurance with adequate cover.

moggle Wed 03-Sep-14 11:43:36

Rubbish I've never claimed so can't comment I'm afraid!

Cozie Are you worried about Argos going out of business? The insurance is underwritten by Royal sun alliance so if Argos went bust I don't think it would affect their insurance policies? Although what Sleepytea says makes me wonder - Sleepytea which company was that, I think I remember reading about it at the time, but can't remember the name.

I would have thought you'd be OK until the current policy expired, but unable to renew it, which if you were claiming for a longterm condition could be problematic.

KittiesInsane Wed 03-Sep-14 11:50:22

We've never insured ours and are starting to feel the pinch.

By the time we inherited her, she was already 8 and had several 'pre-existing' conditions that make her pretty uninsurable.

Overall, saving rather than insuring for pet emergencies has been fine but SeniorKitty is currently (at 18) getting quite expensive in terms of long-term medication -- and we've been lucky enough never to need surgery.

LoopyLa Wed 03-Sep-14 12:08:33

I trawled through all the sites and decided on the mid range from Marks & Spencer. They've just paid for leaflets from Animal Search uk to help me find one of my cats so already paid for itself! hmm

cozietoesie Wed 03-Sep-14 12:16:42

Golly, I don't know. I'm just 'edgy' about Argos. They're part of the HRG, underwritten by RSA and they're trying real hard - but I'm just edgy. That's only a very personal view though so take it with a bucketfull of salt.

I think that if I had to insure a cat at the moment, I'd simply go for the best deal but also put any spare cash in a sinking fund just in case. My cynical side questions whether vets (who ask you on registration whether you've insured your pet) might just be larding either the bills or the treatment options for those animals who are insured. I'd rather welcome an insider view on that from one of the professionals who post.

cozietoesie Wed 03-Sep-14 12:19:34

* veterinary professionals

dogfish22 Wed 03-Sep-14 14:16:10

I can recommend Petplan.... Cat-girl recently got into a fight, needed a specialist consultation about her eye (some £350), and I had the money back within a week, no fuss.

KittiesInsane Wed 03-Sep-14 14:33:33

That's a good point, Cosie. Our vet knows AncientMog is uninsured and always checks with us whether we want the gold-plated treatment or the basics.

Lovethesea Wed 03-Sep-14 15:26:35

We have pet plan for our two it paid out no problem when Huntercat played with traffic and needed £4000 of orthopaedic surgery.

He has fully recovered and is bouncing about hunting again with great success.

It's a lifetime policy for both, they're 4 years old and it is about £20 a month in total.

RubbishMantra Wed 03-Sep-14 16:34:58

Blimey, shock Lovethesea, I wonder why there's such a price difference between my Pet Plan premium and yours. I paid about £17 for MCat (4 year old moggie) after adding MKitten (5 month old Devon Rex) it's now £35-ish. I know pedigrees cost a bit more to insure, but still, our 2 amounts differ hugely. It's not like I live in a city either...

cozietoesie Wed 03-Sep-14 18:05:34

Out of interest- what sort of policy excesses are people signed up to for insured pets? (It's just that I heard someone really sounding off about theirs at the vets some months back.)

Lovethesea Wed 03-Sep-14 18:14:26

Ours is up to 4k of treatment in one year.

Both rescues, one domestic longhair, one domestic shorthair? Catflap, cul de sac, both neutered and chipped etc.

Not sure why yours is more? Have they added the multi pet discount? Make sure they apply it, mine wasn't for a while.

Or are you on the larger treatment options of up to 7k?

My Argos cover (Platinum) is for 2 neutered females, one year old, healthy, non-pedigree cats.

Cost was £203 for the year so £17/month.
£7000/year lifetime cover, £65 excess.

cozietoesie Wed 03-Sep-14 19:54:33

WhoKnows

Out of interest - I hear that it's lifetime cover but what control or agreement do you have over the cost of cover for said lifetime? (Pet insurance isn't a mature market and I suspect there wil be many changes to come.)

I didn't look into it to that extent Cozie, I'm not sure how you would differentiate between one insurer and another on that basis? My renewal is due next month (no claims so far), it will be interesting to see what it comes in at.

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