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To not bother with rabbit insurance

(131 Posts)
Cranfieldmc Fri 28-Nov-14 21:42:02

Wondered if you can help me. I'm new to having a proper pet that you need a vet for (have lots of fish and am a fairly enthusiastic owner but I always self-diagnose and treat my fish (with the help of the internet) rather than go to a vet). I am thinking of getting a pair of bunnies and am currently researching all aspects of care.

I have heard it said many times on mumsnet that you should have pet insurance for your cat and dog. I am wondering if the same applies for these bunnies. I have been quoted circa £30 a month for the pair (sure I can get it cheaper if I search around). I'm just wondering if this is worth it in bunny world. Do you take your bunnies to the vet often for illnesses and is it expensive (more expensive than £360 per year).

Just to be clear, if I didn't insure the bunnies I would be able to pay high vet fees if they arose (and would do so rather than leave an animal in pain or to be unnecessarily put down). I just want to make sure insurance is a sensible option. Many thanks for your help.

Annunziata Fri 28-Nov-14 21:46:23

Rabbit insurance? Dear me no!

Our rabbit (horrible bitey thing) used to get a check up at £20 a year and I thought that was steep!

CattyCatCat Fri 28-Nov-14 21:47:37

Try Animal Friends, for a quote. They are very reasonable. I would guess around £4-£6 a month per rabbit with 10% discount for two. They were certainly the best and cheapest cover for cats.

GotToBeInItToWinIt Fri 28-Nov-14 21:47:41

We didn't, and ended up paying over £400 for operations when she developed abscesses in her mouth. Wish we'd insured her. I'm sure you can get it cheaper than that.

ThereIsACarInTheKitchen Fri 28-Nov-14 21:49:39

I have insurance for my bunny and I think it is recommended that you do have it. For a sick bunny vet bills can sometimes run into the hundreds so I do think it's worth baring that in mind if you decide not to insure.

MsFeckIt Fri 28-Nov-14 21:59:16

I didn't and my bunnies both lived into their tenth year, with some expensive vets bills in the last year but nothing to compare to spending insurance for 2 buns for 10 years (and two surgeries for malocclusion which wouldn't have been covered anyway, so meh)

Others would disagree though...

MiniLop Fri 28-Nov-14 22:02:26

I had insurance for my oldest rabbit for a year, about £7 per year. Cancelled it after that. Now I've got 2, they have their jabs and worming treatment every year (£35 per year each), I don't bother with insurance at all. They're 3 and 2 yrs old, so far no further vet treatment needed.

MiniLop Fri 28-Nov-14 22:05:06

Whoops, I meant £7 per month, not per year!!
And as MsFeckIt says, teeth problems quite often aren't covered with rabbit insurance, which is (probably) the most common problem with buns.

Starchild28 Fri 28-Nov-14 22:05:09

It is really important and worth having. I have 3 indoor rabbits and pay £15 per rabbit per month with petplan which is lifetime cover.
Rabbits have very delicate digestive systems and are prone to bouts of statis, 1 episode of that could put you back hundreds. Every time. Not to mention anything else. With rabbits that are prone to statis it can happen many times a year if you are unlucky.
Rabbit vet bills can very quickly rack up as they are still considered an exotic, there is no way I would have rabbits with out insurance as I could not afford hundreds at the drop of a hat.
Petplan is a more expensive one but it is very comprehensive and will cover them for issues and illnesses that are repeated which other insurances don't. Most vets will be happy to claim direct with Petplan too whereas mine won't do so with other insurers.
Aside from insurance rabbits need to be vaccinated yearly and neutered or spayed.
Musli rabbit foods are no good, they need a high protein pellet mix and unlimited high quality hay and a small amount of safe veggies introduced slowly, rabbits even if bought together will likely fight once they reach puberty and their hormones come in - neutering will help with that but they will need to be slowly bonded (have a google on that) so you need to be prepared to have separate housing for a bit of time.
Please feel free to ask more questons or pm me if you need more info. Rabbits are great but take more care and expense that alot of people realize which is why, despite being the 3rd most popular pet, are the number one neglected pet in the uk.
Rescues will often have bonded and neutered pairs available for adoption, and often have babies in too if you want a younger pair

Cranfieldmc Fri 28-Nov-14 22:07:51

Thanks all, love the name minilop. I think I will give it a miss to start with at least. Worried that an additional cost (on top of the mega size cage I want) might put my DH off buying the bunnies (as a Xmas present for Dds of course).

OneDayWhenIGrowUp Fri 28-Nov-14 22:08:07

I wouldn't recommend Animal Friends as an insurer at all tbh, they're notorious for having crafty loopholes in their policy wording for getting out of fully covering claims, have a reputation for being very slow at paying out when they do and a lot of practices won't accept direct claims with them. Pet insurance is something where you definitely get what you pay for, cheap policies are cheap for a reason. Always read the small print.

Whether to insure your rabbits or not - up to you. Vet's bills can be expensive - if you can seriously afford them without needing insurance then it's just a gamble whether you'll pay more in insurance premiums, or bills over the animal's lifetime. Insurance is always a gamble, really, but I think it's much more important if you would not be able to suddenly come up with, say up to £1k if it was needed to cover veterinary care.

CattyCatCat Fri 28-Nov-14 22:12:07

Well, that is bad news about Animal Friends. I googled before taking out policies and the results was good, people seemed happy. Does anyone on here have an opinion on or an experience with them, please?

RabbitRabbit78 Fri 28-Nov-14 22:18:42

I also insure with petplan. Bunnies can live for 8-10 years plus if cared for properly, are great pets when kept in the right way, but can be expensive when it comes to vet bills. If you decide not to insure then put money away in a savings account just in case. Neutering is a must, as is annual vaccination at £30-50 each. For examples of unexpected vet bills, a bout of gut stasis (a common problem) runs at £100ish for a straightforward one. I have had a bunny recently with a liver issue which needed surgery - luckily she was insured as she cost over £2000! I know that a lot of people think "it's only a rabbit, buy a new one", but they are companion animals like cats and dogs and worth the same respect and care IMO. This does not necessarily mean insurance but definitely some sort of financial provision.

Cranfieldmc Fri 28-Nov-14 22:26:41

Thanks starchild. The pair I am currently looking at are bonded and the male will be neutered before coming to us (at circa 10 weeks). We will spay the female as soon as allowed by the vet. I am also hoping to keep them inside but will need separate accommodation as want to be able to let them securely graze outside as well.

It was pet plan that quoted me £15. I'm very interested to hear this discussion re animal friends. What things are you expecting to be covered that animal friends might not cover? I heard that Statis is an expensive condition, anything else anyone has experience with that has cost?

BertieBrabinger Fri 28-Nov-14 22:28:15

Another one here saying GET INSURANCE! Bunnies are way more expensive than you might imagine, and can live as long as ten years - mine is 8. Last year he came down with a mystery illness that cost £1200 for the vet to still be none the wiser. He is fine now (and I suspect all along, he just fancied even more attention...). In fact, I'm convinced that he'll outlive us all!

pumpkinpie5 Fri 28-Nov-14 22:33:50

I work for a national animal welfare charity and so yes, I am going to say that insurance is a must! Yes, you could be lucky and have an animal that lives to a good age and has no issues, but you could equally have one which does get poorly, and insurance means you have the peace of mind to be able to follow through with whatever diagnosis and treatment is necessary without worrying about mounting costs. You do have to be careful with insurance. The cheapest policies are those which are yearly policies - which means that if your pet gets I'll in that year, then that illness will automatically not be covered when you renew the next year. A big issue if the illness and medication is likely to be ongoing. Pet plan do cover for life policies which mean that the animal is covered year on year regardless of what illnesses it has previously had. Pet plan are slightly more expensive but I do think £30 per month is excessive. I pay £16 a month with pet plan for my cat and would expect a rabbit to be less than this.

Please don't be put off by all this though. And please do consider getting a rescue bunny or pair of bunnies -adoption fee involved but they are assessed and you can find the perfect ones for your dc and know the rabbits have been socialised, well handled etc. I could tell you where we have lots you could look at online but then I would give away where I worked!

bigbluestars Fri 28-Nov-14 22:34:17

Insurance for a rabbit!! I'm sorry we eat rabbit around here, my kids love it.

corgiology Fri 28-Nov-14 22:34:49

Why are you trying to buy the cheapest bunnies possible?

Bad breeding will lead to poor health.

Get rescue bunnies as it will be cheaper and you will be providing them with a home smile

Don't just stick them in a hutch either. Let it be a house rabbit with a litter tray so it gets more attention.

tabulahrasa Fri 28-Nov-14 22:35:21

My friend has two rabbits, they've both had stasis requiring overnight stays at the vet in the last couple of years, one of them a few that's a couple of hundred pounds at least every time and one's had a pretty major tooth issue resulting in an operation on her jaw and the other had an inner ear access operation as well (they're unrelated, both the rabbits and the health issues) both operations were in the thousands because they were in intensive care afterwards.

They are insured though and I haven't a clue who with, but it has all been covered. More than, possibly?

littlehayleyc Fri 28-Nov-14 22:36:33

I would also say it's worth having. Just as an example, my sister's rabbit is insured for about £10 a month. She is fairly old now, and has had a few medical issues over the past couple of years. I'm not sure of the exact figure over the 2 years but the most recent operation and treatment was about £500 I think, so it has been worth it.

UrbaneLandlord Fri 28-Nov-14 22:44:33

The maths of pet insurance simply does not add up.

Look at the big picture. Think of all the people who own a particular pet and pay £10, £20, £30 per month. The insurance company collects all these premiums; and pays out a certain amount in claims. It also keeps some of the money for its own running costs and profit.

So most pet owners pay out more in premiums than they "collect" in claims. This must be true otherwise the insurance company would go out of business.

My suggestion: find out how much your insurance premium would be and save that amount every month. After 2, 3, 5, 10 years of pet ownership you will almost certainly be better off!

southeastastra Fri 28-Nov-14 22:46:39

never had it for my rabbits and i've had lots. any treatment isn't really that much ime.

littlehayleyc Fri 28-Nov-14 22:47:22

Make sure the rabbits you adopt/buy have good teeth and have been raised on a diet of mainly hay. Tooth problems are sometimes not covered by insurance as they are so common in rabbits, so check the policy wording. I adopted a rabbit who had been neglected. Due to his poor diet, he had very badly aligned teeth and had to have the front ones clipped or burred every 4-6 weeks and then the back ones done under anaesthetic. It can get very expensive when there are ongoing problems like this.

tabulahrasa Fri 28-Nov-14 22:51:28

UrbaneLandlord - yes, if you're lucky then your pet will be healthy for years and you'll never have to decide whether you can afford to pay for a big emergency or for ongoing illness...if you're not lucky though, I don't have thousands to pay vet bills with at short notice.

littlehayleyc Fri 28-Nov-14 22:57:01

If you saved £10 a month for a rabbit's lifetime.. say 10yrs for arguments sake, you'd only have £1200 to spend over the rabbits lifetime. Yes, a lot of rabbits will not need that much spent. But, if they get an ongoing problem then it can easily mount up to a lot more. If you have other money available to use in these circumstances then maybe you're happy to risk it. Or maybe you will decide to PTS if it's going to be expensive.. Otherwise, it is helpful to have insurance to fall back on. Personally I don't tend to have £500 or so to spend out of the blue, so at least I know my pets will always get the treatment they need without me having to question where the money is coming from.

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