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Dog insurance - is life cover a def must?

(15 Posts)
permaquandry Thu 25-Oct-12 17:36:58

Diff between well known provider £15.99 for 12 mths (up to 3000 in that 12 months) and £32 for life cover (up to 4000 per year)

I know my husb is going to be �� as I told him pup will cost no more than 20 per month (ins and food). I know that was a little conservative but if I take the life cover its double that almost before food etc!!!! Any experienced advice would be most welcome, thx

pollyontheshore Thu 25-Oct-12 17:46:02

I'm very relieved we got life time cover - would have spent £2500 this year alone, with a condition that is life long, and she's only 3. We're spending less though for cover - about £20 a month but that might be down to the breed of dog? (She's a whippet and we're with animal friends insurance if that helps?).

suburbandream Thu 25-Oct-12 18:10:08

Difficult to say really - do you know the pup's history? Is it a breed that is possibly prone to problems? We just have the 12 months deal because the lifelong was v.expensive, but it's worth shopping around and asking each company if they can do a better deal. You may be able to bargain with them - I really wanted to go with one particular insurance company but it was v.expensive so I went with another. First insurance company rang me later asking if I'd made a decision and then proceeded to offer me a better deal.
Similarly, my cats' insurance went up enormously last year but when I told them I was thinking of switching they managed to shave off a few unneccessary bits and reduced the price.

Lonecatwithkitten Thu 25-Oct-12 19:05:06

95% of the claims we process in our practice are for chronic conditions that last for the dog's whole life. Atopy, diabetes, arthritis, cardiac conditions, other hormonal conditions I could gone on further.

NittyNuttyNoo Thu 25-Oct-12 19:27:28

My dog was a healthy crossbreed until the age of 9 when she developed renal failure. Over the last 2 years I have spent over £6K on vets bills and claimed it all back through my insurance. Wouldn't be able to have afforded her treatment without timetime cover. Worth every penny!

permaquandry Thu 25-Oct-12 20:25:33

Am I right in thinking if u do 12 months and the dog gets sick in that period with a lifelong illness, then come renewal, no one will touch you?

She's a beautifully bred mini schnauzer with a great, healthy pedigree, I know they are probe to congenital eye prob but she has been tested clear, don't think the insurers have that info tho.

NittyNuttyNoo Thu 25-Oct-12 22:15:42

If your dog has a pre-existing condition and you change insurance companies then they won't cover it.

My friends lab was a well bred dog but has had to have surgery due to joint issues. You just never know.

Lolly7 Fri 26-Oct-12 12:18:53

Yes definately a must. Better to be safe than sorry as you just don't know whats around the corner. If your four legged companion ever needs to be referred to specialist like these,

,the cost of treatment is not cheap.

VivaLeBeaver Fri 26-Oct-12 12:24:44

I'm contemplating stopping insurance for my dog. She's eight now, has always had insurance and never claimed on it. Any times she's been to the vet the hill has either been just under the £70 excess or for teeth problems which aren't covered. Now she's eight I think the next renewal quotes even if I shop around will be really high.

vnmum Fri 26-Oct-12 12:38:06

With the 12 month policies you have the amount insured for just the 12 months, so if you had to claim for an illness that would be ongoing, like diabetes, arthritis, kidney, colitis, etc then after the 12 months were up the insurance company wouldn't pay out for anything to do with that illness again. Most companies that offer lifetime cover will also cover the cost of prescription foods that the animal may need to be on for life. With a 12 month policy you would have to pay the cost for these aswell as any costs for the treatment no longer covered after your first year.

Most life cover policies come into their own as the pet gets older as this is when they are more likely to develop chronic illnesses but some pets will develop chronic conditions at an early age. All this is worth taking into account as once your pet develops a condition, if you then switched insurer they would exclude that condition anyway. Is it worth the risk?

Another thing to bear in mind is that some of the cheaper life cover companies will either increase the excess or make you pay a percentage of the cost of treatment on top of the excess when the pet reaches a certain age. This can be quite costly if they need expensive treatment.

It is worth comparing these things and asking which is better in the long run.

Also, without sounding harsh, if you are expecting to feed and insure a dog on £20 per month then you should maybe have researched things more before getting the puppy. You have not factored in to your monthly costs the price of routine preventative treatments that are needed like vaccination, worming, flea treatment and of course the cost of neuturing at 6 months. The cost of treatment for a condition no longer covered by the insurance would also be alot more than the difference in premiums.

Insurance companies don't take individual animals breeding into account either. They use the breed as a whole based on what that breed is more susceptible to.

vnmum Fri 26-Oct-12 12:42:52

Viva I really wouldn't reccommend stopping it now she is 8. It is as they get older that they need insurance more which is why some companies won't start insurance after a certain age.

Also, if the treatment that has come in under the excess amount has been for the same condition a number of times, then the whole cost of the treatment for that condition could have been over the excess and you would have been able to claim.

If she developed arthritis or kidney/liver problems in a few years time (very common in older animals), she would need ongoing medication and in some cases special food, hospitalisation, which would be very costly if you cancelled the insurance.

permaquandry Fri 26-Oct-12 15:17:58

Thx for the replies. I'm going to go for life cover but shop around. John Lewis offers a comprehensive cover but a lot cheaper than the other one and it looks comparable in its cover.

I did say that the 20 quid per month was conservative. My estimation was only for food and insurance, obviously one-off costs for flea treatment, jabs, worming tabs, training were not incl in this cost. I did do a lot of research before I got this pup.

charlearose Fri 26-Oct-12 17:05:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

vnmum Fri 26-Oct-12 18:39:31

GOod point charlearose. Some life policies have a money in a pot policy where as there is x amount of money per year for the dog and that amount is renewed per year. This total amount would be to cover multiple conditions.
Others have a money in pot per condition, so you get x amount per condition. The cover is renewed each year but not the total benefit, so if you used the full benefit for one condition over 3 years then there would be no more money left for that condition but you would still get full amount for different conditions.
Petplan used to do life cover where the amount was per condition per year so the full insured amount was reinstated every year but I don't think they offer this cover now and not sure if other policies do either

MerlotforOne Mon 29-Oct-12 13:11:44

My parents got burned by pet insurance refusing to pay out on 2 occasions. We now have a 5 year old Ridgeback and have never insured him, but put the premium money into a savings account instead as a direct debit instead. He's had to have a couple of ops after being attacked and badly bitten, but otherwise remains well and we've got quite a pot put away for him now should he need it.

This works for us, although I can see how something like epilepsy or diabetes in a young dog might work out differently - we could afford to stretch ourselves a bit if the 'pot' was overspent, but there may end up being a time when we had to make hard decisions on financial grounds sad. I just couldn't face fronting up all that money to an insurance company ( large pedigree = very expensive premium) !

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