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Dog insurance. Any recommendations please?

(24 Posts)
mckenzie Wed 10-Dec-14 22:15:24

Our new puppy has 2 free ones just now, kennel club and pet plan.
Can any one recommend any please? Or tell me which ones to steer away from?


Collaborate Wed 10-Dec-14 23:46:07

Watching this with interest. We'll be in your position soon. I spoke to the vets we'll be using and all they could say is to get a lifetime policy.

mckenzie Thu 11-Dec-14 07:57:18

Thanks collaborate. Is that one where the payment is set now or just one where they commit to insuring you for the dogs lifetime?

mortil2 Thu 11-Dec-14 08:03:29

All I can advice is to look out for insurance plans that only cover costs for 1 year for chronic conditions. These are cheaper for obvious reasons

tabulahrasa Thu 11-Dec-14 08:14:39

Petplan are always recommended by lots of people. Their cover is good, they pay out and don't hike up the cost at renewal time.

Lifetime cover is the only kind worth having whoever you go with... It's a set amount every year and will pay out on the same condition for the life of your dog. Other kinds of policies pay out for a year and then won't pay for that condition again.

mckenzie Thu 11-Dec-14 08:46:37

Thanks very much guys. It's a mine field isn't it?

mortil2 Thu 11-Dec-14 09:01:53

it certainly is a minefield, and so easy to get caught out

MitchellMummy Thu 11-Dec-14 09:08:28

Pet Plan top of the range cover. They DO increase the premiums and the excess goes up when the dog is deemed geriatric ... but they've paid us over £28,000 over 12 years for one of our dogs. Obviously I'd rather he hadn't had loads of ops, but glad we have insurance. Met a friend recently who said he'd cancelled his insurance. His dogs are elderly too. He puts money away each month though. £30!!!!!

tabulahrasa Thu 11-Dec-14 09:10:26

Oh yes they do increase the premiums...I didn't mean they stay the same price.

Some companies suddenly triple them though for no particular reason.

kimbasmum Thu 11-Dec-14 11:57:11

Yep pet insurance is a minefield. I found it so time-consuming to sort it all out that I decided to write an independent pet insurance website for others to use! It now includes full details of all pet insurance policies available in the UK.

Most people recommend lifetime policies but be careful because there is no real definition of what a lifetime policy is. Most people mean a policy which has an annual limit which renews each year. Rather than a policy which will only pay up to a set amount per condition.. so when it runs out you are left paying the vet bills. It is sometimes quite confusing to work out what is a lifetime policy and what is a condition-limited policy. (You will find all true lifetime policies in orange on my website!)

You might also find it useful to check out the recent claims satisfaction survey I did recently where you will find recent pet insurance reviews, ratings and comments from more than 450 pet owners.

mckenzie Thu 11-Dec-14 15:39:44

Thanks kimbasmum! That's a fab website.

AlphaBravoHenryFoxtons Thu 11-Dec-14 17:32:59

Pet insurance, unlike car insurance, isn't compulsory. The insurers obviously make a profit so on average, most customers pay more than they claim.

We have decided not to insure as we can afford the hit if something happens to our puppy. If you can't afford it, then it makes sense to probably insure as it would be devastating for something bad to happen and not be able to afford the best care for you pet.

But if you can afford the premiums and can also afford a big hit, it might make more sense to put the premiums into an ISA and keep them invested over the dog's lifetime.

RobotRuthy Thu 11-Dec-14 17:50:41

Don't have it these days. I feel that the excess I had to pay to keep the monthly payments affordable was worrying. I also feel that the vets up the fees by doing additional work for the insured.

This is just an opinion I can't prove it of course.

AlphaBravoHenryFoxtons Thu 11-Dec-14 17:59:13

You might need third party liability insurance though… hadn't actually thought about that bit.

silverfingersandtoes Thu 11-Dec-14 18:18:04

Yes, I think third party liability is probably complusory. But you may have that on existing insurance. Or, if you join Dog's Trust (£25 a year, half of that if you're over 60) it's included. Have a look at the membership stuff on their website.

AlphaBravoHenryFoxtons Thu 11-Dec-14 18:19:46

silverfingersandtoes - Thanks for that.

silverfingersandtoes Thu 11-Dec-14 18:28:13

Actually, after googling I think I was wrong about it being compulsory - the legislation was dropped.
Could be a good thing to have though.

VetNurse Thu 11-Dec-14 19:06:13

I would only ever use Petplan. They have always been brilliant with my own pets. Putting money away each month is a risky business unless you have a good back up of money. If your pet needs referring to a specialist you can easily rack up a bill of £6-7k.

mckenzie Fri 12-Dec-14 08:55:42

Thanks for all the posts. It's much appreciated.

ScienceRocks Fri 12-Dec-14 08:58:33

Mine is with the co-op. It's a lifetime policy. I found this a minefield too, and did a comparison on money supermarket, which also had an article on what to look out for.

Collaborate Fri 12-Dec-14 11:09:59

Just looked at both pet plan and co-op for a Lab puppy (arriving soon!!) and the lifetime quotes were £30 pet plan and £20 co-op. Co-op excess is £85, pet plan is £90. Netplan cover is a bit more (£7000 opposed to £5000), but there the differences end.

tabulahrasa Fri 12-Dec-14 11:40:27

Um...there are quite a few differences actually.

Petplan have a lot of other things included as standard rather than optional (ie pay more for) including things like third party liability and emergency boarding.

Petplan have a larger amount for complimentary treatments and some things like physiotherapy are counted as veterinary treatment for petplan rather than complimentary.

Also, with a large breed puppy...£5000 cover isn't as much as it sounds like, a joint problem or something like a tricky broken bone could easily go over that.

Just so you know when you're comparing them.

I don't use petplan btw...but you need to read everything they cover when you're trying to compare them as there are differences that aren't immediately obvious.

Collaborate Fri 12-Dec-14 15:56:46

Thanks for that. I had checked most of the extras, like 3rd party etc, to compare as like for like as I could. It is useful to know however how much a years worth of claims could come to.

tabulahrasa Fri 12-Dec-14 16:36:50

I can give you my dog's claims...he's a medical nightmare, lol.

He developed elbow dysplasia at 4 months old, the operation for that was about £3000...add in x-rays and ongoing anti-inflammatories and over the first year it was close to £5000.

He then developed a spinal problem (there was no reason he should have ED or a spinal problem and they're not connected) so a pain and behavioural specialist was next and more painkillers...then the anti-inflammatories gave him an ulcer, it perforated and he had to have part of his stomach and intestines removed with nearly a week in intensive care... I ran out of insurance as he's insured for £7500 and had to pay about £500 myself after his op for his other vets until renewal time.

This year (he's 2) his premiums are just over £100 a month, but I still pay it because now he can't have anti-inflammatories and his painkillers cost about that anyway, plus his specialist costs £200 a visit.

If he hadn't had those problems...he'd have had maybe £200 a year claimed on things like an ear infection that took a couple of appointments to clear up, a cut pad from walking on a bit of glass and a torn ear when he was bitten by another dog and a couple of stomach upsets as a puppy....that's the more normal stuff.

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