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Petplan dog insurance

(23 Posts)
Peppapissinpig Thu 28-May-15 09:44:44

We have a 2 yo lab who has always been with Petplan. She has no health problems.

However am shock hmm by paying £30 per month in premiums (basic lifetime policy). I know they are supposed to be good but cannot quite get my head around the expense.

Can anyone recommend a good alternative policy that isn't such a huge amount of money?

Kleptronic Thu 28-May-15 09:52:21

See what you think of MoreThan, I've got their best one for mine, it's £50 for two dogs and a cat, the cat is 9, one's a mad collie and the mini dachshunds are known to get back troubles (nothing yet though, fingers crossed) so I am happy with that price. It's the gold plated one so everything included. Which is just as well 'cos turns out I need a Behaviourist!

Peppapissinpig Thu 28-May-15 10:01:21

Thanks Klep....will check it out

negrilbaby Thu 28-May-15 10:54:39

Can I highjack this and ask about the different types of insurance offered?
We are getting a puppy in the near future and am astounded at the range of insurance policies out there.
What should I start with?

Peppapissinpig Thu 28-May-15 11:48:20

Well ime the 'lifetime' policies are supposed to be the best. I understand this means any diagnosed illnesses aren't excluded from next years policy (a trick of many insurers).

Shop around

Kleptronic Thu 28-May-15 12:16:23

There's usually 3 types, a basic up to so much in a year, a middling up to a greater amount in a year, and a bells and whistles which will be eg £12k per year repeating. So if there's a long term condition, you get £12k the first year, another £12k the next. This was important to me with a dachshund in case he gets disc disease. The other policies may pay out up to a certain amount per condition/year and then that's it.

My gold policy has third party insurance, 'farewell' money, behaviourist etc. too.

Do shop around though, they have different offers on at different times. Mine did multiple pets on the same policy which was a factor for me.

pigsDOfly Thu 28-May-15 12:32:40

£30 a month seems pretty good to me. I'm paying just over £38 a month for life time insurance for my dog with Petplan.

They paid out for really quickly though for several large invoices for her a couple of years ago and the premium didn't go up as I've been paying the same since I started with them 3 years ago.

And remember Petplan will pay for dental treatment, an awful lot of insurance companies don't cover it and as a dog gets older that could become quite expensive.

Also if you start a life time policy with another company anything your dog has been treated for up till is likely to be excluded.

Peppapissinpig Thu 28-May-15 14:51:30

Pigs- can I ask what your level of cover is?

WeAllHaveWings Thu 28-May-15 16:31:52

This might give you somewhere to start looking at polices.

We are with Petplan Classic £7k lifetime cover for £30/month with 2yr old lab. We wont move now as he's had a couple of claims and don't want to be caught with existing condition exceptions. They were both fairly minor claims for ~£400-£500 each and both times Petplan were excellent, and paid directly to the vet with no questions. Claims didn't result in any increase in premiums.

What the reviews behind the ratings I've attached don't mention is anything about how much premiums rise as the dog ages which is one of my concerns.

cat234 Thu 28-May-15 17:19:06


I'm a vet...haven't got much experience of looking into insurance from a pet owner's point of view...but in terms of what they cover....

some of the variation in covers will be in amount per year (in all for various conditions), or amount per condition/per year. So some may only be up to £3000 for the year, others may be up to £10,000 or even more. Some will only pay out that total once in a year, others would pay that up each condition.

the other big difference is companies that won't pay out on pre existing or ongoing conditions. so your dog may have an ongoing disease such as diabetes and you only be able to claim for it for one year. or conditions that recur, skin allergies, ear problems etc.

One other thing, is the difference in 'things' you can claim for, the better policies often allow you to claim for behaviorists, physio, hydrotherapy etc, although policies wont.

Rough costing for some things, referral for staging and chemotherapy for lymphoma - £6000-7000. Referral for just an MRI scan for spinal problems, £1500 - 2000 (and then another £3000-4000 if surgery required). Things that can be dealt with in house rather than referral can still be expensive, £700 for drip, bloods, ex lap surgery (eg, dog swallowed a foreign body). Medication for atopy (allergic skin disease) can be expensive, for a 40kg dog, cyclavance (one medication option) could be about £200 per month. Immunotherapy vaccine, £200 for about 10 doses (prob required lifelong).

Those are just some rough costings. Generally most people don't have that kind of money at the drop of a hat. If your dog swallowed something tomorrow and needed surgery, would you have £700+ to spend? That's the kind of things you want it to cover for.

If you are going to shop around/switch insurance, do it whilst your dog is young and doesn't have preexisiting problems. If you wait until it's older you kind of end up tied to companies as they will often exclude things you have had before (been to the vet for, even if you haven't claimed).

pigsDOfly Thu 28-May-15 17:28:45

Sorry Peppa only just seen your post.

Just looked and realised it has actually gone up to £42.19 per month. Not sure when that happened as I tend to just go on pay it.

I get up to £7,000 vet fees a year and £1,000 a year complementary treatment. I also have £2,000 liability cover and various other things I'll probably never use.

I pay the first £100 of any claim for each new condition.

Yeah thinking about it, it's very expensive but like I say starting with a new company will probably rule out any previous problems she's had so will probably stick with them.

it's how they get you, isn't it.

Lonecatwithkitten Thu 28-May-15 17:29:47

More than I don't rate they seem to wiggle like worms on a hook to delay payment.
The best alternatives to pet plan I have come across are John Lewis and NFU Mutual.
It is worth knowing that one of the cheaper lifetime policies wrote to all their customers at beginning of May to so that they have had their underwriting removed from the 1st June and they will cease trading. They previously change underwriters 9months ago. All of the clients who have pets with ongoing conditions are totally stuffed.
I think this is beginning of a massive contraction of the pet insurance market as it is not viable for the cheaper companies to continue.

Bombaybunty Thu 28-May-15 17:35:31

My dog is insured with John Lewis. Not the cheapest, but cheaper than Petplan.

When she was badly bitten by another dog and needed surgery, they were brilliant. Paid up immediately.

We have lifetime cover.

mortil2 Thu 28-May-15 17:36:16

I'm with Liverpool Victoria. Lifetime insurance for just over 20 a month

Peppapissinpig Thu 28-May-15 17:52:33

Lonecat, we have house insurance with NFU so will get a quote from them.

Thanks for the professional insight Cat. It's amazing anyone keeps a pet when you consider the true medical treatment costs shockshock

Peppapissinpig Thu 28-May-15 17:55:48

So it would appear NFU is £100 pa cheaper with same level of cover as Petplan!

OneDayWhenIGrowUp Thu 28-May-15 18:09:07

Another point is direct claims. Our practice will do direct claims with pet plan for any amount, which makes things much simpler for clients. Any other company we will only do a direct claim for large unexpected amounts (>£500) as it is more staff time for paperwork and can take several months for us to get paid whereas pet plan settle easily via an online system within a few weeks and minimal paperwork for us. Pet plan also do not increase premiums based on claims whereas most other companies do.

Peppa - our lab and lab cross are both insured with Petplan, and I would recommend them most highly.

Yes, £30 pcm does seem a lot - but Petplan have just paid out somewhere in the region of £6,000 for bilateral knee surgery for our lab cross - she managed to rupture both anterior cruciate ligaments at one go, and has had two orthopaedic operations since the end of January.

She has also has major abdominal surgery when she got hold of a sports bottle cap, swallowed it, and ended up with an intestinal obstruction - that wasn't as pricy as the knees, but was not cheap.

I can't speak for other insurance providers, but we have found Petplan to be very efficient, quick to pay, and their coverage is really good. With the knee surgeries, the vet hospital has been billing them directly, and they have paid up straight away, without a quibble.

Vets we have spoken to have said they think Petplan is the premier pet insurance available.

Lonecatwithkitten Thu 28-May-15 18:17:53

NFU rate very highly for me I have submitted thousands of insurance claims for clients and NFU are by far and away the most straight forward. On one occasion actively going out of their way to ensure that a dog continued to be covered in difficult circumstances.

I forgot to say - we only found out once ddog2 had bust her cruciate said, that this is something that labs and lab crosses are prone to.

Hmm - not sure where that random 'said' came from.

moosemama Thu 28-May-15 19:03:00

Whatever company you go with, be careful to read all the small print before committing. When I was looking around I found most/many don't cover dental work and several came up short on cruciate repair, with some only covering one leg.

I have been with a few companies over the years, but will only go with PetPlan these days. They're the only ones that have consistently paid up immediately without trying to wriggle out of it and their premiums don't shoot up drastically as soon as they have to pay out on something.

I have two large Lurchers - so essentially crossbreeds, insured under one policy for somewhere between £40 and £50 (can't remember exact amount off the top of my head but think it's £45.00 ish) and one of them is considered an oldie at almost 10 years old.

negrilbaby Thu 28-May-15 22:18:47

These replies have been very helpful - thanks.
I think I will probably go with pet plan - but I will need to do some further research as to the level of cover.

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