Dog insurance for our new greyhound - bamboozled!(22 Posts)
We have 4 weeks free cover with PetPlan for our new greyhound which expires next week.
So, I am trying to sort new cover for her, but I'm a bit bamboozled by all the choice TBH. I am considering a lifetime policy. Our last grey was covered by Animal Friends on a middling policy (not lifetime). She died young due to a brain tumour so I am now unsurprisingly drawn to comprehensive cover! However, as she didn't have any treatment other than medication and then euthanasia our claim was processed without any issues.
When you take out a lifetime policy, I take it you stick with the same insurers for life? Don't they just ramp up the monthly payments as the dog ages? DDog is 3 now, and the quotes are £20+ pm. What will they be when she is middle-aged? (Assuming she gets there of course )
What is a sensible amount of annual vets fees cover? I am looking at around £4k. Is there anything else I need to watch out for?
I've got a 6 yr old Patterdale X and we have Direct Line advanced cover , it's £8000 cover with no time limits and some dental cover. I pay £35 per month but could have paid £30ish and had a bigger excess , I chose to pay more and go for the smaller excess as one claim would have made that uneconomic and so far we have had to make a claim about every 18-24 months . £4K isn't an awful lot of cover really .
I just took out a plan with pet plan today. I asked exactly the question you did OP and this is what they said. That policies go up with AGE and not how many claims you make like car insurance.
I wanted an example and he put my dog aged 7 (the maximum age they take on as a new customer) in to the computer and it came out at £50 a month against the £40 I've been quoted for the puppy.
I had direct line before and by the time my dog died I was paying £80 a month.
Also, there were 3 levels of whole life cover - £4K, £7k, £12k per year. I took out the middle one at £40 a month. With £110 excess (that's per YEAR and not per condition like I had with direct line)
Hope that's helpful
"That policies go up with AGE and not how many claims you make like car insurance."
With petplan that's true, other companies do raise premiums after claims.
4K although it sounds like loads, isn't if you ever need scans or anything like that done, it'll be gone before you even think about treatment.
Thanks for reading ...so £4k might be too low.
However, I find the £80 pm premium quite shocking actually. So, you could feasibly end up paying nearly a grand a year and the dog not actually require that much treatment?
I suppose I am influenced by the 2 dogs I have owned as an adult - both died fairly young. DGreyhound was 7 and was ill for about 10 weeks prior to being PTS - only treatment was ABs, and steroids. She died before any investigative scans could be carried out. And prior to that, DGSD died suddenly on her 9th birthday - taken ill overnight and died during investigative operation so no costs associated with that other than a call out charge.
Would it perhaps be worth taking out a middling, non-lifetime cover policy until the age of 7, then taking a fully comprehensive lifetime policy? DDog has just turned 3 years.
The problem is that anything that has been wrong with the dog before you take out the lifetime policy will be excluded and they will seriously exclude everything they can . My dog has SLO and anything to do with his nails is excluded as it was pre changing to a lifetime policy , I have a savings account where I save for any toe problems , I aim to keep it at around 1k .
Petplan is good for greys because it covers dental as well and they have such rubbish teeth.
With the Direct Line advanced you have up to £1k per year dental cover
Ah, that is interesting re dental work, although DDog does seem to have pretty sparkling gnashers . Apparently lots of trainers have changed what they feed the dogs
I am actually now considering a basic policy, and perhaps putting some savings away. Aaargh, I just don't know!
Do not go with pet plan, it's very expensive for the cover. Try go compare or money supermarket.
Petplan cover dental all the time providing your vet checks the dogs teeth once a year and records it on the notes. So when you take her for the boosters you get the vet to record they looked in his mouth.
Our greys are currently with Direct Line. Bear in mind that typically greys can be long lived for a large breed and I'm currently looking at a 13 and a half year old who's full of beans.
Have a think about what can go wrong with what's actually a very healthy breed, generally. Lots of catastrophic accidents (high speed), very thin skin (so they are a bugger to stitch), and if they've raced, they may get arthritis in later life in joints. You can easily soak up £4K upwards on things like an accident especially with scans, MRI or costly orthopaedic surgery.
We have a greyhound the same age and have the Covered for Life Classic plan with Petplan www.petplan.co.uk/dog-insurance.asp with £7000 vet fees cover and it's about £63/month.
Thus far in the year and a bit we've had him, it's paid for itself. He had pancreatitis earlier this year which was over £1000 and yesterday morning he managed to cut his foot - there was blood all over the floors, it's ruined three rugs and my husband took him to the vet to get it looked at. The vet said it's a small wound, it's just that greyhounds are "very vascular" and therefore bleed tons and tons. Not sure how much that would have cost us but we're over our deductible so the insurance pays.
If we hadn't had the "for life" cover, I don't think his pancreatitis would be covered if we wanted to switch policies later and the vets have said that it's something which might happen again.
We have a cat on the same sort of plan and have been happy with that too. One of the nice things is that the vets we use bill them directly, it's absolutely no hassle to us, it just kind of happens like magic.
My first dog I took out a "cheap" policy with CoOp underwritten by Allianz (same people as petplan).
At 13 months old the dog needed an MRI scan it was £2750, his policy had a maximum annual £2,5k. Just the scan to find out what was wrong wasn't covered. He ended up dying 6 weeks later and we had spent over £4K. He got bitten by an infected tick.
My second dog is now insured on petplan lifetime £12k per year at a cost of £42 per month (£6 more than the previous policy).
He's had £8k of treatment this year after an injury running.
Vet fees are expensive but factor in MRIs specialist equipment etc they become scarily expensive.
Makes me value the NHS!!!
There is a bit of a balancing act with all dogs as some will need expensive treatment while others gets away with maybe a maximum of £1000 or so over their lifetime.
Recently my lurcher had to have an x-ray and biopsy for a suspicious lump on his leg - with anti-inflammatories and antibiotics it came to about £350 which I paid for (in my mind) from the savings I made by not insuring him because it would cost lots to insure him at 13 years old.
Injury is a problem - but the only other expense he has incurred at the vets were a broken toe and his neutering (plus of course general health checks). I doubt that the total over the 9 years I have had him he has cost more than £1k. My previous dog also a lurcher had no such injuries - but then she was more sensible.
I do feel that there is a lot of un-necessary treatment for dogs - mris, biopsies and the like when a more simple initial treatment may solve the problem. Just IMO as I am smarting about the recent treatment when the antibiotics have worked best but were tried last.
Without diagnostics like MRI's & biopsies etc then vets can only go on guesswork so a treatment may not be suitable or be wasting valuable time. Most vets would try simple treatments early on before specialist referrals.
My greyhound cost £7k in vet bills in 18month period before then he'd only had a dental/minor bills. He had 2x MRI's an orthopaedic issue & later a brain tumour luckily our insurance was on a per condition basis as £4k really doesn't go far and i'm not in an expensive vet area. I took the policy out when he was 2 when £4k seemed reasonable cover and he was nearly 11 when he passed and vet bills had risen. Can't easily switch like with other insurance as anything on vet records is then a pre-existing condition which can be quite harsh i.e diarrhoea excludes all bowel conditions
The premiums were less at 2yrs than pet plan but by 7 were about the same and after each claim the premiums and also the excess increased which of course will end up paying over the odds for that claim value over time. My premium rises for my newer dogs on petplan have been less with NFU annually and while i've yet to claim others that have didn't face significant increases. I don't mind paying a % of bill for my oldies if it means the premiums are more stable and not going to be unaffordable to make us leave as many insurers do.
The only poor thing about pet plan is that they advertise £1-2k for complementary treatments but its divided up and i know with hydrotherapy its 10 sessions which doesn't go far for many clients needs but some insurers maybe worse, NFU included it under the vet fee pot.
I see a fair few clients at work that have maxed out the low insurance cover or uninsured and its quite scary hearing how much various conditions have cost (see a range of breeds).
I don't have a problem with paying out for car, contents/ buildings insurance knowing i may never make a claim & get the money back, its only peace of mind. I try to think of how much it would cost me if i needed to borrow the money to pay the vet
My grey is 7 & he is also insured with PetPlan agree with AnUtter about the teeth they have paid out for two lots of dental extractions and also when he tried to jump a cattle grid whilst chasing and didn't quite make it! I know some dog owners prefer to put money aside for vets bills but I also like the public liability that comes with pet insurance, if the worst happened and my dog caused an accident I would be covered. Pay approx £58 per month and yes it has increased each year but for me for peace of mind it's worth it. My mums grey had a heart condition and had expensive medication each month and Pet Plan paid for that too.
I did say it was IMO - in my humble opinion - many of us do not have the income to pay anything like £80 a month but would sell our valuables to raise the money if it was actually required for life-saving treatment. There is a differance - just to give some balance my total annual income is circa £12k so you can see why I cannot afford the excessive monthly payments but would sell something to raise the money if it was genuinely required for treatment.
How many times do humans have MRIs and biopsies for what is probably an infection until other avenues (simple treatment) are explored.
I do feel that vets are keen to maximise their income and guilt us into lots of expensive diagnostic tools - and I repeat this is just my opinion and nothing will change it that view I hold. .
Our grey (now departed) was with Tesco who I can't fault in how promptly they paid out when we needed to claim for the usual combination of greyhound stupidity plus thin greyhound skin... had the text that they'd got my claim form one afternoon and the cheque in the post the following morning.
"many of us do not have the income to pay anything like £80 a month but would sell our valuables to raise the money if it was actually required for life-saving treatment."
The problem with that though, is, I don't own anything worth enough to pay expensive vet bills and I definitely don't own anything I could sell for that amount quickly enough in an emergency to cover them.
I mean in a push I could sell my house, but that seems a bit extreme, my car definitely wouldn't pay for anything useful. Some second hand computers and iPhones are even less...that's me out of valuables.
£80 a month is a lot, but, pet insurance varies by breed, so it should be something you'd be factoring in when deciding whether you can afford a dog and what dog you're picking...unless you are in the position of being able to raise thousands overnight.
Sometimes people opt for expensive scans over waiting and treating conservatively, sometimes conditions just need expensive treatment.
Our dogs are/ were insured with pet plan. Absolutely cannot fault them in any way. Our 11 1/2 yr old Airedale has more than received his monthly premiums back. First hip replacement ( done as emergency following being hit by car) cost over £8000! We could never have come up with £8000 overnight and 6 months later he had the second planned hip replacement due to dysplasia ( shame he didn't injure his bad leg in the accident - he did his good hip) that was £5000 minimum
Yes premiums went up every year but not after claims. So far over his life Sammy has had at least 12 general anaesthetics/ operations for all sorts of things like lump removal, grass seeds, investigations prior to diagnosis of hip dysplasia, etc
I could never had a dog without insurance due to not being able to stump up thousands immediately
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