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Dog insurance

(18 Posts)
summerholsdreamin Wed 22-Feb-17 10:25:51

So my 4 yo lab has been insured since day 1.

Back end of last year we had to make our 1st claim as her back legs suddenly went requiring hospitalisation and tests. Fortunately nothing sinister and she is fine now.

We submitted a claim for approx £1500 which not only took 3 months to be settled, but there was a £400 deduction (so only £1100 paid).

Looking at the breakdown after excess, deductions included:
Exceeded max consultation fees
Exceeded max hospitalisation fees (she was only in 3 nights)
Extra 10% deduction for hospitalisation

Am obvs furious as we pay a fortune for a top notch lifetime policy but it has really got me thinking about whether we would just be better off putting money aside each month rather than paying into substandard policies. What is the bloody point of having insurance if a massive chunk is deducted??

Appreciate we would need to have a good amount put aside up front just in case

Sorry, just needed to vent.

BiteyShark Wed 22-Feb-17 10:52:10

Which company is that with? I know some policies looked really good but when I noted the excess and limits and also then found out they expected a percentage of the costs on top of that they didn't seem so attractive.

summerholsdreamin Wed 22-Feb-17 11:34:17

Policy is with Pet-Insurance.
Was also talking to a friend who's with PetPlan and they didn't fare much better

BiteyShark Wed 22-Feb-17 11:50:57

I guess the thing with insurance is could you have easily paid the full amount and still be ok to pay for further treatment. Mine has an £85 excess and only covers us for 4K per year but to be honest I suck it up as it's there for big long running illnesses.

If you can potentially cover large ongoing vet bills then yes you are better putting money aside rather than paying for insurance. All insurances have excesses so you could shop around but changing would mean your pre-existing conditions won't be covered.

LaGattaNera Wed 22-Feb-17 11:59:25

Having had large claims for all of of my 3 previous dogs, I wouldn't be without pet insurance but seems to be a thing now to charge a fixed excess and a % of vet bills from 10 - 25% in some cases. I was with Tesco unitl couple years ago, who had a fixed £60 excess which was great but I did pay more a month that with other companies with higher excesses.
Spoke to vet receptionist recently about insurance and she said you really need 7k annual - some big things like cancer or an accident easily require this much and she also mentioned some companies better at paying out than others whereas some seem to go to the ends of the earth to refuse a claim. I lost my dog first week Jan after a week at the vet and the insurer is refusing to pay out the £600. Vet has written to them and they are re-considering, they said it will be 6 - 8 weeks before a decision and am not holding my breathe - would never go back to them (they are not Tesco by the way).
I just wouldn't save instead of paying for insurance as I couldn't suddenly find 5 or 7k for a major condition whereas I could find the excess.

toboldlygo Wed 22-Feb-17 12:46:47 is a trading name of E&L who are notorious in the industry for being an utterly terrible company.

DanielCraigsUnderpants Wed 22-Feb-17 12:47:47

I put the pet insurance money in an account so I self insure and I have a credit card ready to deal with any emergencies before the self insurance fund builds up. The only think not covered is third party liability but some home insurance covers that.

summerholsdreamin Wed 22-Feb-17 13:03:08

Couldn't agree more GoBoldly!

stonecircle Wed 22-Feb-17 13:07:12

I've been agonising over pet insurance for years. I know a lot of people say that, if you can cover a big bill, don't get pet insurance. If you can't then do. But the thing is, it's tempting to take it out when dogs are young and premiums low. You then get on the treadmill and, if you're like me, think you'll tempt fate if you cancel the policy. Or you think it's a waste of all the premiums you have paid.

Current situation with us is -

10 year old lab, currently paying Direct Line about £80 pcm (have paid all her life and I can't bear to stop)

7 year old lab - no insurance, cancelled policy a year ago

1 year old lab - insurance with PetPlan. We weren't going to take out any insurance for her but the vet persuaded us to do it for a year as that is when a lot of problems can manifest themselves. We will cancel after that though.

We also have 2 cats and we no longer have insurance for them.

So a bit of a mish mash for us. But we cancelled some policies when Direct Line were wanting over £230 pcm for 2 cats and 2 dogs. We'd also had our battles with them. They only paid half the cost of a tooth extraction (result of trauma rather than decay). Vet had included an element for cleaning the teeth around the extraction site to avoid bacteria getting into the wound. But they 'don't pay for cleaning' angry

One thing we do have is membership of the Dogs Trust as that (as well as supporting an excellent cause) gives us public liability insurance.

A friend has lots of animals and keeps an 'empty' credit card to use in emergencies.

No easy answers!

Floralnomad Wed 22-Feb-17 13:42:32

We used to insure our pony with an E&L company , they're rubbish , they'd not settled our first ever claim and were already phoning and writing to let us know what was going to be excluded in future , I did tell them they had their priorities wrong and then cancelled as soon as I got the cheque . Our dog is on life cover with direct line and we've made a few £600ish claims and never had any bother with them . He does have an exclusion from when he was a puppy and I have a savings account for him to cover those bills .

empirerecordsrocked Wed 22-Feb-17 13:46:21

How much do you pay? The levels do sound very low, I think my limits are 7k per year with M&S. I was more than before and they settled a £2,000 claim with no issues at all minus the excess which was, I think, £90.

Lara2 Wed 22-Feb-17 16:20:51

My last dogs were insured with Tesco and they always paid up very promptly.

BiteyShark Wed 22-Feb-17 16:25:26

I was actually amazed at how quickly pet plan paid up as well when I had to use an emergency vet on a bank holiday. The problem is though you don't know how good the company is until they have to pay out and then typically you are stuck with them especially if you have covered from life and don't want to then exclude pre conditions by moving.

LaGattaNera Wed 22-Feb-17 18:26:22

which other companies are E&L? thanks

dudsville Wed 22-Feb-17 18:40:42

Yes, I know it's something everyone can or would want to do, but we got our dogs when we moved and had cash to set aside for major illness (and boiler breakdown!). For regular stuff we just pay it out of our monthly salaries. Insurance for something that I could conceivably cover feels like a gamble to me. Sorry you're in this situation OP.

SleightOfMind Thu 23-Feb-17 14:01:47

I have a savings account ringfenced for the dogs that I pay into monthly.
Started this when our previous dogs started getting older and, not only were the premiums ridiculous, they started excluding the very things I felt I needed insurance for.
We sadly lost both dogs last year, leaving nearly £10,000 in the account. That's now available for our new hounds.

summerholsdreamin Thu 23-Feb-17 16:37:09

We pay about £20 per month for I think, £5000 worth of cover (lifetime policy). Given our claim was only £1500 didn't occur to me that it wouldn't be paid in full 😡

Turns out Excess is £169, (I thought it was £100) which seems a very random amount more fool me for not double checking small print

Seems to me that if you take out insurance you need to have extra tucked away on the premise that they never pay in full! So What's the point?

BiteyShark Thu 23-Feb-17 16:45:37

The point is you only need to pay a small amount and not potential thousands. The same with any insurance, all of ours (house, bike, travel, health etc) have excess, exclusions and limits.

I always look to see what the excess is and what they class as separate claims to try and gauge which ones suits our finances better.

If you think it isn't worth it for your situation then start putting money aside for any further treatments or make sure you have a credit card handy if you can't pay in full. It's a gamble not to have insurance if you can't access thousands if needed but on the other hand if you never claim you have paid out a lot for nothing (although no one wants to have a poorly pet).

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