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What to do about insurance?

(24 Posts)
GreatBigPolarBear Tue 07-Nov-17 09:14:43

We have a 12 year old cross breed. Have had insurance since we rescued him 11 years ago and in that time have claimed on it once for a cut leg.
Premiums for a decent level of cover are now over £20 a month (I know this is fairly cheap compared to pedigrees) but mounts up.
But the policies are invalid if we don't keep up with vaccinations etc (which to be honest we don't always unless he's going to stay with a pet sitter).
Also, at his age we probably wouldn't want to put him through lengthy treatment and would Pts if he became too unwell.
I've kept up the insurance for the 3rd party aspect but some say this can be covered by home insurance?
What do others do?

GreatBigPolarBear Tue 07-Nov-17 09:27:06

Actually-a quick glance through the threads on here has reminded me of all the different things that could happen to him and could be treated fairly simply (but expensively!) so I think I will keep up the insurance

Yecartmannew Tue 07-Nov-17 09:48:15

I will probably get flamed for this but hey ho.

As mine are both rescues that came with pre existing conditions that will never be covered, AND we can afford ongoing medications for things like diabetes etc, AND I don't agree with long drawn out complicated treatments/surgeries for things like cancer etc..........

Mine only have accident and 3rd party insurance. So if they break a leg or something, or cause any 3rd party issues they are covered but anything else not.

I have paid out of my own pocket in the past for a few minor ops and some ongoing age related treatments but still recon I have spent less than insurance would have been.

GreatBigPolarBear Tue 07-Nov-17 09:55:57

I do kind of agree with you but it would just seem typical that after paying many hundreds for insurance over the years, the year I stopped was the year he finally needed it!

MarcoPoloCX Tue 07-Nov-17 11:57:58

Also I'm wondering if titre test can be used if the dog didn't need the vaccination? Would not having vaccinate make the policy invalid?

Whitney168 Tue 07-Nov-17 12:04:30

Vaccinations not being up to date should only exclude those conditions that could have been vaccinated for, not validate the entire policy.

I think this is dependent on various things - the general outlook of the dog in question and whether you feel they would be fit enough for invasive treatment, and also where you live. My area is ridiculously expensive for vet fees.

Membership of the Dog's Trust at £25 per year would give you third party cover, if you don't have adequate cover on home insurance.

To my mind, I insure dogs as long as I think that any reasonably extensive treatment would benefit the dog. Beyond that point, I don't.

hareinthewoods Tue 07-Nov-17 12:15:05

In my experience insurance for dogs over 10 years of age is very expensive. Every year I do my research and find the best deal. At the moment I am with Morethan. Might be worth looking at them.

SparklingRaspberry Tue 07-Nov-17 12:49:27

About the vaccinations - most insurers are aware more and more people are no longer vaccinating so are happy to insure the animal but they just don't cover any illnesses that could've been prevented by a vaccination

GreatBigPolarBear Tue 07-Nov-17 13:01:47

Thanks for the info about vaccinations-I'm glad I haven't been flamed for not always keeping him up to date any more!
I might just go with accident and 3rd party then

Floralnomad Tue 07-Nov-17 13:54:23

I would just say as a warning that one of my mums elderly border x JRT has just had a £1400 vet bill for a 2 night stay / fluids and x rays for what turned out to be a minor stomach issue . That’s a lot of money really for something that definitely wasn’t serious enough to consider PTS .

stonecircle Tue 07-Nov-17 15:45:25

I think if you’re only paying £20 pcm I would definitely keep it. Though that’s so low I wonder how much cover it provides? We were paying £49pcm for our 8 year old cross breed rescue when I cancelled it last year (and I’ve posted on another thread that we’ve just had to pay £4K for a cruciate ligament op shock.)

We pay £112 pcm for our almost 11 year old lab. But have claimed back a few grand this year (resulting in a £30 hike in monthly premiums). I won’t cancel it though as she’s due another op.

To insure or not to insure is something I’ve always wrestled with. Obviously if you’re wealthy there’s no need. And if you haven’t got much money then absolutely you should. But for people who can lay their hands on a few grand if necessary (but would rather spend it on a holiday etc) then it’s not such an easy decision.

If you decide not to insure then definitely join the Dogs Trust to get their public liability insurance.

BiteyShark Tue 07-Nov-17 15:57:18

The only thing to consider given that we have been back and forth to the vets over the past two weeks is the cost of simply trying to find out what's wrong. I have insurance but wish I had taken out more cover as I factored in how much operations or treatments might be but hadn't factored having multiple scans etc which mounts up before you get to the decision on whether to treat or not.

stonecircle Tue 07-Nov-17 16:19:54

Yes indeed Bitey. We had a £300 bill at our vet for X-rays to establish our dog had ruptured his cruciate. Vet hospital - of course - had to take their own. The actual op and stay was £3.5k. He’s been to our vet this morning to have his staples removed (didn’t ask DH how much that was). He has to go back for another check up and X-ray in December which will cost £450.

All these extras don’t half add up. Apparently he will need hydrotherapy. Haven’t asked how much that will be! It’s a good job I love him!

GreatBigPolarBear Tue 07-Nov-17 17:24:00

You're right stonecircle and yes, we fall into the last group so it's tricky.
I'll have a good look and see what I can find.
I'm sure a few years ago it went up to 30 something so I must have reduced the cover then.

He's always been healthy with no issues (touches wood frantically) but obv he's getting on now so things are bound to crop up.

WeAllHaveWings Tue 07-Nov-17 18:14:13

We nearly considered cancelling our petplan a couple of months ago when it was over £500 for the year, as our 4 year old lab was healthy. Thankfully we didn’t as 2 weeks later his knee went and we are around £3k in vet bills and surgery so far, by the time he gets all his follow ups and hydrotherapy I expect it to be nearly the £4K limit for this year! The other knee better wait unit next year!

Thewolfsjustapuppy Tue 07-Nov-17 19:52:31

I would recommend reading your policy very carefully. A lot of insurers make you pay 20% of all claims once the dog is past eight years old anyway. as well as an excess that can be over £100.
I have just gulped and taken out a fixed for life policy for my pup which is £30 a month but it will never go up regardless of age or claims, its a gamble and I did consider just popping it in a savings account. But then I looked at the fact that I can claim £7000 per condition over a lifetime and figured I'd never actually save that amount.

GreatBigPolarBear Tue 07-Nov-17 20:54:41

Oh goodness-looking at these prices I haven't had anywhere near enough cover for years. Bloody hell. I don't know what to do!
I love him to bits and would never want him to suffer but I do baulk at potentially paying so much-either in fees or premiums sad

GreatBigPolarBear Tue 07-Nov-17 21:00:26

With the 'back and forth trying to find out what's wrong' scenarios-do you have to pay the excess each time as well as for the actual treatment?
At £300, by the time you've paid the excess (around £100) and the 20% you've paid over half the bill yourself anyway.

stonecircle Tue 07-Nov-17 21:23:08

The excess is only applied once per condition. So, for example, our old lab has been plagued by ear problems for the last few years. Each trip to the vet for antibiotics etc rarely exceeded the excess (£90) so I never bothered to claim. However, during a phone call to our insurers (Direct Line) they rather helpfully pointed out that all these small bills related to the same condition, so could be counted as one claim with only one excess. I think we got about £1500 back.

GreatBigPolarBear Tue 07-Nov-17 21:38:11

Thanks-that's useful to know.
I've got a couple of weeks until I need to renew so won't rush to make a decision

BiteyShark Tue 07-Nov-17 23:12:15

Same as stonecircle I have paid one excess. I have yet to pay my final bill at the vets as the back and forth is still on going but within 2 weeks I am in the thousands and just being admitted overnight into the care of emergency vets I was quoted around £700 so you can see how quickly it can add up. The nice thing is though I can put in claims at any time and have already had one claim paid into my bank account which I did at the start.

olliegarchy99 Wed 08-Nov-17 14:35:06

I have considered this problem with both my dogs and was always of the mind set that as they were both rescues and at a certain point, when they were getting old, stopped the insurance and decided to put the money aside for any vet treatment.
This worked well as there were no major ops (broken toe the worst) and until their health went downhill from old age when I had to use some of my 'vets fees' savings.
My logic was that if they needed major ops at extreme old age I did not want to put them through that. There is guilt there for such a decision and I do feel for people who struggle to keep the dog they LOVE out of pain because of money. Some people need a dog for company and cannot afford £40 a month out of net income for insurance.
Not sure what the answer is - charities will only help if someone is on certain benefits. sad

tabulahrasa Wed 08-Nov-17 15:32:09

The thing is, it's not just emergencies that are expensive, my dog has arthritic type issues and can't have NSAIDs... insurance was until recently still cheaper than just paying for his painkillers.

WeAllHaveWings Wed 08-Nov-17 21:55:29

Our insurance has an £85 excess and we’ve put through at least 8 vets trips, with X-rays, surgery, checkups, removing staples, several prescriptions for pain killers, anti inflammatories, joint supplements etc and it goes down as a continuation get claim with only one excess to pay. When we start his hydrotherapy there is another excess as that comes off the complementary therapy part of the insurance.

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