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Not taking out pet insurance...

(110 Posts)
HolaWeenie Tue 13-Feb-18 21:37:05

We collect our dog in 2 days, I've spent quite a lot of time looking at insurance policies. It seems a total swizz!

Ideally we would like a lifetime policy with around £2-3k per illness, no annual policy limit and around £100 -200 excess. That looks to be available for around £15-20 per month, which will increase each year. As I understand it with lifetime policies you're unable to shop around like car insurance as it's based on you renewing, so by the time dog is 6yrs old we could be paying quite a lot more each month.

We have low risk lives, fairly sensible kids for their ages and I'm at home all the time. I plan to train the dog well. He's a toy breed so will be on lead most of the time. So whilst you can't foresee accidents, I think we're quite low risk.

We'd cover vaccinations and neutering and small things, just like we do with our house and car insurance, we don't claim for small things. So the insurance would be for big things that run into the thousands. The policy will then be capped at £2/3k anyway, so we will be exposed for amounts above that.

We do have credit available to us if something should happen, so my question is are we nuts to consider not taking out insurance!?

DancesWithOtters Tue 13-Feb-18 21:42:23

Please take out insurance OP!

Our cat is a strapping healthy boy, we live in a safe rural area, low risk etc etc. You wouldn't believe the fucking mischief our darling pets can get into. In 2 years he's cost us £5k plus. Or that's what his vets bills have been, thankfully most was covered by his insurance.

We'd be sunk if we hadn't got insurance.

DancesWithOtters Tue 13-Feb-18 21:43:44

Note: current cat cost us more in 2 years than previous 21 year old cat cost us his whole life.

It's just not worth the risk. Unless you've got thousands doing nowt in the bank.

Justmuddlingalong Tue 13-Feb-18 21:45:02

Yes, I think you are. A low risk family has no bearing whatsoever on the potential health of your dog.

Bluntness100 Tue 13-Feb-18 21:45:29

Get insurance, you have not accounted for your dog being ill.

My dog got ill, he was at the vets constantly, overnight stays, barium balls, medication, you name it, the cost was in excess of 4K per annum

Before he was sadly put to sleep my final bill was 3k. Sadly we had not noticed in the renewal that pet plan had with drawn cover for this illness. So it was our expense. However it was irrelevant, what are you going to do, say you can't afford it and put your dog to sleep?

Being careful or training the dog is irrelevant. Dogs like humans get sick. Ours had a diseased bowel. There was no way to prevent it.

I would not do a lifetime policy no. Pet plan ultimately covered about 8k of costs before they said no more. The final year our dog cost in the region of 7k all in.

My friends dog has an illness that requires medication which is hugely expensive. As in hundreds a month,Now the insurer has pulled out, and yes she has to make a decision as she can't afford it. However if she had no insurance, or a lifetime policy that decision would have been one that came much quicker.

Honestly get insured and not a lifetime policy. This is not like house or car insurance.

HolaWeenie Tue 13-Feb-18 21:46:50

I have said to dh let's at least do it for the first year and then make a decision at the end of the year. The more he reads about it the more he thinks we should cover any potential bills ourselves.

Bluntness100 Tue 13-Feb-18 21:48:09

You're both nuts. That's all I can say. Or you're incredibly wealthy.

twinkletoedelephant Tue 13-Feb-18 21:48:52

Ddog decided one day to launch herself at a minibus.... Without insurance it would have been ££££ thankfully we had insurance she had the best care and cost us £85. She sleeping on my feet now.

If we had to have found Over £1000+ .... She wouldn't be.

Bluntness100 Tue 13-Feb-18 21:50:18

And it's twenty or thirty odd quid a month. If you can't afford it you should not have a dog. They can be very expensive.

DancesWithOtters Tue 13-Feb-18 21:50:58

Oh OP, please get insurance.

We have friends who have a pet that had cancer. Over £20,000 later the pet is recovered.

He would have been put to sleep had he not been insured.

I could go on with these stories.

Are you very wealthy? Have you had pets before and know how much medical care for animals costs?

bigsighall Tue 13-Feb-18 21:52:38

I’m not a big believer in pet insurance but I always insure for the first year minimum (apparently insuring for the first year and then after 7 is the most beneficial way of doing it but I’ve never insured an adult dog)

Hoddykins Tue 13-Feb-18 21:53:23

My bailey - young, healthy 5 year old Beagle - we discovered a lump and he went lame in both legs all at once.

We are already over our £7,000 cover for this year and having to save for another £3,800 operation.

Please please please get insurance - and the highest amount possible!!!

We wish we had rather than going for the middle option!

ElanorGamgee Tue 13-Feb-18 21:53:48

We don’t insure anything pet wise, two horses, three cats and a dog. Sadly they are all elderly now. Worst year in the last twenty probably cost us £5k in vets fees, most years we only pay for vaccinations and a health check.

I would have spent far more than the £10k max I have spent on illnesses had I insured for the last 20 years.

I have a fairly pragmatic approach though, wouldn’t go for invasive treatments generally whether insured or not. Wouldn’t put a horse through colic surgery for instance as the recovery can be very hard and not something either of mine would cope with terribly well. Would struggle to put a small animal through cancer surgery unless the odds of a full recovery were above 90%, etc., etc.

MsHomeSlice Tue 13-Feb-18 21:55:57

admittedly drug costings will be lower for a toydog, but anything out of the ordinary...a couple of xrays, sedation, vet time, vet hospital, meds, follow ups...that's £500 gone minimum

If I had a £5k cushion then I probably would not bother, but unless you have that waiting then you are trusting to luck.
If you are happy to have to get the dog euthanised rather than investigate an illness to see if it is treatable then crack on.

Bluntness100 Tue 13-Feb-18 21:56:45

My dog was sick from the age of three to five, so three years in total before he had to be PTS. Honestly, get insured, they become like members of your family and having to put your animal to sleep because you cannot afford the vets bills and didn't insure would be beyond devastating,

It's bad enough when you lose them but to have to do it because you can't afford the vets fees and you didn't insure must be a million times worse.

HolaWeenie Tue 13-Feb-18 21:59:13

I mentioned our fairly low risk lives with regards to the likelihood of accidents, broken bones etc.

I totally understand it will be illness that would be the thing to run into the thousands, and there is absolutely no way we would be able to avoid that, which is why I find it a swizz, they cap policies! So we would still be left exposed for hefty bills regardless of having insurance.

Don't get me wrong I want insurance. I'm keen to hear your views to convince dh.

mustbemad17 Tue 13-Feb-18 21:59:59

My dog cost me £2.5k in the first six months we had her. No insurance. A friend had to stop her dog's chemo because she couldn't afford the £350 a time bill.

There are things you can do to reduce risk - training etc. But you can't guarantee your dog won't get hit by a car, get a lifelong health issue, require emergency surgery for something. Unless you have a couple of grand at least in the bank i think you'd be daft not to insure

Justmuddlingalong Tue 13-Feb-18 22:01:19

Your dog might be on a lead, what about the other dogs who aren't?

mustbemad17 Tue 13-Feb-18 22:04:00

There's also genetics. My mum's spaniel has some weird thing with her ears that required a vet to put together a special vaccine for her - it was pretty cool how they did it - but it cost £1500 a jab. She needed four. She now needs special medicated food for life which costs a bomb - because its part of the condition the insurance covers a large percentage of her food. Saves my folks about £100 every three months even paying the excess

Regularsizedrudy Tue 13-Feb-18 22:04:15

Insurance is part of being a responsible pet owner. You shouldn’t be getting a dog if you can’t handle paying £20 a month.

expatinscotland Tue 13-Feb-18 22:05:09

We just lost our very elderly house cat. He had a stroke at home and even taking him to the vet who discovered this and having to have him PTS was £300. We're petless now, but the only pet I'd have and not and not have insurance for is a hamster.

blueskyinmarch Tue 13-Feb-18 22:05:16

We are a low risk family. But our family dog has a health condition which needs an op. The insurance has paid for x rays, a CT scan and will pay for her OP and any follow ups. I would not have a dog and not have insurance.

scattyhattie Tue 13-Feb-18 22:06:19

Well £2-3k isn't likely to be enough cover per year let alone capped for lifetime, I'd say £7k per year renewing pot, lifetime policy is now minimum tbh.
An MRI is minimum £1k and that's just diagnostic not treatment, my lad needed 2 MRI's in a year for different conditions and insurance paid out £7k in total over 18months till then had 5yrs with no claims. Saw wide range of breeds/sizes at orthopedic specialist vets.

Medication & managing long term conditions can get very expensive, but pet could still have a good quality of life on them. Insurance is always a gamble but I try to think how much it would cost to borrow the money to pay vets & could then easily get hit with another big bill later on.

expatinscotland Tue 13-Feb-18 22:06:33

There's an adorable cat available on SSPCA site now, but sadly he's got a heart condition. It'd be impossible to insure him and you'd have to be quite well off to take him on sad.

LRL2017 Tue 13-Feb-18 22:06:37

We had a £2,500 operation and around £4,500 for a number of problems too. We would never have afforded this without insurance. I wouldn't risk it.

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