Have I put my foot in it with puppy insurance?

(46 Posts)
MissShapesMissStakes Tue 06-Nov-18 15:05:01

I am new to dog owning. Have a 4 month old miniature poodle.

I have been looking at increasing our insurance amount as I only took out for £1000 per condition (lifetime). I want to increase the amount per condition - no reason other than dog people have said it’s not that much really.

I have spoken to animal friends who I am with and they said I can do that but would have to close the current policy and start a new one but with a 14 day grace period.

I just went to his monthly puppy check/worming appointment and mentioned that in the evenings his poo is a bit loose. It’s fine in the mornings. The nurse wasn’t concerned and just said he looks very healthy and is a healthy weight. She said to try just feeding his main food for a week without treats to see if that helps. If that didn’t make a different to come in and see the vet.

But now will that go down as a ‘pre existing condition’ that the insurance can use to wriggle out of paying with if anything comes of it.
It was just a general casual chat amongst other things. And she did say it’s probably that he’s eating something he shouldn’t in the day.

What would you more experienced dog owners suggest I do?

Have I buggered things up?!

OP’s posts: |
Kennycalmit Tue 06-Nov-18 16:00:53

No. You’re absolutely fine

He hasn’t been treated for anything. There has been no diagnoses.

Wolfiefan Tue 06-Nov-18 16:05:05

Honestly? I wouldn’t touch Animal Friends with a bargepole. I would cancel and take out better insurance with a decent firm. (Check with your vets who they will claim direct from.)

MissShapesMissStakes Tue 06-Nov-18 16:10:04

Thank you for your replies. That’s reassuring (in one way!)

My vet deals directly with petplan but they were incredibly expensive compared the animals friends.

What problem did you have with them if you don’t mind me asking?

I did look at lots of reviews but they all have so many terrible reviews and then excellent ones I found they all cancelled each other out!

OP’s posts: |
Veterinari Tue 06-Nov-18 16:15:19

It depends on the insurers. Animal friends will probably try and use it as a pre-existing condition. Reputable insurers won’t

BiteyShark Tue 06-Nov-18 16:16:30

I highly doubt anything has been written on your record about what you said.

I can't comment on the insurer that you have as I have never used them but do look at the T&Cs very closely as cheaper does not always mean better. Perhaps chat to your vets to see who they rate and who they find don't pay out as it is then when you find out whether your insurer is a good one or not.

There have been a few threads on here in the past asking about recommendations or experiences so well worth a search before committing yourself.

adaline Tue 06-Nov-18 16:17:31

I wouldn't use Animal Friends. I've heard so many horror stories with them wriggling out of paying.


Ribeebie Tue 06-Nov-18 16:23:38

Beware of animal friends!!

We have an ongoing complaint with animal friends about exclusions they have applied to our dog's policy. Please stay away from them!

Our dog had his ears checked at his very first puppy check (he was on a free one month puppy insurance plan whilst we tried to decide the best insurance to use - we won't make that mistake again!) One ear was slightly wet, this completely settled (and this is also documented in his notes) and he was fine with no diagnosis given.

However when we tried to claim for an ear infection needing surgery many years later they have trawled through his records and refused to pay and added 'any ear problem' as an exclusion.

This is despite our vet writing to them and completely disagreeing with their decision and explaining very clearly why this should be covered).

We are now taking it to the ombudsman.

I imagine they will try apply an exclusion of any bowel problem to your dog if you ever get try claim for anything related in the future if you go with them. Regardless of how ridiculous it seems. I would strongly advise looking elsewhere for cover.

MissShapesMissStakes Tue 06-Nov-18 16:27:22

Thank you for all this info. It’s just a minefield isn’t it?!

I will be researching another provider.

Ribeebee - good luck!

OP’s posts: |
BiteyShark Tue 06-Nov-18 16:32:10

I caveat this with 'there are other insurers out there' but I am with petplan who are expensive but have never once quibbled with my dogs numerous accidents, illnesses, investigations and operations and have paid out approx £4500 in less than 2 years.

The only thing I did wrong was not get more cover per year. Whilst I am on a life policy thank god I only took out the 4K per year one and if I could wind back the clock I wish I had gone for their top cover now I know how quickly bills can mount up. I know someone with a fairly young dog who had a bill in excess of £10,000 in one year for one condition.

tryingtocatchthewind Tue 06-Nov-18 16:33:49

Op it’s awful isn’t it. I now find myself not mentioning tiny things to the vet as I don’t want anything listing on her medical records that are not “real” issues. We were naive with our first dog and would chat with the vet about everything. We then wanted to change our insurer and would told every bloody thing would be a pre-existing condition so we were trapped with our insurance provider. Argh I hate pet insurance x

Whitney168 Tue 06-Nov-18 16:35:57

OP, if you do cancel the AF policy (and they don't have a good reputation), make sure you set up your new one to run for 14 days - or whatever the exclusion period is - before cancelling the old one so that you are covered for the initial period.

AnotherOriginalUsername Tue 06-Nov-18 16:41:39

Speak to your vets about a petplan 4 week cover note. When issued by a vet they are active immediately so you can theoretically cancel your animal friends cover, be issued a 4 week free policy and not have the 14 day exclusion period. You cannot have a 4 week free cover note if you have a comprehensive insurance policy in place.

Do some googling - mainly "animal friends, watchdog"

Petplan seem expensive initially but that's because they don't do what's known as "premium loading" - in other words you will never be penalised at renewal time for making a claim. Other companies will get you in with nice cheap prices but increase premiums at renewal after a few years when you've made a few claims. Those increases can be astronomical.

MissShapesMissStakes Tue 06-Nov-18 17:17:50

Thank you everyone.

I will look into PetPlan and others.

Are there any others worth looking at?!

Will this chat about his poo count against me elsewhere?

OP’s posts: |
Wolfiefan Tue 06-Nov-18 17:18:09

Our breeder used them to insure her puppies before they went to new homes. Double figures of puppies of exact same age and breeed. Same parents. They took her money and later tried to wriggle out of the policy saying they don’t insure breeders. confused

Judashascomeintosomemoney Tue 06-Nov-18 17:53:23

My vet deals directly with petplan but they were incredibly expensive compared the animals friends
They are, because they are exceptionally good. I would never use any one else tbh. I have claimed thousands with large dogs over the last seven years I have been with them and I have never had any issues. It’s also potentially really good to have the peace of mind that, in the event of a large bill, your vet will deal direct with them.

Greyhorses Tue 06-Nov-18 18:59:39

Petplan and kennel club are the best to deal with imo.

Also more than seem to be reasonable and pay out within good time.

Allycumpooster Tue 06-Nov-18 19:38:33

When I had queries with Animal friends I emailed them and asked so that I had it all in writing. They agreed to a two year exclusion as opposed to a lifetime exclusion for lameness, I then got them to agree that it was only the left foreleg that was excluded, then I narrowed it down to only a problem with the left fore foot... etc. All in emails. It turned out to quite a useful paper trail smile.
Ultimately I changed insurance company to one I can trust.

Nesssie Wed 07-Nov-18 15:01:49

I'm with petprotect, have the most expensive cover for my large corssbreed, and its still a reasonable monthly amount (£26).

Only thing it doesn't cover is cruciate injuries (had to look in the t&cs to find that) but I figured the amount I save monthly compared to petplan etc is worth that. However I am lucky that we have enough in savings to pay for cruciate surgery if the worse happens.

mando12345 Wed 07-Nov-18 22:45:27

I'm afraid if written down on the notes then it may well count as a pre existing condition. Why not trying the vet and see if it has been recorded on your dog's notes. If you're lucky it may not have been.

Kennycalmit Wed 07-Nov-18 23:24:26

I’ve always used sainsburys pet insurance. Never ever had a problem with them

MarleyMooChick Thu 08-Nov-18 07:22:21

It shouldn't be a problem as I not sure if diarrhoea is a condition in itself. If there was an underlying cause such as an infection then it's a condition.
I've got a six month old puppy, & it's common for puppies to have it, and her poos did deteriorate over the day, to mush by the evening. Breeder said it was normal due to less processing time in the gut than overnight, and the large amount of food & meals puppies need.
Quite often my puppies diarrhoea was a sign of over feeding so just reduced the amount, it's a constant adjustment of food as they grow.
My dog is with Vetsure insurance. She came with 5 weeks petplan insurance & then the vet gave me a voucher for 5 weeks free Vetsure insurance when that came to an end.
I had visited the vet for diarrhoea under the petplan one as there was some blood, & it didn't effect moving to the Vetsure one.

BiteyShark Thu 08-Nov-18 07:41:36

MarleyMooChick when you say it didn't affect moving over to your new insurance it would only become an issue if you claimed for something in that area and they found something on your record that they considered pre existing as when I did my first claim they asked the vet to send 'ALL' the history right from the start and not just about what I was claiming for. If that is what you meant then apologies but it wasn't clear if you just meant taking out a policy which is fine because it's down to you to declare anything previous but equally they will check history at claim time.

TweedAddict Thu 08-Nov-18 07:58:33

I’m with Animal friends with my 3 dogs. In all honesty they have been fab. My puppy has got a lifetime condition, they pay out no issues, her meds per month cost 10x the amount I pay for her policy. I’m also claiming for my older dog, who did have something similar wrong with him 5years ago, again they paid out with no issues. I don’t think they are as bad as people think they are

MarleyMooChick Thu 08-Nov-18 08:11:15

Was just about to post again as realised I wasn't clear & happy to be corrected if what I write is wrong.
Meant to say I was under the assumption that diarrhoea is just a symptom of something else, whether due to over feeding, eating rubbish, or an infection/illness. If it is not the cause of an illness, then there should not be a restriction in a new policy. Lots of dogs get upset stomachs.
I have had previously a puppy that had diarrhoea due to a Campylobacter infection & in that case I had to stick with my insurance company for the life of my dog.
You could call up an insurance company that you are not interested in going with & pose the question to them. Or if you are thinking if starting a new policy with the insurance you are with, ask them if there would be any restrictions.

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