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Insurance recommendations(22 Posts)
It's a minefield !!! Our breeder gave us 4 weeks free insurance with PetPlan and also the Kennel Club but we need to start our own policy now. DH keeps looking at what's cheapest but I don't agree. Do we need lifetime cover? Do we need limits per condition? Pup is a 2 month pedigree and we know she's healthy so what to do?
Yes, it absolutely must be a lifetime policy as the annual policies will stop paying out for recurrent and chronic conditions after 12 months.
Also watch out for policies with low annual total limits and low limits per condition - I have seen some which will only pay out £500 per condition which will often not get you a diagnosis let alone treatment. Some also have a reputation for quibbling unreasonably over payouts (Animal Friends springs to mind).
I went with PetPlan Lifetime after lots of mumsnet recommendations. £7k per year cover costs me £22 per month. Not had to claim yet, but they say they pay out 98% of claims and I've only heard good things.
I use petplan lifetime too, most vets recommend them and they pay out to the vets really quickly, dont try and get out of paying out unlike cheaper polices and liaise with them which is less hassle too (was told this by 2 of our local surgeries) not had to use them yet but won't be worried about them refusing my claim if I ever do need them.
Also look at maximum per condition.
Worth checking out which companies your vets will claim direct from. Last bill over £800. Only paid excess.
Absolutely go for a lifetime plan and check the excess and maximum payouts per condition/ year.
Don't go for Animal Friends - we are stuck with them for our dog as would have some conditions not covered with new insurer as he had kidney problems previously and they are awful.
Just be aware if you have seen vet during your free trial and there was any problem or even signs/symptoms that could count as a 'pre existing condition' - our dog had a slightly pink ear on his puppy check and years later animal friends refused our claim for acute ear infection as he had 'a pre existing ear condition'. They will not pay out for anything at all related to his ears.
If you have had any issues/signs during your free trial I would stick with who ever the trial was with.
We went with Agria as this is what the (very reputable) breeder used and the vet said they were good. We have gone for lifetime.
I posted this yesterday on another thread
Buy the best life cover insurance you can afford. Don't just go for cheap because when you need it you want the insurance to pay out and to cover your costs. Go for life cover so any conditions or illnesses will be covered for life as long as you stick with the company.
Be aware that anything you have gone to your vet about already, even if you have not claimed, could impact future claims as they can deem it preexisting. When I made my first claim they asked for a 'full' history of all my visits from the vet.
As for cover you need as much as you can afford. I made the mistake of only having £4000 per year but am stuck now as we have claimed for so many things already and moving would mean so many things would be excluded.
To give you an idea of costs. It was over £2000 for severe D&V which required lots of tests, treatments and admissions. Endoscopy was around £600.
We were at a specialist vet centre a few weeks ago (which a lot of operations and conditions would be referred to) and I was looking at the price list. An MRI was around £2000. An operation to relief a spinal disc compression would have set me back just over £5000. Luxating patella surgery around £3500. Someone I know has treated their youngish dog who had cancer and their bill was over £10,000 for the year.
Pup is a 2 month pedigree and we know she's healthy so what to do?
Btw. My puppy was a healthy pedigree and his parents had been dna tested for specific genetic conditions. It doesn't stop them getting ill, developing cancer etc. Also doesn't stop them injuring themselves or being bitten by other dogs etc etc. You are also in that situation that should you now go into the vets for something like a limp then future policies would possibly have conditions excluding leg issues etc which could prove costly so get your permanent insurance ASAP. People on here have been caught out by that. The person I know with the £10000 bill had a perfectly healthy dog for a few years until they weren't.
Do we need lifetime cover? yes because if you claim for anything or have a consultation in a 12 month policy you will find it is excluded as pre existing the next year and so on. Again that can be a very costly mistake just to save a few pounds now.
Do we need limits per condition? Avoid this. What's the point of having limits per condition when one condition can run into many thousands. It negates the benefit of insurance. For example if you have an overall claim limit of £5000 but a limit of £2000 per condition and you needed hip surgery costing £5000 you can only claim £2000 that year. My policy is £4000 max per year so I would have been able to claim the full £4000 and only after then would I need to top it up myself.
I have Tesco but the top one - lifetime, £10k per year
If you can afford the ultimate I would get it tbh
Yes if I was doing this again I would go for the top one.
I'm guessing you're in Greater London with that quote! Mine was £48 and when I moved out of London I contacted them and they dropped it to £22 for the same dog... Vets in London are pricy. Worth it for the peace of mind, however.
Avoid animal friends pet insurance at all costs. They don't pay out.
I would also go for the ultimate. FWIW I think that high monthly cost reflects the fact that you have a breed that has a high risk of health problems. All the more reason to go for the top cover right from the off.
I am with Bought by Many who have been great with the bits I have claimed for. I went with them over petplan because they offered just a bit more cover for the same price (15k vs 12k per year). Their pre-existing conditions means anything the dog has been seen for in the last 24 months, not ever.
They don't pay the vet direct, though - actually, I seem to think they do for some vets but have never looked in to it too much.
I also don't know how they will change the price over coming years. They just contacted me to say it's going down this year but battendog is still young...
I didn't think our breed was any more prone to bad things than any others specifically. We are in Essex in a pretty safe area so I don't know why it's so high but it does seem high?
@MiniCooperLover just for comparison, my cover with BBM is for:
£15k per year, lifetime
£2k emergency minding
£6k pass away
Battendog is a 18 month old springer who has been insured with them since he was 8 weeks old. Cost per month is £25 (just went down from £27). When I compared with petplan the cost per month was about the same for their top cover.
I live in the midlands.
BBM quote the following as the cheapest breeds to insure on lifetime policies:
Small crossbreed (up to 10kg)
And the most expensive...
Dogue De Bordeaux
Thanks all, we'll sort it out today. 👍
Sorry to hijack the thread. Also looking for insurance for our puppy. Those who've mentioned companies won't pay out at a later date if you've been to the vet in the early days & there's been, for example, pink ear. Could you start the new insurance policy before you go to the vets so this wouldn't apply or would they class that as having 2 policies in place & say that wasn't allowed? We collect our pup on Saturday & take him for a check up on Monday prior to his injections the weekend after. So if we took out a policy this weekend on top of the one that comes with the breeder, would that mean if any health issues come up on Monday, they'd be covered with our new policy (rather than the one that came from the breeder). Hope hat makes sense.
For petplan I had an initial 2 week period where I was not covered for illnesses but was for accidents.
I had a 4 week free KC insurance from my breeder. I took out petplan as soon as I got him because I preferred their policy.
I guess if something had cropped up in my initial vet visit I would have had to claim on the KC insurance and continued with that one so it wasn't a preexisting condition or have it excluded (sometimes exclusions are only for a set time) if I still wanted the petplan policy.
Thanks MissBattenberg, think we are going to go with BBM.