Does anyone "keep savings" instead of having pet insurance?(15 Posts)
I sometimes wonder about doing this: putting money into a pot for possible treatment, that would otherwise be spent on insurance. I've had a cat for six years, and another cat for the last two years.
I know that pets are expensive to keep - no doubts there, and that something bad can happen at any moment. But seeing endless direct debits going to insurers, as well as vets' bills, and getting absolutely nothing in return (not even peace of mind), makes me wonder if it's really worth it.
Perhaps I'm just bitter about insurers in general (along with banks and other corporations that bleed us dry, but that's another rant), because despite paying them regularly, I've hardly had anything in return at all: so many vets' bills just don't seem to be covered by insurance: vaccinations, checkups, etc. One time our cat needed some expensive dental treatment, they refused to pay anything, because we'd missed a dental checkup in the last year. Not a proud moment, learned that the hard way, but was very angry that I had been paying premiums for several years, only to be told this.
Is pet insurance worth it? Is it feasible to save up and "take the risk" instead? Do they have exclusions for just about everything? I've heard stories that if your pet develops a long-term illness, which means they'll need treatment for the rest of their lives, insurance pay for the first batch of treatment, but absolutely nothing after that, because it's then a "known condition". Is this true?
Does anyone have positive stories about pet insurance?
It very much depends on the insurer and when you take it out, I suspect. I'm one of the 'save up' brigade - but only because my boys have been too old for insurance in recent years when it became more easily available. If I took on a young cat, I'd take it out; after shopping around.
I know that many posters on this board have been saved financially by having a policy on a much loved pet.
I'm afraid I dnot have any positive stories, but I do put money aside for my dog, should I need it.
I got my dog years ago, she is 16 now, I got her when she was about 7, I looked into insurance but thought it was a bit of a con if I'm honest, for reasons you have stated. So I pay as I go for the vet and have money aside for anything big, so far I have not needed to touch that money so have a little nest egg.
I do this for my two cars. Can see it would work for pets. I pay x amount into a separate account each month. Now have about 2k stowed away for engine rebuilds/turbo replacements etc.
I can see it would be pretty good way for pets.
I do this for my elderly dogs and cat. But the main thing for me is that I have sensible vets, who know I don't have insurance, and suggest options all the time rather than refer me on for tests all the time.
My friend does the savings rather than insurance thing and has paid out nearly £1000 this year. I took out insurance in May for my dog and a couple of months later had to claim for £500, so it's paid for itself for the next couple of years.
The decision in whether to take out insurance or not is a pure gamble. There's no telling what's best.
I try to have a credic card with a high limit and a zero balance.
I've always done this.
Only taken insurance out for puppies going to new homes, to cover them till the new owner decides whether they want it or not (I've shown & bred for over thirty years)
Every year the account has been in credit by a tidy sum.
We just save. 17 years ago, when we got our cat, there wasn't much pet insurance available. When it became widespread, he was too old for most insurers to consider.
We considered this but we pay £24 a month for our kitten: £14 pet insurance which covers up to £7k of treatment a year and covers all conditions for as long as needed; and £10 a month for a plan our vet has which covers yearly boosters, flea and worm treatments, check ups, dental checks etc.
We are with Petplan on one of their 'covered for life' policies - so long as you have continuous cover they don't stop paying for any one condition. They also deal directly with the vet I think.
When we considered whether to get insurance we asked around and friends whose cats had had cancer or in one sad case been hit by a car told us we would be mad to save rather than pay £14 a month as the bills can get very high very fast.
I'd certainly get it if I had younger cats. It might seem like a lot every month but I've seen people hit by humungous vet bills for difficult conditions which would have been covered by a policy.
I have insurance for all 3 of my dogs, dog 1 had a nasty break when he was 12 weeks old, wasn't properly mended until he was just over 2, lots of ops and hydro, and even buying in an engineer to build him a bespoke plate to fit around the joint. Total vets bill just over 10k, there is no way I would have had that saved by just putting away an amount each month. Insurances covered all of it apart from £80 excess. Dog 2 has numerous cut pads etc and had stopper pads removed due to injury, his bills have been between 2-3k over the last 3 years, the same applies about saving. Dog 3 has had no claims as yet but she still insured. All insured for life. I hate insurance as well and avoid it as much as possible, I would never have uninsured pets.
Have you thought about what you would do if your cat became ill or had an accident right now? Or, you know, soon. Insurance would pay out but there's no way you could save up enough. I have Argos insurance for my two cats, its only about £5 a month for the most expensive, lifelong cover. I took my girl cat to the vets when she was about a year old because she seemed to be limping, and they wanted about £2000 just to do tests! That would have been covered by the insurance, but I couldn't have saved up that much in less than a year, and that's before they even treated anything (it miraculously resolved itself and she was fine, so in the end we didn't bother anyway, but still). And if your cat becomes diabetic or something permanent like that, you probably won't be able to insure it at all after the diagnosis, at least not against anything to do with that condition, so you're looking at a lifetime of costs from then on (or losing your cat).
£2000 just for tests?! Our girl cat got attacked by a male stray about 6 months ago and her operation to remove the severely infected abcess (in a difficult area to close) plus the initial consultation, follow up care (a LOT of visits to the vet over 2 weeks), antibiotics and painkillers came to under £300! Was very grateful as we hadn't got round to taking out insurance and the figure I had in my head was a lot scarier than that! Our vet also does the £10 a month jess, we've just signed up for that, I think it basically adds up to the cost of just the advocate treatment and we also get vaccinations, an additional check up and other things in there, so am very happy with that!
We have 2 siblings so I imagine they'll both get expensive around the same time (only 18months at the moment) and insurance gives us the peace of mind that hopefully we'll never have to make any decisions on treatment based on cost.
Vet prices can vary quite dramatically, MathsCat.
I have to confess to the occasional cynical thought about the price of items covered by insurance (as when you go to an auto shop after a prang and they say something along the lines of 'Is it an insurance job?'.)
But who am I to be so mean-thoughted ? I've always been very lucky in my vets.
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