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To think pet insurance is pointless!

168 replies

SputnikBear · 24/10/2018 11:55

My renewal quote for a 5yo dog is £600. So if he gets sick I’ll have paid £600, plus £100 excess, plus 20% of any vet bills. Which basically means for any claim under £1k I’m no better off for having insurance!

And there’s a limit of how much you can claim for each condition before it’s classed as a pre-existing condition and you can’t claim any more. Think it’s £2k. So you pay insurance for years and if your dog gets sick they only cover a certain amount! Plus the premium will go up and up if your dog actually has a long term condition.

AIBU to not insure my dog and just put the £600 in a savings account in case he needs it?

OP posts:

Solenti · 24/10/2018 12:14

I only compared my horse as I know how huge vet bills can be -even for a dog you can be in the thousands and thousands. My friend was sued by a car driver as her dog ran into the road and caused an accident and the driver had injuries.


PastaRedWine · 24/10/2018 12:14

Not bothered for years for the same reasons as you.

Dog has never needed anything non routine in its life, so frankly we are loads in "credit" right now.

We'd pay for anything needed of course.


Honeyroar · 24/10/2018 12:17

For the record, re horses, the BHS gold membership provides 3rd party cover for your horses, like the Dogs Trust for dogs. Third party cover is essential.


DontCallMeBaby · 24/10/2018 12:18

That sounds like a terrible policy. Definitely can’t say all pet insurance is pointless - we had a claim two years ago that paid out more for one cat’s treatment than we’d paid in premiums for BOTH cats over seven years. There will be a point when the monthly payments are so high, and the amount of treatment I’d be prepared to put an elderly cat through so low, that it won’t be worth it. Not for a few years though.


Whitney168 · 24/10/2018 12:19

The answer to this is hugely dependent on several things, first and foremost of which is where you live - I live in the South East, vet costs around here are extortionate. One small laceration walking in the woods on a Sunday would wipe out my year's premiums, so Lord help me if uninsured and any serious illness took hold.

Beyond that:

  • size of your pet - bigger dogs are more expensive to treat

  • breed/type of dog - some breeds are far more expensive to ensure, but that is only because they are statistically far more likely to require extensive treatment.

Third party insurance is easily sorted by membership of the Dog's Trust at £25 a year. However, even though I am financially stable, I would not be without medical insurance for my dogs. I want to make decisions based on what is the best for the dog, not what my bank balance can stand.

TheViceOfReason · 24/10/2018 12:21

Our labrador was diagnosed with a form of bowel cancer. He had 3 operations, and due to his weakened immune system came down with a nasty parasite borne virus. All the diagnostics / vet stays / operations / drugs / came to over £8k. He'd never had a previous injury or illness...

My friends dog suddenly became very ill, diagnosed with a chronic condition. Whilst she can no longer claim for it on an ongoing basis, she got £5k towards the investigations, treatments and special diet the dog needed. Again, never had a previous sick or sorry day.

Yes, you may be "lucky" and end up wasting the money and never have an ill animal. But if you don't have savings / credit card / want to take out a loan - do you want to be faced with having to have your pet put to sleep because you can't afford treatment?


ChoudeBruxelles · 24/10/2018 12:21

Wasn’t pointless for me last year when our springer got a block bowel from stealing food and the emergency vet bill was £4500. Or when he tore his crutiate ligament (another £3000) or for his now ongoing medication for arthritis. Yes it’s expensjve but we wouldn’t have been able to afford those payments


Whitney168 · 24/10/2018 12:22

Depends on whether or not you have a sickly pet!

Or whether your very healthy pet has an accident ...


Nesssie · 24/10/2018 12:22

You need to look for a better policy. I have lifelong, unlimited cover for much less. And after a surgery costing £11000 of which I paid about £1000, I was very grateful!


Housingcraze · 24/10/2018 12:24

My chihuahua is 156 month


TheViceOfReason · 24/10/2018 12:24

To add for balance to make it clear i am not blindly advocating insurance....

Neither of my horses are insured! They were, but due to age, various reasons which mean that i would not put either through any of the most invasive / expensive treatments regardless of money, and the fact i am fortunate enough to be able to dip into savings / credit cards etc i decided to cancel their policies.

I do have 3rd party insurance via the British Horse Society though.


Namechangeforthiscancershit · 24/10/2018 12:25

£600 seems tons. I think I pay £12 a month and the terms are a lot better. You can choose per condition or lifetime cover. There are some fairly good comparison sites.


AlphaBravo · 24/10/2018 12:25

You just have crap insurance OP tbh.


user450788 · 24/10/2018 12:25

yes, I've been unlucky with my dog (but he is worth every penny), but I've been at a vet A&E once with someone who couldn't afford the treatment for her cat and it was so sad for her family. The big bills can come totally unexpectedly - my aged dog just collapsed in the spring and needed the expensive op.


adaline · 24/10/2018 12:26

Your current policy doesn't sound very good.

I pay £26 a month for my dog - that gives me lifetime cover of upto £10,000 per year and I pay a premium of £120 for each claim.

I didn't have insurance for my old house cats - they bother got ill within weeks of each other (pyometra and then a severe urinary blockage) - cost me over £2000 in a matter of months and wiped my savings completely.

My current house cats are fully insured although I've never claimed for either.


whippetwoman · 24/10/2018 12:30

I just suck up the £60 per month I pay for my now elderly whippet - he's 11. It has certainly put me off having another dog though - the insurance is so expensive but I wouldn't risk being without it now. I use Pet Plan who are costly but I would have had to pay out a lot more without it.
I think with a dog it really is wise to have it.


BiteyShark · 24/10/2018 12:30

AIBU to not insure my dog and just put the £600 in a savings account in case he needs it?

How tied in are you? Have you been to the vets for lots of things which would mean a new policy would be pointless as you would have lots of peeexisting conditions?

If you aren't tied in I would get a better policy. It's all well and good saving £600 but if your dog gets sick that would be nothing. Can you find thousands at once? My dog had severe D&V which meant he had to be admitted for several days and have tests and scans as he wasn't getting any better. That in itself was over £2000. What happened if your dog breaks a leg? Again can you simply find the money? If you can't then you really need insurance unless you want to be making choices about your pets health based on finances rather than what's best for them.


MasonJar · 24/10/2018 12:33

I've got two dogs, both middle aged now, and every year check how much insurance would cost monthly and put it in savings account - current total is £7500.

Over the past seven yrs or so they've had the odd vet visit for minor problems and I've happily paid up. If they'd been insured I wouldn't have been able to claim anything because cost always came under the threshold.

I'm covered for 3rd party insurance via Dogs Trust membership (£25 pa)


thecatneuterer · 24/10/2018 12:33

If you have a few thousand you could use to treat your pet if necessary then you can gamble on not having insurance. If you don't then you can't. Our clinic takes referrals from people who are suddenly faced with vet bills in their thousands and who don't have insurance. We can help a few people by doing the surgery more cheaply. Unfortunately there are many times more people needing this than we are able to help. If these people had had insurance they wouldn't be in this situation.


SchadenfreudeUndeadified · 24/10/2018 12:37

I insure for the first year - that's when anything "in" the dog is likely to show up, and also when your dog is young, daft, still in training and most likely to jump over a wall onto a railway embankment, run straight across a road, or pick an idiocy fight with summat bigger and grumpier (and is, ironically also your cheapest year.)

After that I put the premiums away and try not to touch them (I have three dogs, so it adds up!).

We've been very fortunate - all of our dogs except one have been as healthy as fuck, and the only one which has ever cost us money is one we were given and took because we felt sorry for ir - she cost us a bloody fortune, because there was all sorts wrong with her from the start, but we did know what we were taking on.


DaysOfCurlySpencer · 24/10/2018 12:38

I had a cat that was (we thought) too old to insure as the vet guessed his age but was probably over estimating, he turned out to have a few issues and cost us a fortune over the 10 years we had him. Insurance would have been good.

So with the second cat we got insurance. For the first couple of years all was OK, and then lots of vet visits, extensive tests and hospital trips. We had several years of this and the thing is you never know if your pet will get a heart problem that can be helped with surgery (pacemaker), or cancer or one of many other expensive illnesses to treat and insurance can make the difference between making them well and manageable or cutting their life short when they could have a normal one.

Then there is the chance of an accident and loss of a limb...


pumpkinpie01 · 24/10/2018 12:38

That policy sounds quite normal to be honest. I work in insurance and dont have insurance for our dog, its a gamble but then so are a lot of insurance policies (apart from the ones that are required by law obviously). Our dog has been to the vet 3 times in 9 years so we are quids in by not paying for a policy.


DaysOfCurlySpencer · 24/10/2018 12:40

Actually, since I have been watching Supervet I have realised how many pets have been able to have a life that would otherwise have been PTS in pain. If you can't afford it, it is goodbye to your pet.


Babyroobs · 24/10/2018 12:41

We don't have pet insurance for our two dogs but then again we have money to pay if a big bill comes up. I have friends whose dogs have swallowed objects ( peach stones, socks etc) which has caused a bowel obstruction requiring thousands of pounds worth of care, so they would have been in a pickle without the insurance.


VickieCherry · 24/10/2018 12:41

Unless I were very rich with lots of savings, I would never not have insurance. I'd hate to be in the position of having to have a pet put down who could be fixed, but you just don't have the money.

My cats are 10 and cost less than £20 per month each. For me it's worth it for peace of mind. It was also hugely valuable when one of them broke his pelvis - his treatment cost thousands.

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