Mumsnet Logo
My feed

to access all these features


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:

maddiemostmerry · 24/10/2018 12:41

I paid whilst dog was young and we had quite a few claims, around 8k altogether. However, once he turned ten the premiums went up to just over £200 per month. Stopped insurance and now save that instead.

It is a risk though...


SDTGisAnEvilWolefGenius · 24/10/2018 12:42

Ddog2 had to have three lots of orthopaedic surgery - she ruptured the cruciate ligaments in both knees, and had to have both knees operated on (a Tightrope procedure on one knee, and Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy on the other). Following this, she dislocated her kneecap (probably a side effect of the surgery), and needed a further orthopaedic operation (Tibial Tuberosity Transposition) - plus the painkillers she was given when she dislocated the kneecap caused a gastric ulcer.

All of the above happened in one year, and the sum total of her treatment came to a shade over £10,000! Thankfully we had pet insurance, which covered almost everything (apart from the special food she needed while recovering from the gastric ulcer). If we had had to find the money, we would have managed somehow - but how many families could easily find that sort of money if their pet needed it??


Tinklewinkle · 24/10/2018 12:43

Sounds like a crap policy

Our dog is insured. He now has a lifelong condition. The first year they paid out £5k for investigations and an operation. He’s now on lifelong medication @£100 per month which is also covered

DD’s horse was also insured - we claimed around £5k (investigations, treatment, being put to sleep and removal/cremation)

We’re nearing £15k over 2 years and have paid around £2k in insurance.

There’s no way I’d be without insurance, we’d never have found that sort of money


overagain · 24/10/2018 12:43

We don't have it for 2 of our cats. For some reason I decided to get it for cat 3, no idea why, but boy am I glad I did! Turns out he had epilepsy and the medications were £113 per month. The insurance was £14 per month, life time guarantee plus £70 excess per year. So he cost us £238 per year rather than £1356. Which, we wouldn't have been able to afford. He sadly had to be put down 4 years later as it become unmanageable even on 3 medications he was having 3 or 4 seizures a day which we witnessed (so God knows how may more whilst we were at work or asleep), wetting himself, biting his tongue and then taking ages to come round/ being drowsy most of the time. very sad.

The other 2 still aren't insured. They've only been to the vets once each due to injury so touch wood we've made the saving.


MrsRubyMonday · 24/10/2018 12:45

You need to use a comparison tool and find a better policy. I've just moved our 3 cats, old policy was £18 a month, £2k per condition for 12 months and then no longer covered, loads of stuff excluded. Took it out when we were skint as cheapest available. They have paid out for two operations though so covered the costs.

They are now on a £25 a month policy, £15k per year per cat limit, literally everything covered, lifetime cover so limit renews each year for ongoing conditions. It's with boughtbymany, I think you have to go direct with them rather than the comparison sites but worth looking for a new policy.


Piglet208 · 24/10/2018 12:48

We have always had our dog insured and at 13 her premiums are now about £35 a month. It is limited to £2000 a year per condition and there is a co payment per claim as she is older. Over the years we have claimed back far more than we have paid in. A dog attack which resulted in emergency surgery, investigations on a back leg problem, uni bills, anal gland surgery and this year she has been diagnosed with Cushings disease. My one regret is not taking the policy slightly more expensive as it would have been unlimited per condition per year and that would have been better this year as vets bills have exceeded £5000.


bigKiteFlying · 24/10/2018 12:51

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.

^^ This but ours are young and we don't have huge saving that could cover accidents and it is't a lot yet every month- so it make sense.

I'd have another look around see if you can get a better policy.

If not you need to think about the level or risk your prepared to accept but yes it does sound as if you could be better of saving up for any problems and hoping your have years before you get there and a decent pot to cover anything.


abacucat · 24/10/2018 12:57

A friend has a dog who had been healthy and now developed a long term condition. She has run through her insurance limits and is now paying cash for treatment.
Pet insurers are money making. Some people will benefit from having it financially, a lot won't. That is how insurance works.


LizzieBennettDarcy · 24/10/2018 12:57

Our cocker spaniel is 5... he's got accident only cover for £3.75 a month, pays out up to £5k max a year and covers 3rd party liability.

We put £20 a month into a savings account to cover routine bills such as jabs/worming/occasional ear infections. We could cover any potential big bills though. If you can't, you need the insurance.


fenneltea · 24/10/2018 13:01

I pay into an account as I have so many animals that individual insurance wouldn't be viable. I've also been in the position where it isn't worth it for elderly animals and those with exclusions.

I am also a bit uncomfortable about some animals having all the tests and treatments thrown at them because they are insured; I had a great vet who would see to my horse at minimal cost and as few invasive procedures as possible which I think was better for both of us.

The one thing I do make sure is that I am covered for third party liability; especially with horses. Some home insurance policies will already cover this, and most organisations such as the BHS that provide cover will expect you to claim on that first, so it's worth checking.


Lazypuppy · 24/10/2018 13:04

The only reason i have pet insurance for my dog is because it covers damages and legal costs if (its a big if, but still a possibility) if he bites someone.


Allthenamesaretaken0 · 24/10/2018 13:05

That seems exceptionally high! I've always paid my insurance without thinking twice because I know if anything ever happened to my cat I would pay no matter the cost 🙈 so it avoids that situation coming up! If he's old and sick anyway then you need to keep going with it more than ever! As long as they are insured when the pre existing condition began insurers will tend to continue to pay for it if you stay with them


SooticaTheWitchesCat · 24/10/2018 13:06

My friend's cat got seriously ill and it cost her £5,000 in vet bills, she wasn't insured!


user450788 · 24/10/2018 13:37

yes, and people always say they'll take the tough decisions if they face a big bill but it's so hard to do, especially if there is hope of a reasonable quality of life going forward for even 6 more months.


MasonJar · 24/10/2018 13:39

The only reason i have pet insurance for my dog is because it covers damages and legal costs if (its a big if, but still a possibility) if he bites someone.

If you just want 3rd party insurance you're paying out a lot more than you need.
As PPs have said Dogs Trust membership includes 3rd party insurance.


RPC28 · 24/10/2018 13:40

My partners mum said what she has done is everything you would pay insurance each month instead of paying the insurance put it in a bank account. Maybe make an separate account for you pet and then if you ever need it. It's there. She has now saved £5k because she has rarely had to touch it.


tabulahrasa · 24/10/2018 13:51

“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.”

Well that’s a weird one... your insurance does sound a bit rubbish tbh, that’s not a clause I’ve cone across, they’re usually annual where you have a certain amount in the year it’s diagnosed and then you can’t claim again (which is a bit rubbish) or lifetime where it’s the insured amount and resets every year.

Putting aside what you’d pay is an option, but only if you’d have access to thousands quickly in an emergency because if you only have what you’ve put aside you’re taking a huge gamble if something happens before it’s built up into a significant amount.


thecatneuterer · 24/10/2018 13:55

@RPC28 But what if something serious had happened in the first few years? She wouldn't have that much saved then. Road accidents for example can cost many thousands.


Mumtothelittlefella · 24/10/2018 14:01

As long as you can cover any treatment yourselves, that’s fine. Personally, I like to keep my savings and use pet insurance (which we’ve done several times in the last 12 months). How much money will you need to cover your dogs vets bills for it’s life? What would you do if it needed £1000’s of treatment tomorrow?

Alternatively, don’t people use crowdfunding for vets bills now 😖


Shmithecat · 24/10/2018 14:05

Yeah, you could put the £600 in savings. But if something should happen, you'll be lucky if it covers a consultation, blood test and x-ray.

And yy, your insurance sounds crap. Who are you with?


Lazypuppy · 24/10/2018 15:04

@MasonJar how do you know i'm paying too much? I pay £7 a month


NameChanger22 · 24/10/2018 15:11

I've always self-insured. My cat is 15 now, doing really well and she's only ever needed to go to the vet twice, at a cost of less than £80. I'm glad I didn't waste my money.

I don't think it's even possible to insure her now she's old and might need actually need it. I might consider if it were cheap. Insurance is a gamble either way.


katseyes7 · 24/10/2018 15:16

One of my rabbits was poorly recently. Four days in vet hospital cost £547. That's easily more than double the premium, and she's eight and a half. Our vets are fantastic and let me pay the excess, then claim the rest direct. l can't fault either the vets or the insurance company.


Furrydogmum · 24/10/2018 15:24

I pay about £50 a month for £2k lifetime cover for 2 dogs - i would say I've more than benefited from the cover with what I've claimed over the last 8 years..
One had a tiny cyst removed from her eye yesterday and the bill was around £800 including histology - I paid £99 excess and £29 towards histology.


TheDogsMother · 24/10/2018 15:32

That sounds very high. I'm paying £33 per month for 13.5 year old terrier. This is with Pet Plan. Not sure I would go without insurance though in case of anything major.

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Sign up to continue reading

Mumsnet's better when you're logged in. You can customise your experience and access way more features like messaging, watch and hide threads, voting and much more.

Already signed up?