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Pet insurance

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by Julie Reilly, Nov 19, 2012.


  1. Julie Reilly

    Julie Reilly PetForums Newbie

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    I'm getting my first puppy on Saturday and am looking into pet insurance. I've always had cats before (for nearly 20 years) and never bothered with insurance. Luckily, only one has ever had to have any vet treatment (complications after being spayed) and it didn't cost much, certainly far less than I would have spent on insurance over the years.

    Anyway, this puppy is a pedigree Sheltie so I'm thinking it might be sensible to get some. But it's a minefield.

    I've read the differences between Accident Only, Time Limited, Maximum Benefit and Lifetime but I'm not sure I fully understand them, or what would be the best kind to get.

    On the surface it would seem the Lifetime one is the best, but then in the small print it says that it's only really Lifetime if you stay with the same insurer, and they reserve the right to not insure your pet if it gets too ill, so it seems a bit pointless.

    What do you all have?
     
  2. Sezzastar

    Sezzastar PetForums Senior

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    I am with the green company for one of my boys as he had a gastric problem and now that would make it a pre-existing condition if I moved him away from that insurance, although when i made a claim for over a grand directed to the vets they paid up within a few weeks.

    I am now looking for my other 2 dogs and am getting so mixed up! John lewis looked brilliant but the reviews are awful :eek: I just don't want to make the wrong decision and things go wrong! Its hard enough when your pet is ill let alone when it is made hard to put a claim in and deal with the insurance company :(
     
  3. BoredomBusters

    BoredomBusters PetForums VIP

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    I went through VIP to get my insurance. Scamp is my mini Daxie and he is on ful lifetime (with no or a HUGE vet fee limit, I can't remember which now) in case his back goes - when they've gone once they can go a second time which could be pushing £6-10k so I want to make sure a few thousand isn't the difference between life and death for him.

    The older 2 are all on accident and third party only. My Grey is 11, and very healthy, my JRTx has a few bits and pieces wrong with him, but he's 7 and the breed are generally quite healthy. My puppy Patterdale x is on lifetime cover for and will be for two years - that's long enough to know if he'll come down with anything chronic (not perfect system, but hey, we do what we can), then we'll see which is the most suitable depending on how his health is.
     
  4. AlbertRoss

    AlbertRoss PetForums VIP

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    You are right, pet insurance is a minefield. I've written a guide which will help. Click on the link in my signature below and then click 'Free Report'. It will explain what the different policies are and all the pitfalls that you need to consider. It also tells you why asking others what they have may not be the best thing to do. Finally, all the companies on my site have been checked out to be ethical providers. I refuse to show companies that are in any way dubious - which explains why some big names simply aren't there.
     
  5. Blitz

    Blitz PetForums VIP

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    I am with Argos. I think lifetime is worth while because if your dog gets a chronic condition that is going to need treatment or medication all their life it will be covered.
    Premiums vary enormously from breed to breed, presumably dependent on what claims are likely. ie a breed that is likely to suffer from hip problems will be expensive to insure, a dog with eye problems may be, a terrier may cost more because it is more likely to be accident prone. I found that my miniature poodles were very cheap, a fraction of what some on here say they are paying for their dogs. I would have thought a sheltie would be a similar criteria so you may not have massive premiums.
     
  6. IncaThePup

    IncaThePup PetForums VIP

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    My dog Inca (BC cross) is 11 and half and has been with E&L some years now, think we're on the platinum policy, Hers is like £25 a month now or something but I think it's cos of her age. Thing is she has been healthy all her life so I could have probably saved loads!!

    She's only had one cut paw as puppy (glass left in field) that was bad enough we needed to go to vets and get her bandaged up, one incident of her face swelling cos I think she'd tried to catch a wasp or bee in the garden, that required an overnight stay in animal hospital as it happened on a sunday!

    One routine op at local surgery to lance a boil that hadn't responded to antibiotics, she's not on any meds for arthritis as I've been adding mobile bones to her food since she was 10 and she can still outrun my mobility scooter!!

    I'm looking for a cheaper policy for next pup as none of them cover routine stuff or home visits (my village surgery is not wheelchair accessible so have to pay for them to come to me each time).

    I was looking at Petplan as I believe they donate a percentage to Dogs Trust?? .. as I also sponsor one of their dogs that can't be rehomed and send a xmas parcel every year. I don't know what their prices or policies are like though. I've seen another one online too where they donate to animal rescue/welfare charites, but the name escapes me at the minute!
     
  7. laurahair

    laurahair PetForums Member

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    Having previously had cats and been very grateful for insurance (one needed lifetime medication, one cost nearly £1000 when she had a liver infection, the other cost £600+ when he had cystitis) I also researched thoroughly before getting my dog.
    I wanted lifetime cover with a huge yearly limit and the once I chose provides these-up to £10000 a year actually.
    Having had my premiums increase by huge amounts after claiming, and then huge amounts every year after they reached "senior" age (and therefore you can't switch insurers), I have chosen a company which does not increase premiums but has a set fixed rate. The disadvantages of it are that you don't get the extras that other insurers offer such as boarding fees, advertising costs if they go missing, payout on death etc etc but I feel the advantages outweigh these. I also spent a long time reading through reviews (i feel like i lost a good portion of a week doing so!).
    The company I have gone with is called vetsmedicover, but as others have said nothing suits everyone so you need to consider what is the most important for you and then work from there :smile5:
     
  8. BoredomBusters

    BoredomBusters PetForums VIP

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    Vetsmedicover is who all my dogs are with.
     
  9. AlbertRoss

    AlbertRoss PetForums VIP

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    Pet Plan do support animal charities but I don't know if Dogs Trust is one. Animal friends is a big donor to animal charities. If you want a quick snapshot of what different reputable companies offer go to Dog Insurance Compare dog insurance policies and save money and put your mouse pointer over any company name. A synopsis of their policies will pop up.

    Prices depend on age, breed, sex, age, previous history and your address so it will be unique to you.
     
  10. Julie Reilly

    Julie Reilly PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you everyone for the wealth of information. AlbertRoss - I read your site and your free report with great interest.

    I use Quidco and have got big chunks of cashback on both my contents and car insurance this year.

    As MoreThan were offering £70 cashback I thought I'd see what they came up with. It doesn't say what type of policy it is, lifetime etc, but at the top of the list of key points, it says:

    -Up to £7,000 Vet fees per condition for the length of treatment.

    What does this mean? Does it mean only for the initial treatment and NOT for any subsequent recurrences of the condition. So if she develops a condition, has treatment, and then has a relapse a year later, is she covered? Or is it for all treatments she ever has for that condition? I'm thinking the former, rather than the latter.

    I am very very confused.

    Here is the summary - I'm none the wiser, but you more experienced peeps might be able to translate insurance-speak.

    https://www.morethan.com/process/documents/petpolsum.pdf
     
    #10 Julie Reilly, Nov 20, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2012
  11. Buzzard

    Buzzard PetForums VIP

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    I think More Than is £7000 per condition, so once it's gone it's gone and doesn't refresh annually.
     
  12. Big Guy

    Big Guy PetForums Junior

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    If you use topcashback, i would have a look at Vetsmedicover. £25.25 cashback and one month free (from memory). We took this out as we wanted £10,000 cover per year as we have a Great Dane, which are prone to bloat, joint issues etc. :(

    Paid by direct debit and claims payments can be made direct to the vets. :)

    The way they work their policies, it is irrelevant on the age of the dog or your location. The only thing is breed - there are two categories so currently either £28 or £43 per month. £80 excess. :)

    We looked around again when coming up to renewal, but still felt they offered the best value for what we wanted. And the premium had only gone up by £3 per month, so compared to John Lewis, Petplan and the rest, this was still the best value (for us). How good are they? We've not claimed, so like all insurances, we can only comment if and when we put a claim in. :huh: :huh:

    Good luck with what you choose - don't forget most policies are not active for the first 14 / 28 days so you will need to ensure there is overlap cover with anything you are offered from the breeder (we had KC through the breeder and Petplan through the vet).
     
  13. AlbertRoss

    AlbertRoss PetForums VIP

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    Correct. I removed More Than from my site because of the number of bad reviews they got.

    re cashback sites - They only offer insurances that they'll get money for. They have no interest at all in making sure that what you get is fit for purpose. And, of course, you stand a good chance of not getting paid at all. Witness one cashback's site failure to pay out large amounts a couple of years ago (well documented elsewhere). And you need to be sure that the link you click on is really going to give you cashback - an awful lot of links don't.
     
    #13 AlbertRoss, Nov 21, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2012
  14. Milliepoochie

    Milliepoochie PetForums VIP

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    I found more than quite expensive for the level of cover and I always thought of it as a 'basic' in case of emergency insurance.

    In fact I stopped insurance all together after 2 years with Morethan. Went 6 months uninsured and Millie wa sin the vets having surgery on a injured paw :nonod:

    Now insured with AXA - Havnt claimed so I cant say what they are like but certainly over the phone have been very helpful.

    One thing I resented with MoreThan was you pay your premium - Then if you claim you pay your excess (Say £70) but then you also have to pay 10% of the remaining bill if your dog is younger than 9 or a whopping 20% if your dog is over 9.

    To me that completely took away the point of having insurance. Plus when i took my original policy out it didnt have the 10% clause. :rolleyes:

    I spoke to them a few times on the phone - as our cover double from 1st year to 2nd year on a 1.5 year old mongrel which was expensive considering I only went with them as they were cheaper -- I knew it wasnt a great policy :eek: They wernt to helpful and just said 'thats the price'. So I took my money elsewhere before Millie had any pre-existing conditions.

    Im much happier with her level of cover now. Touch wood we wont be using it though.

    I wouldnt recommend them.
     
    #14 Milliepoochie, Nov 21, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2012
  15. Julie Reilly

    Julie Reilly PetForums Newbie

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    I've never had a problem getting my cashback from Quidco. They've always paid up promptly and on time.

    However, for pet insurance, it's more important to get a good policy rather than a bit of cashback.

    I think I'm going to go with Aviva. My friend recommended it to me last night and she says she's had to claim a couple of times for her cats. She's never had a problem claiming and they pay the vet directly, and there is no extra payment over and above the excess until your pet gets old.

    Also, she said when she renewed the premium, it only went up a few pennies, even after a claim, which I thought was important. You don't want to get sucked in by an attractive first years' premium, then be stuck with it when it shoots up in year 2! Not only that, they were one of the cheaper ones I looked at for a lifetime policy.

    Thank you everyone for your help :)
     
  16. AlbertRoss

    AlbertRoss PetForums VIP

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    If this link works you might be interested in other peoples' experience Quidco Follow up thread 16 - MoneySavingExpert.com Forums

    It was Quidco that refused to pay out thousands of pounds worth of cashback when a network company failed. Topcashback paid out and, as far as I can tell, so did most of the others. I have no connection with any of them and in the light of the feedback I see about their continued failure to track purchases and abide by agreements I'd simply shop elsewhere for the best offer.In the case of pet insurance it's unlikely that you will get any better deal elsewhere. For most other things it's usually possible to better their offers elsewhere. I did compare both of the large cashback sites when shopping for car insurance. Both gave misleading quotes (by about 30%) and both eventually worked out more expensive than my going directly to the insurer.
     
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