Welcome to PetForums

Join thousands of other pet owners and pet lovers on the UK's most popular and friendly pet community and discussion forum.

Sign Up

Thoughts on Insurance levels - for seniors

Discussion in 'Cat Chat' started by Ali71, Jun 25, 2019.


  1. Ali71

    Ali71 PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2014
    Messages:
    3,896
    Likes Received:
    5,694
    Hi everyone

    Hope all kitties are doing well :) Sorry to create yet another thread about pet insurance but I'm just collecting my thoughts and wanted some feedback.

    My insurance policy with Petplan for the boys (10 and 11) has come through. I have £12k of cover and premiums from next month will be £70 a month. Excess £115 + 20% of all vet fees. I know we need to have insurance but I am struggling to justify paying that level. I have done a bit of shopping round and at this age, finding alternative cover isn't easy. Bought by many are the same price. Morethan want to charge me £45 for £4k worth of cover.

    I have spoken to Petplan and asked about reducing the amount of cover, they have quoted me £53 a month for £7K, which is a bit easier to swallow than £70.

    I suppose my question is directed more at those who have cats at similar ages, particularly if your furries have ongoing issues. Milo had a luxating patella when he was a kitten, which is an exclusion and for anything related to his two back legs. I have claimed for a dental for him too, and one lot of extensive blood testing and a fasting glucose test, all around £400 each. Those kind of levels I could find without claiming, but I'm talking about big stuff obviously - operations, ongoing medication etc.

    Do you find that you have adequate cover for your needs at the £7k amount? I could of course put the £70 a month into a savings plan, just that nagging worry about something major happening.

    Sorry for the ramble.............
     
  2. buffie

    buffie Mentored by Meeko

    Joined:
    May 31, 2010
    Messages:
    23,105
    Likes Received:
    17,553
    Meeko is approaching "that age" where I know his insurance cover will take a bit of a leap in price .
    At present his PetPlan covered for life of £7,000 costs in the region of £28 with £110 excess and I have been already giving it serious thought
    £7000 per annum I have found to be more than enough to cover everything he has needed including his life time meds and checks for IBD over the past 8/9 years .

    Up until recently I had been considering whether to continue if it were to rise dramatically especially with the % of the claim added but got a bit of a wake up call a couple of weeks ago when Mr M decided to be "not right" off we went to see the vet.
    First appointment nothing was found so just a tweak in his meds and the addition of a short course of steroids £40+ bill , since then he has had an extensive blood panel done over £300 ( all came back okay)and now faces the possibility if he doesn't improve of having xrays/scans to see if there is anything going on that external examination is missing.
    I think what I'm saying is I'm now looking closer at the wisdom (or not) of cancelling.
    If I add up all the claims he has had and deduct the premiums made I'm well ahead
     
    chillminx and Ali71 like this.
  3. Ali71

    Ali71 PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2014
    Messages:
    3,896
    Likes Received:
    5,694
    Hi @buffie I did think about tagging you but didn't want to offend poor Meeko in case he was still a young'un! I'm so glad you have given me some feedback as you are the one person I remembered who's kitty has to have ongoing medication.

    I do know what you mean, I'm sure that extensive scans etc will quite easily reach 3 or 4 figures. I don't want to leave myself in a muddle, I have always said that I would not wish to be in a position where I have to make choices due to funds. I realise that the insurers risk is greater as pets age, but I do think premiums are a little excessive; perhaps a choice between paying higher fees or greater excesses could be fairer, rather than both!! Overall, the insurers definitely will be ahead of the game I'm sure.
     
    buffie likes this.
  4. buffie

    buffie Mentored by Meeko

    Joined:
    May 31, 2010
    Messages:
    23,105
    Likes Received:
    17,553
    I think this is what scares me the most.......the unknown :(
    The general checks/meds and occasional biggish bill I could cope with but the fear of a 4 figure sum (or worse ) is always there and like you I never want to be in the position of having to think about whether I can afford to do what is needed.
     
    Ali71 likes this.
  5. Arny

    Arny PetForums Senior

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2017
    Messages:
    436
    Likes Received:
    374
    Are the vet fees high in your area, this is one thing to consider.

    My cats aren't insured but my dog is. He only has £4,000 worth of cover and we've not come close to claiming that amount in the 15 years we've had him but he's a particularly healthy dog.
    I've never had bills over £1,000 in any given year for my cats. (Having said that when one of my cat's was mauled by a dog total bills came to around £1,300 but the dog owner's household insurance paid. We would have if they didn't).

    Only you can decide if £7,000 would be adequate for your own circumstances but maybe something to think about is that if you think it might not be enough do you have a bit to cover the shortfall if needed.
     
  6. Ali71

    Ali71 PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2014
    Messages:
    3,896
    Likes Received:
    5,694
    Hi @Arny thanks for your feedback. I honestly wouldn't know if vet fees are particularly high in my area, as I have nothing to directly compare them with. We are currently using a vet which is part of a large organisation of independent vets, but not a chain (if that makes sense). I would hope that £7k is enough for major stuff, I wouldn't bother claiming for small stuff as it probably wouldn't be worth it with such a high excess and paying 20% of fees.
     
  7. lullabydream

    lullabydream PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2013
    Messages:
    11,334
    Likes Received:
    15,403
    I get what you are saying about not claiming for smaller bills because you can afford them. However whatever goes on your vet records is recorded and you have insurance for a reason... Pet plan doesn't increase payments if you claim like others do even with small claims. So it's worth claiming.

    We often get people in dog chat, so am saying this for the lurkers that say they have never claimed in their insurance because they paid out for X, y, z and didn't see the point of claiming. They then want to change to a new insurer and don't realise that X, y, z will be classed as a pre existing condition regardless on a new policy.

    @Ali71 can you check with PetPlan to see if you lower the amount it will be classed as a new policy. This sometimes happens, which leads to more exclusions on people's policies unfortunately.

    My biggest bug bear with pet insurance if I am honest is what they class as senior. I didnt think a cat at 10/11 was really senior, and it happens in dog policies too. Which is fine if you have a giant breed but if you have a small/toy breed they are no where near slowing down at all! I know it's hard call for insurances to make and we can't make everyone happy.

    If it helps, my dog had a heart condition and was on monthly medication. She only had a small policy as she was rehomed to us from a breeder at 7. Insurance meant initially we paid about £2 a month for her insurance, instead of £20. It's not that we couldn't afford the £20 at all, but at least we knew that whatever she was prescribed;she ended up with additional medication it was fine. Yes I could have just let the insurance pay for the scans, blood tests and X rays she needed but seemed futile in my opinion.

    Insurance has definitely given me peace of mind over the years. However there does come a point when I look at my pets and think actually if anything happens to you know, palliative care is what I will opt for. Which is when I would cancel any insurance.
     
    buffie and Ali71 like this.
  8. Ali71

    Ali71 PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2014
    Messages:
    3,896
    Likes Received:
    5,694
    @lullabydream thank you for posting - I take on board your comments about not bothering to claim. I have claimed on a couple of occasions but the higher excess/paying 20% now is obviously designed to deter people from doing that!!

    I am in agreement with the senior "badge", of course there will be poorly cats that are a lot younger, I guess they have to draw the line somewhere. I have already put in the call to PetPlan and that is what they quoted me to reduce the level of cover from £12k to £7k. I didn't explore the £4k option.
     
    lullabydream likes this.
  9. lullabydream

    lullabydream PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2013
    Messages:
    11,334
    Likes Received:
    15,403
    Has a vet said or anyone else said what the best cover for a cat is?
    I know with dogs, it's recommended at least £7,000 when young. Well it was a few years ago. Probably more for a larger breed who are more prone to orthopaedic surgeries. Plus obviously area. Then obviously as they age, you get substantially less surgeries but illnesses that are lifetime. Although with older dogs I have insured for less than I would do a puppy. So I think you might be right, going down the path of less on the policy. However please double check it's not classed as a new policy leaving you open to more pre existing conditions.

    Hopefully more people will comment, see your post and give rough guidance to say how much certain conditions in senior cats cost.

    @Sacremist has 2 gorgeous cats on long term medication. She has also owned a lot of cats, so might be able to help.

    Obviously @chillminx has knowledge of long term medications too.

    @ewelsh vast knowledge too

    Apologises, I don't know enough cat chatters and their cats ailments to help.

    Of course medication prices vary between areas where people live.

    Also I find vets, or my own vets very good at trying to keep costs minimal if needs be.
     
  10. Ali71

    Ali71 PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2014
    Messages:
    3,896
    Likes Received:
    5,694
    @lullabydream you have been beyond helpful, thank you for all your trouble. Maybe I should get a little poll going, us cat-chatters do love a good poll!! :)
     
    lullabydream likes this.
  11. lullabydream

    lullabydream PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2013
    Messages:
    11,334
    Likes Received:
    15,403
    Oh bless you, honestly I think it can get a bit much with vet bills and when cats/dogs/rabbits whatever our pets just because we can doesn't mean we should at times! Although I am pretty positive that when our pets reach senior age in insurance purposes most are still full of the joys of spring! So we need the pet insurance for that peace of mind.
     
    Ali71 likes this.
  12. Ali71

    Ali71 PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2014
    Messages:
    3,896
    Likes Received:
    5,694

    You're so right x
     
    lullabydream likes this.
  13. Arny

    Arny PetForums Senior

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2017
    Messages:
    436
    Likes Received:
    374
    I'm not sure if this is helpful in anyway as of course you never know whats round the corner but..
    The more common things for an oldy would be dental treatment. That's £300-400 round me.
    Hyperthyroidism; for a full blood panel £60 and for just t-4 around £40. The tablets cost me around £60 for 3 months worth. Obviously if your cats ever get that you could do radioactive iodine treatment which although expensive I would imagine wouldn't be anywhere near £7,000.

    My last oldy had two lots of surgery within a shortish period one was just over £400 and second a bit cheaper. The first was to remove a sizeable lump. Then we paid £60 to have it sent off for testing (it was cancerous).

    I'm in touch with an animal charity and one of their male cats just had to go in for emergency treatment for a blocked urethra. It was out of hours with vetsnow and they quoted £1,300 if he needed a catheter inserting. I don't know what they ended up paying yet.

    Maybe look back to see how much you've spent in your more expensive years to see if that helps. You can ask the vet for these if you don't have them. I ask for itemised receipts after every visit.
     
    lullabydream and Ali71 like this.
  14. Ali71

    Ali71 PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2014
    Messages:
    3,896
    Likes Received:
    5,694
    @Arny that's incredibly helpful and a really good way of looking at it, thank you :)
     
    Arny and lullabydream like this.
  15. Sacremist

    Sacremist Mum to 2 cats and a dog

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    Messages:
    5,224
    Likes Received:
    4,274
    I’m with Petplan too and I have only £6000 of cover per cat. I’ve had many cats with a variety of illnesses like cancer, cardiomyopathy, liver disease, CKD, bowel disorders, hyperthyroidism, asthma all of which needed referral to a specialist at some point. Specialists are expensive but the maximum I’ve ever spent on one cat in one year was £4500. In my opinion, the £7000 you have been quoted is perfectly adequate.

    If I had only one pet then I would take my chances and not have insurance; I would pay into a bank account, however, with three elderly pets all with chronic illnesses my vet bills are currently over £400 a month. If I didn’t have insurance, I would struggle to pay that.
     
    Ali71 and lullabydream like this.
  16. lullabydream

    lullabydream PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2013
    Messages:
    11,334
    Likes Received:
    15,403
    @Ali71 I also forgot to mention, not quite related to pet insurance but you mention it. Have you got you cat, or even both cats on a good joint supplement like Yumove? You mention one having LP and it's excluded. This can lead to arthritis in later life. Obviously, am probably telling you to suck eggs but arthritis is common in dogs, especially in senior years. So it's often wise to use joint supplements. It doesn't stop say a dog ending up on a pain medication. However it can prevent it being medicated sooner and really does support the joints. I know yumove, which is popular in dog community and often recommended by the vets has a cat variety too. Like I am probably telling you something you already know, and I don't know enough about cats and joints to say hey it's worth a go but for dogs and humans they can help. So the information is just a reminder.
     
    Ali71 likes this.
  17. bluecordelia

    bluecordelia Footy

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2014
    Messages:
    6,015
    Likes Received:
    10,952
    I have £6000 of cover. I have claimed for both. Iv with his heart issues is at about £1600 with ongoing meds.
    With his burns we got to about £3000.

    I always expected insurance would cover breaks. It hasn’t panned out that way.
    When I get to the restricted phase I will probably cancel and set aside the money.
     
    Ali71 likes this.
  18. Sacremist

    Sacremist Mum to 2 cats and a dog

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    Messages:
    5,224
    Likes Received:
    4,274
    Do you not have lifetime cover?
     
  19. huckybuck

    huckybuck Feline Forum Fashionista

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2014
    Messages:
    18,601
    Likes Received:
    51,617
    I have all mine still covered for life 12k.

    Huck is 13 and Holly 11.

    I am too scared to reduce it just in case though tbf we could probably afford to pay out for whatever treatment was needed.

    The most in one go so far has ranged from around 2500 - 3500 for specialist investigation and treatment. Little H does have an ongoing issue but I have never claimed for his IBD episodes since the first diagnosis. Not sure why other than with the excess it’s not really been worth it.

    The one thing that stays at the back of my mind is how much and how quickly @oliviarussian ’s bill for Mika accumulated. She had 5000 cover but the bill for testing and trying to find out what was wrong went way over that (with supportive treatment in the meantime). If Mika had survived and they were able to find out what was wrong and treat I expect it could have amounted to another few thousand.

    I do think vets have access to more specialised equipment and treatment but these obviously cost more too. I just never want to be in a situation where money has an influence over what we decide to do for one of our cats. I want the choice to be made purely on welfare and recovery alone.
     
    oliviarussian and Ali71 like this.
  20. Sacremist

    Sacremist Mum to 2 cats and a dog

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    Messages:
    5,224
    Likes Received:
    4,274
    You do have to remember that with an older cat you still have to pay 20% of the cost, so the £7000 on insurance represents what would be 80% of the cost. This means you could incur a vet bill of up to £8750 before you reach your limit. With lifetime insurance this renews annually.
     
    Ali71, lullabydream and huckybuck like this.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice