Pet Insurance Advice Please

in Pets & Pet Care
11 replies 4.3K views
Hi All

I'm hoping you can provide some insight and advice :)

I have a 10 year old rescued dog, who I have had since a puppy.

He is insured with M&S, and whilst their premiums were reasonable at first, each year they increment has gone up rapidy. He is now costing over £66 a month to insure. (£800 per annum).

Now, my concern and reluctance to change, is that I feel that they have me over a barrel.

My dog had a luxated patella (slipped kneecap) in his hind leg as a puppy and required significant veterinary expenses. M&S explained to me that if I were to change provider, that under pre-existing conditions he would not be covered for any medical issues with the leg that was treated. BUT, as one leg had received treatment, the other leg was likely to occur, and would also be classed as a pre-existing condition.

I suspect that as he is now much older, the chances of the patella luxating is much less. But, I don't want to run the risk of changing insurer and finding out for example that he has bone cancer in his rear legs and they refuse to cover treatment.

Do M&S really have me over a barrel??

Yours rather confused!
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Replies

  • sherambersheramber Forumite
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    fiscalfool wrote: »
    Hi All

    I'm hoping you can provide some insight and advice :)

    I have a 10 year old rescued dog, who I have had since a puppy.

    He is insured with M&S, and whilst their premiums were reasonable at first, each year they increment has gone up rapidy. He is now costing over £66 a month to insure. (£800 per annum).

    Now, my concern and reluctance to change, is that I feel that they have me over a barrel.

    My dog had a luxated patella (slipped kneecap) in his hind leg as a puppy and required significant veterinary expenses. M&S explained to me that if I were to change provider, that under pre-existing conditions he would not be covered for any medical issues with the leg that was treated. BUT, as one leg had received treatment, the other leg was likely to occur, and would also be classed as a pre-existing condition.

    I suspect that as he is now much older, the chances of the patella luxating is much less. But, I don't want to run the risk of changing insurer and finding out for example that he has bone cancer in his rear legs and they refuse to cover treatment.

    Do M&S really have me over a barrel??

    Yours rather confused!

    Yes, what they say is correct.
    The leg that was treated will be excluded and if the same condition arose in the other leg then it would be considered a linked condition.

    That generally applies with all insurance companies.

    There are companies that will cover pre existing conditions for a dog under 2 years old which doesn't apply in your case.

    Others will exclude a condition if it does not recur or need any treatment for 2 years. For these cases you need to speak to the underwriters and get it written into the policy.

    Depending on the cost, you could change to a cheaper policy and put the extra money in a separate account to use if he needs further treatment. I did that with an older dog when I decided I would not be prepared to put him through any extensive treatment due to his age.
  • pipkin71pipkin71 Forumite
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    We had our pet insurance renewal today and despite never claiming on it, the price has massively jumped so I have phoned round and every one has said he wouldn't be covered for a pre existing condition, so they are right, unfortunately. Could you change your policy excess to reduce costs a bit?

    I had a £60 policy excess but if I changed to a £120 policy excess it reduced the monthly premium. It was still cheaper to go elsewhere though but since it looks like you might have to stay with your provider, that's something to consider :)
    There is something delicious about writing the first words of a story. You never quite know where they'll take you - Beatrix Potter
  • elsienelsien Forumite
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    You're also getting to the age with him where some insurers wouldn't take him on, or they load the premiums, or they charge a higher excess plus percentage of the bill. So it's likely any insurance is going to cost more just because of his age, even without the other factors.
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
  • Edinburgh_PoochEdinburgh_Pooch Forumite
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    I know how you feel and I am in the same situation myself although my dog is only 4. I took out Petplan when he was a puppy and the monthly premiums are now £42 per month. He has had 2 cruciate ligament surgeries (cost £7K approx) which Petplan paid direct to the hospital. He has also had a couple of other things paid for by Petplan. I took out cover for life when he was a puppy but like you I now fear the premiums will just keep rising and I will be stuck. At this point 4 years in the amount they have paid out is still far more than I have paid in so I am happy. There may come a point though when I stop the insurance and just put the money faithfully into a savings account purely for pet medical stuff. It's a tricky one. It's alot of money each month but when you see how expensive vet bills or surgeon bills are it can pale in comparison. If your dog needed a surgery costing thousands of pounds could you afford it without insurance? Let us know what you decide.
  • toniqtoniq Forumite
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    https://www.money.co.uk/pet-insurance/existing-condition-pet-insurance.htm

    There some providers who will take a pet on with existing conditions if they haven't claimed in the last 2 years for it.

    Link above shows some.

    x
    #JusticeForGrenfell
  • sherambersheramber Forumite
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    10,000 Posts Seventh Anniversary I've been Money Tipped! Name Dropper
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    I know how you feel and I am in the same situation myself although my dog is only 4. I took out Petplan when he was a puppy and the monthly premiums are now £42 per month. He has had 2 cruciate ligament surgeries (cost £7K approx) which Petplan paid direct to the hospital. He has also had a couple of other things paid for by Petplan. I took out cover for life when he was a puppy but like you I now fear the premiums will just keep rising and I will be stuck. At this point 4 years in the amount they have paid out is still far more than I have paid in so I am happy. There may come a point though when I stop the insurance and just put the money faithfully into a savings account purely for pet medical stuff. It's a tricky one. It's alot of money each month but when you see how expensive vet bills or surgeon bills are it can pale in comparison. If your dog needed a surgery costing thousands of pounds could you afford it without insurance? Let us know what you decide.

    The fact that you say Petplan have paid out more than you have paid in shows the danger of self insuring. Would you have enough money put away to cover any necessary treatment.

    You need to have built up a considerable sum before that works.

    Petplan tend to be expensive, but are one of the few companies that do not increase premiums if you make a claim . Most companies do. They do , of course, increase premiums to cover inflation and ongoing cost but if have two dogs of the same age and breed they will have the same premium for the same cover, even if one has had a lot of claims and the other none.
  • pipkin71 wrote: »
    We had our pet insurance renewal today and despite never claiming on it, the price has massively jumped so I have phoned round and every one has said he wouldn't be covered for a pre existing condition, so they are right, unfortunately. Could you change your policy excess to reduce costs a bit?

    I had a £60 policy excess but if I changed to a £120 policy excess it reduced the monthly premium. It was still cheaper to go elsewhere though but since it looks like you might have to stay with your provider, that's something to consider :)

    Aaaah that's a good option. Thank you. Never had to claim for anything since his knee op as a puppy.
  • elsien wrote: »
    You're also getting to the age with him where some insurers wouldn't take him on, or they load the premiums, or they charge a higher excess plus percentage of the bill. So it's likely any insurance is going to cost more just because of his age, even without the other factors.

    I had a look around, and followed some of the links lower in this thread. Seems you're correct, that his age precludes him from a lot of options now.

    I wouldn't want to find out that in his latter years, when he might need care, that he isn't covered. So other than the above suggestion of reducing the premium by increasing my excess, then I shall have to grin and bear it.
  • toniq wrote: »
    https://www.money.co.uk/pet-insurance/existing-condition-pet-insurance.htm

    There some providers who will take a pet on with existing conditions if they haven't claimed in the last 2 years for it.

    Link above shows some.

    x

    Thank you. Had a look at that link. I think he's now too old for most of the other companies to cover. The couple who did quote, were not much different to the current quote, and at least that cover won't be hamstrung or compromised in any sense.
  • amethystroseamethystrose Forumite
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    Hi, I feel in a similar position to the original poster. I've been with Petplan for a number of years and now pooch is too old to really go anywhere else.

    I appreciate they are expensive because of quality but I wondered if anyone had knowledge of people trying to haggle down the price at all, even just a knocking a little off? I feel like they might not be receptive because they know I won't have much in the way of other options.

    Thank you
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