Pet Insurance 15% increase every year?

edited 19 December 2019 at 2:46PM in Pets & Pet Care
11 replies 1.5K views
sixeightonethreesixeightonethree Forumite
2 Posts
edited 19 December 2019 at 2:46PM in Pets & Pet Care
Hi all,

When we got a new kitten 3 years ago we insured with PetPlan on a lifetime policy for the fairly reasonable sum of £34 / month. Every year since this has gone up by around 15%, and projecting this into the future we could expect to be paying around £1500 / year by the time the cat is 10.

Assuming the cat lives to be 19 and prices rise by 16% yearly, we'd expect to pay £37,000 in premiums, with no guarantees that it wouldn't be even more.

Chronic conditions like diabetes currently cost around £3200 / year to treat. One-off worst-case scenario bone breaks requiring hospital stays around £3000 - £7000. (This all according to our local London-based vet).

Basically I did the maths and it seems that even if the cat requires fairly expensive treatment, self-insuring is likely to save us money.

My big question for you guys is, does Pet Plan (or other insurers) definitely increase by around 15% every year, as we've seen? Did you see an even bigger spike around age 10?

It's frustrating that you can't get any answers from them about this, and there are apparently no rules at all preventing them from raising their premiums as high as they want. There seems to me to be a good chance that the prices shoot up after age 10, when the probability of those expensive chronic diseases increase.

Appreciate any insights!
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Replies

  • mlutonmluton Forumite
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    Our cat went in for a Aural Haematoma today, all has gone well, collecting her later.

    Its our biggest Vets bill to date at £738, but this is the first major bill we have had to face in all the years we have them both.

    Her and her son are 11.5 and 11 years old, if we had insured them then we would have paid a lot more to date.

    As they are now older, we are thinking about getting insurance in place.
  • RelievedSheffRelievedSheff Forumite
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    We insure our dog with Pet Protect. The premiums have been £12 per month for the last two years. We had no increase when we renewed in April against the previous years premium.

    The dog is now three so we do expect that as he gets older the premiums will increase but at the moment we think that £12 per month is a very reasonable price to pay.
  • tacpot12tacpot12 Forumite
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    My experience is that PetPlan increase their premiums by c 10% pa, but our animals are getting older each year so there is more risk that we will claim on the policy. We have claimed a number of times and PetPlan have always been very fair, but the excess means that we still have to pay quite a lot each time an animal is ill.
    The comments I post are my personal opinion. While I try to check everything is correct before posting, I can and do make mistakes, so always try to check official information sources before relying on my posts.
  • MovingForwardsMovingForwards Forumite
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    I've never insured a cat, all my vet bills were paid as and when required, but I did have a very well priced vet which didn't break the bank.

    Examples:

    Overnight stay, drip / dialysis and PTS was under £200.

    Another had two big operations for cancer, think the first was £300, the second about £350 including blood works.

    My current cat has only been to the vet once to get spayed, she is now 13 years old and has never been outside.

    I did the maths and for me I didn't think it was worth paying for insurance, but I do have moggies rather than proper breeds.

    If you are disciplined, there is nothing stopping you opening an account and putting the money in each month in case the need arises and cancelling your insurance.

    If you are on benefits the PDSA etc do heavily subsidised rates.
  • "My experience is that PetPlan increase their premiums by c 10% pa, but our animals are getting older each year so there is more risk that we will claim on the policy. We have claimed a number of times and PetPlan have always been very fair, but the excess means that we still have to pay quite a lot each time an animal is ill."

    Thanks for that info! I ran a quote on the PetPlan website and looked to see how much it would cost to insure a 9 year old cat (my cat just turned 3) with all other details the same. Turns out it's the exact same as we're paying now, so they're clearly just hiking the fees because they know you're trapped and won't switch :undecided

    I'm definitely leaning towards self-insuring, as in some ways it's the safer option. Signing up to pay upwards of £30,000 for a cat (assuming a long cat life) for definite and always running the risk of having a claim rejected actually feels riskier than putting the cash away in a savings account and knowing I won't deny myself a claim!

    Appreciate everyone's advice :)
  • edited 20 December 2019 at 12:36PM
    NaughtiusMaximusNaughtiusMaximus Forumite
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    edited 20 December 2019 at 12:36PM
    I've never insured a cat, all my vet bills were paid as and when required, but I did have a very well priced vet which didn't break the bank.

    Just like any other type of non-compulsory insurance, your decision on whether or not to take it out is a gamble. Where it does definitely work out cheaper in the long run is if your pet develops a condition which requires lifetime veterinary care and medication, as was the case with one of our cats. She died when she was 17 and we'd had her insured since she was a kitten, over the course of her life we worked out we'd have paid £1,000s more if she wasn't insured.

    Our other cat is the opposite, he's now around 15 and has been very healthy, the amount we've paid on insurance for him is vastly more than the amount the care he received would have cost if we'd have paid as we went.

    Some cheaper pet insurance policies place an upper limit on how much they'll pay out for lifelong conditions, where this is the case I really don't think they're worth the money.
  • DD265DD265 Forumite
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    Is there anything special about your cat?

    We pay £35.57 a month for two moggies (3 years old, this is after our first renewal, no claims - it was £31.10 a month before) so yours seems quite steep.

    Having looked at various exclusions the boys already have, (one had life-saving abdominal surgery as a kitten at the rescue, and has been seen for scooting/sore anal glands, the other overgroomed the base of his tail and has 'skin conditions' and 'behavioural something' excluded!) we would prefer to self-insure, but don't feel in the position to do so at the moment.
  • Fiona_CWFiona_CW Forumite
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    That seems very expensive. I'm with Sainsbury's insurance for 2 cats (aged 4 and 5) and costs about £30 for both (with multi-pet discount) It would probably be a lot less but I claimed when one was hit by car and broke femur which added up to about £900 bill. Premiums went up after that. Annual increase apart from after claim has been pennies
  • lcc86lcc86 Forumite
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    "My experience is that PetPlan increase their premiums by c 10% pa, but our animals are getting older each year so there is more risk that we will claim on the policy. We have claimed a number of times and PetPlan have always been very fair, but the excess means that we still have to pay quite a lot each time an animal is ill."

    Thanks for that info! I ran a quote on the PetPlan website and looked to see how much it would cost to insure a 9 year old cat (my cat just turned 3) with all other details the same. Turns out it's the exact same as we're paying now, so they're clearly just hiking the fees because they know you're trapped and won't switch :undecided

    I'm definitely leaning towards self-insuring, as in some ways it's the safer option. Signing up to pay upwards of £30,000 for a cat (assuming a long cat life) for definite and always running the risk of having a claim rejected actually feels riskier than putting the cash away in a savings account and knowing I won't deny myself a claim!

    Appreciate everyone's advice :)

    You could swap to a different insurer that also offers lifetime cover, you're not stuck with petplan just because you have a lifetime cover policy. If you've never claimed then there should be no exclusions if you switch to a different provider. When self-insuring it's a good idea to have a decent chunk of money saved before cancelling the policy just in case. Also, your cat is young, so if he developed a lifetime condition or a serious illness you'd have to consider whether you can afford to pay for that long-term. My parents have just cancelled their dog's insurance because he's 14 and they'd never put him through surgery or treatment for anything major, but for a young animal it's a different story.
    Pay off all your debt by Xmas 2021 #19 £174 to go
  • KxMxKxMx Forumite
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    I wouldn't have put my late cat through anything major, unfortunately when she was unwell it took £3k to diagnose the illness, which turned out to be terminal.
    Luckily I had insurance!
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