Unsure whether to cancel pet insurance

Hello!

We've just had our renewal through for our Jack Russell who is 8 years old and has epilepsy.

We claim £27.75 every month for her medication, plus blood tests twice a year. She's had the epilepsy for 4 years now. The total we have claimed this year is £369.33 out of a total £1000 covered per condition in each year. The figure was similar in previous years. 

As she has this pre existing condition, we are unable to shop around.

The policy began at £5 per month, since her being diagnosed with epilepsy and claiming, her new renewal price will be £80.63 a month, up from £56 per month this year. This is just so much money for us right now. As she gets older, less new conditions would be covered anyway. If we did cancel and she needed treatment, we would be able to pay on a credit card or from savings. 

What do you think? I was always a big believer in insurance but more and more now they seem less willing to pay out, and the premiums are jumping up at rates we won't be able to keep up with.

What would everyone's thoughts be on cancelling?

Comments

  • We are in much the same situation with our dog. We pay out £41 per month for medication but never claim it back as it will increase our premiums because we have claimed. Our dog is 9 and I dont want to be without insurance should a major treatment be needed.
  • Brie
    Brie Posts: 9,364
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    Hello!

    We've just had our renewal through for our Jack Russell who is 8 years old and has epilepsy.

    We claim £27.75 every month for her medication, plus blood tests twice a year. She's had the epilepsy for 4 years now. The total we have claimed this year is £369.33 out of a total £1000 covered per condition in each year. The figure was similar in previous years. 

    As she has this pre existing condition, we are unable to shop around.

    The policy began at £5 per month, since her being diagnosed with epilepsy and claiming, her new renewal price will be £80.63 a month, up from £56 per month this year. This is just so much money for us right now. As she gets older, less new conditions would be covered anyway. If we did cancel and she needed treatment, we would be able to pay on a credit card or from savings. 

    What do you think? I was always a big believer in insurance but more and more now they seem less willing to pay out, and the premiums are jumping up at rates we won't be able to keep up with.

    What would everyone's thoughts be on cancelling?
    At £80+ a month you'll be paying £960 which is nearly all the plan will cover for the epilepsy. And certainly much more than the £369 you're claiming currently.  

    I have never had insurance for  any of our cats and perhaps have been lucky for the most part.  Saying that 2 different (& unrelated) cats became diabetic which has resulted a huge bill for both of them.  One of them was 15 at the time of diagnosis so I doubt I would have been paying for insurance by that time given the escalation of the premiums so I don't think it would have helped us.  I think that given the various cats we've had over the years I paid less for serious problems than I would have for premiums so am ahead of the game there.

    I guess the thing to think about is can you afford a big bill (as in do you have a big enough credit card)?  And what would you do if you couldn't afford it?  
    "Never retract, never explain, never apologise; get things done and let them howl.”
  • sheramber
    sheramber Posts: 18,652
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    Your premium may have increased as your dog is now 8, as well as the annual increase. 
    Many companies consider that as old and more likely to have problems associated with old age. 
    Your excess also needs taken into account. Is what  you claimed  after your excess has been deducted?
    You could always open a bank account and put £80 in it every month so you have a sum for vet bills. I did this when my dog older and the premiums and excess were  increased. As long as you have a source to pay if you get a bill for more than you have saved. If you do not spend it then the money is yours, not the company’s. 
    Vet bills are getting higher as their costs rise and more advanced treatments become available. Premiums are increased due to increased admin costs and rising cost of  claims. 

  • So we have around £12k available on credit cards if we needed to, but the plan would be to start putting the £80 a month away incase we did need to use it. The excess is currently £100 per condition per year. So the £300 odd is after we’ve already paid £100 excess 

    My worry is she develops another condition, like diabetes and it becomes another monthly medication probably greater than £80 then combined. It’s so hard to know what to do. Once it’s cancelled that’s it we’ll not get covered again. 
  • sheramber
    sheramber Posts: 18,652
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    For a year's cover you are going to pay £960 in premiums plus £100 excess but the maximum you can claim back is £1000.

    At present you only claiming back less than £400.

     By putting money away you will have £960 in the bank and costs of £400, leaving a balance of £560 in the account., which will accumulate each year. 

    If you can afford it pay for the medication as part of everyday outgoings, even for 1 month,   you can  leave the money in the account for when it is needed.

    Put it in high interest account and get added interest.

    Remember, your costs will increase each year and your premiums  will increase each year so you would need to increase  what you put away each year.  You are already paying more than you are able to claim back and each year that excess amount will increase.

    It depends on what gives you most peace of mind.  
  • There has come a point with most of my pets as they age that I stop paying for insurance and start putting money aside instead (plus an empty credit card for emergencies). Obviously it's completely a personal decision though. 

    Personally, I probably wouldn't be paying out £80 a month in that kind of situation - bearing in mind your ongoing medication and blood test costs. I'd be cancelling and putting your current £56 aside to cover the ongoing costs, plus it'll help build up a buffer too over time, if not needed in the meantime (depending on how much you are charged for blood tests).  You can always shop around for a new policy and see how much insurance will be, with the epilepsy excluded, from a different provider. It might be that paying for your current costs directly and also having an insurance policy for anything else that crops up could still be cheaper than your new renewal quote and that might give more peace of mind. 


  • Thank you all for the comments, really appreciated. 

    I do think if we just put the money aside, plus the backup of credit we have available, that overall it makes sense to cancel it. 

    I wasn't aware that any provider would take her, with epilepsy excluded, for other cover. Are there any particular you know of that I could try? 
  • Sorry to double post, I've just done a quote on Pet sure who will cover the epilepsy -This would cover changes in medication for epilepsy or newly prescribed medication, but not her current prescription. It wont cover consultations or route tests. 

    The cover is for up to £1000 vet fees per year as the vet fee limit, with £100 excess, it would be £32 per month. Plus her existing medication of £27 per month, this would be £59 a month. And if her prescriptions changes they would cover it. Seems like a better option? At least then we have some cover, albeit only £1000 per year, for new conditions too. 
  • Thank you all for the comments, really appreciated. 

    I do think if we just put the money aside, plus the backup of credit we have available, that overall it makes sense to cancel it. 

    I wasn't aware that any provider would take her, with epilepsy excluded, for other cover. Are there any particular you know of that I could try? 

    I wonder if you contact them to cancel they offer you a better renewal price. I don't have any pets so don't know if it works like that but I wouldn't be surprised.
  • Sorry to double post, I've just done a quote on Pet sure who will cover the epilepsy -This would cover changes in medication for epilepsy or newly prescribed medication, but not her current prescription. It wont cover consultations or route tests. 

    The cover is for up to £1000 vet fees per year as the vet fee limit, with £100 excess, it would be £32 per month. Plus her existing medication of £27 per month, this would be £59 a month. And if her prescriptions changes they would cover it. Seems like a better option? At least then we have some cover, albeit only £1000 per year, for new conditions too. 
    Most insurers would cover for new conditions, just not the epilepsy, so the Pet Sure quote seems like potentially a good solution for your peace of mind.

    My personal experience is that £1k of cover pretty much goes nowhere these days though. One of my cats recently had to have a few hours during the day in the vets on fluids, with an in-house blood test and x-rays done. That was £915 - and that didn't include any medications - just diagnostics and the drip. If he'd needed surgery (thankfully, he didn't) that would have been at least another £1-2k. Even a stay overnight with the out of hours vets (also not needed this time) would have been another £500-£600 just for them monitoring him, let alone if they'd needed to medicate too. 

    For my two dogs, I don't ever cover them for less than £4,500 annual limit (always lifetime policy) as I know how quickly the fees stack up if it's something big. 

    It's definitely worth a try to call your current insurer with the info you now have and see if they can do anything about their renewal quote. 
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