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  • hilux22
    Before getting any pet insurance, make sure you understand the different types of cover - lots of the cheaper policies turn out to be fairly useless in the event of all but the smallest claims. The insurers only mention the good points about their policies - the bad points/things not covered are always buried in small print. The Which? website has excellent explanations of the different types of cover, and also lists which companies provide what and the cost, divided up into the different categories of cover, so once you know what you want, making a choice of provider is much easier.

    Other things to be aware of:
    You can't claim on most policies for the first 28 days after taking them out, sometimes longer. So you can't go to the vet, get a bill, then take out insurance and claim. Reasonable, but I meet lots of pet owners who think they can do this.

    Try to ask other pet owners what they think of their insurer. We have had 3 different insurers over the past 20 years, and our current one has been so much better than the previous two in the customer service and claims paying areas. You can't tell this by comparing policies of course, only when you need to claim.

    The first time you make a claim, I believe that all the insurers now require a full medical history from your vet. Your vet should know about this, but might not know its your fist claim, so do tell your vet and make sure the history is done and sent to the insurer. Also, if you change vet for any reason, make sure the new vet gets all the history from the previous vet. Again, a decent vet will probably ask you for details of your previous one, but you need to make sure the history has been sent through/received by the new vet.

    Finally, I would be a little wary of pet insurance from a supermarket - insurance is not their core business and if the supermarket isn't making enough profit from it, it could discontinue, leaving pet owners with the problem of previous conditions not being covered by a new insurer. I feel a bit happier going through a company whose core business is insurance.
  • jbone1
    On 3rd party liability coverage for dogs, you may find this is covered under your household contents cover already.

    I would check your home contents insurance wording first before buying coverage that is duplicated elsewhere.
    • melbury
    • By melbury 25th May 11, 2:10 PM
    • 11,631 Posts
    • 20,855 Thanks
    melbury
    Petguard Insurance
    Please does anyone know exactly what is happening with Petguard?

    I have been with them for three years and never had any problems, but for the past few months their website just has a screen saying "under construction" and I have read on another site that their underwriters have pulled out and so they are no longer insuring dogs with existing conditions.

    My dog unfortunatley does have an ongoing condition and our policy runs out next month when, according to others, I will receive a letter saying they are not willing to insure my dog anymore, despite the fact that I do have a policy that covers conditions for life.

    It is very worrying as of course no other company will offer cover for an existing condition.

    Would be grateful for any further information if anyone knows anything about this.

    Thanks.
    Stopped smoking 27/12/2007, but could start again at any time

    • thistledome
    • By thistledome 25th May 11, 2:20 PM
    • 1,430 Posts
    • 3,414 Thanks
    thistledome
    A comment/enquiry about the comparison sites and cashback sites.

    I know with motor insurance that if you get a quote from a comparison site, it can interfere with your cashback as the commission is then paid to the comparison site as they were your first point of contact. Might be worth checking this and pointing it out if it's the case with pet insurance too.
    Love the animals: God has given them the rudiments of thought and joy untroubled. Do not trouble their joy, don't harrass them, don't deprive them of their happiness.
  • rgchapman
    Pet Insurance
    I appreciate that this is a money saving website but please when it comes to ensuring your pet, do not go for the cheapest option. Only when you come to claim will you appreciate the value of a comprehensive policy. From personal experience, I would only choose a policy that guarantees to cover a condition for the lifetime of your pet. While your pet is healthy, it may seem like a lot of money but believe me, if/when you have to claim, it is worth every penny. We are with Petplan and I would suggest using this as the starting point when comparing policies
    No reliance should be placed on the above.

  • BeckiW
    Don't waste your money!
    In my experience Pet Insurance is a total waste of money. I have had my cat for 10 years, as a responsible owner I have paid for pet insurance for the whole time and have never claimed until last year. Generally younger pets do not require vet treatment that would cost more money than your excess so it is only really worth taking out when your pet starts to age. The premiums go up and up every year regardless of how old your pet is when you join. In my experience insurance companies will find any possible loophole to stop paying out. My cat had an eye infection, they paid out but then over a year later he had a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT issue that just happened to be with the same eye and they wouldn't pay. It's cost me hundreds which I could have paid for using the 10 years of wasted premiums. Please please take my advice, put a tenner a month into a savings account instead. If you need it you've got it, if you don't then you can treat yourself and your furry friend! P.s. I foolishly went with Tesco if you must buy pet insurance for gods sake don't go with them!
  • Helen2727
    Hi I'm a Vet and there's a few things we usually advise pet owners regarding insurance.
    Our impression is that you seem to get "what you pay for". Cheap policies often duck out of paying, have limited cover or can take months to pay out. However, there's going to be a policy to suit all budgets and it's certainly better to have a say 10 a month one rather than none at all but this may have a limited pay out and not cover for conditions such as dental disease at all.
    More costly policies will often give "lifetime" or "lifelong" cover which means if a condition needs treatment year after year eg diabetes, arthritis they will keep paying out (premiums may go up and they will take an excess each year however) rather than stopping all payment for that condition after 12 months.
    It can also be better to have a policy that gives you a limit per year rather than per condition, as, for an ongoing condition, you may reach your eg 4000 limit but would be unlucky to need more than 4000 a policy year unless you had a very bad year.
    With reputable companies and particulary those that specialise in animal insurance Vets may agree to do "direct claims" which means they claim directly from the insurer. They may do a pre-authorisation form first but with may less reputable ones they're more likely to ask for payment up front which can be awkward for personal cash flow.
    If you regard your pet highly and want peace of mind the cheapest policy you find might well be a false economy.
  • basilette
    please be aware if you are referred to a specialist for your pet not all insurers are accepted for direct payment to the specialists.
    my pup has just completed nearly 8000 worth of treatment and thankfully all payments were made direct from the insurers because I could not have afforded to pay and reclaim it is not just a case of cheapest is best
    • emeraldemma
    • By emeraldemma 26th May 11, 3:36 PM
    • 23 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    emeraldemma
    Don't forget the vet practice isn't obliged to accept direct claims for insurance purposes, so shouldn't assume vets should do this. Perhaps a credit card would be advisable til the insurance company pays the policy holder back with regards to cash flow, if the vet practice doesn't accept direct claims.

    I recommend petplan.

    Also re-iterate DON'T GO WITH THE CHEAPEST!!!
  • kaky
    Take care with Pet insurance
    Pet insurance.... Take care.
    Before you take out any insurance decide what you want from the insurance. Pet insurance is not like car/house insurance and isn't always a case of trying to get the cheapest deal.
    Do you want cover for life?? Some breeds of dog can develop arthritis as young as 1 years of age. Are they going to be covered for one year/set amount or for life? Same with heart/skin conditions etc.
    If your animal develops diabetes (list is endless) are they going to be covered in 3 years time?? PLEASE read these policies carefully. All conditions are potentially expensive. Look at covered for life policies.
    If you want a basic cover that will cover you for those accidents like cut pads, road accidents then most policies will cover you for a set amount and as long as the accident doesn't happen in a cooling peroid after the insurance is taken out. The problems happen when people move policies. If your dog had an ear condition and you were insured and made a small claim with one company then you probably won't be covered with the new company! Check with your insurance and the company you are thinking of changing to BEFORE you do it!
  • sculler007
    Cheap pet insurance not always best
    Hi, about a year ago I thought about changing pet insurance as my policy was getting quite expensive (due to my cat being over 10 rather than anything else). However, after looking on several forums, I decided to stay with my current insurer, PetPlan, as many people reported problems getting payments for treatments from other insurers. My cat has had several fairly major illnesses over his lifetime, and PetPlan have never quibbled over any payments - claims are always dealt with quickly and efficiently (and they will pay directly to the vet which means you are not out of pocket). Furthermore, my insurance did not increase after these incidents, only gradually getting pricier as he got older. Due to his age, I now have to pay a percentage of any treatment needed - but after a recent vet bill of about 1000, I was still grateful to have to pay only about 300. I would advise doing lots of research before changing from an insurer you have had good service from in the past, even if they are not the cheapest.
    • Tinkywinks108
    • By Tinkywinks108 26th May 11, 10:52 PM
    • 183 Posts
    • 76 Thanks
    Tinkywinks108
    In my experience Pet Insurance is a total waste of money. I have had my cat for 10 years, as a responsible owner I have paid for pet insurance for the whole time and have never claimed until last year. Generally younger pets do not require vet treatment that would cost more money than your excess so it is only really worth taking out when your pet starts to age. The premiums go up and up every year regardless of how old your pet is when you join. In my experience insurance companies will find any possible loophole to stop paying out. My cat had an eye infection, they paid out but then over a year later he had a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT issue that just happened to be with the same eye and they wouldn't pay. It's cost me hundreds which I could have paid for using the 10 years of wasted premiums. Please please take my advice, put a tenner a month into a savings account instead. If you need it you've got it, if you don't then you can treat yourself and your furry friend! P.s. I foolishly went with Tesco if you must buy pet insurance for gods sake don't go with them!
    Originally posted by BeckiW
    Thanks for that, I was really leaning towards self insuring but wondered if I was being foolish. I used to have 4 cats (now with the ex) and to this day (after 10 years) they've incurred very little or no vet fees at all. I now have a kitten and will be doing what you advise, 10 per month in a savings account. I am skint, but not in debt, so if I did need emergency treatment costing hundreds/thousands of pounds in the near future then I'd rather borrow the money from my bank to be honest!
    • martin2
    • By martin2 27th May 11, 1:00 PM
    • 19 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    martin2
    Pet Insurance
    I would urge anyone with a Tesco Clubcard to get a quote from Tesco as they have 25% discount at the moment. For each of our cats, it's about 45 a year for standard cover with 50 excess. They don't need to be jabbed, but they won't be covered for the diseases that the vaccinations cover.
    The cover is underwritten by Royal Insurance and includes a free vet helpline.
    For those that think that insurance is a waste of money (I was one of them), wait until your pet cuts their paw open on some glass or rusty barbed wire (as it was in our case) and see how much it will cost you in vet bills (about 300 for us)!

    BTW, When using GoCompare and Comparethemarket.com, Tesco didn't appear on their quotes, so I think you'll need to visit Tesco.com for their quote.
    Last edited by martin2; 27-05-2011 at 1:03 PM. Reason: extra text
  • bojovictoria
    maggiemax
    There's an even better deal out there than the Dogs Trust third party insurance - Pet ID Club. I think their name is being changed to Priority and the website's being revamped at the moment. I would have given the link, but as a new user I'm apparently not allowed to.
    My daughter and I spent months hunting high and low on the net for a company which just did public indemnity insurance without all the medical frills and we eventually found this one.

    For just 19.95 per pet per year, you still get 1,000,000 of public indemnity insurance for dogs, (they insure horses as well I think but not sure about other animals), as well as various other bits and pieces like a free upgrade to Petlog Premium for new members.

    I dealt with a really lovely helpful lady called Charlie Fry. She can be contacted on 01273-837676.

    The only possible drawback to this is that your pet needs to have been ID chipped - but then, if you're a responsible enough owner to be seeking third party insurance . . . its a pretty safe bet that you've had your pet chipped!

    If you can be discipined enough not to touch it for anything else, there's an awful lot to be said for self insuring for medical bills. Admittedly we've always had rescue pets who on the whole tend to be more sturdy than pure breeds, but even with a rescue greyhound, (who is more than a bit of a medical liability with fragile limbs, a dodgy digestive system and extremely thin skin), the current 10 pw per dog we put aside has so far covered all eventualities.
    And we get the interest on our money too - not that it's much these days even in a top rate paying ISA!

    Having just managed to finish reading all the other posts . . . beware! Yes - some home insurance policies do cover pets for third party indemnity - but if you look more closely into it . . . only when the pet(s) in question are on your own property - not out in public. Which is when you're really more likely to need it!
    Last edited by bojovictoria; 27-05-2011 at 10:22 PM. Reason: word of caution
    • bloss0m
    • By bloss0m 28th May 11, 11:45 AM
    • 978 Posts
    • 1,132 Thanks
    bloss0m
    joycebaby is ming forums
  • Deltadawn
    Like others, I have never had pet insurance. And I have had two or three dogs at a time.
    Mostly, I found that my vet bills were cheaper than any excess on insurance.
    I have had some high bills over the years - but, I still think I have been better off this way.

    As someone said earlier - a lot depends what part of the country one lives in.

    I have just got another greyhound. So they may be prone to arthritis in old age.
    But they have very healthy heart and lungs.


    I tried for years to find a third party insurance for my dogs.
    I finally took out a life membership with the Dogs Trust.
  • bojovictoria
    Like others, I have never had pet insurance. And I have had two or three dogs at a time.
    Mostly, I found that my vet bills were cheaper than any excess on insurance.
    I have had some high bills over the years - but, I still think I have been better off this way.

    As someone said earlier - a lot depends what part of the country one lives in.

    I have just got another greyhound. So they may be prone to arthritis in old age.
    But they have very healthy heart and lungs.


    I tried for years to find a third party insurance for my dogs.
    I finally took out a life membership with the Dogs Trust.
    Originally posted by Deltadawn
    Hi Deltadawn, It seems we're both new at this, so I hope this is the right way to post a reply.
    Regarding possible arthritis in Greyhounds as they age. With our vet's agreement, we give ours a 500gm tablet of Glucosamine and Chondroitin every day and it really seems to help with the aches and stiffness. Its given her a new lease of life.
    Cheapest way to buy is mail order. Look in your newspaper for ads for a company in Guernsey
    • zagubov
    • By zagubov 29th May 11, 8:43 PM
    • 16,512 Posts
    • 134,334 Thanks
    zagubov
    When you do your comparisons, make sure you check out Argos Platinum (but ignore their other policies) as they give long-term cover. fairly low price (OK not exactly the cheapest but very cheap for what's on offer) and good online feedback. Also check if they're still doing cashback via the usual sites.
    • sambo84
    • By sambo84 30th May 11, 9:17 AM
    • 39 Posts
    • 9 Thanks
    sambo84
    Your should include NFU as you can't get a quote from them on comparison sites you have to call them up but they were the cheapest lifetime policy for me as if you don't care about how much you get back should your pet die then you are allowed to reduce the amount 'paid' for. I.e. I bought Panda for 1000 and insuring him for that much cost alot but they said I could reduced this so I reduced it to 250 and it reduced my premium LOADS! This is because they insure race horses too so they go by price of the pet too. and they offer excellent lifetime cover and different ranged of cover too.

    Plus you get a no claims bonus every year and a benefit for staying with them (money off your policy each year which increases year on year)

    I have never had to claim yet but have heard they are very good and I am very happy with them.
  • Deltadawn
    Hi Deltadawn, It seems we're both new at this, so I hope this is the right way to post a reply.
    Regarding possible arthritis in Greyhounds as they age. With our vet's agreement, we give ours a 500gm tablet of Glucosamine and Chondroitin every day and it really seems to help with the aches and stiffness. Its given her a new lease of life.
    Cheapest way to buy is mail order. Look in your newspaper for ads for a company in Guernsey
    Originally posted by bojovictoria
    Hello bojovictoria.
    My whippet who died 12 weeks ago, was on Glucosamine & Chondroitin for several years.
    I go on the internet to Healthy Direct.
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