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View Full Version : HELP! Pet insurance premiums shot up! Need advice please.



*Pauline*
3rd January 2008, 01:33 PM
My insurance with Marks & Spencer's ends at the end of this month. I have been very happy with them. I'm sure I claimed more than I paid this year. I paid a small amount extra, maybe £30, to have no excess at all and this was a great deal.

THIS YEAR :eek: the excess is £70, well all but one claim I have made has been less than that and the annual premium has gone up from around £230 to £359.

I'm thinking of not getting insurance this year. Unless someone can point me in the right direction.

You've got to think twice after reading Nicki's reply in this thread (post#16) about what her vet bills are, it certainly got me thinking.
http://board.cavaliertalk.com/showthread.php?p=240961#post240961
Mind you, if my excess is £70, it wouldn't even pay out.

Has anyone found anything as good in the UK? M&S were good because they cover the lifetime of the illness up to £7000 each year. They were fantastic until they did away with the no excess offer.

I am not working so I can use the PDSA and give a donation but I really like my vet.

Maybe I should not get insurance until he is older, what do you think?

ppotterfield
3rd January 2008, 01:50 PM
You will, of course, need to check with individual insurance carriers, but one of the risks of not getting insurance until your pet gets older is that generally there is no coverage for pre-existing conditions. With a pre-existing excllusion, you run the risk that there will be conditions which were minor when the dog was young but become more serious and costly as the dog ages and they will not be covered. If you can manage to keep coverage for serious injuries or diseases, even if not for preventative care, I would do so. JMHO

lady and amber
3rd January 2008, 02:08 PM
I used to have Pet Plan pet insurance when I had my GSD, and because of the excess I had to pay I never got my money back, so when I got Lady and Amber I opened a savings account and pay in the amount I would if I was paying insurance, I know that if they need any treatment I have some put by, if that's not enough to hell with it that's what the credit cards for.

Yvonne117
3rd January 2008, 03:00 PM
Not sure if Tescos still doing half price premiums but I managed to get both my dogs policies recently for £10.98 a month each, less than half the amount I paid last year with M & S. It would have been less but I opted for some extras.

Kelly
3rd January 2008, 03:33 PM
We have Pet Plan insurance for Chester on the advice of our Vets.

Originally it was £23.50 a month and has just gone up to £26 per month. To be honest I was expecting it to go up quite a lot more as after only paying for 3 months he had to have an MRI for suspected SM and in total cost nearly £1,200.

We could never have afforded that had we not had insurance so I personally will always pay for insurance for him. Our excess is £90. They also cover for the lifetime of any illnesses whereas some of the cheaper ones only cover for the year.

*Pauline*
3rd January 2008, 05:15 PM
Not sure if Tescos still doing half price premiums but I managed to get both my dogs policies recently for £10.98 a month each, less than half the amount I paid last year with M & S. It would have been less but I opted for some extras.

Thanks, it's certainly cheap.

I can get Tesco insurance for:

£17.04 for £4000 per condition.

or:

£13.11 for £2,500 per condition for 12 months. The excess is £60 for both quotes.

But I wanted "lifetime of condition cover" plus a low excess :rolleyes: Wishful thinking I guess and probably why M&S don't do it anymore.

I think my issue is always going to be the excess.

arasara
3rd January 2008, 05:40 PM
I am not a UK member, but I'd like to throw my 2 cents in here ;)

Pauline, if you do decide to switch companies, I would be very careful. Dylan has been sick a few times this year (just small sicknesses) but the vets have surely written his tummy troubles in his charts, and even something as small as that could be considered a "pre-existing condition" :eek: You will want to check directly with the company you are switching to to see exactly what is and isn't considered a pre-existing condition.

Before Linda signed up for the company I have my pet insurance through, they told her they wouldn't cover Dudley for anything to do with "the runs" because he has "the runs" in his file before :yikes

Good luck :flwr:

Karlin
3rd January 2008, 05:41 PM
Pauline, another really key thing is that MOST insurance policies do not cover 'hereditary conditions' like MVD, patellas, syringomyelia, dry eye -- the things most cavaliers will probably need the largest potential payouts for. So you need to talk in detail with any provider and do this each year because they do change terms of policies.

The other issue is that yes, you will not be covered for preexisting conditions. This means every single thing Dylan has ever been treated for, or that has already been noted in his files, usually even if it is not exactly the same thing buit could be related or could have been an early sign of the problem (eg a cavalier treated for ear problems who later turns out to have SM).

Thus anyone wishing to take out pet insurance should be very cautious they get a provider who gives cover on hereditary problems and also think carefully about moving premiums regardless of a premium increase at any future point. In most cases this is just not worth the small amount of immediate savings because so much will now be excluded.

Most policies that I know of have around a €70 deductible -- the reasoning is that the coverage should really go towards more serious problems and wasn't designed to cover basic small things -- otherwise premiums are bound to go up for all, because the bulk of policy holders end up paying for those smaller items (after all, someone has to pay somewhere :lol: -- the payout to the individual policy-holder isn't 'free' but taken from everyone else's premiums and the interest they earn). My deductible here is just beyond the cost of a standard visit plus some small extras, so wouldn't cover minor visits for tummy bugs or ear mites etc -- but would cover any serious problem, and medications, where costs can quickly mount. That's what I hold insurance for.

My take on insurance is -- that if my dogs live to age 10 and have no other problems the cost alone of a proper MRI and neurology consult for syringomyelia is MORE than the total of 10 years of premium payments. I paid for two of the low cost MRIs out of my own pocket to contribute towards research as well as get a basic diagnosis but this wouldn't be adequate for surgery for example. I think the big health issues in the breed are widespread enough that insurance is worth it. Leo's medications are more than the cost of his insurance premium already.

Rj Mac
3rd January 2008, 06:34 PM
All 3 of our dogs are on the 1 policy with Direct line, which works out at around £45 a month all in, our excess is £50.....I think, and I have to admit their service has been great for us, we've used them since Jake was a pup

Alison_Leighfield
3rd January 2008, 07:08 PM
You can also try AXA direct, they underwrite M&S, cheaper and with the same cover, giving excellent benefits including the valuable "lifelong CONDITION cover" .... not just the normal lifetime cover with each condition being covered for only 12 months as in most policies. There is a huge difference here in the terms used, check that you have the lifetime condition cover for your cavalier especially when dealing with longer term illness going on past the 12 months and requring a longer payout and cover as with SM, MVD etc.
Apply online or telephone, quick to pay and deal with as well. We changed and are happy with them as a company, covering all our 5 dogs, including the rescues at much older ages.

www.axa.co.uk/pet

Alison.

*Pauline*
3rd January 2008, 07:17 PM
Thanks Alison, I'll take a look now.

hollyandmel
3rd January 2008, 07:27 PM
My insurance with Marks & Spencer's ends at the end of this month. I have been very happy with them. I'm sure I claimed more than I paid this year. I paid a small amount extra, maybe £30, to have no excess at all and this was a great deal.

THIS YEAR :eek: the excess is £70, well all but one claim I have made has been less than that and the annual premium has gone up from around £230 to £359.

I'm thinking of not getting insurance this year. Unless someone can point me in the right direction.

You've got to think twice after reading Nicki's reply in this thread (post#16) about what her vet bills are, it certainly got me thinking.
http://board.cavaliertalk.com/showthread.php?p=240961#post240961
Mind you, if my excess is £70, it wouldn't even pay out.

Has anyone found anything as good in the UK? M&S were good because they cover the lifetime of the illness up to £7000 each year. They were fantastic until they did away with the no excess offer.

I am not working so I can use the PDSA and give a donation but I really like my vet.

Maybe I should not get insurance until he is older, what do you think?


Interesting and worrying post as like you i have M&S ins for Holly with no excess....i've certainly had more treatment than my £180 annual payment and like you mine comes to an end at the end of the month and im dreading the renewal letter! :eek:

THe trouble is i think im a bit stuck as Holly as an ongoing condition, she has gum disease and is on long term medication so i don think i have any options do i??

If i moved insurance companies who anyone insure me with an 'ongoing condition'???

x

*Pauline*
3rd January 2008, 07:29 PM
Alison that is much cheaper around £15 a month but does not include any illnesses he has had before (bacteria in his stools seems a little unfair as any dog could catch this) but I would ring them and see exactly what they mean by this.

This company seems the best. Covers lifetime of illness up to £7k a year, excess is £50.

Alison_Leighfield
3rd January 2008, 07:36 PM
...usually any ongoing conditions will not be covered and will normally be totally exempt from any further claim by a new company however when I changed to AXA an eye condition that has already been covered by the old company for one of my Shelties has had a 2yr suspension placed upon it, if the problem doesn't happen again then it will be covered after the 2yrs has passed.
Different companies have different policies, ring around a few and ask the questions.

Alison.

*Pauline*
3rd January 2008, 07:36 PM
The trouble is i think I'm a bit stuck as Holly as an ongoing condition, she has gum disease and is on long term medication so i don think i have any options do i??

If i moved insurance companies who anyone insure me with an 'ongoing condition'???

I think you should stick with M&S. My original price for this year (my 1st year with M&S) was at least £50 more than yours to start with.

EDIT: Just seen Alison's reply, I'd ring AXA see what they say.

I'm still considering not getting insurance because of the excess. I do have savings I can dip into and I can go to the PDSA.

hollyandmel
3rd January 2008, 07:40 PM
I think you should stick with M&S. My original price for this year (my 1st year with M&S) was at least £50 more than yours to start with.

EDIT: Just seen Alison's reply, I'd ring AXA see what they say.

I'm still considering not getting insurance because of the excess. I do have savings I can dip into and I can go to the PDSA.


Yes, i dont think i have much choice! I'll let you know what the renewal premium is when it comes through.....Holly must have had around £800 treatment this year! :xfngr:

x

*Pauline*
27th January 2008, 11:29 PM
Well my insurance finished today and I have cover with AXA starting tomorrow. Thank you all for your advice esp Alison.

M&S quoted £359

AXA cost me £182.54 for the same cover. (AXA underwrites M&S!)

Alison_Leighfield
28th January 2008, 07:18 PM
You are welcome Pauline, happy to help!....I also found AXA much quicker on paying out as well!

Alison.

hollyandmel
29th January 2008, 07:28 PM
well i got my renewal cost though and im not happy!

the price is ok...£203pa but and there is always a but!

When i took out the policy it was 'no excess' but now it's £70 per treatment! why do they do this!? for me who's at the vets every few weeks for tablets it's going to cost me a fortune now....and no pint me claiming anymore


arrrggghhhhh!! :mad::mad:

CavyMom
29th January 2008, 09:13 PM
I haven't read all the posts, but here's my experience with pet insurance in the US. With the exception of costly accidents such as a broken leg which can be a big problem with my Italian Greyhounds, I find insurance to seldom pay out over time. I do have health insurance on my Italian Greyhounds, but not on my cavalier, nor to I plan to. The reason for that is this - From my experience in rescue and talking to other pet owners, pet insurance companies like to find excuses not to pay out. In cavaliers, most of the problems you have to worry about like MVD and murmers they are going to call a pre-existing condition, even it if hadn't been previously diagnosed. I've owned other breeds in the past, and aside from my IGs, I've never put insurance on any of my dogs, and as I mentioned earlier - The only reason I keep it for the IGs is because they are very prone to breaking legs, and I do alot with them, like agility, coursing, racing, etc. and have never had a problem, BUT one broken leg can quickly add up to $4000 or more to repair, so even if I only have to use it once, it's probably paid for itself! I only wish I could put that insurance on some of my rescues LOL I've had a rescue dog break both front legs, the vet bills repairing her legs quickly added up to almost $10,000! Now that was because she was a mill rescue, and had been so overbred she had very poor bone density, the puppies had sucked so much calcium out of her bones it required a specialist to repair her legs, and some extensive surgery and aftercare and much longer then a normal dog would have needed to have the legs casted for, and 3 separate surgeries to get the legs to heal right. If she'd been one of my pets, the bills would have been less then half that with the insurance coverage, so I find it worth it on my italians, but I'll never do it on another breed.

*Pauline*
29th January 2008, 09:20 PM
well i got my renewal cost though and I'm not happy!

the price is ok...£203pa but and there is always a but!

When i took out the policy it was 'no excess' but now it's £70 per treatment! why do they do this!? for me who's at the vets every few weeks for tablets it's going to cost me a fortune now....and no pint me claiming anymore


arrrggghhhhh!! :mad::mad:

Yeah, you know most of them are £70 excess now, it's stupid. To be fair, the no excess M&S offered must have been a big mistake for them. AXA is £50 excess.

Brian M
29th January 2008, 10:28 PM
HI
Just my view after a lot of research last year i decided you only get what you pay for,or theres no such thing as a free lunch,and knowing a bit about insurance companies who we think may be dog lovers but really are only out to maks profit .My decision for best overall cover and high cover plus lifetime illness cover was between two but both had £80 excess and bearing in mind my cavs are 6,12 and 18 months and i pay one annual premium for the three together, i paid £745.00.The two companys were Petplan and Petpals at the time i heard of one bad experiance with Petplan so chose Petpals naturally i have claimed nothing yet but i know its there for when i need it,the other thing why if all the other companys m&s say are so much cheaper theres gotta be a reason as they are only there to make money so the only reason they can be cheaper is inferior cover.

*Pauline*
30th January 2008, 01:06 PM
the other thing why if all the other companies m&s say are so much cheaper theres gotta be a reason as they are only there to make money so the only reason they can be cheaper is inferior cover.

M&S are underwritten by AXA so AXA gets a profit and M&S get their cut. Then they stopped the no excess thing. Now if you had an ongoing medical problem with your pet, you have to stay with them (a new insurance company wouldn't pay out for preexisting conditions) then they push up the premiums and the excess to £70. That's how they made their money back! AXA cover the condition for life up to £7000 a year. That's all I wanted.

Alison_Leighfield
30th January 2008, 02:02 PM
....the cheaper policies normally only cover the condition for 12 months....:( check the wording, how they like to catch us out!

It's up to each of us to read the small print, ring the companies and see just what really is covered.

I know from personal use that Pinnicle and AXA underwrite their own policies saving like Pauline said the cut of the third person involved, giving great cover at a good cost. They also cover other companies and the premiums are then higher.

Who underwries Petpals Brian? find the company that does and deal with them direct if you possibly can, hopefully this will save you some pennies with three it cover!

Alison.

hollyandmel
30th January 2008, 08:37 PM
so is it worth me taking out another year's policy?? i'm not going to beinift from it as it's not going to cost more than £70 for the medication she requires on each visit, so i'm going to have to pay vet fees from now on anyway...

would i be better just saving the money? or am i stumped as due to a 'pre exsisting' condtition if i cancel, i'll never be able to get pet insurnace again???

*Pauline*
30th January 2008, 10:21 PM
Personally, I have got it just in case there is a big emergency. It won't help with small claims at all.

Maybe it's just as well to do an online quote with AXA and see the difference in the premium. Their excess is £50. Remember existing conditions will not be covered. But, s you say, you can't claim as your meds are always less than £70 anyway, maybe you are as well to try AXA.

Please wait for some more replies though as this is just my humble opinion! I make mistakes!

hollyandmel
31st January 2008, 06:00 PM
Hmmm some good news!

Just done a quote for pet insurance with RSPCA as i use a cashback site called QUIDCO and the quote for GOLD standard insurance for the year without Holly's exsisting condition is £142 this gives upto 6k of vet treatment (M&S is 7k)

with that i also get £15 cashback!! :)

Just wanted to share incase anyone else wants a quote

www.quidco.com (then goto RSPCA insurance)

x

*Pauline*
31st January 2008, 06:14 PM
Be careful to check they give 6k each year for an ongoing condition. Most only pay one year.

hollyandmel
31st January 2008, 06:20 PM
Be careful to check they give 6k each year for an ongoing condition. Most only pay one year.


I'm thinking of getting insurance just incase of something new! :rolleyes:

I'll have to pay out now for her ongoing medications for her gum disease for her current condition.

I wouldn't be able to claim with them for her 'current' condition anyway so the new policy would be peace of mind for me!

Does that make sense/seem ok?
x

*Pauline*
31st January 2008, 06:22 PM
I mean, if in the future your dog gets a heart murmur or anything that continues, you might only get paid insurance for the 1st year. What you should be looking for is lifetime cover for the condition. So each year for the rest of your dogs life, you will get up to 6k.

hollyandmel
31st January 2008, 06:24 PM
I mean, if in the future your dog gets a heart murmur or anything that continues, you might only get paid insurance for the 1st year. What you should be looking for is lifetime cover for the condition. So each year for the rest of your dogs life, you will get up to 6k.

I see....so i should therefore stick with M&S (as they offer this) and i am already with them or swap now to a company offering lifetime cover....

I did an AXA quote and it was alot more than the £203 from M&S

*Pauline*
31st January 2008, 06:30 PM
I see....so i should therefore stick with M&S (as they offer this) and i am already with them or swap now to a company offering lifetime cover....

I did an AXA quote and it was alot more than the £203 from M&S

I'm really shocked AXA cost more. You sure you filled it out right? (don't mean to sound rude there, but every question on the quote changes the price) Mine was loads less.

I'd say, if you change, make sure they give life of condition cover, M&S do and AXA do, there may be others. £203 isn't bad for M&S. My quote was £359!!!

hollyandmel
31st January 2008, 06:38 PM
I'm really shocked AXA cost more. You sure you filled it out right? (don't mean to sound rude there, but every question on the quote changes the price) Mine was loads less.

I'd say, if you change, make sure they give life of condition cover, M&S do and AXA do, there may be others. £203 isn't bad for M&S. My quote was £359!!!


i must have done it wrong as AXA comes back at £134!! :rah: :-p

Are AXA definatley for life as it says "All reasonable and customary costs for treatment of your pet by a vet up to £7,000 per policy year"

*Pauline*
31st January 2008, 07:20 PM
Yes they do but I'll just check and quote for you. I'm very pleased I asked you to check again :D Wait there, I'll just look at AXA for you.

*Pauline*
31st January 2008, 07:27 PM
I guess you've read this bit,

"All reasonable and customary costs for treatment of your pet by a vet up to £7,000 per policy year."

My pc won't let me download the policy booklet but they give "lifelong CONDITION cover".