View Full Version : Insurance for your dog?

21st September 2009, 12:46 PM
One author explains why in her blog:


There's a second blog entry on the topic if you click back to the full blog.

21st September 2009, 01:45 PM
I used to think it was ok not to have insurance when I had only two dogs.

Apart from a shaky start with Pippin, both dogs were healthy.

I had a savings account where I saved some money every week just in case either of them got ill.
When I rescued DJ I decided to look into getting insurance for the three of them as I worried what would happen if they were to get sick at the same time. I decided to insure them all after some debate.

A few weeks ago Pippin was diagnosed with epilepsy and also needed some tests and x-rays done, I am so glad I've got insurance. It gives me peace of mind to get whatever tests he needs, he may need more tests in the future and I don't have to worry about cost.

21st September 2009, 04:50 PM
I have 6 weeks free insurance ending next week. I have spent over 100 euro on pet bills so far. It is with alliance and I am going to send the bills to them as it says they cover vet bills. Has anyone got experience with this company? Will they pay back? If they don't I don't see the point insurancing Clara with them. Any other good insurance companys in Ireland?

21st September 2009, 04:53 PM
I definately agree with pet insurance, I wish now that I had kept Gabby's free 8 wk insurance going when I got her, she had xrays taken last year which showed mild HD. She is now insured but this is exempt, she is also inclined to get herself into trouble, like when she nearly drowned and got hyporthernia on a icy pond, though I am glad to say she as calmed down :xfngr::) . Jasper as been insured since the first day, and for 3 and half years I never made a claim until June this year, xrays showed he has (sublaxation) HD and lumberscaral disk disease, so treatment he has had and further treatment in the future is covered for the rest of his life, and just recently I learned he has a mild heart murmur, he is to have a scan within a month and a half which will be covered, and any future treatment will be covered. These conditions which he has I am finding very overwhelming, but knowing the cost of future treatments he will need are covered by insurance is one less worry. I would strongly recommend pet insurance :).

21st September 2009, 05:10 PM
Hi Lisa,
I have Allianz petplan and they basically don't cover the first €60 of your vet fees per visit.(an excess) You should phone them and clarify what they will pay for but insurance is designed more for sudden severe illnesses that need overnight care or surgery/disgnostic tests which can run into the thousands very quickly.
You have a very young puppy and I would definitely take out insurance for a cavalier.

21st September 2009, 05:22 PM
We have Petplan, we took out guranteed life time policy more by accident than by design, thank goodnees we did! There is a ceiling of £8,000 cover per year, per dog, last year we spent almost £10,000 on Molly (claimed the 8 back) and £3,000 on Dougall.

21st September 2009, 05:26 PM
Was just going to make the point Sins did. Vaccines, neutering, and basic care, plus anything under a single 60 euro bill (the 'deductible' -- a norm for all types of insurance) won't be covered -- you also generally need to go through your vet on a claim, you do not just submit your bill. Most puppies have various things that need to be done and every dog owner will always have annual expenses of about 200-300 euro just for basics -- that is BEFORE going into anything that would need insurance. :thmbsup: All you need is a single ailment needing testing or more involved care though to push an individual bill into the hundreds or thousands and may mean the difference between needing to euthenise your dog. Given that this breed has two potentially very expensive high-incidence ailments in MVD and SM (an MRI alone is over 1000 euro) as well as a high incidence of expensive problems like luxating patella (expect to spend 300-500 euro per knee to fix this!!) I would recommend insurance for *anyone* excepting those with large multiple dog households who feel they can set aside a monthly stipend to a savings account for dog care. My insurance for Leo alone and the savings thereby on medications covers annual insurance for the other dogs.

Just as a general point :) -- all of this is why I tell people to carefully consider the cost of dog and cat ownership over a lifetime. I won't home rescue dogs to people who say they cant afford a puppy but want a 'cheaper' rescue for example because regular costs need to be met and they can be verye expensive. And always go for the best-bred puppy from the most health focused breeder you can find as paying for a great puppy even though more costly, is one way to greatly lower that chance of major bills, from the start -- but also, don't get a dog if the budget is tight and won't accommodate about 500-700 euro/pounds/dollars on food, boarding, vet costs each year. That is costs BEFORE insurance kicks in, again; dogs are costly! Pippa's story sums up the value of having dogs covered. :)

There's only one other insurer besides Allianz in Ireland and I have no idea what their coverage is like -- people would need to do a point by point comparison especially on hereditary problems as these are often excluded (Allianz covers them which means MVD and SM are covered). Also if you change now, anything you have had treated even if not covered by insurance will be held against covering any future related problem. Usually it is never worth changing insurers unless you've had a totally problem-free animal to date, as you lose all the value you build up.

21st September 2009, 06:15 PM
Thanks Sins and Karlin. I will definitly ring allianz tomorrow. Im not really looking for the money it was just like a test to see if they would pay up. I understand now its for higher priced bills anyway I will insure Clara with them. Thanks :)

21st September 2009, 06:46 PM
You can take out your insurance on line and save a few euros.
There are two main companies
www.allianz.ie (http://www.allianz.ie)
www.petinsure.ie (http://www.petinsure.ie)

If your pup is microchipped there's usually a €13 discount, but either way, you're looking at a premium of €200 - €225 per annum. You will need the number of your microchip and always keep the receipt from your breeder as you'll need all documentation to claim for lost dogs or dogs who have passed away through accident.

21st September 2009, 06:53 PM
I was paying almost 700 euro a year to insure my 3 with Allianz and up until this year had never claimed as my visits never exceeded the 75 euro excess.
I was starting to think it was a bit of a waste of money, and that maybe I would be better off putting the 700 each year into a savings fund which would be there if I never needed it for vet care.

But, I decided to look elsewhere and managed to get cover with Petinsure.ie, who offered cover for the year for 500 euro! - almost 200 less than with Allianz.
The excess is lower (only 60 euro) which is great, and since joining with them in April - Ive had 5 claims!! :yikes Ive been back and forth to the vets with different problems for all 3 - and have easily claimed back about 800 euro on vets/specialist fees, so Im soooo glad I decided to keep up the insurance :rolleyes:

By the way - I would definitely recommend Petinsure.ie for anyone in Ireland. They are so easy to deal with - and have such a fast turnaround time on claims. Ive received my money back (straight into my bank account) within 1 week of each claim, so they are highly recommended! (Im sure they hate to see my claim forms come in though!icon_blshing)

Karen and Ruby
21st September 2009, 07:53 PM
We are with Pet Plan- just been on the phone and added Charlie on to Rubys policy- yes its fairly expensive it will now be £600 ish per year for the both of them but Ruby alone has had over £5000 of claims at least since weve had her and thank god that we insured her.
I wouldnt be able to cope with out it and it has been a life saver in all senses of the word. They are both insured for life and Pet Plan have been great and never questioned anything we claim for- from emergency treatment and overnight stays at the vets to MRI scan and medication for SM its all included- even the Acupuncture and Hydrotherepy.
I pray that I wont need to claim for Charlie but I live in the real world and know that it is inevitable!
I recommend insurance to anyone and everyone!
Karen, Ruby and Charlie xx

Cathy T
23rd September 2009, 03:41 AM
I have Petplan for both of mine and it has been a Godsend this year. I was reimbursed almost $900 for Shelby's tooth extractions in February, reimbursed $800 for Jake's vomitting problems a couple of months back and again reimbursed $900 for Shelby's MRI. My deductible is $200 and I was paid every penny I paid over that $200 per incident. I pay about $95/month for both dogs. Given the expense of SM, PSOM, luxating patellas, MVD.....etc, I will always have my dogs insured immediately. Petplan is the only plan I know of, here in the U.S., that covers SM and MVD. To say I've been pleased with my coverage would be a huge understatement :)

23rd September 2009, 04:39 PM
I would recommend insurance if you have a cav because they are prone to health problems. It covers accidents and illness not vacinations etc. We were with Allianz for the first year however I switched to Pet Insure because they were cheaper (€23 a month for 2 dogs - we picked the plan with the 150 excess). This year we had to bring Charlie to the vet three times for a bladder problem and he stayed in the vet hospital twice for a few days, we also had to get an ultra sound done and xrays. He is fine now!! The total amount we spent was about 2,000 which is allot. We got the money back minus the excess and the claims were settled very quickly. They call or e mail you to say the money has been transfered to your account (I think this only happens if you pay by direct debit). The renewal is up in December and it will be 30 a month for two dogs which is worth the piece of mind. I would rather pay that then have to decide between vet care for one of the boys if they were very sick or a mortgage payment. Is something happens the vet bills add up and have to be paid.

23rd September 2009, 10:20 PM
I've just signed up, today, with Pet Plan because so many of you speak well of it. Oh my, it is expensive and I hope we never have to use it.

6th January 2010, 09:21 AM
I insured Holly last night!
I opted for petsinsure.ie as the website was so userfriendly and the terms very competitive.I took the careplus plan which came in at €175 per annum which I thought was reasonable.Daisy's insurance is in the region of €255 with petplan but there's no hope of changing her to a different insurer now.

Brian M
6th January 2010, 11:03 AM

I put £125.00 a month into a separate bank account every month and that pays for the girls annual insurance with AXA which this year was about £450.00 and as a just in case fund ,though I find I pay for their 10 week groomers visit of £100 and any excess for a Vet visit of £50 out of my pocket .So the girls seem to be getting wealthier and me poorer ,but thats Cavaliers I suppose .:confused:

6th January 2010, 11:17 AM
We have been with petplan since Jasper was a pup, and only every made one claim and then since the January last year when Jasper developed heart problems we have made ongoing claims, there has never been a problem with them, other than I would say they are a bit slow in processing the claims, we have to pay and then get re-imbursed, a bit of a shock was when at the beginning of the new Premium year in October I had to pay a £80 excess for his ongoing illness, but he is nearly 10 now so it`s the age when they do get health issues and I believe you can`t insure after 8 years of age.

6th January 2010, 12:26 PM
I have insurance for my two and I'm glad of it. However, when I got my 2nd dog Teena a couple of months ago at age three + the breeder had her spayed for me (she retired her after 2 litters) I asked her to have her teeth cleaned while she was under. When I got her and signed up for insurance they asked if she had any prior illnesses and dental work. I said she was fine, and just mentioned that I had taken the oppertunity to have her teeth cleaned while she was under with the spay and that was enough to disqualify her for life for dental coverage, even though she didn't have any dental problems and it was me not the vet that wanted the teeth cleaned. So when speaking with the insurance co. you need to be very careful about what info you give them. The less the better...watch your words. It was a hard lesson for me as now for that dog I miss out on $300 per year dental coverage under my plan.

6th January 2010, 04:47 PM
I have had Insurance for all my Cavaliers over hte years with a selection of different companies...some have been excellent, some have been awful {I'm still owed over £800 by M&S :mad::mad:}

Teddy is with the Kennel Club - he came to us at 19 months and because he was under 2, he got 6 weeks free. Thank goodness I kept it going - he was scratching and I was worried he had skin allergies. Sadly it turned out to be SM - they have paid out for two MRIs - total about £2600, plus loads of medication, now liver and heart meds too - I dread to think what the total would be by now...

I would hate to be in the situation where I have to make a decision about my dog's future depending on financial considerations - ok just because a treatment is available, it doesn't mean it's always right to do it - but at least you are in a position to consider all options when you have insurance.

I have just insured the pups with Virgin - a new company for me, but have seen good reviews. It's a very basic policy {although does cover illness and accidents}, but is sufficient for our needs. They are charging £33 per month for all three.

I also feel it is essential to have third party liabliity cover - it's usually for about £1,000,000. If your dog caused a car accident, that would cover you...although sometimes this is covered on your household insurance.

6th January 2010, 04:54 PM
THanks for the 3rd party liability reminder. I had it on my horse years ago, but never thought of it for my dog.

6th January 2010, 05:45 PM
I got my Ebony with M&S. Even they have been good so far, paid the Cardiologist direct so I only had to find the first £70, their insurance premiums go up and up and up (even if you don’t claim) Unfortunately I am stuck with them because Ebony’s heart. At the moment I pay £17 a month and she is 3 years old.

My other two are with Axa. For Harley who is 17 month old I pay £9.99 a month and Rosie who is 3 ½ years old I pay £12.00 a month. Both are lifetime covers. I never had to claim yet so I don’t know what they are like but other members on here are very happy with Axa.

6th January 2010, 11:15 PM
By the way, the dogtime.com website has a story featured in the new newsletter on whether insurance is worth getting for dogs. Here's the link to the story:


7th January 2010, 01:48 PM
My first two dogs were a Doberman/Alsatian X and a Poodle/Briard X. They were insured for 10 years of their life and I never made one single claim. They both lived till they were 15 years old. I wish I had a Crystal ball as I could have saved myself a lot of money. With cavaliers I certainly wouldn’t take the chance of not having insurance.

7th January 2010, 02:31 PM
I no what you mean Sabby my OH was talking about this the other day, we have had Jasper insured since a pup and it always went up every year, but for 8 years we only ever made one claim, but now during the past 12 months we have made ongoing claims for medication and tests concerned with Jasper`s MVD, his insurance is now just over £30 per month, but you just never know what the future holds. I know that some people said to us they used to put money aside for a doggy savings account in case things went wrong.

7th January 2010, 02:49 PM
I no what you mean Sabby my OH was talking about this the other day, we have had Jasper insured since a pup and it always went up every year, but for 8 years we only ever made one claim, but now during the past 12 months we have made ongoing claims for medication and tests concerned with Jasper`s MVD, his insurance is now just over £30 per month, but you just never know what the future holds. I know that some people said to us they used to put money aside for a doggy savings account in case things went wrong.

£30 a month seems a lot even for an 8 year old dog. I will pay that eventualy with M&S as it goes up a lot every year. Mind you my friend is with M&S and her dog is 8 years old and it is nearly costing her £60 a month. We looked online and AXA was a LOT cheaper in insuring an 8 year old dog. may I ask who you are insured with?

Doggy Savings account is ok until something happens that costs a lot of money before you safe up. My friends insurance paid out over £3,000 for her dog that had diabetes.

7th January 2010, 02:59 PM
We are insured with Pet Plan Sabby, Jasper is now nearly 10 and it seemed that over the years even though we never made any claims it always went up. We did look into other insurance campanies years ago but we wanted one which covered ongoing iillnesses as I always knew that MVD was a high risk in the breed, which in our case has proved to have happened, I had never heard of AXA for pet insurance, but would certainly look at them if we ever get another dog.

Chesters Mum
7th January 2010, 04:00 PM
Hi all,

I am thinking of changing to AXA after reading this thread , I currently insure my 2 cav's thru PetPlan , I have the covered for life policy covering up to £12,000 per year. I am currently paying nearly £60 a month for my 2 , the premiums with axa will only be £26 ! Although they do only pay up £7000 a year.
The only thing that Pet Plan has going for it at the moment is that my vets will only take the excess of you and put the claim into Pet Plan for you (although I have never made a claim)

Alison x

7th January 2010, 07:37 PM
I have Rosie's insurance with Sainsburys which is underwritten by AXA. I have just renewed for a second year with them with no increase in premium AND they have also given me 3 months free!! So I'm only paying £86 for the year. The excess is £75 per condition (this is £125 or 15% of treatment costs if she was over 9 years old) and the limit is £7500 per condition.

Fortunately, I have not had to use the insurance, but I would rather have it there just in case.

Rj Mac
7th January 2010, 07:57 PM
All 3 of ours are insured on 1 policy, it works out at £45 per month total, which i'm happy with, as it's a very comprehensive policy, and it's been a godsend this last year with the amount of trips Jake made to the vet last year, also Lucy who has a murmur, allthough she's not on any meds yet,and hopefully it'l stay that way for a while yet, but when she eventually does need it our policy will pick up the tab

Karen and Ruby
7th January 2010, 08:12 PM
Wow im feeling hard done by. Mines over £77 amonth for the two. Mind you its too late now and they ha ent refused a claim to this day. Ah well its still worth every penny !

8th January 2010, 10:19 AM
Who are you with Karen? That does sound expensive...

Like most things in life, you tend to get what you pay for.

Often the cheaper insurance policies only cover you until 12 months after the condition started - so no good for ongoing conditions like MVD. Others cover you for a limit per condition but for the lifetime of the dog - eg £6000. My new Virgin policies are like that.

Petplan cover the condition for the lifetime, but give you something like £6000 PER YEAR.

M&S put their premiums up a huge amount per year - I ended up paying over £45 per month for Rupert at age 12.

I've heard two sides of Petplan - they can be excellent, but they can also be one of the worst for getting out of paying claims.