View Full Version : An Insurance Question

Brian M
16th August 2012, 01:09 PM

When you get your new Cavalier how important do you think it is that you also buy adequate Health Insurance cover
for him / her at the same time.

Thoughts and comments please .

16th August 2012, 03:52 PM
I considered getting insurance when I got Lady. However, after our very first vet visit her weaker back leg was labelled as an existing condition - so any future patella or leg issues would not be covered. Due to that fact I decided against getting insurance and instead set-up my own savings. I live in Ontario, Canada and there are a lot of good plans available, including one that even covers vaccinations and spaying - cost is around $70-80CDN per month for that one which can be dropped down to a lesser plan after the first year (sneaky :P). But with the "pre-existing condition" clause it didnt seem worth it to me as it is likely that future medical treatment WILL be about her patella. However, if they did not impose that restriction I would have purchased the insurance.

16th August 2012, 04:09 PM
I was going to get insurance for Sonny as soon as we got him and the breeder recommended VPI. I had called VPI and listened to their coverage and had almost signed up , but then I didn't for some reason. Their plan just didn't sound very good or worth the money. We ended up paying for all of Sonny's puppy medical expenses, vaccinations, neuter, ect out of pocket which was fine and I think would have ended up being the same price as the yearly rate for VPI.
However as Sonny got older I knew we wanted to get him insured because of SM, MVD, patella issues and everything else that Cavaliers are prone to having. So we got him signed up at around 10 months. Our coverage doesn't cover annual exams or vaccinations, but it will cover all of the big stuff which is just what we were wanting out of a plan.

If I got another puppy, I would probably insure them right away with the same plan we have for Sonny.

16th August 2012, 05:18 PM
I personally think that insurance is ESSENTIAL for a Cavalier in particular, as they are prone to so many health issues :( You do need to research policies carefully, this might help http://www.cavaliertalk.com/forums/showthread.php?35387-Insurance

I know many people now just put money aside into an account, which is fine if they don't develop problems until they are older, but if you need an MRI scan at 1 year old then there is not going to be enough money to cover it :( There are compromises, maybe going for a cheaper policy with more limited benefits and saving as well, something more people in the UK are now thinking about after Halifax/Lloyds pulled out of the pet insurance market suddenly.

Veterinary bills are increasing - there are so many more treatment options available now. One thought is that I would not want to have to put a dog to sleep purely due to lack of money when there was treatment available.

Often puppies have 4-6 weeks free insurance, although it's tempting to wait until that expires, if they develop a problem within that time scale then you will be tied to that insurance company as other companies will not cover pre existing conditions.

Also it is fraud to take out a policy knowing or suspecting that your dog is suffering from a condition without declaring it to the company - and if there is anything on your vet's records, then the company will exclude it anyway.

If you do run into problems with an insurance company, there is an ombudsman http://www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk/

Some posts on here might help http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/forumdisplay.php?262-Pets-and-Vets

Even if you do not have health insurance for your dog, at the very least you need third party insurance:

Pet owners can be legally responsible for the actions of their animals. If your pet were to injure someone or run across the road and cause an accident, as owner of that animal you could be liable to prosecution and claims for compensation.

Third party liability insurance basically protects you financially in the event that your pet harms another person or causes them injury, or if your animal were to damage or destroy someone else's property. Under the 1971 Animals Act this includes damage to vehicles too. Some third party liability options extend to insure pet owners in circumstances where the animal is responsible for the death of another person. If your pet's actions were to cause such an incident the claim for compensation could be substantial -- and if you do not have third party liability cover you might even have to sell your home in order to make the settlement!

In the UK membership of the Dog's Trust includes FREE third party insurance - up to 1,000,000 cover per claim if your dog causes damage or injury to another person, their property or pets.

I understand this covers you for up to 10 [pet] dogs so for those with multiple dogs it may be very beneficial.

It also includes unlimited access to Vetfone™, 24 hour emergency advice from qualified veterinary nurses 365 days of the year.

Standard membership is 25 per year but if you’re 60 years or over it costs just 12.50 per year.


Obviously you are also providing valuable support to an important rescue organisation

16th August 2012, 08:30 PM
I thought it was VERY important especially after hanging around here. I had coverage for Fletcher the week before I brought him home. His policy covers non-routine things, like x-rays, a specialist, not puppy visits. As a matter of fact, when Fletcher ate the fabric the policy did cover the x-rays and barium treatment, I was surprised because the policy wasn't even 6 weeks old. But I filed and got a check. Honestly, I lived thur do I spend the money or have my dog put down thing once. It was gut wrenching!!!! I ended up spending the money but the dog still died a few months later. So I was left with a big credit card bill and no dog. I'm still glad I did it tho, I just wish insurance would have paid some of it. I personally will always have a policy for my dogs.

17th August 2012, 03:30 AM
If I ever get another puppy, I'll get the coverage as quickly as possible. I did get it for my Golden, but decided against it for Tess. I just don't think the return would be worth the investment because so many things she sees the vet for are pre-existing. But I think it's a good idea. If you can honestly say you would foot the bill for hip surgery or chemotherapy for your dog, it makes sense to get the coverage early and keep it current for the dogs lifetime.

17th August 2012, 07:17 AM
If you're going to get insurance I'd say the best time is immediately after getting the dog (regardless of age). It minimises any chance that a claim will be denied for a "pre-existing condition".

That said. The basic idea behind insurance is that you are betting the insurer that you will spend more money than you give them; and they are betting they'll get more out of you then they have to give back. They used advanced statistics, and ever increasing premiums, to pretty much guarantee they'll win (the house ALWAYS wins).

Any insurance should be thoroughly researched to be sure it covers things like SM, MVD, etc.

I'm personally glad I never insured my dogs as I have now moved out of the country, and premiums and avoiding "preexisting conditions" would have been lost on my two.

I know there are others who have been helped tremendously by having insurance.

18th August 2012, 04:58 AM
I have insurance for my cavalier through PurinaCare. I got coverage for him when I got home from meeting him and the breeder. As soon as I knew I was getting him, I signed him up so that his coverage would be in effect actually before I brought him home. I think my breeder contract said I had to take him to my vet within 48 hours, so he was covered for that visit. I lost the dog I had before him because he ingested underwear and couldn't pass it. I was a college student, and I didn't have the money for surgery. I swore I'd never have that happen again, so dogs since then get insurance. I think I've only actually been reimbursed once. He spent a night in the e-vet, which around here costs about $1000. Since I had the insurance for him, I wasn't worried about money when he had to go.

18th August 2012, 10:19 AM
I bought insurance for Sophie, only because the possibility of SM might in the future, based on the breed statistics.