Any vets around?

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30/04/2013 at 21:24
booktrunk wrote (see)

My insurance is up for renewal around 340 for a 6 year old Labrador, does that sound about the going rate?

I pay about £220 for a 4 year old labrador cross if that helps. I shop around every year when the renewal comes through.

30/04/2013 at 21:49

I pay about £42/month for a 6yo medium size dog.  It's lifetime cover with £6000 of vets fees per year, with no time limit on any conditions. 

Saffy - shopping around is only any good if your dog has never been unwell as, even if you never claimed, a condition is pre-existing if your dog has seen a vet for it. Furthermore, you're usually not covered for anything that arises in the first 2-4 weeks of a new policy - can't tell you how often this comes up in practice.   Also, all companies and policies are not created equal!!

Internet only policies are ones to be very wary of - they often have a lot of terms and conditions attached and it's these types of policies that cause frustration with pet owners.  Also, cheaper policies tend to have 12 month cover only so fine for an acute problem but not so good for arthritis or recurring skin disease or diabetes or anything that lasts longer than 12 months!!  Some policies will pay a certain amount per condition with no time limit - a "maximum benefit" policy.  These can be good but only if the benefit is high - minimum £6000.

As a general rule, the companies that have been around the longest are the most reliable.  I would be wary of a company that purports to be  "friends of animals" (they're quite high in comparison sites) and another that has an associate with horses in the title. 

Some companies have cheap headline prices then you find you're paying a £150 excess and 35% of all vets fees anyway so perhaps a false economy if money is a bit tight.

I've seen so many wonderful recoveries of pets that just wouldn't have been possible for people to afford without insurance.  There is no NHS for pets so if you think that a large unexpected bill might be a struggle financially then insurance is definitely worth considering.

Have a look at for nonbiased information - it's written by a vet and it's not selling anything so you can get a good idea of the different types of policy.

Sorry for the long winded answer - this is an area that catches so many people out and it's horrible for pets and owners when that happens.  The FSA deemed it illegal for veterinary staff to advise on specific policies so, even though we know which ones are good and bad, we're not allowed to pass this on!

My own dog is insured with Petplan.  This is not advice, merely a statement of fact

30/04/2013 at 21:52

KK: Collies and GSDs - yes, completely different but at least both intelligent dogs Both should be good for running, I would think.  Collies are usually a bit healthier than GSDs overall.

Staffies are popular where I work - lovely dogs but not much between the ears except a big thick skull ;)

Edited: 30/04/2013 at 21:52
30/04/2013 at 21:56

Good post, thanks Rubbishrunner 

Yeah, good point about the previous illnesses.  I forgot about that!  I am very careful about comparing policies, i don't just go for the cheapest, but i will check out the link you've included above.


30/04/2013 at 22:33
kittenkat wrote (see)
booktrunk wrote (see)

My insurance is up for renewal around 340 for a 6 year old Labrador, does that sound about the going rate?

Just give him/her a facelift and tummy tuck. Could pass as 2 easily

I would need to dye her hair as well, she's chocolate except her chin which is very gray, and her scars have grey hairs around them as well


Edited: 30/04/2013 at 22:33
30/04/2013 at 22:37

Thanks rubbishrunner so £30 pm ain't to bad that is tesco's finest.

i've made one claim in the past and they dealt with that fine, so I'll just stick with it.

30/04/2013 at 23:05

I've never bothered with insurance for our dogs - as mentioned earlier the insurance companies are making profit plus they've got costs to cover - long term you are likely to end up better off not insuring.    

Of course you run the risk of having a big bill to pay or else having a dog put to sleep because you can't/wont pay to have medical treatment for them.    Our last dog lived to 16 and we'd probably have paid about 4-5k in insurance over his lifetime at current insurance rates - that's a lot of medical treatment !   If you really want a back up then stick the money in an account and when it reaches say 3-4k just leave it.  

01/05/2013 at 09:15

Popsider - I suppose it depends on your own comfort level and financial situation.  Putting aside money each month is great if nothing happens for a few years but if your 3 month old dog eats a sewing needle and needs major surgery to remove it, you'll only have saved £20, whereas the £20 or so you would have spent on insurance would give you cover for the £1500 or so the op would cost.  People always think if something is bad enough they would just put the animal to sleep, but try doing that with a very curable condition in an otherwise healthy puppy!!

Honestly, I don't sell insurance but in my line of work you see all sorts and you just never can tell how things will turn out.  

I'm a bit risk averse - I've got my whole life insured from income protection to life assurance.  Sadly, I am actually worth more dead than alive at present 

01/05/2013 at 09:29

Yes each to their own I wouldn't want to pretend there is a right or wrong answer - I tend more towards only insuring what I know would have a major impact on my life if it went wrong - so buildings and foreign health insurance - the rest I just pay out when it happens.   

01/05/2013 at 14:15

Pet insurance is the only insurance that I win on.

Horses over the years = over £50k in claims , definitely haven't paid that much to insure them even though it makes pet insurance look cheap. To be honest I'm amazed any company will even give me cover with luck I've had.

Other pets only claimed for 1 injured 3 year old cat that broke ribs in 6 places and somehow had a dozen bird feathers stuck in her nose. That took a while for the vets to figure out what was up and had 2 lots of hospitalisation and 1 operation so came in at £800 ish. Insurance for the 3 cats has so far cost me £384 . It was also a great peace of mind that we could get whatever treatment she needed without worry as she was my sons cat.

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