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Anyone have pet insurance advice??

Discussion in 'Living Room' started by H&H, 22nd Feb, 2016.

  1. H&H

    H&H Member

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    Hello, anyone have experience with pet insurers good/bad/ugly?

    I have recently got a puppy and I am currently looking into pet insurance. There seems to be so many holes in cover and issues with claiming or extravagant premium increases even though you haven't claimed. Also looks like you have to stay with the same company as once you have claimed its expensive to sign up with another company but then if you stay they up your premiums whenever they feel like it.

    I feel like its just going too be a case of suck it and see but would still like to try get the best one i can.
    Looking at maybe PIA, RSPCA or Bow Wow Meow...

    Cheers,

    H
     
  2. Hodor

    Hodor Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't bother with it, put the premium in a separate account and self insure.
     
  3. Kinnon Bell

    Kinnon Bell Finance Broker

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    This I have some experience with unfortunately. I have made 3 claims (with HCF) for my 2 dogs and each have been without hassle and paid promptly with most recent claim being ~$7000. The policy is due to renew in May for that dog so will find out soon enough how that claim impacted the premium.

    The claim in question was for a ruptured ACL and the resulting surgery. He also has a partial tear in his other ACL which will need surgery too but I am close to my max claim amount for the policy year so am waiting for it to renew but it seems they've brought in a max claim amount for anything related to the ACL so not sure if this is for this policy year or in general.

    Premiums are ~$60 a fortnight for 2 dogs and the total premiums paid over the years don't even come close to they have paid to me in claims, so far at least.
     
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  4. Dan Donoghue

    Dan Donoghue Well-Known Member

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    I am insured with RSPCA (because ten bucks a month from my premium goes to the RSPCA). We have never claimed because no pet insurance pays for animals teeth being removed and that's the only thing our cat has had done, our dog has never needed anything. its $48.05 pm for the cat (pure breed burmese) and $57.55 for the dog (pug cross boxer)

    Cat is now 7, dog is 6 and I have made zero claims. I am out of pocket $8,179.2

    But I spose if they ever get cancer or something they are covered.
     
  5. Jamie Moore

    Jamie Moore MORTGAGE BROKER - AUSTRALIA WIDE Business Member

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    We use bow wow meow (I think that's what they're called) and it's been awesome. Had to make three claims and never had any issues.

    Just make sure they cover your particular breed.

    CHeers

    Jamie
     
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  6. Greyghost

    Greyghost Well-Known Member

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    Put money in a seperate account. End of story.
     
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  7. Blueskies

    Blueskies Well-Known Member

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    Second this. Insurance companies exist to price risk and apply a premium on top. Chances are you will pay more in premiums than you will get back in claims. Personally I only insure those things where the outcome would be financially significant.

    Plus, I grew up on a farm, there is no way we would have spent $7000 on dog medical bills. There is a cheaper option, but i realise not for everyone... :eek:
     
    SOULFLY3 likes this.
  8. Digitalism

    Digitalism Active Member

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    One thing to be aware of is that certain breeds of dogs are more susceptible to certain health issues and diseases.
     
    larrylarry likes this.
  9. Propagate

    Propagate Well-Known Member

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    Depends on the breed of dog too. We have a Great Dane, he's just over 7 years old now and we've had him since 8 weeks.

    We've had him insured without a break in cover, with PetPlan from the day we brought him home.

    The premiums 7+ years ago started at $44 per month, the first few years the rose slowly then jumped to about $70 per month, then $100 now they're $125 per month at the last renewal this month...

    ...BUT...

    Boy, have we claimed.

    Old mate Huck owes Petplan around $30k at a guess, so it has been worth every cent to us. He's a "select breed" which means after a certain age they load up your excess, I think we pay 35% of any claims now that he's over 7 but having said that, because he has been covered since a pup they will keep him covered all of the rest of his life.

    He's been fighting cancer for almost a year now and they have paid up every single claim, including CT scans at $1600 a go!

    He was bullet proof until he turned 5 when he got bloat, we caught him just in time and saved him. That was the first big bill at around $5k. The following year he had two lots of skin cancers in the course of a few months at almost $2k each time to remove. Last May he lost a leg to bone cancer, $1k for biopsy's, xrays, consultants etc $4k for surgery, $1.6k for a CT, 4 rounds of chemo at over $1k each. 3 month follow up Xrays and check ups was thick end of another grand, They found it had spread to his lungs in November, so another CT scan $1600 and he's been on metronomic chemo therapy since which is $600-$800 every three weeks. He'd have to be up around $26k at least. We've probably paid about $7k maximum in premiums over the years so we're well and truly 'up'.

    PetPlan have paid every single claim, all within a week or two and no arguments or knock backs. They have been fantastic.

    Like any insurance, it's a gamble but I for one am sure glad we took it out and would not hesitate to take it out again if we ever got another dog.

    Also, once you've spent almost a year visiting an animal cancer centre at least once a month you realize just how many dogs, of all ages, shapes, types and sizes, get cancer. It is heartbreaking.
     
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  10. EN710

    EN710 Well-Known Member

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    I use Petplan. The first year claim they paid more than what I paid for premium that year. So far never need to use it this year (thank goodness!) but I know a friend that has claimed $2000 back for test and more.

    I have both pet insurance and separate account. You'll still need to cover the upfront cost.
     
  11. EN710

    EN710 Well-Known Member

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    That's what I thought before I got my dog :oops: Insurance is there to make sure that if 10K need to be spent, I don't need to choose the cheaper option.
     
  12. hillsguy

    hillsguy Well-Known Member

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    We signed up with Woolies and great so far !
     
  13. Ed Barton

    Ed Barton Well-Known Member

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    Is it like other types of insurance where the vet (panel beater etc) either discount the service cost if you're not insured or up the price if you are insured?
     
  14. EN710

    EN710 Well-Known Member

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    Unlike health insurance, you don't claim on the spot (at least not mine). They charge you, then you make the claim. So I don't think the pricing would be different whether or not you have one.
    Some vets do have a health membership on their clinic - clients pay a yearly fee and in exchange, free vet checks, discounts on treatment etc. One that I know is Greencross vet http://www.greencrossvet.com.au/healthypetsplus/Dog.aspx some of my local vet also have similar plan.
     
  15. H&H

    H&H Member

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    Thanks everyone!!! I have decided to go with Bow Wow Meow. We have a Staffy pup and I don't have a spare 10k if something happened, so i was keen on insurance. Will see how it goes :)
     
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  16. Ed Barton

    Ed Barton Well-Known Member

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    Thanks. I'm not so sure. I don't have dental insurance and when I've needed more than the standard clean and check up the first thing they ask is do you have insurance when I ask the price. Perhaps that's to give me the 'gap' price if I'm insured - I doubt it as they couldn't know every insurers policies. I strongly suspect it is to offer the 'poor bugger not insured' a better price.

    As evil as it sounds if vets aren't marking up insurance claims then they aren't running a good business.
     
  17. EN710

    EN710 Well-Known Member

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    I notice the no gap dental places are more expensive (if compared to dental from my previous insurer).

    Vet doesn't need to mark up insurance claim, they already mark up everything. A 15 mins check up is $70, anyone? Eye test, $25. Oh you're worried about the vomiting? We can do a liver xray, even if it's very unlikely that your dog have any issue. Why not do it just to be save? $700. Pet insurance is not subsidized - pet owners already paying a lot. Sometimes speaking to some vet feels like speaking to snake oil salesman :oops:

    There are usually payment options for those who can't pay upfront, but you need to ask.
     
  18. geoffw

    geoffw Moderator Staff Member

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    With sheep?
     
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  19. Blueskies

    Blueskies Well-Known Member

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    Jeez that is a gold plated dad joke right there!
     
  20. EN710

    EN710 Well-Known Member

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    I don't get it....

    ....
    ....

    Woolies = wool = sheep??