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Thread: Pet insurance --- is it worth it?!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    Default Pet insurance --- is it worth it?!

    Last week I took' Jambo' my lab/staff to the vet as he'd been limping and I thought he may have pulled a muscle or
    some such as he's very boisterous when playing, anyway ,ended up getting x rays as vet thought it may be the cruciate ligament
    and it appears that there's minor grinding in the limb but he didn't recommend surgery as there's quite bad arthritis and an operation really wouldn't help with the pain he had so he prescribed Previcox and gave me 10 tablets initially to see me thru' until this week ( $4.50 a pill )
    Well ,I bought a bottle of 60 of the things for $224 to save a bit of cash and I must say that he's like a puppy again, they are amazing.
    My problem is with the insurance company , I've never made a claim for anything as he's never had anything major and I 'm to
    pay a $200 excess + 20% of the bill, an option I took to keep the premiums lower (5yrs ago)not a problem except that I had to pay the vet the full amount ($592 =2visits + pills) and send Medibank the invoices/recpts before they'd look at my claim@!@!?
    What if I couldn't get the money upfront? not their problem and it's unlikely that they will pay for pills even tho' vet said he needs them to keep his condition in control. I thought I was doing the right thing but I would've been better off putting all those premiums into a sep, acccount, has anyone else had issues like this, I've written to the ombudsman and waiting for a case number as I write this. ps anaesthetic was $113, he's 45kgs
    The secret to having everything is knowing you've already got it !

  2. #2
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    I don't think it is really worth it unless you were lucky and got a really good deal when insurance first came out. That being said if your pup had to have a huge operation it would be very helpful.

    Putting money away in an account would probably be more beneficial for us than taking out two insurance policies!

    There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face.

  3. #3
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    Pet Insurance companies dont pay up front, you have to send the receipts and the vet reports. I have been quite lucky with insurance paying around $6000 in my first couple of years of having the policy. I havent had any problems with them paying for medication. I only insure 2 of my dogs now as the premiums have got a lot pricier. Those 2 I have kept insured as they both now have conditions that may require more expensive orthopedic surgery, may not but I am well in front anyway.

    If I only had 2 dogs I possibly wouldnt bother, depending on the breed, their activities and their structure. Straight stifled heavy dogs are always at risk of cruciate problems.
    Last edited by Kalacreek; 01-09-2013 at 10:13 AM.

  4. #4
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    So far I am ahead and Maggie is not yet 1. It all depends on what happens!

  5. #5
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    I've never had it, as I think it's a rip off especially when they claim that hereditary issues are pre existing even when you dog doesn't have any but might years down the track.
    Chloe & Zorro
    Rottweilers and German Shepherds are Family

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogman View Post
    I've never had it, as I think it's a rip off especially when they claim that hereditary issues are pre existing even when you dog doesn't have any but might years down the track.
    I think it depends on the breed and the policy. If you have an at risk breed it is more difficult I think.

    None of my dogs are high risk breeds. One of my dogs has bilateral elbow dysplasia and the insurance company forked out 80% of the cost of xrays of hips and elbows and everything else to try and pinpoint the problem by a specialist vet, then 2 sets of CT scans of her elbows 3 months apart and then bilateral elbow surgery to remove the chips. A very expensive exercise.

    On another dog they payed for the scans of his hips. He was diagnosed with very mild HD but could well need a hip replacement down the track. Hopefully not but it is possible. Both are considered genetic conditions and both covered by my policy.

  7. #7

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    Agree with Kalacreek. My sister wants a Burnese Mountain Dog one day and if she does get one, I would definitely recommend pet insurance. If you own some sort of terrier cross, well really you're mostly covering for accidents.

    Sammy is a mixed breed and has proven to be extremely healthy - both he and a pure doberman cut their paws on a corrugated iron fence, his healed with no issues despite him reopening the wound multiple times whereas the pure doberman ended up having to have abscesses removed and now has holes in her paw. He hasn't been sick a day in his life touch wood. That said, he is full of life and very active and so accidents happen. In addition to the paw injury, he was also hit by a speeding car at about 80km/h. We didn't know it at the time, but he somehow walked away from that without so much as a broken bone. That said, it still cost me $1000 at the vet to have x-rays of his lungs and legs and for overnight supervision, fluids etc. He did sprain his leg but that only cost me $150 in inflammatory medication.

    Since I got Sammy, I have put $250/month aside in a high interest savings account as my insurance policy. My last dog lived to be 15 and never needed any vet attention so I would have lost $1000's over the course of his life to pet insurance. That said, I had a purebred Burmese cat who only lived to be 9 and cost me $4500 in vet bills. When she was 1 we were told by the vet that she had the teeth of a 7 year old cat - we had her pedigree and I think that perhaps she was just too inbred - the same cats just kept popping up again and again.

    Now with Tobey, a purebred Dobermann, I am tossing up whether to take out insurance or not. I chose this breeder firstly because her dogs are working lines with titles but secondly, because they live into their teens. But he is a purebred, and there's a reason they are more expensive to insure than the mixed breeds.
    I don't think I will for a few reasons. Firstly because the insurance companies aren't the easiest to work with and often they won't cover the same condition 'twice' (ie in both legs) when that's how these things tend to occur. Secondly because the premiums on a pure Dobermann are high and that's money I may never see anything in return for. And finally, because I am lucky enough to be able to pay for almost any vet treatment anyway. Obviously I would prefer not to have to fork over $1000's but I think really the only way insurance these days is justified (on pets anyway unless you own a whole heap of purebred high risk breeds - think Burnese Mountain Dogs, Great Danes, GSD's, Mastiffs etc) is if that is the only way you could afford the vet treatment. They wouldn't offer to insure pets if they didn't make a good profit out of the money charged so really you're only paying for some added peace of mind.

  8. #8
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    how do they figure that pure breds cost more to insure?
    Quote Originally Posted by Sean View Post
    I love 2 things in this world. Spandex and reyzor... not necessarily in that order.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by reyzor View Post
    how do they figure that pure breds cost more to insure?
    Not all purebreeds. If your dog is a listed high risk breed (or cross of high risk breeds I would guess), the premiums are higher. If you have a purebred kelpie for example, they wouldnt be considered high risk as they are a reletively healthy breed. They dont ask for confirmation of your dog being purebred, they just want to know the breed(s) and then they work out a risk profile and do the premium accordingly.

    I dont insure all my dogs, for instance I havent insured my working bred kelpie as they are a notoriously hardy breed and she has a wonderfull structure. I have had problems with a couple of cattle dogs in the past with ED and cruciate problems so I insured my new one as a pup and glad I did because ED turned up again, but they are not listed as high risk breeds either. They just have that heavier build and there have been some ED cases starting to turn up.

    Bilateral conditions are treated as one condition and you have a limit on each condition, so I was able to get both my dogs elbows done because together they came under the condition limit of $10,000.

    It is also wise to try and get recommendations by people who have had major claims. Some insurance companies are notoriously difficult to deal with while others are very good. You just have to use a bit of common sense and do your budget and consider the risk profile of your dogs. I have peace of mind with the 2 of mine mostly likey to have a problem, the others I save for.
    Last edited by Kalacreek; 01-10-2013 at 11:00 AM.

  10. #10
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    Insurance companies are there to make money and that's the bottom line, they are not there to help you. They are not stupid as they know all about hereditary issues and as most breeds have health problem all the better for the Insurance companies so they can knock you back when you make a claim.

    Deemed to be Pre existing is the biggest con out and what it means is if you buy a healthy pup lets say a Dobermann and 5 years later this dog is diagnosed with Wobbler Syndrome well guess what - your not covered because it's Deemed to be Pre existing what a rip off.

    Yes I did enquire about pet Insurance years ago and got the Deemed to be Pre existing BS but these vultures still wanted my money, which they didn't get and it seems nothing has changed.
    Chloe & Zorro
    Rottweilers and German Shepherds are Family

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