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Everything posted by FrodofromAus

  1. Pet Insurance

    As a result of owning the Australian cancer website, one of the things I make sure I am up on is pet insurance. Why? Because it is a given that if you dog gets cancer it is going to be expensive to treat. It has been brought to my attention that Petplan now has a new underwriter. The result of this is that premiums in some cases have gone up 300% but it would seem the majority have at least doubled. In 2014 they revamped their policies which meant (as I did a review which put old and new side by side) that the policies not only went up substantially but they tried to tell me that it was a better policy. Rubbish. For instance previously you had your limit and you could get alternative treatment that came under that limit. The new change was that yes you could still claim alternative but a cap of $2000 was put on it. Heres the best bit.......If you wanted to claim alternative as well as conventional you had to pay the excess twice. Well done Petplan. I had emails back and forth with the underwriter who did not want me going to print as I was wrong and misunderstood. i went to print anyway with the facts for people. Now this latest changeover of underwriter and the huge increases. The problem is many cant go to another insurer if their dog has had a claim as it will be pre existing elsewhere even if it is something that has not happened in a long time. For instance an ear infection. If you get another at the new insurer they probably wont pay as your dog has had it before. The best bit though is all insurance has bilateral exclusions. This means right ear had infection, left ear also excluded. Same with legs. One leg gets something wrong all four can be excluded. If anyone has Petplan and has not made a claim it might be worth changing and going elsewhere. Check out all these comments on my facebook page if you are considering this company. The reviews on their page are dreadful. This is not the end of this I can tell you. https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=878536315630236&id=244099682407239
  2. Pet Insurance

    I rang the underwriter in the UK today. I was told that they got data off Petplan to say which breeds, ages, conditions were happening and therefore they have made policies in accordance with this. It was made clear they had to make money. I did point out that the Petsure brands all twenty or more of them have been around for years and they clearly make profit or they would not be here. He said he did not know what profit if any they made I then pointed out that their policies are a lot cheaper now these increases have occurred and they are across the board a better policy. As a result of this call wherein I made it clear I intended to at least warn pet owners of the costs and the other disadvantages with Petplan. My biggest beef with them (apart from them ripping people off all the time) is that once your dog reaches 10 they only pay 66% in comparison to 80% for most of the others. The worst part in the past this was really hidden from people in the pds etc and not made clear. In fact previously they have advertised as being the only company that pays 100% of the vet bill. ASIC nailed them for that and last year they had to pay back over $200 000 to customers. I have reposted tonight in view of the conversation with the underwriter and want to make sure dog owners at least know these important facts on the Petplan policies. https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=879803725503495&id=244099682407239
  3. Insurance of hip dysplasia

    If there is a record I would say yes it would be declined on the basis of pre existing.
  4. Do you have Pet insurance with Petplan> You might well be in line for a refund. Petplan Refunds
  5. Pet Insurance Win For Pet Owners

    Definately worth a try. It would be a shame if this was to go under the radar (as they were stunned when I rang on the basis of the ASIC release as they didnt seem to know about them letting out a release) and some people did not get money they were entitled to :) This was posted on the fb link a while ago so now ABC on it. Yay!!!!! ABC Story
  6. Pet Insurance Win For Pet Owners

    Thanks for posting it I forgot some people dont have facebook :)
  7. Pet Insurance Win For Pet Owners

    Thanks we want transparency for pet owners and plan to keep going until the industry is overhauled and we get a product worth buying for our pets. Lets hope everyone finds out about this so they can get any money that might be owing to them.
  8. I had a win with Petplan a couple of weeks ago after making public statements and getting in touch with the ombudsman. Now I have finally found a well known journalist (who at this point wants to remain nameless) who is willing to help us as pet owners take a stand to try for a better deal with pet insurance companies. I spent an hour on the phone with him today and we have corresponded since he contacted me. To save redoing it here is the Facebook post For pet owners to even have a chance at getting a better deal we need help with this. This journo seems pretty keen as he has been investigating himself for several months now he needs some stories and issues so he can do his thing.
  9. Pet Insurance

    Hi Everyone I have been having a lot of problems with Petplan who insure one of my dogs. Worst company to deal with. Anyway I have just posted on my facebook page the third post on them and I have included a link to the insurance ombudsman in the post. I am urging dog owners who have had problems with any of the pet insurers to lodge a claim with the ombudsman. Many people (including me) were unaware that the ombudsman would handle pet insurance complaints. There is also another link in the post to reviews on pet insurance companies for those looking to get insurance. It is dreadful that many people insure their pets so they can have the best treatments and these companies make it as difficult as possible. If pet owners stuck together collectively we might be able to make changes that encourage more people to have insurance and get good products to choose from. It is all well and good to say read the fine print and check the policies over before you buy. YES we do this but they change the policy on renewal and if you have had a claim you cant move (like house insurance) ass it is called pre existing. Recently there was a push from Choice to get a better deal on house insurance in a collective of people. They got huge numbers sign up and the end result was a great deal for home owners. Why cant pet owners do something similar and give these companies a run for their money and make them accountable??? Check out the post and PLEASE PLEASE if you are having trouble with any one of them lodge with the ombudsman. Facebook
  10. Pet Insurance

    I believe there might be something in a National newspaper on insurance, Petplan in particular in the next week or so. For now I am about to do a new post on insurance I have found a well known journalist I cant name at the moment who wants to help so I am making a new post on the matter. Just so you know in the PDS Petplan appear to omit the 65% payment they make on dogs over 10. :)
  11. Pet Insurance

    I think it is important to try to get pet owners to stick together if we are going to try to make changes. I do know they have had consumer advocate groups which have been very successful for other types of insurance. Everyone stuck together and thousands responded and they got a better deal. How good would it be if we could do that with pet insurance. Yes I am really peeved at this capping consultation crap to and thats one of my next targets :)
  12. Pet Insurance

    The ombudsman can only look into individual complaints and I hope the office if FLOODED with complaints which is why I wanted everyone to know. I have something else in the wind in terms of the way these companies operate :)
  13. Pet Insurance

    Some vets are responding by charging an annual consultation subscription. Pay $300 up front and visit as many times as you need to. Good for dogs with chronic illness. Do you know if the insurers are paying this subscription or rejecting it? How does it work in terms of trying to get that money back do you need to wait until you have a claim for a chronic illness and pay the money up front then?
  14. Pet Insurance

    I had heard CHOICE were doing an article. I have not seen it but I have tried to contact them as I am pretty knowledgeable on some of the issues with pet insurance. There is a survey on my homepage for pet insurance as well. The problem with pet insurance is that you read up on it, buy the product that suits your needs, then the following year on renewal they change some of the policy and it may not be the policy you bought the year before. If you have had a claim you cant jump ship to someone else if you have had a claim without that being pre existing with a new insurer. I think it is time pet insurance was regulated. In 2014 Petplan did a major overhaul and MOST of their existing customers were so much worse off (not to mention the doubling of prices in many cases) it was a disgrace. Nothing anyone could do. Stay and pay for a much worse product or cancel if your dog was too old to move or had a previous claim. Now I believe that the Petsure products across the board have capped cruciate ligament surgery and also put a $300 cap on consult fees. This means all their policy holders could be affected. If your pet is being treated for a chronic condition such as cancer there will be a lot of vet visits so now your capped. There is a way around this depending on your vet :) It really is a disgrace and if there is more support from pet owners who feel the same, I dont mind giving the insurers a major rattle with the support of other dog owners. Enough is enough.
  15. Pet Insurance

    An update for you all. Guess what?? Petplan had heard from the ombudsman today and they couldnt pay me and sort this out quick enough. Several phone calls to me, emails and they even managed to do the last two I had not lodged as yet in the same payment. By the time they had the invoices they had an hour before knock off time. Driving down the road 15 mins later and a call comes through saying that all has been paid up. So again everyone contact the ombudsman dont mess around trying to get thing sorted and just getting fobbed off. There is something in the wind to try for a better deal for pet owners with their insurance and info on that will go on the facebook page. Been some discussion on the post from last night and others are affected by these pet insurance companies.
  16. Lymphoma Event

    Last year Perth held the Australian premiere of award winning film on canine lymphoma, My Friend: Changing The Journey In addition to the film we had Dr Sue Cancer Vet live via Skype, Dr Greg Ogilvie film narrator live via Skype as well as 7 year canine lymphoma survivor Bree and her mum live via Skype. Also on the program was Q & A with Perth Vet Oncologist Dr Ken Wyatt. This event was filmed by Blue City Media and is now available online. As the event was 2.5 hrs we have broken it down into the relevant segments so you can watch it as time permits. Lymphoma is one of the most treatable cancers a dog can be diagnosed with. This story is heart warming as all the dogs are long term survivors of this disease. It tells of their journey and offers hope to those faced with this diagnosis with a dog. Changing The Journey
  17. I am so sorry to hear this story. You did everything you could and Veronica Langova is an excellent oncologist. Not much has been done on Hystiocytosis but the world experts are at UC Davis. Dr Peter Moore is Australian I believe. My own dog was diagnosed with localised histiocytic sarcoma and survived 4.5 years and died cancer free from an accident. Had he had disseminated histiocytic sarcoma that would have been a completely different scenario. Lets hope more is done with this cancer so the future is brighter with dogs who have this diagnosis.
  18. 3 Yr Old Black Lab Diagnosed With Mast Cell Tumour

    Mast Cell Tumours like other types of cancer can be treated. If you use an oncologist they have many options available if there is an problems. I know of many dogs both young and old that have been diagnosed with MCT and live a very long time. Nowadays cancer is not an immediate death sentence for most dogs. The ones that do best are those treated by an oncologist the same as with humans.
  19. Pet Insurance - Gimic?

    Camo you have presented very well understood information for those reading this thread. AA long time advocate of pet insurance (the concept whilst not supporting any one product) the first company that has come to my attention is Petplan. Sadly I am a customer of theirs with one of my dogs. Petplan did a major overhaul of policies in 2014 and whilst telling their past customers how wizz bang it was and how many better off they are........well I did a review on my cancer forum. I put the old policy side by side with the new policy and yes it was better but NOT FOR THE CLIENT but for Petplan. A couple of the changes included that when you claim for alternative medicine they have capped it at $2000. In the past they included it in the total amount you could claim each year. Her's the best bit. Unless the alternative treatment is physiotherapy you pay the excess twice. Thats right. You pay one excess for the vet and another if you claim alternative. Another change was they use to pay for $1000 for death from injury. Now it is an additional extra to be able to claim $1500 for deal from illness or injury. Two of the changes. And for this they whacked up the policies in many cases by 100%. Their facebook page was flooded with complaints at the time but low and behold you cant post to their page anymore. But the good news is people are still having their say by way of review. Of 225 reviews 178 of them rate them as horrible or bad. Another piece of info on Petplan is that they are the only company in Australia who still send cheques. They are unable to make payment direct into your bank. Out of the other 20 companies under the Petsure brand at the moment 14 of them allow online claims. You go to the vet, get a copy of the consult report and payment receipt, come home lodge on line and away you go. Petsure have assured me the other brands will be online soon with this claim process. Petplan has no intention at this time to either come online for claims or to change from sending cheques. Another thing not widely promoted by Petplan is once your dog reaches ten they only pay 65% of the claim. You also pay an excess. In my case the excess is $150. Until recently my dog had never had a claim with Petplan so I was not pinged for excessive claims. My experience of this claim has been dreadful. My cancer facebook page has made two posts about it so far. The first time I took my dog to the vet was 29 January 2016. 4 vet visits and 3 physio visits I am yet to receive any money back as the cheques according to them have been received but I guess have gone via USA. Actually to be exact I did receive one cheque for $209 for the rehab BUT even though in my post I reported that was the only cheque I received to date, they cancelled that cheque and reissued it. Still nothing is forthcoming. Why did they cancel???? They got confused between a previous email of several days before saying I am still waiting and the Post of several days later. They even included my post (as I tagged them) in the email. I guess they didnt read it properly Why did I stay with Petplan in 2014???? Well like many people who got done over, I had a dog that was too old to shift companies. He had no claim history BUT once a dog reaches 9 with most companies they wont take them on for illness only accident. In many cases it is when you dog gets older you might be more likely to make claims. The moral of this is you must choose wisely. Once your dog has had ANY sort of claim it is hard to jump ship unless you are prepared to have that part of the previous claim as an exclusion. Petsure products once you join with them after two years will allow a review of that exclusion. Not sure on numbers how many exclusions get removed. I had one for another dog on a Petsure product that was excluded for dog fights. I had a rescue staying with me that bopped my dog on the ear and there was a bit of blood so I attended the vet. Due to a mistake by the vet who thought it was my other dog that did it, he ended up with this exclusion. To show you what that could of meant here is a scenario. I am out walking my dog and another dog races out of some driveway and mauls my dog who is minding his business. My insurance company would not pay for my dogs injuries due to this exclusion. It was a broad exclusion that meant all dog fights. It did not say if Farrell bopps Bones. Therefore I could have been severely penalised due to this exclusion. Buyer be warned but I am going to be posting a lot more insurance warning to my followers and all companies are on notice I will go public. It is important our pets get good vet care and many people have insurance for just that. As consumers we get tired of policies changing and ending up in a worse off position. The only way to make changes is by numbers.
  20. Pet Insurance - Gimic?

    He will likely get cover but the heart murmur will need to be declared and no doubt will be a specific exclusion on the policy. I'd still try and insure him ASAP. The heart murmur will be excluded. Cool thanks. Will do!!!
  21. Rare Bone Tumor

    Its so hard to watch our beloved dogs go downhill from cancer. It is also good to know you are on the ball noticing tumours for your clients as often a groomer notices this sort of thing first. It is also good that a proper diagnosis was made. So many times the relevant testing is not done and the cancer is diagnosed by look, feel and dog breed. Many dog owners that I have spoken to just dont realise that vets cant make a diagnosis that way. They assume if the vet says it is cancer or not cancer the vet knows. This is not the case the vet does not know without testing. There is a couple of articles on this page Cancer Articles from Dr Sue Ettinger, Dr Michael Lucroy, Dr Joanne Intile, Dr Phil Zeltsman and Dr Ken Wyatt on this very subject. Good luck with this sweet dog and thanks for being diligent for your clients.
  22. A trial is currently being conducted into a vaccine for B Cell Lymphoma. The Kvax vaccine trial is recruiting dogs who have been diagnosed with B Cell Lymphoma who have not received any treatment. The blinded study will consist of three groups of dogs. One group of dogs will receive a placebo, another group will receive 4 KVAX vaccinations and the third group will receive 10 KVAX vaccinations. Neither the owner or the vet will know which dogs are in which group. Dogs will be given CHOP the standard treatment for dogs with this cancer and once in remission they will be given the vaccine. . The injections will be free. Owners will have to pay for the chemotherapy and any other radiology or tests that may be required as part of this trial. For more information check this link Research NSW
  23. Australia is getting before any other country in the world (including mainstream America)award winning canine lymphoma documentary My Friend: Changing The Journey. It is the story of three families who have dogs who get lymphoma. One of the dogs in this film is a seven year survivor and the other two are over two years surviving. It is to be screened in five states. Tickets only $5 and are now on sale. We really want as many dog owners as possible to see this as lymphoma along with other cancers can be treated, dogs given good quality of life if things are done properly. After the screening in each state, Australian veterinary oncologists will be available to answer questions on cancer from those attending. It is pretty costly to bring this to Australia as there are international airfares, local airfares, accommodation and venue hire that had to be budgeted for but the documentary is so worth it. I think it could change a lot for dogs everywhere. When our dogs are diagnosed with cancer we often dont know what is the best to do. So much advice is given and I think we all want to do the best we can. As a dog owner who had a dog who was affected by cancer, although not lymphoma it is so easy to relate to what we all go through. I hope you will all come and support this and let all the dog owners you know about it, as the documentary in itself is a world first, narrated by one of the worlds foremost experts on canine cancer, Dr Greg Ogilvie. Check out the trailer on the page. There is links to all the venue details from each state. Changing The Journey
  24. So sorry for your loss. We lose so many dogs to cancer it is devastating. I get so many emails from people like you who have stories to tell and it breaks my heart. Thank you for posting that lovely poem it came from the heart. Just for the record AGE is not really a relative factor in cancer treatments. I share many stories on my Facebook page about dogs ten plus and they cope well with chemotherapy. The posts I share are from vet oncologists which explains why they do so well. They are the experts in cancer treatments which are being updated and changed all the time. They have to do a lot of reading to keep up with it so they can offer the best known options for their clients.
  25. Arthritic Hips

    I have also used Green Lipped Muscle great results and quickly. I have also taken at least 8 older dogs with bad arthritis for accupuncture. Great results with that. Our alternative vet does three treatments a week apart, then another two weeks later, then another a month later. After that it is top up as required. Also for any dog that is overweight when the weight is dropped that helps.