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UltimatePup

Any Worthy Alternatives To Shonky Petplan Insurance?

39 posts in this topic

Rebanne   

I ditched petplan and joined my current pup up with Woolies. Most life long issues will show up within the first couple of years. After that it is bad luck things like bloat, broken legs, snake bite etc. If my current pup has no issues in the first couple of years, and there is no reason she would, I'll drop the insurance and cover the bad luck stuff like I always have, with a credit card.

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petplan is backed by Allianz - which is why I won't do business.

My personal health insurance is with medibank - who keep offering me discounted pet insurance - except it's still more than renewing with pet insurance Australia (backed by hollards).

It would be nice to know which of the ones backed by hollards (there's only two - it's either hollards or Allianz) have their own claims processing centre - you tend to get better deals from them as best I can tell.

But I'm thinking it would be cheaper and easier to self insure. There is no effective "no claim bonus" system for not-claiming - so I reckon if I did make a claim - the premium would go up to cover it as if I was paying off a phone or car. so what's the point?

At least car insurance has a sort of self limit of the value of the car. even personal health insurance has payout limits. Maybe those whose dog gets into a car accident or something - they don't ask the right questions about quality of life... and just spend all they can get from the insurance company and the vet facilitates that (who wants to argue with a paying stressed out customer?).

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Danois   

None of them backed by Hollards have their own call centre etc. Medibank, Woolworths, RSPCA etc are only the retail fronts for the policies - the seller of them. The administrator/ underwriting policy manager of all of the policies is PetSure - who are based in Chatswood.

This includes Bow Wow Meow.

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That's interesting Danois

So I've heard a mixed bag of stories - depending who you get on the phone for a Hollards backed policy - how easy it is to get a claim sorted. I thought it depended on the company. The pay out limits can vary by quite a bit too. So maybe if you pay a higher premium - they're more willing to pay out? Or it just depends how new the girl on the phone is?

My brother took his dog to the vet to get 6 lumps sorted. Before he went - he asked his insurance people how much they'd pay and the call centre operator said 80%. But when he sent the claim in - they wanted to pay 80% of the first lump and nothing for the next 5 because they became "pre-existing" as soon as the first one was removed or something nutty like that. I think - because of the phone call - that he got back about 50% in the end and gave up.

But some people in here - have had no trouble getting everything they need sorted and paid (to the 80% and payout cap).

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cavNrott   

I ditched petplan and joined my current pup up with Woolies. Most life long issues will show up within the first couple of years. After that it is bad luck things like bloat, broken legs, snake bite etc. If my current pup has no issues in the first couple of years, and there is no reason she would, I'll drop the insurance and cover the bad luck stuff like I always have, with a credit card.

This is not necessarily so. My Cavalier boy suffered a ruptured a disk at age 5 1/2yo. This resulted in surgery and imaging that racked up a bill in excess of $7,500. A couple of months later he contracted pneumonia. With the many visits to the vet specialist centre plus treatment and medication, there went another $4000. He is now 10 1/2yo and three months ago he went into Congestive Heart Failure. With imaging and medication plus vet visits it has currently cost approximately $2,500. The cost of his ongoing medication is approx. $300 per month. This dog had never suffered a sick day in his life before the ruptured disk at age 5 1/2yo. He is insured. I took out his policy when he was 4yo.

My Cavalier girl has had no serious illnesses but has recently at age 9 1/2yo been diagnosed with heart murmur so at some point she will also suffer CHF and need imaging and expensive medication for the rest of her life. She has been insured since she was 5yo.

My Rottweiler got osteosarcoma at 6yo. Her vet treatment, medication, oncology etc., cost in excess of $20,000 before she was PTS one year later. Unfortunately I cancelled her pet insurance policy when she was 3yo so the cost of her treatment was paid with my credit card, the balance of which I paid out each month but it depleted my savings. This is why I have kept my other dogs insured.

I wouldn't gamble on serious or lifelong illnesses showing up in the first couple of years.

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Kajtek   

Same here. I've set up an emergency fund for my dogs. It has paid for some fairly costly treatments.

I think it works out better for multiple dog households

Each year I put this money in a savings account.... it becomes my emergency fund.... I pay the normal vet fees as they come along but this is for something out of the ordinary.

Edited by Kajtek

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Insurance can become a trap... we feel if we don't have it then life will collapse around our ears.

Consider Life insurance... policies are actually marketed to us to make us feel it is important for the well being of our family, our children will suffer and our spouse will be exposed to unexplainable pressure.... so we spend $1,000's on the off chance that we will kick the bucket early.... yet many relationships only last 5-8 years... ending in a forced settlement and often the end of any commitment to our partners... who can then afford to continue paying into life insurance when they have to pay maintenance... all the previous insurance premium has gone down the drain....

Consider Funeral Insurance.... marketed to the over 50's with the guilt trip to say we should not leave our families with the burden of say $15,000 or even more.... truth be known we just arranged a funeral that cost $3,000 and we sent our dad off in a loving and friendly style..... yet another friends in-laws have spent over $20,000 over the last 5 years to prepay their death expenses.... just hope this company remains valid when the time comes.

Consider Education Insurance.... same as the funeral system.... same as life insurance....

Yes there are some insurance we need... things that are immediate such as home insurance for fire, theft, damage.... also for TAC and car insurance to ensure that crashes are limited financial pain.... health insurance to help cover those emergencies of broken legs or cancers...

Sometimes you have to draw the line.... it can be easy for a family to spend $10,000 per year for insurance...

Car Insurance @ $1,000 each car + TAC at perhaps $400 each car... average family has spent $2,800

House and Contents Insurance @ $1,000 - $2,500

Hospital Medical Insurance for a family @ $3,800 (thats without dental)

Mortgage Insurance @ $400 or even more

The biggest issue with insurance is that we might not need it... and end up paying for those who do and worse still for those who lie and cheat to claim on this....

Even when we might find we need to claim, we can often be surprised to find what exactly is covered and what is not.... consider that you have a big policy on your house and it burns down... opps you didn't have clear site insurance.... so you loose $20,000 just to clear site so you can rebuild...

Personally I draw the line at giving more money to Insurance Companies for pet insurance.... I AM NOT going to spend thousands of dollars on the off chance that I have emergency that I can't afford......and to feel that I can't afford because I have spent all my spare savings on insurance would really sh*&t me...

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Just a side note.... 4 years ago I went to a Dog Conference in USA and then two years ago my daughter and I bought tickets to Europe - these were paid from my rainy day account.... and I still have $5,000 in this account.... but perhaps I've been lucky.... besides you can always talk your vet down in prices when they know you don't have insurance.... and I don't have any shocks to discover what might be excluded by the cover....

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cavNrott   

Just a side note.... 4 years ago I went to a Dog Conference in USA and then two years ago my daughter and I bought tickets to Europe - these were paid from my rainy day account.... and I still have $5,000 in this account.... but perhaps I've been lucky.... besides you can always talk your vet down in prices when they know you don't have insurance.... and I don't have any shocks to discover what might be excluded by the cover....

So you and your daughter had a nice holiday but now you have just $5000 left in your rainy day account. What will happen if your dog unexpectedly needs a $7000-$10,000 surgery for an accident or unexpected illness?

Your vet might be willing to haggle over his fees to a limited extent but if your dog is seriously ill or needs major surgery the dog will probably need the services of a specialist vet who will not haggle with you over the cost of treating your dog. What then will happen to your dog? Will he/she be euthanized because you don't have funds available to treat him/her, having spent most of your rainy day account on your European holiday.

I'll continue to pay for pet insurance for my dogs. They are more important to me than any holiday.

It's about priorities. I won't gamble with my dogs lives or health. I would no sooner cancel their health insurance than I would cancel my house insurance or my private health insurance. It's not optional for me.

I also have a dedicated Pet Fund bank account which I withdraw from only to pay my credit card bill for my pets treatment while I'm waiting for reimbursement from the pet insurance company. The usual vet costs are paid from my every day account. The Pet Fund is for expensive vet treatment only.

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Steph M   

Just a side note.... 4 years ago I went to a Dog Conference in USA and then two years ago my daughter and I bought tickets to Europe - these were paid from my rainy day account.... and I still have $5,000 in this account.... but perhaps I've been lucky.... besides you can always talk your vet down in prices when they know you don't have insurance.... and I don't have any shocks to discover what might be excluded by the cover....

Good for you! You should still be able to live and do things! Don't be guilted about that, sheesh.

5k should be enough to pay a decent deposit on any treatment needed and should costs blow out further, my vet and I am sure many others, will be happy to work out a plan of payment. We have Rufus in at the moment, and we had the money there but the vets were quick to offer a payment plan and were flexible on what deposit we paid. They were fab.

Any vet who wouldn't treat your dog because you only had half of the 10k wouldn't be worth seeing again, IMO. Not everyone has that just sitting about, and hopefully they have a foot in reality enough to realise that.

I have worked in insurance before and I would never bother with pet insurance. Too many variables, too many loopholes. For us we do the "pocket money" thing too, and we have never been short and their account is way healthier than our savings, even with Rufus the cat in at the moment coming up to 2k fast. Plus, it earns interest while sitting there! Bonus!

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Danois   

I have never heard of a vet changing their prices to be lower if you don't have insurance! I pay the exact same price for things regardless - majority of the time a vet does not know whether you have insurance until after the event.

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cavNrott   

I have never heard of a vet changing their prices to be lower if you don't have insurance! I pay the exact same price for things regardless - majority of the time a vet does not know whether you have insurance until after the event.

This ^. I agree.

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Rappie   

If you haggle on the price it means that you will be getting less, not just paying less. Bills may be higher for insured animals because owners are willing to go further with treatment, not becuase the costs are inflated.

As has been mentioned, it is still important to have a means to pay the bills first as he insurance companies will reimburse you after the claim has been made. I don't know of many (ie any) clinics in my local area that accept direct payments from the insurance company. Many don't offer accounts either but will have facilities to offer credit facilities through other companies like GemVisa or VetPay.

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LisaCC   

I agree with Steph, I have a savings account set up with a good sum in it. My current vet, my old vet, all the vets my friends work at (I know a lot of vets/ vet students and vet nurses in various cities), all will do payment plans if the customer has a deposit proportionate to the costs.

Might be harsh to some people,but truth be told, if there is something that will cost $30,000 in medical bills with a small rate of success, I would be looking at that realistically.

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newfsie   

OK so reading all of this I will have to give my last three years experiences with medibank private and no I do not work for them. I ave 5 newfoundland dogs and one BC xGolden. I pay quite a lot amonth, just over the $200.00 now it will go up again in January

BUT.........I have had a TPLO done on my Five year old and 80% ($4000.00) was paid out quickly. My Little BC cross had to have surgery after a dog attack and it was paid out 80% quickly......No questions asked straight into my account.

But this year i also had my young newfie have an accident by going front feet into a rabbit hole and the rest of her body going on..She badly injured her Left elbow. this was seen to by a vet in melbourne, ortho specialist and a CT scan and new treatment was reccomended for her with a little special "plug" into the damaged area...i put in my accounts and was given a little letter, sorry we will not pay............BUT, i rang them, all lovely ladies who were somewhere in Australia, they had me on hold for moments, told me they spoke to people in charge a review would be promised, we will ring you back.....And guess what? They rang back, money came back into the bank $4200.00 plus some other little totals from intitial non ortho vet visits. They did explain they would not pay for the "plug"($1000) but would pay for all other treatment. Would also not pay if anything went wrong withe plug....the Plug is a very new treatment and to new for them. yussie was only the 8th dog in Australia.........It healed beautifully, she was limp free.

But sadly I have to claim again, becuase she had to have surgery for a perforation and sadly she passed away. I have had no bad experiences, even my little hiccup was dealt with politely and promptly. I am way ahead with my payments versus pay-out and even if I had saved all my payments I would not have covered it. We have always had our newfies insured since we were able to. I am quite happy with medibank Private.......you get a 10% discount if you yourself are with them and we were for a long time....No overseas call centres either

Edited by newfsie

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Cosmolo   

After having two years in a row where we had over $20,000 worth of vet bills in each year we insured our new pup when she arrived last year (the rest of my dogs are un-insurable). Thank goodness we did as she wracked up $8000 worth of vet bills in about 6 months- surgery for elbow dysplasia AND an emergency vet visit plus physio. Petplan paid out about $6000 total without any fuss. No way a rainy day account would have withstood the last few years we have had. :(

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that's good to know Cosmolo.

But it just makes them look more inconsistent to me.

So just FYI ...

when I was comparing the Medibank quotes - I noticed they had

Australian cattle dog

blue heeler

red heeler

mixed breed

and crosses of the first three... as possible breeds...

blue heeler x was the cheapest of the x's... so I feel a bit dumb having put mine in as Australian Cattle dog. If you happen to pick a name of your dog breed that is cheaper... even if they have seven different breeds in the list that would equally apply...

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Danois   

Except if you deliberately chose a x breed because it's cheaper knowing your dog is a purebred then that is making a false statement in your application and gives the insurance company grounds to cancel your policy.

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Danois

That would be true for people with ANKC registered dogs... but more interesting for people with dogs that aren't on a recognised register - like mine (rescue) and most BYB "purebreds".

How would anyone prove their dog is a heeler x?

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