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FrodofromAus

Pet Insurance

16 posts in this topic

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.

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Edited by FrodofromAus

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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.

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Tint   

Well done! Good on you for putting up a fight and standing up for yourself :)

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Well done, indeed. :thumbsup:

The latest issue of Choice has a large article on Pet Insurance including conclusions and charts of testing results. It would appear it is still a difficult product to get your head around; to quote from the article: ".... PDSs and websites have improved as a result of prodding from CHOICE, but some information can still be very confusing for consumers."

Also: "In Australia, there are only two providers of pet insurance - Petplan and PetSure, underwritten by Alliance Australia and Hollard respectively. Between them they administer over 60 policies for 19 brands."

Also: ".....although a policy may be great value, it needs to have the features and cover that best suit your needs."

Another extract:

WHAT TO BUY

1300 Comprehensive Protect [Premium]

Medibank Gold Paw Cover

Pet Insurance Australia Comprehensive Injury Cover

Permed Ultimate

These four comprehensive policies were solid performers across the board, scoring above the median in all scoring categories.

CAVEAT: Please note that I have never looked at pet insurance because I have elderly dogs who would never qualify, so I am only quoting what CHOICE has to say. None of the above is my opinion or the result of any research :)

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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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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?

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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.

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?

The short answer is I don't know how pet insurers treat this subscription. The person (and dog) that I know that took this up did not have pet insurance.

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Well done for getting your claims sorted, I would never have thought of the ombudsman, must remember that in future. With any luck now the ombudsman will look into pet insurance more, especially if people report their problems with their claims and high fees.

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Great thread - glad you got a good result. Thanks for sharing your learnings.

Capping visits for chronic issues sucks - that is just unacceptable.

I had three cats and two dogs and calculated about four years ago. that I am better off having the money in the bank. I will go several years or more with minimal vet visits and expenses, then I'll have a year with some significant expenses .... usually due to a chronic illness or elderly furmily member. If I had one or two pets, I'd probably use insurance.

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Well done for getting your claims sorted, I would never have thought of the ombudsman, must remember that in future. With any luck now the ombudsman will look into pet insurance more, especially if people report their problems with their claims and high fees.

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 :)

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Great thread - glad you got a good result. Thanks for sharing your learnings.

Capping visits for chronic issues sucks - that is just unacceptable.

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 :)

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Well done for getting your claims sorted, I would never have thought of the ombudsman, must remember that in future. With any luck now the ombudsman will look into pet insurance more, especially if people report their problems with their claims and high fees.

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 :)

You have started the ball rolling. I didn't know you could go to the ombudsman about pet insurance and something I will certainly keep in mind anytime I have an insurance issue. My girl is nearing 12 so too old to change companies and has had some issues so would have been excluded if I had changed. From what I can tell Petplan charge varying amounts for policies depending on where you live. I was told that by one of their staff. Because I live where many vets have high charges I pay the penalty, my vet is cheap compared to what others pay.

All the companies are the same, I ended up with Petplan because the previous company I was with excluded everything I had claimed for my previous dog even though it was a new policy with a puppy.

Good luck with your insurance plans.

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Saki B.   

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.

@ FrodofromAus

I found this interesting pet insurance article on the web, hope it helps :)

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coogie   

I have to say I have never had any issues with Petplan, they have always been friendly, professional and have paid all claims promptly. However anyone who has a Petplan Policy that spanned their policy wording change (in 2014) and who has a dog that has become a "senior" or "geriatric" dog in that time, should have a look at their policy. I had questioned how they were applying the aged part as it had changed from 7+ to 6 and we had been paying a higher excess. I put it to them that it was not made clear when they changed our policy and nor was it clear on the internet. They said they would have a look into it if I could show the original policy wording, I couldn't find the policy docs from 2009 and so just let it go and thought that was that. Today I got a home and in the mail is a refund cheque for all the increased excesses plus interest, together with a letter saying following a review, they agree the wording isn't clear and so they are refunding us over 1800 dollars in excess payments from 2014 to now. It doesn't look like it was a review just into our policy but a broader look so it could be worth a phone call if they have covered you pet for a few years and you have made claims.

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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. :)

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