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FrodofromAus

Pet Insurance

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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

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Roova   

It's a worry alright. Vets are so damn expensive though if something goes wrong insurance feels like something you have to have. I just wish insurance companies provided a discount if you bought your dog from health tested parents. It might at least be an incentive which carries through to healthier dogs.

 

They'll be no one with insurance if they keep going this way though..

 

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RuralPug   

So open a separate account and transfer into it monthly all the premiums that you would be paying into pet insurance. Don't use this account for ordinary vet visits ONLY for illnesses and accidents. You would have to be pretty unlucky not to come out ahead using this method - plus it is pretty much the only way to go if you have three or more pets.

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juice   

i added up all the vet bills, and how much the insurance would have cost me, and even with a very expensive specialist op it was still cheaper than having insurance.

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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

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Pet insurance is a classic case of a double edged sword.

 

On one hand, if we insure our pets, we're essentially giving the green light to the industry to gouge us*, but if we don't insure we can't afford to look after our dogs in the way we'd like to!

 

It reeks of the US health system, where insurance company set not only their premiums, but the costs of health care in general.

 

 

Shane

 

* it's not the Vets gouging us.

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I claimed $5.5k worth of treatment for my dog last year from PetPlan with no questions asked. 

I've definitely come out ahead over the years but I don't expect to - that's not how insurance works. Most years I don't claim on my car or house insurance but I'm glad I have it. 

The cost is well worth the peace of mind I had in saying 'do whatever is needed' when my dog was in a critical condition after an accident. I can't imagine the added stress of having to worry about the cost to treat her. 

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RuralPug   
10 hours ago, SmokeyR67 said:

I hate to be rude, but may I ask how much it costs you to insure your dog?

Just too many variables to answer .. it depends on whether you want all accident and illness (careful there are a lot of exclusions depending on breed or mix of breeds) covered; or are happy to pay the first $100 or $300 of a treatment cost; how old your dog is etc etc

This broker  has a page giving rough figures - but prices tend to increase and this page is a year old...

 

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Boronia   
5 hours ago, RuralPug said:

Just too many variables to answer .. it depends on whether you want all accident and illness (careful there are a lot of exclusions depending on breed or mix of breeds) covered; or are happy to pay the first $100 or $300 of a treatment cost; how old your dog is etc etc

This broker  has a page giving rough figures - but prices tend to increase and this page is a year old...

 

Check out this page as well, you can do on-line quotes to give you an idea of costs, all the companies on the page have the same underwriter (Hollards) but each company has different features and costs http://www.petsure.com.au/PetInsurance/BestPetInsurance

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17 hours ago, SmokeyR67 said:

I hate to be rude, but may I ask how much it costs you to insure your dog?

As the others said it's really variable and dependent on breed, who you go with, the policy, if you have multiple pets with them etc. 

I pay about $65 per month (was about $45 when I first insured her but there was a hike a couple of years ago). She's covered up to about $12k from memory per condition per year, with a $150 excess for each condition. They pay the rest. Once she's over 8 they cover 80%, and once she's over 10 they cover 65%. 

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Thanks Guys, looks like my best bet is to just ring up an insurer and request a quote for each breed I'm considering. The Canstar site is a bit confusing, they give numbers with a heading of average monthly premium, then quote figures per month... $100 per annum is a lot more palitable than $100 per month. At $100 per month per dog, it seems that a far better option is to put $50 per week into a bank account and self insure (or even just start an account with the Vet and pay them $50 per week). It's almost as bad as getting a new mobile phone plan :)

 

Shane

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Just had a look at an insurance comparison site (doh, should have thought of that earlier) and I think I'll be self insuring - at about $30 per week for 2 large dogs, it makes more sense to start a bank account specifically for the dogs, put $30 per week into it and watch the interest roll in :)

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Boronia   
1 hour ago, SmokeyR67 said:

Just had a look at an insurance comparison site (doh, should have thought of that earlier) and I think I'll be self insuring - at about $30 per week for 2 large dogs, it makes more sense to start a bank account specifically for the dogs, put $30 per week into it and watch the interest roll in :)

what interest? you will be lucky to get 2.5% so at $30 p/w and if deposited $30 into your account first you will have $1560 plus $19 interest and compounded it will make the total $1609.00

Doesn't go far (though it's better than delving into your household savings)

Don't rely on the interest to boost your savings, it's pretty well non-existent...interest does not roll in

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Re interest, I was being a little facetious:)

 

I'll kick off with $15k in the account, after paying the breeder, buying toys, bowls, collars, car harnesses etc I'd say there will be $10k left, and then I'll toss in $30 per week to cover vet costs.

 

If I was to start an account and pay in $30 a week, I'd expect to lose money!

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skip   

I have 3 dogs and my choice to have no insirance was probably because first 2 rescues never had a problem. Then comes the 3rd from a breeder with hip D.  

Now  have lost an older dog a while back so have a new rescue dog. Was thinking of an account with savings or insurance. Didn't realise so costly now.

I have money saved nut wikl leave it offset in a morgage. Plus the thousands I will need eventually for the dog with bad hips.

Saw SASH yesterday at the dog lovers show. Amazing what they can do but again its so costly for the high tech stuff.

 

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Way back in the late 80's it cost me about 4k to get my GSD's hip replaced - I wouldn't want to know what it costs now :(

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Just got my PetPlan renewal notice. The premium for my 6 year-old GSD has doubled from $75 per month to a massive $150 per month (back in 2014 it was a reasonable $50 per month).

 

The underwriters are now apparently a mob called MS Amlin Syndicate 2001 at Lloyds in London. Somehow I get the feeling that this Lloyds syndicate is using us colonials as milch cows to recover losses from disasters such as Fukushima (see the Wikipedia entry for MS Amlin).

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giraffez   

It’s disgusting.  I have the same issue with my renewal, went up by an extra $400 a year per dog.  I have two.  I can’t comprehend how premiums go up by that much.

 

When i called up to enquire whether this this was a mistake, they said that the price was indeed correct and if I couldn’t afford it I can cancel but there is nothing they can do.  I called twice on seperate days just to make sure the person I was speaking to knew what they were talking about and both responded the same way so obviously they must had a few enquiries.

 

I cant switch because of pre existing conditions so they have me cornered.  

 

They were making money under the old premium, imagine how much profit they are getting now!  I thought I was the only one affected by this because I haven’t seen much press about it in the media, I would’ve expected much more exposure of this in the media or taken up to the ACCC for investigation.  

 

They claim this is to cover the increasing vet costs but my argument would be my standard vet  costs increases by 10 pc a year so how is it justifiable that insurance premiums increase so much more?

 

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Boronia   
8 hours ago, SMirza0 said:

My Friend Aizaz Hussan Know everything about it but I ask how much it costs you to insure your dog?

does your pal Aizaz work in the insurance industry?

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