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The Dogmother

Dog insurance v savings account

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OK, so I have always had my dogs insured, partly as a protection against costly vet bills, and also because of the third party coverage in case one of them caused an accident or damage. After years of very few or no claims, and escalating premiums, I am casting around for alternatives, so some sort of savings account which I can pay into monthly, but access immediately if necessary.

 

Does anyone have any ideas or experience to offer?

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It is costly but I have decided to stick with pet plan as the costs of treatments X rays,surgery is so high. Also as you say an accident claim could run into thousands. So it would need to be in place for some time to cover that. BTW a friend had her dog at the beach. It started playing with another dog and BOTH dogs collided with the other dogs owner. She had a fracture and is claiming against my friend saying that her dog knocked her to the ground. Thankfully she is insured.

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I have always taken this approach with the cat - she was eight or so when I got her, so probably too old to insure anyway. However, as noted elsewhere, in the last year she's cost me over £1,000 - an attack of cystitis on a Sunday night a few weeks ago cost me £250 in one hit, with a trip to the out-of-hours vet and a follow up visit to my own vet. Public liability isn't an issue with cats, of course.

 

I know each policy varies, and there is an excess payable and some don't cover long-term conditions, but bear in mind that the early years with an animal tend to be cheaper, not always of course, but a lot of conditions develop as the animal grows older. If you leave your policy now it could be hard to get cover again for an older dog.

 

I don't think there is an easy answer, it's all a gamble. If you haven't already used your ISA allowance I'd open an ISA, look at Money Saving Expert for 'best buys', but interest rates generally are abysmal even for fixed-term accounts so don't expect much return.

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Thanks folks :D

 

Shazzie - the 3rd party insurance aspect is one reason that I have kept it going as lurchers travel at 30mph when they get going, and could easily collide with someone, having said that - the only person that has happened to in all my years of having them was me!!!!

 

Cyrus is now around 12 years old and apart from a couple of barbed wire incidents, the only bills have been for dental care, which I haven't claimed for. I think that I am inclined towards a savings account or ISA - will do some research into which one is best, although if I need instant access it probably won't pay much in the way of interest, but at least the money isn't disappearing into an insurance company's coffers! I have very little, if any, spare money and resent them getting their hands on it.

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My moms vet has there own pet plan, which included vaccinations too. Much more affordable then any insurance I have seen here.

But if you have your own legal insurance thingy (not sure what it is called in the UK) doesn't it include damage by pets? I think it does in the Netherlands, since pets are still viewed as property.

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the main problem with an easy access savings account is the poor interest paid on them as said ~I think my 'rainy day' is down to 2 zeros and something after the decimal point. anything that pays a good return probably needs 2 or 3 months notice of withdraw don't ISA's have to sit and mature for a couple of years or so?

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That's what I understand, but if I put the money in a savings account, then at least the insurers aren't making money out of me, which is the case at the moment.

 

It looks like a good option might be to open a building society account, and also join the PDSA, which has a very good deal of accident £3,000 and liability insurance for £6.50 per mth, excess £95. Or the Dog's Trust, which does something similar.

 

So many options!

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If it were me, I would go down the savings route and accept that if anything expensive happened in the early days when not much money had accumulated I might have to borrow to cover it. All because of the reason you have said DM - I resent the insurance company having the money, probably for nothing.

 

As is the way with most insurance though, it's all a gamble and you just have to decide which balance of risk vs expense you're least unhappy with!

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I don't know Clare, it is a gamble.....my last dog I didn't insure and I never had to pay out any huge bills but my current dog slipped a disc at age three and ended up costing about four and a half thousand - thank god I was insured!!  Then just before christmas she picked up a tummy bug which nearly killed her, we had to take her out to an emergency vet at 2 in the morning and that ended up about 800 pounds too.  I suppose like Jenny says be prepared that you might have to take out a loan in the early days if anything did happen.

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There are two parts to dog insurance. Firstly, third party liability and secondly, medical treatment for sickness. We haven't got the second, but the first is automatic here as part of your home insurance. Perhaps it's worth exploring that third party liability aspect with your home insurers DM and then stick with your savings plan for the second?

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I was at vet on Saturday to get chicken put to sleep, cheapest vet bill ever £10. A young chap was collecting his dog, it had been at vets since Thursday, eavesdropping on conversation with receptionist it turned out the dog had swallowed part of his dog toy resulting in lots of tests and surgery . Bill over a £1000. Poor guy. He has now insured dog. 

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We haven’t insured our animals for years.  But we had an independent vet who charged much less if you weren’t insured. He’s now retired and the practice bought by medivet, the organisation linked to Petplan.  It’s definitely more expensive. But the majority of our costs to date have been for routine vaccinations and that dreaded rabies blood test situation.  So none of these would be covered by insurance.  I will look into the Dogs Trust /PDSA. Public liability cover though. Nell is very exuberant!  

Edited by Patricia W

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My plan (just need to execute it!) is to get a credit card (don't usually have one) which I will l keep for emergencies at the vet only. Meanwhile, I will open an ISA with the Nationwide and pay into that monthly, so that there are funds there to pay off the credit card if I ever have to use it.

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I don't think Medivet are linked to Petplan?

Gary the isn't insured as he's an indoor cat but I'm going to look into lifetime cover for Celine when we move home as (even with possible staff discount) I couldn't afford emergency treatment and it's always vet-pets who get the weird and wonderful conditions!

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I think the third party insurance is important with dogs.  If the slip the lead and cause an accident the costs could be huge.  Most of our pets don’t need public liability insurance so we just pay as we go

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I’ve just taken out Dogs Trust Membership to get it.  £12.50 per year for senior citizens.   Lewis, I think it was one of the staff at the vets  before it was bought who mentioned a link between Petplan and Medivet?  Maybe it was just the insurer they use most?   

Edited by Patricia W

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I don't know too much about insurance to be honest as most of my seeing practice has been in charity hospitals and abroad.

Some insurance companies offer clients a months free insurance with first puppy vaccinations etc so that may be the confusion.

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