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Dog insurance

Next  year's Mollydog insurance is £280 - up from £247 this year.   She's now 9.  I have never had to claim on her insurance...

There probably comes a point as dogs get older, slower, more sensible and more expensive that it no longer makes sense to buy insurance, but just cross fingers and use savings if necessary.  But is that this year...?

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( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
louisedennis
22nd Nov, 2008 13:22 (UTC)
There is a reasonably good argument that you should never insure anything you can afford to replace or fix (as appropriate) from regular cash flow since the insurance, taken as a whole across everything you insure, is likely to be more expensive than the replacing/fixing taken as a whole across everything you insure (otherwise insurance companies wouldn't be able to make any money).

Of course, anything you couldn't afford to replace/fix from regular cash flow (like, you know, if your house burned down) is excluded from this.

I've no idea how expensive vet bills could potentially prove to be, but that is how I'd make the decision.
kargicq
22nd Nov, 2008 14:10 (UTC)
I understand that the Goverment doesn't insure any of its property for this reason.
wellinghall
22nd Nov, 2008 17:46 (UTC)
I refer you to Robert A Heinlein's "The Year of the Jackpot"
chainmailmaiden
23rd Nov, 2008 23:15 (UTC)
The only insurance we buy at work is travel insurance and terrorism insurance, no property, contents, public liability or anything like that, as the premiums would just be stupid.
wellinghall
22nd Nov, 2008 14:56 (UTC)
Very well put.
bunn
22nd Nov, 2008 17:44 (UTC)
It's not just vet bills - there is also liability insurance, in the unlikely event that she runs into the road and causes a car crash, or bites someone. They also do stuff like legal help if you lose your dog and need help getting it back, that sort of thing...

I could cover routine 'fix up' type vet bills out of savings, it would be unlikely that those would run over a thousand or so - but there are two other factors I'm wrangling over - the very remote chance of a huge legal bill that I couldn't possibly cover, and also, the possibility that if she had not one accident, but an illness or series of problems that needed specialists and operations and rehabilitation expenses, which could mount up to a lot more.

I don't insure a lot of household stuff on the grounds you mention - washing machine breakdown, that sort of thing, if it comes to it we'll just buy a new machine. But it's sort of different with an animal, because you aren't just looking at repair or replacement costs: I could get a new dog for £100 or less, but obviously making the decision to replace a sick family member is on a different emotional level to a household appliance.

I do think that with animals there is sometimes a tendency to go on trying medical solutions when really it would be fairer to bite the bullet and let them go. But on the other hand, I'd really hate to be economising on something that could make a big difference to life expectancy and ongoing quality of life, like hydrotherapy or something like that, because the ongoing costs could stack up...

HUM!
wellinghall
22nd Nov, 2008 17:50 (UTC)
Does your buildings & contents insurance not cover you for liability?
bunn
22nd Nov, 2008 17:55 (UTC)
It doesn't say anything about liability for Acts of Dog. I suppose I could ask them if it's covered by one of the more general liability bits.
wellinghall
22nd Nov, 2008 17:56 (UTC)
Worth doing, I think.
louisedennis
22nd Nov, 2008 18:05 (UTC)
Would it be possible to get legal+long term illness insurance?

I mean it sounds to me like its not really a case of she's old enough and reliable enough not to bother with the insurance because you probably want the legal cover no matter how reliable she is, but you might be able to find someone to cover that where they take into account age and reliability and the insurance goes down.

Obviously that would seem to be outweighed by the fact that chances of needing long-term medical care must be going up....
wellinghall
24th Nov, 2008 11:34 (UTC)
I hadn't heard of long term care insurance for pets before*, but I'd be interested to hear if it was indeed available.

*This does, of course, mean very little, as I neither work in general (non-life) insurance nor have a pet myself.
bunn
24th Nov, 2008 13:42 (UTC)
Moll's policy covers up to £7000 of vet bills a year for anything that doesn't pre-date the start of the policy, so I think should cover stuff that is not quickly fixable. I know people who have claimed on similar policies for stuff like therapy as a result of hip dysplasia, for example.

I've kicked myself regularly for switching from the 6 week Petplan policy that came with Molls from the rescue, to an M&S policy, while she had a slight limp. At the time I expected the limp to clear up fairly quickly, but it slowly got worse, so x-rays, acupuncture, and pain relief all need to be paid for rather than claimed for, as they are all resulting from that one pre-existing condition.

They are quite generous in how they define 'pre-existing' actually - it has to be something previously investigated by a vet or otherwise known to the owner. Moll's arthritic leg is certainly down to a racing injury, but as at that stage she was quite young and had been on kennel rest for months, it wasn't visible when I adopted her, so I could have claimed for it.

However, I don't think there is a policy that just does legal and longterm. I could increase the policy excess though probably, I'll see what difference that would make.

Currently thinking I'll probably renew just for the peace of mind. When dealing with badly broken dog is not when I want to be worrying about costs...
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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