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Dog insurance 2010 : HOW much???

 Just got Mollydog's medical insurance renewal reminder.  Last year it was £312 : this year she was 11 years old in September - and it's £622.10!   That's more than my car insurance!  

Again, the dilemma: do I pay it for the peace of mind (and after all, the insurance was good to have when she knackered her leg and needed all that work done to fix it!) , or put the money in a savings account and hope?  I guess it's the leg claim last year that has pushed things skywards, though it may just be the age.   Greyhound lifespan averages about 12-14 years, but she's in really good condition, so probably has at least one more year of looning about (or in insurance terms 'potential damage') ahead. Dread to think what next year's premium might be... 

Az's premium when he was 11 was just £180 - because he is a modest crossbreed rather than having a pedigree : he's now 12(ish, probably).

If I go the savings route I should probably arrange for liability insurance just in case.  I met a friend last week who needs a knee replacement op after being crashed into by a greyhound (not my greyhound, I hasten to add, friend used to run a greyhound rescue!) 



( 23 comments — Leave a comment )
12th Nov, 2010 16:20 (UTC)
Might your household contents insurance already cover you for liability? Worth checking the fine print.
12th Nov, 2010 19:38 (UTC)
Yes, I'll have to check that. If not, then I believe 3rd party liability is pretty cheap.
12th Nov, 2010 18:52 (UTC)
Difficult- after all, they do cost a lot to fix, but on the other hand £622.10 is an insane amount of money.

Could you adjust the cover levels/policy excess? That might bring it down.
12th Nov, 2010 19:36 (UTC)
Yes, I shall have to investigate that, but the letter said that they were now setting a standard excess of £75, so I don't know if I'm allowed to vary that any more (used to be able to...)
12th Nov, 2010 19:21 (UTC)
I've never insured any individual animal, be it horse or dog as the premiums are so outrageous. I tend to think most vet bills would be covered by a few years of paying insurance anyway. The only thing worth having is third party. I was very glad to have that this year when my lambs went walkies and wrecked a brand new solar powered swimming pool cover!
12th Nov, 2010 19:35 (UTC)
You have robust collies though - sighthounds are insanely fragile by comparison: they break easily and are difficult and expensive to patch up!

I think I'm actually just ahead on the insurance company on Mollydog's premiums over her lifetime - which is no doubt why the premium has gone up so much!

Az hasn't had a crash recently, but when he was younger he several times managed to tear exciting holes in himself which had to be stapled, and on one occasion he managed to deglove a back leg on a Sunday night: that was rather pricy (and a remarkable piece of needlework by the surgeon...)

I've never bothered insuring the cats, but not insuring 35mph dogs that are made of tissue paper and sticks is a bit more of a risk... Of course, they are slowing down and not quite so reckless nowadays!
12th Nov, 2010 19:41 (UTC)
I can see how you could run up the expenses very quickly with your hounds.
13th Nov, 2010 16:34 (UTC)
I'm sure that I'm up on Mikka's insurance- especially as he used to have a nasty habit of coming down with cystitis out of hours or on holidays. Including Christmas.
12th Nov, 2010 19:41 (UTC)
Trouble is, of course, that you've also got to have third party cover, which you don't with the cats. Our eight cats, all except three over six years old cost us a total of £1200 last year (which we pay in instalments, but we have had all of that back for the last three years...

I expect when our appalling terrier gets to that age he will cost us that much, and we will pay it in case he kills or bites someone or something. (We're with Pet Plan and have never had any hassle with them.)
12th Nov, 2010 20:48 (UTC)
If you just want third party it's a lot cheaper : it's often included in house insurance. It's the medical insurance that is the pricy bit.
12th Nov, 2010 21:02 (UTC)
Yeah, but the difference is often third party - which is certainly not on our household insurance. It's bad enough having a hundred thousand contents on the basis of the electronics, books, CDs, DVDs and artwork. That's just replacement.
12th Nov, 2010 21:19 (UTC)
If third party dog cover is not on your house insurance, then join the Dogs Trust. 20 quid a year for 'third party insurance - up to £1,000,000 cover per claim if your dog causes damage or injury to another person their property or pets.'

There are other cheap third party liability only policies out there, but that one is pretty good and benefits a worthy cause.

Petplan are an excellent provider, but I wouldnt' buy a medical insurance policy if all I wanted was third party.
13th Nov, 2010 07:59 (UTC)
We've been members of the Dogs Trust on and off but nowadays are members of Wood Green. One thousand is nothing nowadays - if a dog causes a car crash and loss of life, or damage to farm animals it can run to many thousands, as can a bite to a child.

The cat insurance, taken out many years ago, has been an absolute godsend over the last few years.
13th Nov, 2010 09:09 (UTC)
I think you have misread my comment. The Dogs Trust liability cover is one million per claim, not one thousand. One thousand wouldn't be much use, I agree: even a fight with another dog could be that much if you were unlucky (probably if your dog bit a sighthound: they tear... ).

I've never been a DT member (not for any particular reason, it's just I've never adopted from them and tend to end up donating to rescues run on a shoestring by people I know) but will probably join for the cover if I decide not to renew Moll's policy.
13th Nov, 2010 06:16 (UTC)
I had the same problem with my last dog - after he had two cruciate repairs, his premiums rocketed. I went for the option of ending the policy and putting aside money into a special Building Society account... but he was a doddery 12-year old Springer, not a sighthound. He did have a lot of health problems in his last years - tumours and vestibular syndrome amongst other more minor problems - but luckily the bills from the vet were still cheaper than the insurance.
13th Nov, 2010 09:25 (UTC)
Ack, vestibular can be a git I understand...

I'm kind of thinking that having had the whole thing with the leg not healing for months last year, that there's a limit to what I'd want to put her through and that for a lot of stuff I'd probably go with management rather than treatment now.

But that said, last week she was running the legs off Duke the Doop, so more exciting ligament/tendon issues or a broken leg are not off the cards yet.
14th Nov, 2010 14:40 (UTC)
I suppose it comes down to how likely is she to get injured or sick in the next year, and would you be in a position to pay for it if you didn't take out the insurance? Are cats are very unlikely to need their insurance, but we pay for it because we know we wouldn't be able to afford expensive treatment for them and I couldn't live with myself if I had to have them put down for the sake of a small monthly payment. Obviously your monthly payment for Molly would be rather more considerable, but is it worth it for the peace of mind?
14th Nov, 2010 15:25 (UTC)
I know - those questions are so hard to answer though! Presumably the insurance peeps have access to a mountain of data about the likelihood of 11 year old greyhounds getting broken, and have assessed the situation as 'quite likely'.

But of course Mollydog is an individual not an average, and her health is currently excellent, so it's entirely likely (I hope!) that she won't get any problem costing as much as £622.

The 'can you afford it' question is hard too: you know what it's like when you are working for yourself, it's so hard to predict what next month's income will be, let alone next year's!

I could probably borrow what I couldn't get out of savings, if I needed to, or sell stuff to cover it - but a ten grand bill like the one a friend had last year for her greyhound'd broken leg would certainly be a horrible strain. :-/
16th Nov, 2010 18:39 (UTC)
I don't know about pet insurance in particular, but all sorts of individual non-life insurance are making losses at the moment. Insurers are increasing premiums as fast as they think they can get away with, but they aren't making profits yet.

Presumably the insurance peeps have access to a mountain of data about the likelihood of 11 year old greyhounds getting broken, and have assessed the situation as 'quite likely'.

If not mountains, then at least hills.
16th Nov, 2010 19:05 (UTC)
My confidence in the predictive accuracy of the stats used to decide these things took a knock when I discovered that all these years they've had her down as unspayed, but that correcting this made no difference to the premium.

This doesn't jibe with any of the stats I've read about risk factors in older bitches, or my Oldies Club experience, so I'm now thinking perhaps the hills of data are less imposing than I'd imagined!
16th Nov, 2010 19:06 (UTC)
Reasonable point.

I might see what I can find out at work, but don't hold your breath.
16th Nov, 2010 20:28 (UTC)
Goodness, don't worry about it : sounds like you have more than enough to do at work already!
16th Nov, 2010 20:39 (UTC)
If I do, it will be as much from personal interest! Pet insurance barely existed when I was studying, I think, so I didn't learn anything about it.
( 23 comments — Leave a comment )

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