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Hi, we're about to collect our new puppy in two weeks time, he'll be eight weeks old.

This is our first puppy, so we're looking for a bit of advice regarding insurance and the level of cover required.
We understand that, as with all insurance, the level of cover you take out is down to your attitude to risk but since we have never had a puppy before the thing we don't know is how much a vet's bills could potentially be. For example, if our pup was to have an accident and break a leg, how much would the vet's bill be, assuming no serious complications? We also realise that older dogs can require more frequent treatment and that will mean more costly visits to the vet, but we'll deal with that in the future as our pup ages. We were thinking of taking a yearly limit of £3,000 for our pup. In your experience, for a healthy dog between 0 and say 3 years old, would this be adequate?
Thanks for your help and advice. Jon
 

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I must admit, I'm not the best person to talk too about insurance. Being an old man I was around in dogs for very many years before vet insurance became available. OK, after all these years I can look after most things dog so my dogs get to visit the vets so very rarely that I doubt their cost averages out at much over £30 per year over the course of their lives. Chloe for example, apart from routine stuff which would not be covered has only needed one trip to the vets in her first 5 years, and I cant think of any time where Amy needed to see a vet until she was 10 years old! Consequently I think by not insuring my dogs over the last 60 years has saved me a small fortune!
 

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I must admit, I'm not the best person to talk too about insurance. Being an old man I was around in dogs for very many years before vet insurance became available. OK, after all these years I can look after most things dog so my dogs get to visit the vets so very rarely that I doubt their cost averages out at much over £30 per year over the course of their lives. Chloe for example, apart from routine stuff which would not be covered has only needed one trip to the vets in her first 5 years, and I cant think of any time where Amy needed to see a vet until she was 10 years old! Consequently I think by not insuring my dogs over the last 60 years has saved me a small fortune!
 

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Thanks for your response John.
It’s good to hear you’ve had healthy dogs over the years.
I know the likelihood of our pup/dog getting a serious illness is slight and your advice has gone a long way to helping me decide what sort of cover we’d need. Much appreciated, Thanks, Jon
 

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I have my youngest Lab insured on a cheap lifetime policy for £4000 per year, knowing that if he needs anything major I will have to top this up. So far, touch wood, I haven't needed it. However my now departed Pointer cost his insurance company well over £5000 for one trip + surgery to a specialist referral center many years ago for an injury after an accidental collision with another dog.
My eldest Lab is uninsured with many long term health issues. He costs me approx £300 per month in meds and special veterinary diet. I've been paying out on him for the last 7yrs.
It's very much swings and roundabouts....and luck.
 

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I’m in the John camp, I’m also of the opinion just because something can be done, is it ethical to do so? I’m on my 7th labrador, currently 5 at home ranging from 18 months to 14.5 years. Not had a bill so far that I’ve not been able to manage.

Insurance companies are out to make a profit...that tells me one thing, I’m more likely to be a loser than a winner if I have insurance (non compulsory insurance anyway).
 

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When you think that not only does the insurance premiums have vets bills, but also the insurance staff wages, office rent, lighting and heating, business tax, advertising, AND make a big enough profit to pay the share holders a dividend. It's easy to see that the average person is going to lose our substantially. To me it makes sense to get a quote, so you know how much it's going to cost, then open a bank account and do a regular direct debit into that account each month. OK, the down side is that if you get a big bill early on there may well not be enough in that account to cover it. But the up side is that long term you WILL be quids in. So it really depends on whether you can afford to take that risk.

Trouble is that originally vet insurance was aimed at people who could not afford the possible big bill. But because money was then available it spawned a crop of specialists offering the kind of exotic treatment unheard of just a few years ago. But as the bills rose so the premiums rose to cover it, so now vet insurance is prohibitively expensive for the very people which it was originally aimed at! The vets, and particularly the specialists are in the process of killing the goose who laid the golden egg!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks to everyone for your replies, it’s very helpful to get different perspectives.
 

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Hi, we're about to collect our new puppy in two weeks time, he'll be eight weeks old.

This is our first puppy, so we're looking for a bit of advice regarding insurance and the level of cover required.
We understand that, as with all insurance, the level of cover you take out is down to your attitude to risk but since we have never had a puppy before the thing we don't know is how much a vet's bills could potentially be. For example, if our pup was to have an accident and break a leg, how much would the vet's bill be, assuming no serious complications? We also realise that older dogs can require more frequent treatment and that will mean more costly visits to the vet, but we'll deal with that in the future as our pup ages. We were thinking of taking a yearly limit of £3,000 for our pup. In your experience, for a healthy dog between 0 and say 3 years old, would this be adequate?
Thanks for your help and advice. Jon
The other thing to bear in mind is 3rd party cover, which should come with your pup’s health insurance-you may have it on household contents insurance or you can buy separately but you do want to be covered.
 

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The other thing to bear in mind is 3rd party cover, which should come with your pup’s health insurance-you may have it on household contents insurance or you can buy separately but you do want to be covered.
This is very true. If the worst happened and your dog ran out into the road and somebody got killed the compensation claim could be enormous!
 
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