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questions about pet insurance

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#1 tenar

Posted 13 February 2013 - 07:35 PM

This is kind of a spinoff from my other thread about the cost of keeping a dog for its lifetime. I haven'thad Pet Insurance in Australia, so I don't know what the rules are.

What happened to me is that my dog was fine and healthy when I moved overseas to a place where everyone had their dogs insured.  So I insured her too.  When she started to suffer from ongoing stuff to do with her (as then unidentified) caninie hyperlipidemia, she was covered for that first year, anyway.    I'm pretty sure that after a year that cover would have dropped because her condition was ongoing so they wouldn't want to cover her any more.

When I moved back to Australia with a then older dog (she was 6 by then) with a history of liver complaints and a heart murmur, I found she was basically uninsurable.  Since then her vet bills have mounted, some years getting well over $2000, rarely under $1000 for the year.  We don't have the choice to insure her.

My question is this:

- can you insure a dog with a known health condition by serving a waiting period or something?  What is the known condition is known to be ongoing:  ie there will almost certainly be costs.  

- if you have a dog insured and they are diagnosed with an ongoing condition, will treatment for that condition be covered in an ongoing way if you keep up the insurance?

#2 password123

Posted 13 February 2013 - 07:50 PM

I think it might be best to ring a few insurers and ask their policy regarding pre-existing conditions. Get it in writing.
I know most insurers have a 6 or 12 month waiting period for cruciate ligament repairs but this can be waived if you have a vet examine your dog and fill in a form to say cruciates are ok on signing up.
Some funds will not cover tick paralysis treatment, or if they do they only cover $500. Also, some funds will only cover dogs
under 8 years of age.
Unlike human health insurance, your premium depends on age/breed etc so they factor in "risk" associated with insuring your pet. For example my 8 yo staffy was $30 a month and my 2yo French bulldog is $50/month.
When you make your first claim, the insurer will request a copy of the pet's history - so I suppose any pre existing conditions would be noted.  As far as chronic ongoing conditions that present after you have commenced a policy - these should be covered, provided you stay with your insurer.
Insurers will not cover treatment for a disease that is preventable by vaccination (confirmed or suspected).
Hope that helps.
In my opinion both as pet owner and as former doggy doctor, I think it's worth it.

#3 Oriental lily

Posted 13 February 2013 - 09:49 PM

One reason I don't have pet insurance for my dogs and cat is because there is to much fine print and exemptions.
Genetic diseases and conditions certain breeds are susceptible for are rarely covered.
Hip problems for example are rarely covered in larger breeds.

I am lucky that I have a excellent vet with payment plans.

#4 Jellyblush

Posted 13 February 2013 - 09:56 PM

I don't know about the answer to your specific quesiton, but thought it might help you to know that almost all the pet insurance 'brands' in australia are actually underwritten by the same company - Holland - nd have the same policies. So before you spend ages on the phone, check who they are underwritten by (will be in small font down bottom of screen generally if on internet) and don't ring a heap of companies for the same answer!

I personally have found the most generous policy for most thing (I look for behavioural stuff to be covered) to be RSPCA.

#5 Oriental lily

Posted 13 February 2013 - 10:00 PM

Also one of my cairn terriers turns 9 in a couple of months. Cairns are normally long lived and healthy well in to their teens.

Even if I wanted to get cover for him now I would be refused due to age.

So if I had been paying insurance fr 9 years and if he gets a bone stuck in in his intestine a day after his 9 th birthday I would be paying full costs. After all those years of paying insurance.

#6 #YKG

Posted 13 February 2013 - 10:10 PM

Short answer No.

The pet insurance is just simply not worth it. I looked into it for my 2 cats, one has only 3 legs and feline asthma (presented last year) he is 6, my older cat has hip displaysia and arthritis he is 10 neither of them can be insured as they have pre-exsisting conditions.  I looked into the pet insurance when my 3 legged cat was a baby and they wouldn't touch him as he had 3 legs which apparently is a pre exsisting condition.

My older cat is currently in hospital with an obstruction in his bladder. Have also found out a lot of breeds are not covered under pet insurance. If the breed is known to have a genetic or predispotion to something but never develope you still can't get them insured.

I just put the premium that the average insurance costs and put it into my "Vet" account so if something comes up I have instant access to money to pay the bill and not have to worry about how I'm going to pay it.

#7 Jellyblush

Posted 13 February 2013 - 10:16 PM

QUOTE (Oriental lily @ 13/02/2013, 11:00 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Also one of my cairn terriers turns 9 in a couple of months. Cairns are normally long lived and healthy well in to their teens.

Even if I wanted to get cover for him now I would be refused due to age.

So if I had been paying insurance fr 9 years and if he gets a bone stuck in in his intestine a day after his 9 th birthday I would be paying full costs. After all those years of paying insurance.

RSPCA offer cover for life provided they've been covered for a full year prior to their 9th birthday.

#8 Oriental lily

Posted 13 February 2013 - 10:26 PM

Well he turns 9 in June I guess it rules him out.

#9 Guest_~Karla~_*

Posted 14 February 2013 - 06:48 AM

We're with pet plan and they will cover all our animals for life. They will cover hip surgery etc for a lab pup if needed in the future.

Oriental lily, I think you were given some dodgy information. Not all companies do that. The difference is whether you insure them for life or get an annual policy. An annual policy, while usually cheaper, has the potential to exclude things each yeah when you renew it. But a lifetime policy covers them for life, even if it is a chronic condition with on-going costs.

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