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Thread: What use is Pet Insurance?

  1. #1
    AlecD is offline The Quiet Kitten
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    What use is Pet Insurance?

    OK. I know this is not Maine Coon, nor even cat related, but you might be interested to know of my experience with a well known pet insurance company over the last few days!.
    Our Golden Retriever "Alfie" has been loosing a little weight, and I've given him a little extra food, thinking that a change in diet might have caused this. We were on holiday for the past couple of weeks, and Alfie was in his favourite (yes seriously, he loves this place) boarding kennels. I asked the kennel owner if she though he had lost weight, and she agreed he had, but said she'd keep an eye on him. When we returned from holiday, I was shocked at how thin he had become, he looked like one of those 'starved animal' photos that the RSPCA put up in their advertisements, and the kennel owner said that although he had been eating like a horse, and getting 'extra' rations, she was very worried about the way in which weight was falling off him.
    Hence, a visit to the vet was booked, ASAP, although I had a nasty fear what the outcome might be. The vet confirmed my fears, in that Alfie was very ill, with almost certainly some form of cancer, but they couldn't tell exactly what without running tests. These tests could cost up to about 450, and they suggested I checked with my pet insurance.
    I tried ringing the insurance company, and having worked my way through the usual interminable "press 3 for new insurance, press 2 for existing claims" etc. etc. I finally got connected to a claims advisor, only to be met with a recorded message saying, "There is no one available to deal with your question at this time!"
    When this message finished, I got a second recorded message to the effect that I could not speak to a claims advisor, and I should download a claim form from their web site! This was NOT helpful, and completely useless if you are not someone who is 'on-line'. Obviously I am reasonably computer literate!
    I duly found the aforementioned web site, worked my way through the tortuous non-user-friendly menus, and submitted a question as to whether the tests that Alfie needed would be covered by my policy; a policy I hasten to add, that was costing me 32 a month; and sent the form off. (I must admit I also put in a few pretty snotty remarks about the quality of their service!).
    When I got a reply, I was told that under NO circumstances do they ever pre-authorise any treatment or medical procedures, and that I should, if I wanted, have the tests, keep the receipts, submit a claim form with three years full medical history, and a covering letter from the Vet!
    Having worked in the insurance industry myself for over 20 years as a consultant engineer, before retiring, I know full well that this is insurance speak for 'We'll get your forms, procrastinate for three months, and then get back to you saying that you have not fulfilled one of your obligations, clearly stated on the policy document in minute print at the end of page 132, and therefore your claim is invalid.'
    I wonder what would happen is, after a car accident, one was told to get the car repaired, at your own expense, then the insurance company would review the claim, and decide if they were going to pay out?

    In view of this I am wondering what experiences others have had with pet insurance companies, and should we even get another animal, which companies they could recommend. I can't name the company I have had dealings with on here, lest I open myself up for being sued for deformation!

    Alec
    Last edited by AlecD; 14th August 2014 at 05:21 PM. Reason: Edited for auto correct and my own spelling errors
    Growing old, disgracefully with any luck.

  2. #2
    Scallops's Avatar
    Scallops is offline The Quiet Kitten
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    We live in Australia, but I suspect our experience might be typical....we found that pet insurance does vary. The first company we used tried to get out of an expensive but ligitimate claim, and only paid up after several vets formally wrote conclusive statements in support of our position.

    We subsequently changed our insurer, and the new policy has been used several times and without any issues.

    We have our three Maine Coons all on top level cover and it has already paid for itself for even a few more years to come. Our cover is also under half the price that you pay ($33/month AUD).
    Last edited by Scallops; 30th August 2014 at 11:19 PM.

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