04 August 2008

Paying a premium

The other week I saw an item in Guardian Money about insurance premiums shooting up for certain breeds of dog. The picture of the cute greyhound with its lady owner immediately told me the worst, that greyhounds were now one of the ‘select few’ and so I perused the article with extra interest. As is made clear from the lady’s own findings, someone is taking the pee somewhere and she finally settled on a good value premium from M&S – some 50% cheaper than her renewal quote from Sainsbugs. M&S now do an excellent standard cover policy that is slightly more affordable than their gold-plated Premium cover but still gives you the peace of mind in those critical areas. The one downside for me is that with dogs nine years or over, you start having to pay 20% of the cost of any treatment as well as an excess. So I’ll probably stick with PetPlan who don’t appear to enforce any limits in terms of age or treatment length. They have also never let me down in terms of wriggling out of their responsibilities and are always prompt and efficient. In other words, they have succeeded in building up a big store of goodwill – it would take a lot to make me move insurers.

Today, that goodwill was duly tested when Susie’s renewal notice came through – and it had gone up by a third. And yet we haven’t made any claims for her in the last four years. Shouldn’t she have a doggie No Claims Bonus? The premium should be going down, not up. Obviously, if I apply this logic to Arthur, then the policy would be about 5 grand but hey, what you lose on the swings, you gain on the roundabouts. I actually rang Pet Plan for an explanation and they said that this was not a breed specific increase in their case (phew) but a) an across the board price hike to cover bigger veterinary fees and b) a nod to the age of the pet, as from now on, claims are statistically more likely. That was good enough for me and I’ll be pumping myself up to read out the long number without wincing at some date in the very near future. Well, dates, to be exact, as barely a month passes without another renewal coming in...surely I should be eligible for some sort of ‘insure four, get the fifth one free’ offer? Anyone?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We're with M & S and it's been well worth it given how accident prone these two are. We had a year's grace with a 'no excess' policy but that soon disappeared at renewal time! For some reason, Lou's excess is £50 and Blue's is £70 despite the fact that Lou has cost them about three times as much as Blue. They've always been very efficient with our many claims!
Sue, Indigo Dream