The UK is a nation of pet lovers but owning a pet is both a financial and emotional commitment. Yet despite the potentially high costs of pet ownership, millions of pet owners have no insurance to cover vet’s fees and would fund treatment by getting into debt, borrowing from a bank or using a credit card1.
Whether it's an accident or an illness, there's nothing more worrying than our pets falling ill but knowing that we can afford to get them treatment takes some of the stress out of the situation. Here, two MORE TH>N pet insurance customers explain how having insurance helped them when the worst happened.
“We would have gone into debt for years to afford the treatment”
Trisha and Alan Rowley ended up doing a mercy dash from their home in Preston, Lancashire to Kentdale Veterinary Orthopaedics in Milnthorpe, Cumbria, last November, when their three year old dog Oscar’s (pictured above) legs suddenly collapsed under him.
“All of a sudden Oscar wouldn’t get up so I took him to our local vet who said he thought he’d pulled a muscle, but then his legs just gave way under him. It was very traumatic as he is only a young dog and we had to drive for an hour to get to the vet hospital,” said Trisha, who insures Oscar, a Llaso Apso, through MORE TH>N for £31 a month.
“We called MORE TH.N after they operated on a disc in Oscar’s back and they told us just do what you need to do and we’ll take care of the cost and paperwork. All I paid was my £75 excess*. He was in hospital for three weeks and has since had physio and laser treatment.” So far the treatmenthas cost £2,832.
Trisha adds: “We are retired and on a low income, so I don’t know what we would have done if we hadn’t had cover, we would have gone into debt for years to afford the treatment. He is like our baby so we were devastated when this happened and wanted the best for him. We only took out the insurance because our daughter had cover and when her cat died MORE TH>N gave her a payout**, so she advised us to get cover for Oscar.”
Oscar is now 90% better and Trisha hopes he will be fully recovered by the summer.
“We were worried it might be cancer”
Frank Austin’s chocolate labrador Gatsby suddenly started limping during his morning run last December. A trip to the local vet and a number of X-rays and tests later, led Gatsby being referred to an orthopaedic vet.
“My local vet said he wasn’t quite sure what was wrong so we ended up visiting a referral practice, Wilbury Vets, in Brighton, who diagnosed a cruciate ligament problem. At first we were worried it might be cancer,” says Frank from Gillingham. Gatsby, who is four years old, was insured by MORE TH>N so he was covered for TPLO surgery to mend the problem and follow up consultations and X-rays.
“Having insurance meant that we could concentrate on getting our boy better and not worry about paperwork. The treatment ended up costing about £4,000 and we only had to pay our £75 excess*,” said Frank, who pays £33 a month for the cover. “We wouldn’t have been able to afford the cost of treatment without the insurance which is why I bought it. Dogs, like children, are accident prone, and since there is no NHS for pets we knew we’d have to go private. He is part of the family and deserves the best.”
“We have had to change Gatsby’s diet since the operation to stave off rheumatism but he is now back to his usual bouncy self. The vets at Wilbury were fantastic”.
Looking after our pets properly is important. That's why we commissioned the 2018 Future of Pet Ownership Report which is based on a survey of over 10,000 pet owners (representing almost 27,000 dogs and cats), and a workshop with vets and leading animal charities who discussed the research, together with the issues currently facing dogs and cats in the UK today.
1 MORE TH>N independent survey Feb 2018.
*If your pet requires non-emergency treatment at a referral vet practice your usual vet will you know which referral vet from our referral vet network you should go to. If you choose to go to a referral vet outside of our network you will need to pay an additional £200 excess.
**Death from illness cover does not apply to pets aged 9 or over.