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I know this is nothing to do with Irish Setters but it is a bit of an eye opener.

Last week my sisters young cat was found in the hedge, no were near a road but totally paralysed.

The local vets have all banded together to form one huge practice with a brand new animal hospital and this is were the cat was taken.

All fine and dandy but almost the first question was, is you animal insured? YES.

Now started a series of blood tests and an MRI scan was requested..  The out come is that the poor cat has degeneration of the discs in her back, something that is sometimes seen in much older cats.  At present she is doing very well but will never be the kitten cat she was.

The eye opener was the £1000.00 bill for the MRI, this does not include any other treatment. As my wife works in the X-ray department of the local hospital, we know that a private MRI scan works out at around £350.00 to £500.00.

Now I am not knocking vets, if anything the insurance companies should look at their own house. I suppose what I really want to say is; when you take on a new puppy or any animal please please make sure they are insured as the consequences are not worth thinking about.


If this is in the wrong place, I’m sorry and if the web master wants to remove it, please do. I just needed somewhere to moan for a second. Phil


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Phil ,you are so right.I wouldn't even contemplate having an animal ,cat or dog,without having it insured.I would go further and say make sure the insurance cover you have covers what you might need.My wife and I learnt the hard way with our beloved  IS puppy, George .He was insured when he became very ill and the vets discovered he had a portacaval shunt.The bill for an unsuccessful operation was horrendous ,then we discovered that the insurance would only pay part as they said it was a congenital malfunction.He lived another 12 months and we managed to keep paying his vet bills but it was far from easy.I do think that vets do more proceedures than they otherwise would if they know an animal is insured.

I am sorry about the kitten but glad she was insured and hope she recovers well.

Hi Phil, hope the poor little cat improves..all I can add to what has already been said is that I am just so glad we have our three dogs insured, two are very fit and healthy but with Jack we have paid out literally thousands, so far the insurance company have been brilliant and paid up (less the exemption of course!!) without having him insured to the hilt I'm not sure what we would have done, we are not well off by any means...his drugs, which he needs to help him eat also cost an arm and a leg. Interestingly, one of his drugs can be bought over the counter I have just discovered at a great deal less than the vet charge as it is a "human" equivelent!!


I love moaner Phil  :-)  :-) as it is usually done for some good reason, and this one is certainly a very good one! Thanks for opening this blog. Like you, Barbara and Howard, I do see the need to have an insurance as I paid £2,000 for some exams last year and still do not know what condition my dog is suffering from .... an internal shunt is suspected, but 3 biopsies did not confirm it. However, I think Cornelia has a very good point, because no matter the insurance you have, I am not aware of one single UK company which will pay for everything and until the departure of the dog - no age restriction, are you?

For my next dog I will seriously think about putting money in an account for vet bills.
However I pay £28 a month for one dog with pet plan and have claimed over a £1000 per year
 for 7 years - I have never had any problem and paid £60 excess each year.
Hope puss continues to improve
Hi Phil,

It seems like a great discussion topic to me. It also sounds like it is pretty common in the UK to purchase it.

Does anyone in California, or the US, have experience with pet insurance here? Recommendations on which companies play fair and a ball park for monthly cost would be great. I have a new puppy but have no experience with pet insurance. Hopefully it is less costly and less of a battle than human insurance.


I have had no problem with my Insurance company :

https://www.helpucover.co.uk/product/pets/page/protecting-your-pet/ (They were known as Pinnacle Insurance before.)

They pay out promptly and ,in Ellie's case,her treatment has been going on for about six years and they have paid out far more than they have received in premiums. It is important to make sure you get life cover,otherwise at the end of the year whatever condition is being treated becomes exempt.

I do object to my vet charging me for completing a claims form.They get enough ,I feel,in consultation fees that should cover that cost.I claim for Ellie monthly as her drugs bill is over £200pm and it is a very simple form for the vet to complete as it is an ongoing condition.The fee is going up to £9 per claim.



That sounds like a good company, I'll see if they are available in the US. Thanks for the tip about getting life cover, I could see that becoming a big "gotcha" type situation over time!

We are with helpucover and I must admit so far they have been quite terrible... failed to pay >1000£ for an emergency treatment following dehydratation (oberon had some bad diarrhea and has been put on a dip) because they "discovered" that prior the insurance starting Oberon, as a puppy, had a minor episode of vomiting.. (lasting 1d!!) 

so, not only they refused our claim but also they now excluded from our policy all gastro-related disorders.. I cant believe it,,


anyway, probably it was my fault that I failed to report this vomiting episode when I opened the insurance , so the only suggestion I can give you is : please, disclose EVERYTHING , even those little things that you dont think are important or you never think they should be regarded as "preexisting" conditions. If you vet has been seen for whatever reason (a single coup of cough in a puppy) just disclose it!! Otherwise you risk that, at the first claim, they check the medical history and make a mess of every little point they were unaware with the goal of refusing the claim..


the other major cost we had (little surgery following a delayed umbilical closure + xray for hip scoring=850£) was also not covered...


last week Oberon "unadvertitely" ripped off a very expensive jacket of a friend.. and there is no way we can use the insurance for this, since they only answer following a formal claim against us.. means that this friend would have to find a solicitor, take us in court, probe the cost of the jacket, bla bla.. can you  imagine the mess.. in the end, we gave him the money and thats it.. I guess third party is only useful if somebody is injured, or the dog causes a car accident, major things like that, etc.. But no way this is a useful way to refund damaged items.. 


well well, we still have the insurance, in any case, but i start to  believe is not going to help us much..


So far my pup is a clean slate, fingers crossed he stays that way! He's just been to the vet once. I'll be sure to disclose anything in the vet record if I decide to go the insurance route!

Hi Leslie, I am in California and with Hawk I put him on AKC insurance plan.  They have several different plans and you can chose the one you want. 

Hi Jo,


Nice to hear there are Irish Setters in California, I was beginning to think Seamus and I were on our own! ;-) I'll look into the AKC plan. Have you been pleased with the coverage and their payment on claims?


Consumer Reports reviewed several plans, although I don't think the AKC plan was among them. I'm going to see if I can track down the article and ratings. 

I must admit that when Humphrey arrived we did think of putting money into a small savers account to cover the vet bills. Then our friend’s spaniel broke its shoulder chasing after a rabbit. It's a long store but three operations later with enough nuts, bolts and metal plating to build a ship he was able to go back into the fields without a lead.

Then the bill arrived, well the bills had been arriving for a while but the total was a few pence under £12,000. This suddenly put my £47.00 per month for two Irish into context. I suppose after this my Sisters £1000. bill should not have been a surprise but I was putting the scan along side a human equivalent cost for a private treatment.

I will now ask most of you to stand and wave a flag for the good old NHS.:-) (sorry could not resist)




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