Marks & Spencer Pet Insurance Review

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carternm31's review of Marks and Spencer Pet Insurance bank.marksandspencer.com

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“As mentioned below, M & S have re-structured....”

Written on: 24/04/2007 by carternm31 (82 reviews written)

As mentioned below, M & S have re-structured. Therefore they now expect me to pay a whopping £36 because I have Doberman. Although for my friend with a Toller who is the same age, it is only £15. I really don't believe that the premiums should be calculated on the breed. It is unfair.



It is fair enough to base a premium on the amount of illnesses a breed may encounter, but the breed itself is a joke. I disagree with the below expert comment of M & S still being competitive, due to the fact I have found cover from Argos at £7.40 for my dog, Crufts pet insurance at £15 and Tesco's at £12. I am aware that this may not cover quite as much as M and S, but with the recent news coverage of insurance companies not paying out (M and S being no exception), I would prefer to go for a cheaper option and just cover the basics.

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Vickyj1980's Response to carternm31's Review

Written on: 25/04/2007

IN REGARD TO THE ABOVE COMMENT:
<br/>Insurance underwriters assess risk, and they can not see into the future and predict what illness your pet will have within its lifetime, and work out a mutually agreeable sum. They know from experience that Boxers, Rottweilers and Dobermanns are expensive to treat, and their policies are scheduled to represent this. It is not stupid to base such a decision on breed alone, as this is a significant factor in the likelihood of the pet making a large insurance claim. As regards the comment on competitiveness, Marks are competitive for the COVER THEY OFFER. It's no good comparing Sainsbury's to Netto here. Those three policies mentioned are nowhere near the level of cover you get from Marks. If your Dobermann develops any ongoing problems such as skin issues, eye disorders, joint disorders, digestive problems etc., after 12 months of the 1st symptom occuring, your policy won't pay out. Crufts has a % based excess and 12 month policy. Argos have three levels of cover; the bottom two being a low level of cover and 12 month policy (Platinum cover is better), and Tesco have two policies; the cheapest one being 12 month cover with a 2500 limit. Please please, anyone reading the review don't go with any of the above policies. If you have a large breed dog, you really want cover for life; either Marks or PetPlan (Standard or Supreme policies); a budget cost policy may be cheaper now, but is likely to cost you in the long run. This is my job, I'm good at it, trust me!

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Carternm31's Response to carternm31's Review

Written on: 13/05/2007

I'm sorry but I already pay £40 per month on food, why on earth should I pay another £40 for a larger pedigree breed whose parents have been fully tested with no hereditary problems. We are hoping to get another pup in August, so that will make it £160 per month just to own a couple of dogs...
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<br/>Expensive insurances are not encouraging good dog owners. I like to think we are responsible owners who are trying are best. Why should we be punished because of the breed we have chosen?
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<br/>Also you have listed 4 major things that can go wrong with a larger breed. Humans can encounter a huge amount of problems. Yet my life insurance and critical illness together is only £20?

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Vickyj1980's Response to carternm31's Review

Written on: 07/05/2007

Hi again,
<br/>I'm fully aware that Marks do charge more for the ' dangerous breeds' however if you were an underwriter wouldn't you? Like you say all insurers need to make a profit otherwise there is no point in running the business. As to large breeds being more prone to illnesses let me assure you (as a trained veterinary professional) that there are far more ongoing problems other than just joints and bones. Boxers are prone to cancer, airway disease, heart disorders, eye problems as well as the standard large breed excruciate ligament risk factor to name a few. Dobermans can suffer from hereditary spinal issues, clotting disorders, heart disease, certain gastrointestinal disorders and cruciate problems. None of the illnesses mentioned above are cheap and all are long-term problems. A single cruciate ligament rupture comes in at a hefty 3k in our area (bearing in mind physiotherapy and ongoing costs are not included and there is always the risk of rupturing the ligament on the opposite leg) so to recommend a 12mth low level cover policy for anyone with one of these breeds is unethical and financially a huge risk. If you have savings to back up your insurance policy then feel free to go for a cheap and nasty policy, however most people take out pet insurance because they do not have this luxury. The recommendation is not based on favouritism. As part of my job I need to know the ins and out of all the different policies in order to recommend the most financially sound product to our clients. The reason I recommend marks and petplan is that the policies are good, they cover a high level of veterinary fees each year and they have ongoing cover. I have personally had to inform people that they have a 12 month limit on their policy or that they have reached the maximum claimable amount on a 6k maximum benefit cover. People are then heartbroken when they have to make a decision whether to continue treatment or have their pet put to sleep on financial grounds. For most people Marks have cheaper premiums than several competitors in their field. For the 'dangerous breeds' these premiums are higher but are usually on par with the nearest rivals. In my book if you take on a larger breed you should expect to pay more for your pet food so why not pet insurance? ? ?

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Carternm31's Response to carternm31's Review

Written on: 27/04/2007

I'm sorry to rain on your parade, but I work in insurance software, and part of my job is to test the monthly rates going out to various insurance companies, including pet ones. When it comes down to the fine line, it's all a joke. All insurance companies are out make as much money as possible. There is no factual evidence that a Larger Breed will have more problems than a smaller breed, except for bones and joints.
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<br/>Also, whilst doing some work for a certain BIG pet insurance company, I noticed a separate list for Dobermanns, Rottweilers, Ridgebacks, Bull terriers, Bulldogs, Boxers; you know what I'm getting at - the apparent "dangerous breeds". There should be no reason to slap a hefty breakdown premium on these breeds, compared to say, a Newfoundland or a Great Dane. But lets face it, how often do you hear in the paper that a Great Dane has mauled a baby?
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<br/>I just don't like the favouritism. I'm not criticizing Marks in particular, as lots of insurance companies do this. However, you cannot say how perfect these companies are, if it is your job, and you should understand what I am going on about!

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