| The pitfalls of elderly dog insurance|
|It is so difficult to concentrate with a poorly, whimpering dog lying or tottering about. What a heartbreaking sound. My poor dog Violet has just had a foot operation. Upon her return home from hospital, she cried non-stop for eight hours, then intermittently through the night and next day.|
It's getting difficult for either of us to remain upright. Every couple of hours we hobble out for a mini-walkie, and as well as the worry about Violet's pain, boredom and misery, there's the added little worry about dog insurance. We have none.
This is why. Last year the dog insurance people demanded £1,800 to cover Violet for one year. Yes. EIGHTEEN HUNDRED POUNDS to insure one boxer. I could have bought several more dogs instead. "Ridiculous!" said the vet. "Don't pay it. Put some money aside every week in a separate account, just in case."
I did. Lucky me, I don't smoke, drink, go on hols, buy clothes or go out, so I have money to spend on dog savings. Then, swipe me! The minute I stopped my insurance, Violet developed two long and complicated illnesses: an eye one and a foot one.
And here's the big snag. Even if I wanted to insure her now, I couldn't. Because she's too old – nearly nine. It costs a banker's bonus to insure an elderly dog, which I suspect is all part of a clever plot by insurers.
This is how it goes. As your dog gets older, whether you've made no claims or a hundred claims, your insurance premium will zoom up until it reaches a joke amount that no sane person will pay. Then you might do what I did, hoping that your darling dog eventually pegs out painlessly in its sleep. Fat chance. The robber insurers know what really happens – old dogs grow sicker and cost squillions of pounds – so they charge a colossal fee to get shot of you before the mega-illnesses take hold, then they're off the hook, just when they're needed, and you're stuffed.
Or you could learn from my mistakes. Avoid pedigree dogs and rescue a mongrel.