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Insurance warning from angry pet owner
8:10am Saturday 17th August 2013 in News
A WOMAN is warning others to think carefully when they take out pet insurance.
She told how she paid out more than £1,000, but was only offered £69 to pay for a bill of more than £250 when her cat was put down.
Wendy Ellis, from Valley Park, Chandler’s Ford, had to have longterm pet Toady put to sleep in an emergency situation with an out of hours vet service.
Over the past 13 years looking after Toady she had paid her insurers Dog Breeders Insurance (DBI) £1,143.
When she queried the amount it had sent, she said she was told her policy did not cover euthanasia, cremation costs or completion of claim forms.
But the 76-year-old feels that euthanasia should have been covered as a treatment because it is medicine to relieve pain.
DBI has said in response that all the costs covered by Wendy’s policy were paid, but euthanasia was not one of them and that once the excess had been deducted, £69 was what was left.
After asking DBI how to contact the veterinary ombudsman, it agreed to pay a further £60.50 for the euthanasia.
Wendy said Toady’s bill included a £41 consultation fee, a £130 out of hours service, £60.50 for the cat to be put to sleep, the vet’s cremation handling fee and claim form costs.
The consultation fee and out of hours service have been covered under the terms of Wendy’s insurance policy.
Wendy said she has only claimed once before for something quite minor.
“I couldn’t believe it when I got it,” she said.
“It’s absolutely ridiculous – we paid all this money and you think to yourself ‘everything is covered’ but when you look into it everything isn’t covered.
“They keep back some money but this is more than a bit of money.”
She has questioned whether it was worth having insurance and says she would not use it if she had another pet.
A spokeswoman for DBI said: “We understand the distress caused when a customer loses a beloved pet.
“In the case of Mrs Ellis and her cat Toady, we met all parts of the claim that were covered by the policy terms.
“Euthanasia is clearly highlighted as a course of action that is not covered by the policy.
“However, we have offered to reimburse Mrs Ellis for this charge as a gesture of goodwill and in recognition of Mrs Ellis as a long-standing and valued customer.”
She said that the out of hours fee and consultation fee was included in the total claim and, once the excess was deducted, this totalled £69.
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