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Pet owner's insurance shock
9:22am Sunday 18th August 2013 in News
WHEN Wendy Ellis made the heartbreak decision to have her beloved companion Toady the cat put to sleep to escape his pain, she believed his medical insurance would cusion at least the financial blow.
But now the devoted owner is furious after her pet insurance company paid out just £90 after she had spent over £1,000 in premiums.
Wendy, from Valley Park, Chandler’s Ford, says she had to have Toady put to sleep in an emergency situation.
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 e u t h a n a s i a 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.
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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