Should you invest in... Pet Insurance?

Yearly policies are the most common type of pet insurance policy but there are also lifelong policies, which provide continuous cover for ongoing conditions

Pet insurance is a topic which can bring out strong emotions, and concerns have been raised that some owners are being left upset and disappointed when trying to make a claim.

Yearly policies are the most common type of pet insurance policy but there are also lifelong policies, which provide continuous cover for ongoing conditions.

The Financial Ombudsman Service has seen an upswing in consumer complaints on the subject. In a nation of animal lovers, pet insurance is among the most fiercely fought battles it sees between consumers and firms.

Most policies do not cover pre-existing conditions and if an insurer refuses to pay out because the pet already had the condition before the policy was taken out, the ombudsman will look at how much the policyholder actually knew when taking out the policy.

Common complaints centre around pet owners complaining of delays in insurers paying out, caps and limitations on policies and insurers refusing to cover the cost of more “experimental” treatments.

However, according to research by Saga Pet Insurance, people aged over 50 appear more likely to make a claim for their pet than on any other type of insurance. Almost one in three Saga pet insurance customers has made a claim, averaging almost £650. Some customers have faced bills as high as £20,000.

:: Roger Ramsden, chief executive of Saga Services, says pet owners face a “financial headache” if they do not have proper cover

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