Pet insurance is primarily designed to help people pay for unexpected veterinary bills and related treatment for their pets and other animals.
Types of complaints we see
There are two types of policies about pet insurance that we normally deal with complaints about:
- Annual policies - these provide cover for a condition for 12 months and are renewed annually
- Lifetime policies - these provide cover for ongoing conditions throughout an animal's lifetime, as long as the policy is renewed each year
When people get in touch with a complaint about their pet insurance, this can be about a range of things. This includes a claim being rejected, or their premiums increasing when they've renewed their policy.
Pet insurance also covers costs when an animal dies and third party liability.
What we look at
When we look into complaints about pet insurance, we'll look at the policy's wording and any other relevant documents, such as the policy summary.
Most pet insurance policies contain exclusions and limitations. If we think that any of these are significant or unusual, we'll look at what your insurer told you at the time you took the policy out.
We'll also take into account any medical evidence provided by your vet and your insurer's vet, especially clinical notes and written submissions.
The types of complaints we look into include:
- Complaints about policy wording - a claim might get rejected because of the meaning of keywords in the policy, such as 'condition' or 'treatment'
- Complaints involving pre-existing conditions - this includes claims where the animal was already suffering from a condition when the policy was taken out, or the condition became apparent soon after the claim was taken out
- Time limits on cover for treatment - where there are discrepancies between whether the claim is covered after the condition first appeared, or at the first sign of the condition
- Bilateral conditions - we look into claims where a condition affected one side of the animal's body first, then the other at a later date
- Complaints about increased premiums - where an insurer has significantly increased the premiums for a policy
- Complaints involving equine policies - providing cover in the event of horse having to be put down
How to complain
Before bringing your complaint to us, you need to get in touch with the business that has your insurance first. They need to have time to put the issue right. But if they don't, or don't respond, then you should get in contact with us.
We'll check to see if your complaint is something we can deal with, and if it is, we'll investigate into what happened and what went wrong.
Find out more about making a complaint.
Putting things right
If we think your insurer has done something wrong or treated you unfairly, we'll tell them to put things right. This usually means that they need to put you back into the position you'd have been in if the problem hadn't happened.
This could mean your insurer refunding your premiums, or paying part, or all, of your claim.
Customer doesn’t disclose pet’s pre-existing medical condition
Ed's pet insurance claim
Horse is put down without insurer’s consent
Insurer says surgery claim falls outside of policy time limits
Information for businesses
Our 'Pet insurance for businesses' page has more detailed information about what we look at when we investigate a claim.