Sick pets face uncertain future as bank pulls insurance

Thousands of sick animals face an uncertain future as a leading pet insurance provider pulls out of the market leaving their owners to fund expensive vet bills.

Around 50,000 pets have cover with Lloyds Banking Group through subsidiary brands the Halifax and Lloyds TSB, but the bank has decided to leave the market to concentrate on home, motor and business insurance.

The Halifax will continue to pay claims until policy renewal dates or September 2012, while Lloyds TSB will only accept renewals until February.

Policyholders will be offered new cover from Petwise or will have to find a new provider.

The concern is pet cover premiums will go up and distraught owners may have to make tough decisions about pet healthcare that could lead to animals being put down.

The problem is the Halifax policy has a clause that lets pet owners claim for continuing conditions that may last several years, but new providers will not keep to this agreement.

Pet owners then have the option of paying for expensive vet treatment out of their own pockets or stopping treatment and seeing the health of their pets drastically decline.

With average vet bills for one-off treatments costing around £175 for a dog and £135 for a cat, regular continuing medication and treatment could cost owners thousands of pounds a year.

Online comparison sites offer pet insurance – and as with all insurance, forget the cost and look at the cover to draw up a shortlist of suitable animal insurance policies.

Consider important costs and features like compulsory and voluntary excesses; ongoing treatment of existing conditions and any cash limits to emergency treatment.

Once you have selected policies that offer the features you want for your pet, look at the costs and chose the best value-for-money pet insurance rather than the cheapest.

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One Response to Sick pets face uncertain future as bank pulls insurance

  1. Hector says:

    This is such a worrying development for the insurance industry and a real concern for those people who have insured with Lloyds or Halifax in the past.

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