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Pet insurer says dog not covered if injured 'jumping, running, slipping, tripping or playing' | CBC News, Hacker News

Pet insurer says dog not covered if injured 'jumping, running, slipping, tripping or playing' | CBC News, Hacker News

Jamie Richardson’s dog Muddy tore a ligament in the woods, but a major pet insurance company refuses coverage for the injury until Go Public gets involved.

Jamie Richardson’s dog Muddy tore a ligament in his leg, but her pet insurance company denied the claim. (Wayne Vallevand / CBC)

Jamie Richardson says she’s “more than a little angry” the pet insurance company she’s paid monthly for four years refused to cover her dog’s injury.

Dr. Michael King thinks Petsecure should have covered Muddy’s claim when the dog’s owner first filed for compensation. (CBC)

“The X-ray looked very, very clean,” says Dr. Michael King, of Canada West Veterinary. “The injury is certainly not a result of arthritis. I’m disappointed the claim is being denied.”

“This really enrages me,” says Breder.

“Two vets say there was no pre-existing illness, yet the insurance company is claiming essentially that there was. It is just so obvious the insurance company does not want to pay out the claim. And that, to me, is wrong. “

Owner must witness accident

When Richardson called an insurance agent at Petsecure, she was told a new clause required her to have witnessed Muddy’s accident .

“I feel this directly affects northerners and disregards our way of life,” Richardson says.

“Open and rustic space is plentiful here – as are rabbit holes … elk, bears, wolves. … It’s not always possible to maintain constant surveillance on your pet.”

****************************************************************************************************************************************The one moment I actually did need [pet insurance], it became this horrific fiasco – this very stressful fiasco.(************************************************(**********************, **********************************– Jamie Richardson, dog owner

  • ************************************

    To Richardson, it all feels like Petsecure gave her the runaround.

    “The one moment I actually did need it, it became this horrific fiasco – this very stressful fiasco, for me.”

    Only about two per cent of Canadians have pet health insurance, but that number is growing, says Breder, as people have fewer children.

    “People are replacing human kids with pets,” says the lawyer.

    “They’re becoming family members, and people want to do what they can to protect their family member.”

    In the UK, heavy marketing has led to an estimated one in four pet owners paying for pet health insurance.

    On its website, Winnipeg-basedPetsecure

  • boasts it has been in business for a quarter century, and recently served its one-millionth customer.Pet insurance pros and cons

    There are no statistics in Canada regarding how often pet insurance claims are paid out versus how often they get declined.

    But veterinarian King says they’re worth buying into, if the conditions are right.

    Muddy’s owner has now cancelled her policy with Petsecure, and will tuck away money for any future incidents. (Wayne Vallevand / CBC)

    “The younger the pet – so if you have a puppy or kitten – it’s worth getting a policy, because the argument about pre-existing injury or illness is that much smaller, he says. “And the payments are lower.”

    King also recommends comparing various plans to find out specifically what might be excluded based on the breed of dog or cat.

    King says advancements in animal medicine also mean higher vet costs.

    “It’s very easy for serious life-threatening conditions to run into many thousands of dollars, very rapidly,” says King. “I’ve seen animals’ lives that have been saved only because they had pet insurance available.”

    But Breder takes a different approach.

    Because of what she’s seen with clients battling insurance companies, the lawyer suggests pet owners put the money they’d normally pay in insurance premiums into a separate bank account, to tap into if needed.

    “The general figure recommended is $ a month, ” says Breder, who says that’s how much she puts away each month.

    “You do have to be disciplined. But you know that you will have that money that you set aside. And you will be able to claim it, without a doubt. “

    Richardson wound up borrowing from friends and family to cover Muddy’s vet costs.

    She’s now cancelled her policy with Petsecure, and will tuck away money for any future incidents.

    Despite the experience, Richardson says she’s still g oing to allow Muddy to “be a dog.”

    “But every time he runs into the woods, chasing a squirrel, I just think, oh, please, please … be careful. Watch your step. Don’t do it again! “


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