(BVA Release) Veterinary associations are highlighting consumer guidance on pet insurance following news reports that thousands of pets have been left uninsured by Lloyds TBS and Halifax pulling out of the pet insurance market.
Lloyds TSB has stopped renewing policies from 1st February and Halifax stopped on 24th September 2011 leaving more than 50,000 policy holders looking for cover, according to reports.
The British Veterinary Association (BVA) recommends that pet owners whose policies are affected should speak to their own vets as soon as possible to discuss existing treatment, alternative treatment options, and future insurance cover.
The BVA is also refuting claims by the insurance companies that rising veterinary fees are to blame. Although pet insurance claims have increased over the years this is due to improvements in technology and medicines meaning that more can be done for individual animals. Veterinary inflation has remained relatively stable.
The BVA and its division, the Society of Practising Veterinary Surgeons (SPVS), worked with the Association of British Insurers (ABI) to produce a Pet Insurance Consumer Guide. The Guide explains the benefits of pet insurance, the different types of policy, and outlines a number of areas to consider.
Commenting, Carl Padgett, President of the BVA, said:
“This is a huge blow to thousands of responsible owners who have pet insurance but are having it taken away from them through no fault of their own.
“We advise owners to speak to their vet as soon as possible to discuss the treatment of ongoing conditions and, if necessary, alternative treatment options. Clients may also be eligible for support from one of the animal welfare charities.
“Rather than blaming veterinary practices for increasing the levels of treatment available, these insurance companies should do everything they can to ensure their policy holders are not left high and dry.”
Richard Holborow, President of the SPVS, added:
“Over recent years many insurance companies have come into the pet insurance market and there is a huge amount of choice for owners.
“Price comparison websites are not able to distinguish between the many different variables associated with pet insurance so owners should talk to their vet about the right type of policy appropriate for their pet before shopping around.
“The ABI Pet Insurance Consumer Guide is a good place to start.”