Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Pet insurer says that dog injuries from 'jumping, running, slipping, tripping or playing' not covered

Jamie Richardson, from Yukon, Canada, says she's "more than a little angry" that the pet insurance company she's paid monthly for four years refused to cover her dog's injury. "It just felt really shocking to know that this company was not there for me, when I needed them the most," she says. Richardson's dog Muddy is a seven-year-old Akita breed. While running in the woods near Whitehorse, Muddy tore a ligament in a hind leg.

A vet told Richardson that's a common injury in Yukon, where dogs can get their paws caught in a rabbit or fox hole, and twist their knees. But when Richardson filed a claim to get reimbursed 80 per cent of her $4,200 vet costs, Canada's largest pet health insurance provider denied her claim. Petsecure pointed to a clause in her policy denying coverage if a dog is injured while "jumping, running, slipping, tripping or playing."

"It takes away from him being a dog," says Richardson. "I think it defeats the principle of pet insurance." However, Petsecure have now reviewed the file and has agreed to pay Richardson's claim. In a letter sent to Richardson, the company says it decided to provide compensation because "Muddy has been a part of the PetSecure family for a long time." A Vancouver lawyer who specialises in animal rights law says Richardson's policy has "one of the craziest clauses" she's ever come across.

"Basically, what that policy says is, the dog can't be a dog," Rebeka Breder says. Richardson had to borrow 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 going 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!"


Qualiall said...

buyer beware--read the terms before you buy

Anonymous said...

Typical insurance company, will try and do anything to not pay out on a claim!