Pet Insurance - Covered for Life - Are we being misled

My daughter has a pet insurance via Pet Plan described as "covered for life"  Pet Plan do promote this on basis your pet is covered for life.  However year on year the premium increases and so does the policy excess which you would expect to happen.  The question I have is what is reasonable and who actually monitors if the insurer is applying fair terms.
This year the renewal premium has increased from £1058 to £1355  the policy has an excess of £125 per claim plus now you have to pay 20% on any treatment charges/medication etc.  As the policy as a limit of £7,000  it really is of limited benefit.
It seems to me that pet plan are pricing customers out of insuring as they do not want the risk of older pets insured.  Having had the policy for 10 years pet plan have built up a significant fund from past premiums.
Describing this as a "for life policy" is misleading and PetPlan are profiteering as effectively you have to renew to keep cover for pre existing conditions. They have you over a barrel and take advantage.
There is no way to complain as they say the premium is not based on claims.
I would be interested if others have same issues/ feel same way and if there is any way to challenge Pet Plan.

Comments

  • swingaloo
    swingaloo Posts: 2,649
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    edited 8 February at 4:14PM
    I have just cancelled our dogs insurance with Petplan. Our dog is 10 and even though we have never claimed a penny it just gets more and more expensive. Because of the cost of the premiums plus the excess and the additional 20% it is just not worth having.
    Of course they told me they would look at the premiums being reduced when I rang to cancel but I think Petplan are a complete rip-off.
  • DullGreyGuy
    DullGreyGuy Posts: 9,202
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    My daughter has a pet insurance via Pet Plan described as "covered for life"  Pet Plan do promote this on basis your pet is covered for life.  However year on year the premium increases and so does the policy excess which you would expect to happen.  The question I have is what is reasonable and who actually monitors if the insurer is applying fair terms.
    This year the renewal premium has increased from £1058 to £1355  the policy has an excess of £125 per claim plus now you have to pay 20% on any treatment charges/medication etc.  As the policy as a limit of £7,000  it really is of limited benefit.
    It seems to me that pet plan are pricing customers out of insuring as they do not want the risk of older pets insured.  Having had the policy for 10 years pet plan have built up a significant fund from past premiums.
    Describing this as a "for life policy" is misleading and PetPlan are profiteering as effectively you have to renew to keep cover for pre existing conditions. They have you over a barrel and take advantage.
    There is no way to complain as they say the premium is not based on claims.
    I would be interested if others have same issues/ feel same way and if there is any way to challenge Pet Plan.
    Pet insurance, including PetPlan, is an annual contract. 

    There are three ways in with pet insurance limits can be written...
    1. Time limited, often 1 year, so they will pay up to £X within the time limit so either you exhaust cover or hit the time limit and then there is no further cover for that condition or related
    2. Maximum benefit, similar to the above but there is no time limit so if it takes 6 months or 6 years to hit the limit for any one condition doesn't matter but once its exhausted its exhausted
    3. Lifetime, unlike the above two options the limit refreshes annually 
    "Lifetime" is really just a marketing term, you could call it Renewing Benefit or something else, but it's been commonly adopted. I think you would struggle to argue that you thought that the one premium would cover the animal for the next 10 or 20 years no matter how long it lived. 

     In principle it would be possible to make a single premium payment for a true lifetime policy but not many are going to be happy paying a £10,000+ premium and especially if the pet subsequently was run over and killed as a 3 year old. 

     Your premiums aren't sitting there as a fund, insurers pool everyone's premiums and then use that to pay for all claims. So whilst you've been lucky and not need to made claim someone else who's got a very ill pet with a chronic condition has been claiming £7,000 a year funded by their, your and other's premiums. 

  • 35har1old
    35har1old Posts: 965
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    My daughter has a pet insurance via Pet Plan described as "covered for life"  Pet Plan do promote this on basis your pet is covered for life.  However year on year the premium increases and so does the policy excess which you would expect to happen.  The question I have is what is reasonable and who actually monitors if the insurer is applying fair terms.
    This year the renewal premium has increased from £1058 to £1355  the policy has an excess of £125 per claim plus now you have to pay 20% on any treatment charges/medication etc.  As the policy as a limit of £7,000  it really is of limited benefit.
    It seems to me that pet plan are pricing customers out of insuring as they do not want the risk of older pets insured.  Having had the policy for 10 years pet plan have built up a significant fund from past premiums.
    Describing this as a "for life policy" is misleading and PetPlan are profiteering as effectively you have to renew to keep cover for pre existing conditions. They have you over a barrel and take advantage.
    There is no way to complain as they say the premium is not based on claims.
    I would be interested if others have same issues/ feel same way and if there is any way to challenge Pet Plan.
    Pet insurance, including PetPlan, is an annual contract. 

    There are three ways in with pet insurance limits can be written...
    1. Time limited, often 1 year, so they will pay up to £X within the time limit so either you exhaust cover or hit the time limit and then there is no further cover for that condition or related
    2. Maximum benefit, similar to the above but there is no time limit so if it takes 6 months or 6 years to hit the limit for any one condition doesn't matter but once its exhausted its exhausted
    3. Lifetime, unlike the above two options the limit refreshes annually 
    "Lifetime" is really just a marketing term, you could call it Renewing Benefit or something else, but it's been commonly adopted. I think you would struggle to argue that you thought that the one premium would cover the animal for the next 10 or 20 years no matter how long it lived. 

     In principle it would be possible to make a single premium payment for a true lifetime policy but not many are going to be happy paying a £10,000+ premium and especially if the pet subsequently was run over and killed as a 3 year old. 

     Your premiums aren't sitting there as a fund, insurers pool everyone's premiums and then use that to pay for all claims. So whilst you've been lucky and not need to made claim someone else who's got a very ill pet with a chronic condition has been claiming £7,000 a year funded by their, your and other's premiums. 

    Once a pet has claim for a condition it is nearly impossible to change insurer unless you accept that it won't be covered for that condition 
  • sheramber
    sheramber Posts: 18,657
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    35har1old said:
    My daughter has a pet insurance via Pet Plan described as "covered for life"  Pet Plan do promote this on basis your pet is covered for life.  However year on year the premium increases and so does the policy excess which you would expect to happen.  The question I have is what is reasonable and who actually monitors if the insurer is applying fair terms.
    This year the renewal premium has increased from £1058 to £1355  the policy has an excess of £125 per claim plus now you have to pay 20% on any treatment charges/medication etc.  As the policy as a limit of £7,000  it really is of limited benefit.
    It seems to me that pet plan are pricing customers out of insuring as they do not want the risk of older pets insured.  Having had the policy for 10 years pet plan have built up a significant fund from past premiums.
    Describing this as a "for life policy" is misleading and PetPlan are profiteering as effectively you have to renew to keep cover for pre existing conditions. They have you over a barrel and take advantage.
    There is no way to complain as they say the premium is not based on claims.
    I would be interested if others have same issues/ feel same way and if there is any way to challenge Pet Plan.
    Pet insurance, including PetPlan, is an annual contract. 

    There are three ways in with pet insurance limits can be written...
    1. Time limited, often 1 year, so they will pay up to £X within the time limit so either you exhaust cover or hit the time limit and then there is no further cover for that condition or related
    2. Maximum benefit, similar to the above but there is no time limit so if it takes 6 months or 6 years to hit the limit for any one condition doesn't matter but once its exhausted its exhausted
    3. Lifetime, unlike the above two options the limit refreshes annually 
    "Lifetime" is really just a marketing term, you could call it Renewing Benefit or something else, but it's been commonly adopted. I think you would struggle to argue that you thought that the one premium would cover the animal for the next 10 or 20 years no matter how long it lived. 

     In principle it would be possible to make a single premium payment for a true lifetime policy but not many are going to be happy paying a £10,000+ premium and especially if the pet subsequently was run over and killed as a 3 year old. 

     Your premiums aren't sitting there as a fund, insurers pool everyone's premiums and then use that to pay for all claims. So whilst you've been lucky and not need to made claim someone else who's got a very ill pet with a chronic condition has been claiming £7,000 a year funded by their, your and other's premiums. 

    Once a pet has claim for a condition it is nearly impossible to change insurer unless you accept that it won't be covered for that condition 
    And thar is what lifetime cover means. You will be ocvered for that condition for the life of the policy.

    Without lifetime cover once you had claimed  that condition would be excluded from any more claims. 

    There ar eplicies that will exlcude after 12 months and other exclude it after you have cliamed as fixed amount.

    Lifetime cover means there are no such restrictions.
  • TELLIT01
    TELLIT01 Posts: 16,262
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    All PetPlan is doing is guaranteeing that they will offer cover for the animal every year, irrespective of the number of claims or the health of the pet.  As long as they do that, they are honouring their promise.  There will be nothing in the T&C limiting the amount they can charge.
  • Lavendyr
    Lavendyr Posts: 2,553
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    edited 10 February at 1:25AM
    My daughter has a pet insurance via Pet Plan described as "covered for life"  Pet Plan do promote this on basis your pet is covered for life.  However year on year the premium increases and so does the policy excess which you would expect to happen.  The question I have is what is reasonable and who actually monitors if the insurer is applying fair terms.
    This year the renewal premium has increased from £1058 to £1355  the policy has an excess of £125 per claim plus now you have to pay 20% on any treatment charges/medication etc.  As the policy as a limit of £7,000  it really is of limited benefit.
    It seems to me that pet plan are pricing customers out of insuring as they do not want the risk of older pets insured.  Having had the policy for 10 years pet plan have built up a significant fund from past premiums.
    Describing this as a "for life policy" is misleading and PetPlan are profiteering as effectively you have to renew to keep cover for pre existing conditions. They have you over a barrel and take advantage.
    There is no way to complain as they say the premium is not based on claims.
    I would be interested if others have same issues/ feel same way and if there is any way to challenge Pet Plan.

    Insurance doesn't work by "building up funds from past premiums" - it is a lot more complex than that. The older the animal, the more likely they will need treatment and the policy reflects that.  Also, at a certain age pretty much all pet insurers will levy a % - given the time span I'm guessing your pet has now hit that age. Of course, if your daughter's pet does not have any pre-existing conditions then she could look elsewhere for a lifetime policy. But if there are any pre-existing conditions, or if her pet has been treated for something in the past, that will need to be declared and may be excluded. 

    Petplan aren't cheap. I wouldn't dispute that for a moment. But they do pay out. For two years in a row I've hit the £7k threshold on one of my cats who is Covered For Life. He was very poorly (liver infection, followed by polyneuropathy and diabetes) and spent several days in hospital in 2022 and 2023. Petplan paid out, no questions asked. It feels expensive but once you actually have to get to grips with the incredibly high cost of intensive veterinary care, it becomes worth every penny. I could not have afforded to keep my cat alive without insurance. And despite the claims, his insurance has not increased (except as I would expect, for inflation). 

    Ultimately it's up to you. If you are in a position to take the gamble and pay the bills when they arise, fair enough. When my cat was first poorly, his vet bill hit >£8k in under a week. In the next insurance year, when he fell ill again, it was >£4k in the first instance, and I am still claiming for check ups, blood tests etc. I couldn't have afforded it without the insurance, and Petplan have been so prompt and helpful in paying out. 
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