Halifax life-long policy misled pet insurance customers

| March 28, 2012
Halifax life-long policy misled pet insurance customers

The Halifax has been found by the Financial Ombudsman Service to have misled customers by offering life-long pet insurance.

Halifax, which is part of Lloyds Banking Group, announced its decision to withdraw from the pet insurance market at the end of last year.

The Ombudsmana��s ruling follows a complaint by the owners of a dog called Lucky, who suffers from a skin complaint which costs around A?500 each year to treat.

The cost of treatment was covered by a Halifax life-long policy taken out by Luckya��s owners in 2005, as long as it was renewed annually.

However, when the Halifax stopped offering pet insurance, Luckya��s owners were unable to take out a new policy with a different insurance provider to cover the cost of the treatment, as pre-existing conditions are excluded from new policies.

The Ombudsman has now ruled that the Halifax must offer Lucky’s owner another 3 years of cover, as well as A?200 in compensation.

Ombudsman Tony Boorman said: “The description of the policy as “life-long” seems to me to be a significant error by Halifax.”

The Halifax must also top-up any replacement insurance taken out by Luckya��s owners, for a period of three years.

It is believed that around 4,000 Halifax Insurance customers could be entitled to compensation following the ruling.

Meanwhile new research by The Co-operative Pet Insurance found that 47 per cent of couples who buy a pet conceive their first child within a year of doing so.

40 per cent of the couples surveyed said they expected to have a baby in their home within a year of bringing a pet into their home and 10 per cent said they though looking after a pet would improve their parenting skills.

Lee Mooney, head of Pet Insurance at The Co-operative Insurance, said: a�?Our findings show that for many couples pet ownership can be the first stage of starting a family.”

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  1. Larry says:

    This is why I don’t like insurance companies. Personally for my collie I use Pet Assure, which is more of a discount program than insurance. A lot more financially stable.