Hot air balloon in the shape of the Churchill Insurance mascot at Bristol International Balloon Fiesta, 2009. By NotFromUtrecht (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons.
Hot air balloon in the shape of the Churchill* insurance mascot at Bristol International Balloon Fiesta, 2009. Photo by NotFromUtrecht (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons. *Other insurance providers are available.
We’ve just received an insurance renewal, and although both our pets are with the same provider, one has been insured for 10 years and the other just one – so the difference in their policy paperwork is dramatic, to say the least.

We have a 30% co-payment on Little Blue’s policy (the official term for the percentage of the bill the insurance company won’t cover), but as she’s a 19 year old veteran of expensive vet treatment, I can honestly say the insurance company has made NO money from her at all.

However, Hollie is only seven and started her policy with a 20% co-payment. So, if she lives to 19 and has a similar high maintenance lifestyle, what percentage can we expect to pay in the future?

There are also a huge number of standard exclusions on Hollie’s policy, including no cover for bilateral conditions – so she had better not need both knees fixed as the insurance will only cover one.

I was chatting to my local vet and his view was that insurance schemes are no longer as generous as they were. You will get out what you put in, but the days of amazing “for life” policies for cheap prices are over.

This is sad for clients, but we also do not want to head down the same road as American pet insurance, which was almost ruined by the drive for cheap policies and high levels of cover.

The new style of policies at least make the client partly responsible for paying the bill so, hopefully, they will make responsible decisions about how to spend it.

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