Fletcher took his new puppy, Tiger, to the vet for her first immunisations. The vet did not mention any health concerns to Fletcher, but noted on Tiger’s records that she showed slight evidence of an eye condition, common to Tiger’s breed of dog.
Fletcher then called Animals R Us pet insurers and arranged insurance. Animals R Us asked Fletcher if the puppy had suffered from any injury, illness or disease requiring veterinary attention. Fletcher answered ‘no’ and the insurance application was approved.
About three months later Tiger developed a different and unrelated eye condition requiring surgery. Fletcher submitted a claim. When Animals R Us reviewed Tiger’s medical records it discovered the vet’s note from the first appointment. Animals R Us declined Fletcher’s claim on the grounds of non-disclosure.
Fletcher thought Animals R Us’s decision was unfair. Not only were the two eye conditions unrelated, but he was genuinely unaware of the vet’s note at the first appointment when he applied for the insurance.
We took a look at the complaint and wondered whether Animals R Us’s decision to decline the claim was a little hasty. We asked Animals R Us to review its decision because:
- Fletcher had taken Tiger to the vet for routine vaccinations, not because of any health concerns
- the vet did not mention the condition to Fletcher
- when Fletcher applied for the insurance he answered the questions to the best of his knowledge at the time.
Animals R Us reviewed its decision and accepted Fletcher’s claim for $700.
If you are intending to arrange insurance for your pet, arrange the insurance as soon as possible, to avoid any suggestion you have failed to disclose a pre-existing condition.