From 17 December, Bought By Many will only offer new customers lifetime pet insurance policies. We will also be transferring existing customers who have Fixed For Life policies to lifetime cover when they reach their next renewal on or after 17 December.
We will be contacting all Fixed For Life customers by email to let them know they'll be upgraded from per-condition cover to lifetime cover at renewal.
Under the current per-condition policy:
- There is a limit of £7,000 for vet treatment per condition
- New conditions that have reached the £7,000 limit cannot be claimed for again
- There is a total limit of £20,000 for all claims over the life of a pet
Under the new lifetime policy:
- Customers have a £7,000 annual limit for vet treatment for all conditions that resets each year they renew
- There will no longer be a per-condition limit on claiming for new conditions
- If a customer previously reached the £7,000 claim limit for a condition it will now be lifted
- The total limit of £20,000 for all claims will not change
Why we are making this change
We believe lifetime policies provide better quality long-term cover because they can pay for a condition for the life of a pet. This means that owners do not have to worry about vet fee cover permanently running out and not being able to afford treatment.
We’ve also found that the range of cover types offered by insurers is confusing and many pet owners don't understand the cover they're buying.
We’re taking steps to lead the industry in making cover easier to understand. That means only offering lifetime cover to our customers.
Many vets believe lifetime policies offer quality long-term cover.
Rory Cusack, a vet and owner of Westside Veterinary Clinic in south-west London, told the BBC in 2013: "Good quality means lifelong cover. Any of these policies that run year to year are hardly worth having, because you'll get an incident, there'll be an exclusion put on that for life and nobody else will touch it."
We want to know that all our customers have a policy that can cover their pet for life if they renew with us each year.
Will this affect Fixed For Life customers' premiums?
Customers who already have a Fixed For Life policy will not see their price change. As part of our lifetime policy they’ll only ever pay one excess each year, however many claims they make.
Improvements to Fixed For Life cover limits
We’ll also be lifting the limit on previous claims customers may have made. If they reached the £7,000 limit when claiming for a condition, they’ll be able to claim for that condition again on a lifetime policy once they renew.
The £20,000 cap on total claims over a pet’s life will still apply. At present, none of our Fixed For Life customers have reached this limit.
How lifetime pet insurance works
Lifetime (or ‘yearly limit’) insurance covers vet fees up to the limit on your policy every year. This can be a good option if you worry about your pet developing a long-term or recurring illness. So long as you renew a lifetime policy each year, the level of vet fee cover will reset to the full limits that you started with.
It is different to per-condition policies, where a particular condition can become excluded once the condition limit is reached.
What do customers need to do?
We will contact customers before their renewal by email and a letter through the post.
They will receive their normal renewal email 28 days before their policy is due to renew.
If they are happy with the switch to lifetime cover they don’t have to do anything.
If they do not want to renew, they can let us know any time before their renewal date. They may wish to search around for another pet insurance provider so they have no gap in their cover.
If customers have any questions about the change or how lifetime cover works, please call us on 0345 340 4090 and select option 2.