From 17 December, Bought By Many will offer new customers lifetime pet insurance policies across most of our cover. We will also be transferring existing customers who have Pre-existing policies to lifetime cover when they reach their next renewal on or after 17 December.
We will be contacting all Pre-existing customers by email to let them know they'll be upgraded from per-condition cover to lifetime cover at renewal.
Under your current per-condition policy:
- There is a limit of £7,000 for vet treatment per condition for new conditions
- New conditions that have reached the £7,000 limit cannot be claimed for again
- There is a £500 limit for all pre-existing conditions in the first year of a policy. If a customer does not claim for a pre-existing condition the limit increases to £1,000 in the second year of a policy. If they do not claim in that year the conditions will no longer be classed as pre-existing and they can then claim up to £7,000 per condition
Under your new lifetime policy:
- Customers have a £7,000 annual limit for vet treatment for new 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 £500 and £1,000 limits for pre-existing conditions won’t 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 Pre-existing policy 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 our Pre-existing customers have a policy that can cover their pet for life if they renew with us each year.
Will this affect Pre-existing customers' premiums?
Pre-existing customers' premiums will not be affected by the policy upgrade. Premiums may change at renewal due to other factors, such as the age of a pet but the switch to lifetime cover won’t have an impact.
As part of our lifetime policy a customer will only ever pay one excess per year for all new conditions, however many claims they make. When claiming for a pre-existing condition, an excess is payable for every claim.
Improvements to Pre-existing 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 new condition, they’ll be able to claim for that condition again once they renew.
Customers will still be able to use the pre-existing conditions cover, which won't be changing.In addition to upgrading the policy to lifetime, we will also increase some of the cover limits on this policy.
Current Pre-existing policy:
- Up to £1,000 of cover if a pet needs emergency minding
- Up to £1m of liability cover
- No cover for 1st pregnancy
- Up to £1,000 of cover if a pet is lost or stolen (optional cover)
- No cover if a pet passes away from an accident or illness
New lifetime Pre-existing policy:
- Up to £1,500 of cover if a pet needs emergency minding
- Up to £2m of liability cover
- Cover for 1st pregnancy
- Up to £1,500 of cover if a pet is lost or stolen (optional cover)
- Up to £1,500 cover if a pet passes away from an accident
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.
With a lifetime product, it is important to note that premiums can increase each year at renewal.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.
They will receive their normal renewal email 28 days before their policy is due to renew.
If they are happy with their new price and the switch to lifetime cover they don’t have to do anything. Their direct debit will automatically update.
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.