From 17 December, Bought By Many will only offer new customers lifetime pet insurance policies. We will also be transferring existing customers who have Value policies to lifetime cover when they reach their next renewal on or after 17 December.
We will be contacting all Value customers by email and post to let them know they'll be upgraded from time limited cover to lifetime cover at renewal.
Under the current time limited Value policy:
- There is a limit of £3,000 for vet treatment per condition
- Any condition can only be claimed for for 12 months from diagnosis
- Conditions that have reached the £3,000 or 12-month time limit cannot be claimed for again
Under the new lifetime Value policy:
- Customers have a £3,000 annual limit for vet treatment that resets each year you renew
- There will no longer be a time limit on claiming for your pet’s conditions
- If a customer previously reached their claim limit for a condition it will now be lifted
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 Value customers' premiums?
Value policyholders will see an increase in their premium at renewal due to the improvement we're making to their cover.
We know price rises can be frustrating so we will split the increase associated with this change over two renewals to limit how much customers' premium will increase each year.
Customers will see their new price when they receive their renewal email 28 days before their renewal date. Because we’re staggering the price increase for customers they will pay less than what a new customer would pay for the same policy.
We limit all price increases for existing customers at 40%. That does not mean we increase all prices 40% each year, but if a customer is facing bigger increase, we won't raise their price more than 40% at renewal that year.
For example, if a Value customer was facing a 58% increase in their price, they would see a 40% increase at their next renewal and the remaining 18% would be carried over and combined with any other changes to their price a year later at the following renewal.
Our customers rarely see an increase this high.New customers getting a quote from 3 December will see the full price for our lifetime Value policy.
As always there are a number of factors that affect the price of pet insurance including the age and breed of a pet, and where the owner lives.
Improvements to customers' cover
As part of this upgrade to lifetime we’ll also lift the limit on previous conditions existing customers may claimed for.If a customer reached the 12-month or £3,000 limit when claiming for a condition on a Value policy, they will be able to claim for that condition again after they renew.
Our time-limited Value policy met the demands and needs of individuals who require cover with a 12 month time limit to claim for a new condition. If you require a policy that meets these needs there are other pet insurance companies that offer them.
Our lifetime Value policy meets the demands and needs of individuals who require cover for new and recurring conditions with a £3,000 limit that you can claim from each year you renew.
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 a per-condition policies, where a particular condition can become excluded once the condition limit is reached.
As part of a Bought By Many lifetime policy if a customer makes a claim for the same condition in multiple policy years they will pay an excess each year. But they’ll only ever pay one excess each year, regardless of how many claims they make.
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 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.