In a bizarre and frustrating twist, a Yukon woman was told that her seven-year-old Akita would be denied pet insurance coverage on grounds that her policy does not cover for pet injuries from “jumping, running, slipping, tripping or playing.”
“It just felt really shocking to know that this company was not there for me, when I needed them the most,” said Jamie Richardson, when she found that her insurer of four years PetSecure refused to cover her dog’s injury. She had purchased PetSecure’s affordable “accident only” policy four years ago because she was a student on a budget.
Richardson’s dog Muddy sustained a torn ligament in a hind leg after running in the woods near Whitehorse.
When Richardson filed a claim to reimburse 80% of her $4,200 veterinarian costs, PetSecure denied it. The insurer then pointed to its clause as justification for the denial.
“It takes away from him being a dog,” Richardson told CBC News
. “I think it defeats the principle of pet insurance.”
reported that after it had requested an interview with PetSecure regarding the incident, the insurer reviewed the file and has agreed to pay Richardson’s claim.
The company then sent Richardson a letter, saying that it has decided to offer compensation because “Muddy has been a part of the PetSecure family for a long time.”
Vancouver lawyer Rebeka Breder criticized PetSecure’s terms, calling it “one of the craziest clauses” she’s ever heard.
“Basically, what that policy says is, the dog can’t be a dog,” Breder commented.
Richardson also revealed that when she called her insurer, she was told of a new clause that required her to have witnessed her pet’s accident.
“I feel this directly affects northerners and disregards our way of life,” she said. “Open and rustic space is plentiful here — as are rabbit holes … elk, bears, wolves.… It’s not always possible to maintain constant surveillance on your pet.”
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