Financial Literacy

Pet insurer refuses to cover dog injuries from ‘running, slipping, tripping or playing’

By: Dominic Licorish on October 6, 2016

It’s extremely important to understand your coverage when you buy insurance, even if it seems like a chore. Otherwise you could find yourself in a situation like this.

After Jamie Richardson’s seven-year-old dog tore a ligament in its hind leg while running in the woods, she forked out $4,200 in vet costs to get her furry friend feeling better. But when she filed a claim with PetSecure, Canada’s largest pet insurer, to cover 80% of the expenses, she was denied due to a clause in her policy that essentially defeats the purpose of the policy in the first place.

CBC reported on the case and actually helped Jamie get her claim approved, but the incident serves as an example of one of the ugly sides of the insurance business. The clause in her policy gave the company the right to deny coverage if a dog is injured while “jumping, running, slipping, tripping or playing.” Basically all the things a dog does while being a dog.

This clause may sound totally unfair, and it is, but it’s well within a company’s right to include a clause like this in your policy. That’s why it’s important to thoroughly read the documents before you finalize your purchase, and if you see something you don’t like, ask about it.

Pet health insurance isn’t a very popular product for Canadians, but it can provide peace of mind and help keep your little friend(s) alive longer — if you get the right policy.