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      OT APPROVED, 365MC637, FAROOQ, EVRi, 12.07.23 (BRENT) - J v4.pdf
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Non-reveiwable exclusion to be placed on new pet insurance policy

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Morning All,



I recently applied for a new pet insurance policy for a new dog and after a lot of chasing the company for an answer I have finally received a very poorly worded letter from them advising 'the cover will be limited to accidental external damage only'!



They then go on to say 'this exclusion is non-reviewable as this condition can affect many systems and is unpredictable'.



The condition is called Rickettsia and the dog contracted it in Spain as a result of being bitten by a Tick most likely. When the dog came to us we took him to our vet for a full check-up and our vet contacted Defra for some advice. They came back and advised that they were not in the least bit concerned with the condition and as a result our vet advised he is good condition and unless we are concerned by anything he would see us for our next scheduled check-up in approximately 6 months time.



I am going to contact our vet and ask his opinion on the insurers stance but before I do I was wondering if anyone with any experience in this filed had an opinion please?



Does anyone think this could be deemed unfair as I fully expected and exclusion to be placed on an issued policy with to Rickettsia and any RELATED condition but not a blanket exclusion for any illness at all?



Thanks in advance.

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I've just googled it (as you do) and PetMD.com has a reasonable description of the disease including the following -

Most dogs recover well with prompt and appropriate therapy. Some dogs clinically recover but the infection is not entirely eradicated, remaining in the body and sometimes returning at a later time



Seems it can be a pretty unpleasant disease in the chronic stage with a wide range of symptoms. What the insurers seem to be saying is that any future illness 'may' be related to this pre-existing condition so they can't provide cover for illness but will for accident.

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Thanks Hightail - funnily enough I saw that website as well. It's a difficult one as I get where the insurers are coming from after reading up on the condition however I think they could be a bit more accommodating with regard to the nature of the exclusion. I was up front when applying for the cover and mentioned the condition - not sure where I would stand if applied else where....

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I would discuss it with your vet first. You say your dog is having another check up in six months so it could be that there will come a time when a vet can say conclusively this has been completely eradicated from your dog's system. I honestly don't know but maybe two clear PCR tests six months apart would do?? There is a chance that the insurer is working from out of date information which predates the availability of such precise testing.

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I spoke to a lady from the insurers who was very nice but to be fair was trying to 'wing it' and she advised that because this condition is so rare in the UK that they do not have enough data to refer to hence the reason for the blanket exclusion - again it appears to be a rather rash decision on their part. Will email my vet with a copy of the letter and see what he thinks.


Thanks for your input , much appreciated :)

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I emailed a copy of the letter to my vet and he kindly came back and advised that he thinks that their exclusion is very wide ranging. He also went on to say that there was no evidence that the dog has had or currently has any clinical Rickettsial disease - just that he had been exposed to it at some point before we got him. Based on this I sent a lengthy email to the Insurer and they said they would look into my 'complaint' and come back to me - will see what happens.

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But it is a risk and the insurance company are not prepared to accept that risk. That's their choice. Have you tried another insurance company?


You may find they change their mind on the back of the complaint, but its very unlikely. I would check a few other companies and get some quotes.

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Fair point regarding risk and their choice - I understand that. I have managed to get some other quotes however the level of cover is not as good. Suppose its weighing up whether the level of cover needs to be that good I guess as he may never need to have treatment for anything - may go through life as 'fit as a butchers' dog' as they say or he may be a sickly dog (hope not obviously).



I would expect an exclusion for the condition itself and anything related - to place a blanket exclusion for all illnesses though is a bit much for them to justify in my opinion without sound evidence to back up that decision. The FCA do bang on about 'TCF' and all that but in practice...



I guess I am being a bit stubborn about this as I was annoyed at how long they took to come to a decision.

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Which company is it with the blanket exclusion on illness? I think on balance I'd rather go for the limited accident cover with a good company than supposedly having illness cover with one which doesn't have a great reputation for paying out. The really expensive urgent things tend to be broken bones from accidents, long term illness is something you can make more measured decisions about. The upside of the accident only cover is that there's no need to take out a lifetime policy so premiums will be cheaper.

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It is Sainsbury's which is underwritten by Allianz.


You make a good argument to be fair and I am grateful for your input. Will wait and see what they come back with but will keep in mind what you have said - thank you. :)

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Kind of you to say so. I don't think there's a right answer, just making the best of a very unusual situation. Whoever you choose to insure with it's important you check they aren't charging a full premium if they aren't giving you full cover. Do an online quote with a few of the bigger names without any pre-existing condition to get an idea of the premiums for complete cover. Treatment for accidents is often very costly but I'll bet most payouts are for illness and your premiums should reflect this.

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  • 1 year later...

13/03/2017....I have the exact same problem as described above....I'm with Petplan, and they too are underwritten by Allianz.....could you give an update to help me please ? Did you try the Financial Ombudsman ? Did you find a company that would provide cover to a dog , (like yours rescued from Spain 0, which has been treated for Ricketsia. Thanks in advance.

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