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Direct Line pet insurance

3 Edridge Road

phone: 0845 300 7838

The popular online insurance company offers two levels of coverage (Essential and Advanced.)

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Reviews of Direct Line pet insurance

2/5   Not much alternative choice   21 March 2017

Reviewed By: Martin, Recommend:

Been with them for about 6 years for 3 cats. One cat needed ongoing treatment for a blood condition and initially DL paid up without a problem but suddenly ( and in my view STILL within the time limits of payouts ) told me they were stopping paying as I had reached my limit for that condition. I was sure this was incorrect but my complaints were basically ignored. The problem is that two of my cats are 13 and I cannot find any other insurer who will insure cats over 9 (believe me, I have filled endless online applications and right at the end up comes the message that my cats are too old to be covered) DL appear to be the only company that will cover, so it's a little bit "between a rock and a hard place"

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1/5   Beware of Essential Policy   10 March 2017

Reviewed By: Jenny Wright, Recommend:

I have been using Direct Line for over 15 years and previously never had any problems. Just over 2 and a half years ago my other half got me a kitten (Larry and took out their essential policy. Previously when I had used them there was just 1 cover type so I wasn't aware of this. The Essential policy provides 12 months cover or £4k of treatment whichever is reached first. Larry got an ulcer on his mouth April 2015 and had steroids to resolve. He then got another in October again steroids were given and it cleared up. These vet visits cost around £70 and I never claimed as they were one off cases and with the excess it wasn't worth it. We then had another ulcer June 2016 but despite numerous course of steroids it has never cleared up. We have now had tests and a vaccine created as it turns out he is allergic to lots of stuff. Bill to date is around £2k. I've had a pay out from Direct Line for £47. I've gone through the complaints process stating I consider the treatment start to be June 2015 and I don't consider just over 1% pay out of the £4k fair and reasonable. Direct Line have rejected the complaint so I will be taking it to the Financial Ombudsman.

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1/5   Daylight robery   10 March 2017

Reviewed By: Sonia, Recommend:

I have had my cat insured since he was 9 months old, he is now 14. I have never had to make a claim (luckily) on my insurance. I find myself today being presented with my Pet Insurance renewal and the monthly premium is £49!!! This is more than most peoples car / home insurance. How can Direct Line justify this amount?? Unbelievable!!

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 Direct Line insurance for my 16 year old cat is going up to £100/ month. I have claimed very little from them and have been insured with them since he was 3 years old. I am cancelling tomorrow.

comment by: Liz, 19 April 2017
 Direct Line insurance for my 16 year old cat is going up to £100/ month. I have claimed very little from them and have been insured with them since he was 3 years old. I am cancelling tomorrow.

comment by: Liz, 19 April 2017
1/5   OUTRAGEOUS   25 January 2017

Reviewed By: Lisa , Recommend:

We have a Staffordshire Bull terrier who has been suffering for months with boils on both her front paws.We have been back to the vets and tried everything possible. The only option was to take her to a specialist for tests to get her quality of life back (she couldn't even walk). We have an Autistic son who's only friend is her and it's just broke his heart as she is in so much pain. With our vets backing we set off to see the specialist, thinking we were going to find a cause and with that a treatment... They have refused to even pay for the consultation !!! REASON.. DL vet says it's related to EAR infections that our vet has treated before.. this is appalling.. she is so loving but still in pain... houses / cars and belongins don't have feeling BUT animals and children do.. please look elsewhere if you don't want to put your beloved pets and children through this agony.

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5/5   Direct line pet insurance   16 January 2017

Reviewed By: Sue Atkinson, Recommend:

I'm with DL and can honestly say have had no problem with them paying out direct to my vet. Only problem is the premium shoots up every time you use them. I'm in the process of looking elsewhere as this year it has gone to £72 pm.

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4/5   Never had any trouble   3 December 2016

Reviewed By: Thayter, Recommend:

I'm surprised by the number of negative reviews as I started using them to insure my dogs 13 yrs ago and have never had any problems. I have made claims ranging from £200 to £3500 and not once did I have reason to complain. I was once underpaid but I rang up customer service, they were very helpful and went thruough the insurance claim and turned out the vet had missed out a previous visit/ treatment but this was soon rectified. However when my renewal came through this year there was a massive hike in price that had never happened before, i expect a yearly increase but it has to be reasonable.

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1/5   This Company is a Joke!!!!   7 November 2016

Reviewed By: Bill, Recommend:

Direct Line Pet Insurance. Do not believe the hype, They will do anything they can to avoid paying!!! My Veterinary Surgeon and the view of the Drug manufacturer have been declined by a veterinary nurse at Direct Line!!! When my vet asked to speak yp a vet at DL she was turned down as "we do not employ vets". If you have a policy with them then I suggest you cancel now. Please, Please make this viral and post to all your friends an d ask them to do the same. Many Thanks

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5/5   Never had a problem   1 November 2016

Reviewed By: Belle, Recommend:

I have had my dog insured with direct line from the word go, as I work in the veterinary industry and have found them to be prompt at payment and fairly open about how they process claims and what they will and will not cover. I've claimed a couple of times now and both claims were settled promptly and without complaint

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1/5   Direct line is a joke   18 September 2016

Reviewed By: Irene mason, Recommend:

I have the advanced policy for my lab x ,£21pm ,when we came back.of holiday the person wAtching Marley said he had a bad tooth! I was surprised that'd never noticed it ,but I took him to the vet ,she said she'd book him in to have surgery ,I got a phone call later on ,the day of his surgery from the vet ,telling me there was a lot going on in his mouth his teeth were abnormal she couldn't do what needed to be done ,she made a referral to dental vets 90 miles away so we took him he had 8 teeth extracted and one filled .I was told he a had an abscess too ,all in all he'd had a very sore mouth and never showed any sign of pain the bill was£1800 and direct line wouldn't pay out because he'd never had a dental check done in the last year ? My own vet done one in May of this year and said his teeth were fine ? The dental vet resubmitted the claim on our behalf along with the dental report ,we wait with bated breath ??????

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1/5   Refuse to pay claiming pretty existing condition.   31 August 2016

Reviewed By: Mrs C, Recommend:

We have a Basset Hound. We took out our pet insurance with Direct line, almost immediately after collecting him from the breeder. When he went to the vets, the day after we bought him, to have his first set of vaccinations,the vet found he had a slight ear infection. The vet mentioned how bassets are prone to these (which we knew) and mentioned that he had unusually large ear canals- even for a basset. He has since had several ear infections. On two occasions the vet wrote in the notes how large our dog's ears are. Anyway, July this year, he started shaking his head, so we went off to the vet again and the vet said it wasn't an ear infection and that the skin inside although inflamed, wasnt at all infected. He examined our dog and said his skin was inflamed and asked if he had been itching- and he had. So the vet said that it was probably an allergy and suggested allergy testing. All in all, the visit coat us £240. The allergy tests all came back negative. So we made our first claim to direct line. They said that they would email us the forms, get the vet to fill them in, then email them back and within 10 days, they'd have the claim sorted. FIVE WEEKS later, I had to ring them and ask what was going on. I was told a letter is being written to us detailing that the claim has been rejected because our dog had an ear infection within the first 14 days of the policy, and their vet nurses have deemed his ear infection as a puppy is linked to his inflammed skin- two years later. I am fuming! Bassets are prone to ear infections! As are spaniels and any other long eared dog. Our vet even said that this complaint is not like the previous ear problems. I'm now awaiting my vet to return from annual leave and asking him to contest the decision. Direct Line are a bunch of cowboys who will use ANY excuse to wriggle out of paying.

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1/5   Would not Recommend   24 August 2016

Reviewed By: Adrian Steele, Recommend:

Just had a text message from Direct Line: "We acknowledge receipt of you pet claim form, which will be assessed over the next 9 weeks." Simple surgery to remove a non malignant lump from two year old lab snout and and it needs a 9 week assessment to settle a £500 claim. The claim was submitted three days before the policy expired so maybe that's why they are dragging their heals. Why didn't I renew? Because they increased the premium by 75% despite no prior claims. Better deals out there to be found with other suppliers. Also going to changing car and house insurance now. DirectLine needs to consider how they reward customer loyalty. Don't buy a policy with them.

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3/5   gone down hill   17 August 2016

Reviewed By: Nina, Recommend:

I have 3 dogs all insured with Direct Line, in the past they were great paying out really quickly however they started to go down hill and have gradually got worse, my dog had a 3k operation and it took nearly 3 months to pay out, paid in full but was sat on my credit card that long which is bad, I asked for a break down on the separate payments for each dog and found out our older dog was 42 a month which is more than our 6 year old who had addisons disease, i've cancelled that policy as it's a rip off and would never put the old girl through that amount of treatment. Never had an issue with them paying out to be fair just takes forever!

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1/5   Do not buy direct line pet insurance.   15 August 2016

Reviewed By: Dan smyth , Recommend:

After being a dog owner for 12 years direct line is the worst insurance company I have been with. My one year old dog needed treatment which he got at the vet and I paid for on my card. When I sent the forms off they have told me it will take 8-10 weeks to review the claim. This is really useful if you can afford to be out of pocket for that long. They seem happy enough to take my money but not so happy to pay out. I've never seen a claim take this long before and this is the first time I have ever claimed with this pet.

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 I have today posted a similar negative review. Absolutely disgraceful that they take so long to process claims. It rather makes a mockery of having pet insurance as you have to pay the bill up front and even if you have a vet that will accept payment direct from an insurance company , I don't think they would find that 7+ weeks is acceptable.

comment by: Valerie Hawkwood, 18 August 2016
1/5   Slow to pay out   19 July 2016

Reviewed By: Anne Woodward, Recommend:

I have had my 2 cats insured with Direct Line for more than 15 years. I made no claims until last year. Premium started ar £10 per month now £90. Both cats now have renal disease and have to be reviewed every 3 months but each claim takes up to 12 weeks to process so I'm permanently out of pocket. Unfortunately I'm stuck with them due to the pre-existing conditions. Defiately wouldn't recommend.

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1/5   happy to take your money but not pay out   11 July 2016

Reviewed By: SSilver, Recommend:

For my three dogs they have happily taken over £1000 a years for 6 years. I make a claim and am told that because the dog has had similar issues 3 years prior to the claim it is therefore invalid. The previous issues came under the minimum amount which I happily paid but when the dog needed to be anesthetized to try and clear up the problems the claim was rejected (approx £300.) Total Con Artists! save your money.

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1/5   Worst insurer I have come across   12 January 2016

Reviewed By: Me Mcguile , Recommend:

I have 5 dogs, and paid Directline £250 a month for them, one of my dogs developed cherry eye (a pretty straight forward claim one would think)... Direct line then enquired as to the age of my bulldog that developed cherry eye and I told them she was still a pup of approx 5 months old, our vets got confused and gave Direct Line the date of birth of another one of my dogs, all of which were insured by Direct Line, they then said they would not pay out due to the fact that the dog I was looking cover for was way older than the age I declared on the policy. Due to this I directed them to contact the vet to clarify this and the vet admitted they gave the wrong dogs date of birth.. Finally we were moving forward, then direct line asked me what vet my bulldog was registered to before purchase, I explained that I was not certain as the breeder would have registered the dog not me and I could not find the vaccination sheet, they instantly jumped on this subject stating that if we could not provide this they would not cover a claim for cherry eye. After much chasing around I got the breeder to contact them and inform them of the vet she was registered to, again we were now moving in the right direction... Finally I had a date set for my bulldog to have the procedure and then direct line requested to look into my other 4 dogs with our vet?? Puzzled by this but not having anything to hide I said of course you can check them out with the vet... I then gave them permission to do this... Direct line then came back to me stating that one of our dogs had pups, I informed them that yes our little King Charles had pups to our male King Charles the only male dog in the house and that they knew that as I rung them asking if they covered cesarian procedures should it be required and they told me they did not cover that. I also explained that this was an accident and as soon as we found out it had happened (about 2 weeks before due date) we put our male King Charles straight in for castration as this was something we did not want to happen as we thought we were being so careful to prevent this... Direct line once again asked to look into this and check if I did in fact get our male dog castrated, knowing I was being completely open and transparent I agreed and this was confirmed by the vet... They then asked what I was doing with the pups? again I did not see the link between the pups of my female King Charles and the claim of my Bulldogs cherry eye. I explained that I was selling them at the going rate to ensure they were going to good homes and not to any old person, I also informed them of the advert we posted for this... Direct line then came back to me and informed me that they found the advert and believed that I was using my dogs for financial gain and cancelled all of my policies.... I am still contesting this and it seems from the word go they did not want to cover or pay out and they really scrapped the bottom of the barrel to come up with a reason not to pay... As a result I have found it difficult to get insurance as I have to declare that I've had a policy cancelled and recently one of my dogs has gone for an emergency procedure leaving me with no other option but to take out a loan to pay the vet bills... Thank you so much Direct Line your company is a joke and you rob people of their hard earned cash and good intentions for their animals... I am disgusted beyond belief !!

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1/5   Premium increase 40% because of illness   15 December 2015

Reviewed By: Alice, Recommend:

Yes-premium increased by 40% because 'my risk is higher' all due to making claims for medicine for my ghd. I deliberately selected the advanced policy from the start thinking I was doing the best - don't bother, just another rip off option. Unfortunately I now cannot move to another Insurer due to pre-existing conditions - I am totally convinced this is another reason why such a high %increase-they have got me trapped..... DL Never Again

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1/5   Great if you dont want to claim   30 October 2015

Reviewed By: Bertie, Recommend:

Just put in our first claim on our viszla who has developed an allergy and is having treatment. Now told an ear infection he had one week before the policy started made this allergy a pre existing condition. Have had the policy for two years, so cancelling the policy now and will put the 45 pound a month in a kitty

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2/5   Ridiculous renewal prices.   3 August 2015

Reviewed By: Janet, Recommend:

On getting our Labrador puppy, I decided we would insure her. Direct Line seemed reasonable and covered a fair amount. Renewal arrived and it was an increase of 27%! we had made zero claims in that time. I think all insurance ought to be at a low price and goes up for each claim. I would rather put the money aside and build a fund for her needs than pay DL.

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5/5   Quickly handled claim   27 January 2015

Reviewed By: JST, Recommend: Y

Our cat had to have several teeth removed and they handled the claim promptly. The excess wasn't too bad and the customer service person was friendly. Thank you.

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3/5   Renewal rip-off but do pay out   17 December 2014

Reviewed By: Jess and Tilly, Recommend: Y

Our renewal was over £12 a month more than a new policy, we like that they have paid out for a recent thorn in the eye claim but think customers should be offered a fair renewal

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1/5   Would not recommend   21 November 2014

Reviewed By: Dan Jamessom, Recommend: N

They try EVERYTHING not to pay out. Been with them for over seven years...have three dogs insured with them. Our oldest dog has suffered with ear infections throughout his life and now everytime he gets ANY kind of infection they always try to say it is related to his ears-no matter where the infection is!! They are just out to make money. I intend to fight them for my latest claim then I will stop my insurance, better off to just put my £30 a month it costs me to insure my older dog in a savings account and then use it to pay for him when he get ill.

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5/5   Great Service   21 October 2014

Reviewed By: Sally T, Recommend: Y

We have had Direct Line for several years for our two collies. We have had to file a few claims over the years and have never had a problem. Relief that they pay the vet directly, so only need to pay the excess at the office. Staff is very helpful also. We highly recommned this company.

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1/5   Do NOT use Direct Line   20 May 2014

Reviewed By: J Moss, Recommend: N

Direct Line are just out to make money. They lure you in with an initial low price and then hike up the price. My 6 year old cocker spaniel started at £15 per month by the time she was 10 years old and had been diagnosed with a very slight heart murmur it cost us £80 a month!!! Do Not recommend using them!!

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 They start earlier than that. Just had renewal offer for my 2 year old terrier; an increase of 40% !!! Only been to vet for annual vaccination. Gone to Asda; £3 month extra but is for "lifetime" cover.

comment by: D Hegarty, 11 April 2015
1/5   would not recommend   5 December 2013

Reviewed By: eileen mccartney, Recommend: N

Directline tried every way they could not to pay the pet claim out I would not recommend them , I will not be paying them anymore and when my house insurance comes up for renwal that will go to. thanks for taking my money direct line

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 I agree, I am having problems, I have paid out nearly £3,000 on my dog, having paid pet insurance for 6 six years and they are refusing to pay out. I am going to fight, as they are taking peoples money under false pretenses.

comment by: Sheila, 24 February 2014
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