Customer Review for
1/10 Animal friends are a shambles - they don't pay out
Animal friends are a shambles. I have cat insurance with Animal Friends for 3 cats, all on a non-lifetime policy. I have twice tried to claim (for two different cats) and both times have been rejected - quoting the '365 day lapse' of both 'conditions'.... that being a complete lie.
1. The first time, I tried to claim for Basil's skin treatment. They wrote to be on 3 occasions asking me to confirm the date when I first noticed the condition, despite me filling this in on the form I sent to them. They ignored my responses so I had to call. I did this while on a break in work, thinking it would be an informal conversation to inform them of what I had already informed you. The claims advisor asked if he had ever shown signs before of a skin condition... I said something along the lines of 'no, cats have little scabs on their skin often but it hasn't ever been in this way'. This conversation, which I thought was chatty, informal and not something which would make my claim void (I'd already answered the question on two occasions) was then rejected, and they stated that it had been over 365 days since I 'noticed the condition' and therefore I couldn't claim.
1. Why were my first two responses not accepted, but an informal chat where no dates were confirmed or spoken about was?
2. I was told, whilst complaining about this, that someone would review the call and get back to me. Nobody did, and therefore this complaint is still outstanding.
2.This week I've been told I can't claim for Pedro's stomach rash/skin condition, which started in October 2016. The reason stated is because of 'plaque on upper lip' which was noted during a check-up in 2015. The lip plaque was never treated - nor did it ever need to be. It was simply an observation from my vet at that time.
The vet has confirmed the two have nothing to do with each other, but they are insisting they know more than my vet. The claims advisor said the claims handlers are 'Veterinary trained', however he confirmed that they are not Vets, nor have they every examined my cat.
1. Why does a claims handler know more about my Cat's condition/diagnosis than my Vet, who has physically examined him?
2. Why did they not let me know at renewal that Pedro was registered as having a 'skin condition' and therefore would not be able to claim for any further skin conditions? If theh had let me know this, I would have been able to make a more informed decision about my claim in the future and sought advice from my Vet
3. Jack in Customer Services said that my Vet's word would not be sufficient, and that I would need 'Reasoning' and 'Evidence' that the two conditions weren't linked. I asked Jack what exactly 'reasoning' and 'evidence' meant, but he could not tell me. I would propose that the two would come from my Vet, who is trained to be able to give such 'reasoning' and 'evidence' - but apparently not.
Along with this, the claim handler was rude on the phone, he would not let a very frustrated customer speak, was sighing on the call and clearly had no intention of helping. There was no mention of my loyalty as a customer, having been with them for 4+ years and having 3 cats with them. There was also no apology for the length of time the claim has taken, for the lack of communication around his apparent omitted cover and no mention of the fact that this is my second 'failed' claim.
The staff have been rude, unhelpful and the service I have received has been very poor. I also have had no response on social media, which after some research I can see why - due to lots of other complaints being on the internet about them.
I am now out of pocket by over £200, excluding the excess I would have had to pay on the two cases.
Don't trust them or waste your money. Pay more for a better more trustworthy service !
Emily Kellett, 2 April 2017
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