I've just been given permission to blog this and yes theoretically I should be making the tea... but this has got me so angry I have to write it down.
Michelle wrote to me a while ago about her original insurance company going pop (the second oldest in the industry) and being taken over by Pet Protect - click here to read episode one. Briefly her insurance premium went up to £62 a month from £24.99 for just one dog.
It just sounded crazy so I tried to intervene and got nowhere.
Things have just got worse. Here's Michelle's email of earlier today....
"Unfortunately Ellie who is also now insured with Pet Protect (via VIP for 9 years) has been very ill. She has very recently been diagnosed with a mask cell tumour in her small intestine. I am told that there is only 10 recorded cases of this in dogs and 2 of those where in Japan (you would think with odds like that I could as least win £10 on the lottery). Her prognosis is described as grave. I have just been told her insurance premium will go up to over £600 per year (fifty something pounds per month). I was expecting this and as it is going to be for a limited time was prepared to try and pay it, only to be told that if I claim and she subsequently dies before the end of the term I am liable for the whole amount. It is highly likely that she will be dead within a year, I am left trying to find where I can get either £600 or the money to fund her treatment (this is on top of the costs of frequent visits to Newmarket and back). Due to a change in my financial circumstances this is going to be almost impossible. To say I feel let down doesn't describe it.
"I know this isn't the fault of VIP and that there is nothing that can be done but I really thought by insuring them I would never have to face this sort of decision, how naive was I.
"Apologies for dumping on you, I suppose I just wanted to tell someone."
This just doesn't seem fair does it? Michelle has paid her premiums for nine years and when she really needs insurance - where is it! It's bad enough having a dog this ill without having to worry about paying for the treatment.
And what's this about having to keep paying the premiums after a dog dies - is this normal?
I'm going to ask Michelle to write to Tailwaggers for some help - I know she's been thinking of remortgaging her house to pay for Ellie's chemo.
If you'd like to organise a sponsored walk for Tailwaggers we'll see what we can do to help - but this is just so totally unfair...
And if any of you with chemo experience would like to give some moral support to Michelle I'm sure it would be appreciated. A letter to Pet Protect might not be such a bad idea either...