Friday, 10 February 2012

Just when you thought you couldn't dislike bankers any more...

... they break a promise and let down thousands of pet owners and make it likely that lots of dogs and cats will get put to sleep.

You have probably already heard that Lloyds and Halifax have decided to get out of the pet insurance market. But they set a dangerous precedent if they are allowed to walk away and leave their customers who had bought 'cover for life' expensive insurance with no cover. You can do something about this injustice, please just take a moment to write a letter, or go into the bank and make a personal complaint and if possible join the facebook campaign page and tell others to do the same.

Here's the link:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/184087888362814/
or search: Pet insurance - cover for life should mean exactly that Lloyds and Halifax


If you bank with either organisation or even if you were thinking of using them in the future can you find the time to drop them a line?
Here's my version - please do feel free to change or adapt it, this is just a suggestion!

The BVA are very upset about it. Click here to read their full press release. Any other pet institutions got a comment to add please? This hits responsible pet owners where it hurts and will kill many pets before their time. Have you been affected by this? If so tell me your story and send me a photo of your dog or cat: beverley@dogstodaymagazine.co.uk. There are number of people offering free advice about what to do next and I am happy to point you in the right direction.

Here's my blueprint letter, please do let Lloyds and Halifax know that pet lovers stick together.
Do write to your local branch and CC the MD too:

Mr David Nicholson
Managing Director
Halifax
PO Box 548
Leeds
LS1 1WU


Sir Winfried Franz Wilhe 
Chairman Lloyds
25 Gresham Street
London
EC2V 7HN 


Dear Bank Manager

I am writing to let you know how I feel about the way you are treating your pet insurance customers. 
I accept your company's decision to leave the pet insurance market, but you should just close your doors to new business and honour the commitments you had already entered into.
You have obviously found this sector less profitable than you hoped - and someone in your organisation must have made some errors of judgement encouraging you to try your hand in this sector. But to then cut-and-run and leave others to suffer the consequences of a corporate error is despicable.
Thousands of your customers paid extra for the peace-of-mind afforded by 'cover for life' insurance.  When they acquired their pet they took the responsible decision to take out a more expensive policy just in case their pet developed a serious and long term health problem they couldn't afford to treat.
They paid substantially extra to make sure recurring conditions would not excluded on renewal each year.
By ceasing to provide this policy you have left them stranded. 
No one will cover their pets with pre-existing conditions.
These are dogs with cancer, diabetes, heart problems, skin problems, epilepsy etc. 
Conditions that would cost thousands of pounds each year to treat, money that in this economic climate pet owners will struggle to find. 
Sadly many will fail and their pets will have to be put to sleep - because you broke your promise.
They had chosen to insure with a bank they had confidence in, but it seems that faith was misplaced.
My trust in you has been damaged with this and if you don't behave responsibly and put this right I will consider moving my business elsewhere.
I should point out that there are 10 million dogs and around the same number of cats in Britain according to the University of Bristol - the most scientific study of pet ownership in Britain. 
They say that 31% of households have a dog, 26% have a cat. Research from Pedigree Petfoods showed more than 80% of people in the UK actively like dogs, so even non owners will have a view on a bank that has caused pets to be killed unnecessarily.
While not all of these have taken out your pet insurance, we are a nation of pet lovers and I am sure this will not be the only letter like this you will receive.
Please - urgently - stop the suffering you are causing to these pet owners and the damage you are inflicting on your own reputation.
Your sincerely
















8 comments:

Ann said...

Think you might be missing the point here, banks are banks, insurers are insurers.
The banks arranged the insurance with a supplier. They chose a supplier who has now withdrawn from the market, this was not the bank's decision.
Immoral I agree, but as the supplier was a non UK company few people have heard of they have no brand to damage and won't care they have upset loads of British people.
So I think you are on the road to nowhere with this. Unfortunately.

Beverley Cuddy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Beverley Cuddy said...

Hi Ann, I disagree. Lloyds and Halifax used their brand name to sell insurance to their customers. They may have used an underwriter but they exposed their customers to a brand that failed that bore their name. It is up to the brand to protect itself and save its reputation. These customers paid for the safety of High Street brand and as they lent that insurance their identity they should have done more research before they got into bed with a company to whom they lent their name. Beverley

Tracy Neil said...

Hi Beverley
I have copied the link to this page onto Martin Lewis's page (he's the guy who runs moneysavingexpert.com) - perhaps you could link up with him and ask him to put your campaign in his weekly e-mail? It goes out to 7 million people. He has already mentioned the Lloyds/Halifax insurance thing on his facebook page so he is aware of it.
Just an idea - if he agrees you will be reaching a much larger audience and hopefully these banks will be bombarded with letters. They are disgraceful institutions.

Krys said...

Although I blame the bankers/insurers for this, they do have a point about rising Vet Fees,
& I'm not sure that the BVA are entirely innocent in this matter.

Since the rules were changed to allow Non Veterinary Surgeons to own Surgeries the rise of the Corporate Veterinary Practice, with young Vets under pressure, to "Sell", especially those whose salary relies on commission, have resulted in large fee increases for many.
Even most independent Vets are now reliant on a Corporate Practice to provide their Out of Hours Service.

IMO this has done the whole Veterinary Profession a major disservice.

Ann said...

Point taken, Beverley. Interestingly, I believe the Kennel Club insurance is underwritten by the same company, but I haven't heard any complaints about this being withdrawn.
Does this mean they are continuing to offer insurance to the KC? If so they clearly aren't withdrawing from the pet insurance market, just as suppliers to Halifax and Lloyds.
If so, can people transfer to KC insurance without losing their lifetime cover?
Something the KC could use to improve their image if so!

Anonymous said...

Halifax Pet Insurance Underwriters are Agria.

I thought the underwriters Agria had their own Dog Insurance called "Agria" at least that's what was on a pet Insurance leaflet I picked up in my Vets waiting room.

http://www.agriapet.co.uk/

Anonymous said...

Hello this might be interesting to read thats if you haven't already read this.

Pet insurer issues payouts‎

Telegraph.co.uk - 10 hours ago
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/insurance/pet/9118271/Pet-insurer-issues-payouts.html