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Discussion Starter #1
Thought I would see what you all think. Our premiums for Max aged 3 are about to go up from 38 to 51 pounds per month with John Lewis. Please excuse lack of pounds signs etc but was experiencing problems posting as are others.

We have only just claimed this last year for a couple of ear infections. Max is on their top 10000 per year, lifetime cover with 75 per year total excess, not per condition.

If we drop to 7000 per year, lifetime cover and 175 excess the premiums will drop to 38 pounds per month.

We are in an expensive area for vet fees, Chelmsford, Essex, but it seems we have been penalised heavily for claiming this year, even though the payment was was only 175 after the excess.

I have seen plenty of threads about JL being good, and premiums do not always seem to have been hiked so much when people have claimed.

Just wondered if anyone has experienced similar with them.

Thanks
 

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John lewis sadly is one of many insurers who do base renewal premiums on claims Its unfortunate to have gone up that high but it probably also has to do with your area vets being expensive aswell and the area in general being high risk for certain things

Not much you can do changing Insurers will probably put an exclusion Poss temporary against anything you have claimed for in the past

Lower total allowance is an option but also 7k is a good level of cover per year
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks maxsdad. I had a chat with Petplan and they seemed to say they do not base premiums on claims. Do you know if that is true, or which others might be less based on claims?

I always get confused with pre existing conditions when it comes to looking to change. We have only claimed for two ear infections last year, which his vet is treating as isolated incidents. However, we have been to the vet the last three years for a couple of isolated tummy upsets needing ABs, and a one off incident of lameness which went away without treatment and just with rest. If he has a problem on the same leg in the future, would that be discounted by some insurers? The tummy upsets were isolated from eating something naughty, so would future isolated incidents be excluded, or if he was diagnosed with a chronic tummy problem?
 

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We are with Petplan lifetime and I have had many claims paid out for Monty over the years but premiums have only gone up by 2 to 3 pounds per month. This is despite annual payouts averaging well over 3 thousand per year. There has been an excess increase due to his age, when he turned 8, but premiums are about the same as for my daughters lab who is four years younger.

Unfortunately it is likely that anything that has required veterinary treatment would be classed as a pre existing condition.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks June, that is useful to know about petplan, I might have another chat with them. When I spoke to them the other day, they said they would check with the underwriters re previous vet visits to see if tummy and leg would be covered in the future.

When I asked JL about pre-existing conditions, they said they take advice from the vet. If the vet says it is unrelated to any previous treatment, they would generally pay out.....so she said. Not that that helps me as I am already with them, but I was curious to see how they all view pre-existing. I guess it differs between insurers.
 

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Hi. I work for petplan actually lol

Renewal premiums are not ever based on claims made that I can assure you

If you declare any prior conditions we always check with the underwriting team to see how and if we can cover them

With tummy troubles theres likely be an exclusion for a set period to make sure its isolated condition same with ears. Those are generally reviewable after the set time which you are advised at the time of taking pol. And its from the date of the last illness so you may already be past that.

The leg lameness would need to be clarified by the vet and vet hist to give you an idea of coverage. But the service/sales team can check all that for you if you call
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I spoke with PP and their underwriters and they will permanently exclude ear infections plus allergies - not that he has any allergies touch wood, but they explained the two often go together.

They are fine to include tummy troubles, so we are giving serious thought to swapping. They have asked to see a copy of Maxs clinical history so will let me know in the next few days if anything else will be excluded.

I just called JL again and asked for an explanation as to the level of price rise. They said definitely not due to the ear claim last year as they view that as a one off. But, they are basing their increase on general factors such as postcode, vet fee increases, male, pedigree and labrador. So on that basis can I expect price rises of 15 per month or more every year :evil: Basically no real answer.

I have to say I am pretty disguested with JL.

Maragaret - did you have continuity of cover by going direct with RSA, or was that treated as a new policy.
 

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Unless you have moved house. Area and postcode should not factor directly into a rise. I am surprised that JL have done that tbh.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I asked to speak to an underwriter, kept asking for a specific explanation regarding the rise and he kept saying payouts for labs have gone up a lot the last couple of years. But as they are underwritten by RSA, and RSA underwrite other pet products, does that mean RSA got the risk wrong for JL, or just that JL are being sharks.

I am going to put in a formal complaint. Completely pointless I know, but it seems to me they have undercut PP in a calculated way with a similar quality life cover product to suck in custom knowing people trust the JL brand, and have then shafted customers - assuming I am not the only one. JL was a brand I used to trust, but not any more.

LFers beware - supposed quality product at fair price in year one - but you will pay for it longer term.
 

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Yes I work for PP. But if Im honest so many insurers undercut to get custom but the prices they offer are unsustainable hence why so many go under.

Yes pp is sometimes expensive. But by god its stable and the cover is fair and they rises do come. But not huge hikes after claims.

Virgin did the same last year. An average rise of £12 a month across its book for no reason other than they could.

Once you are with a pet insurer its hard to change if your pet has certain conditions. So people should choose wisely at the start.

To many folk get sucked in by a low price policy only to find once theyve claimed prices go up and its hard to swap without penaltys.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I think what has upset me re JL is I was not looking for the cheapest - there were plenty of others who could have given me cheaper. I wanted quality I could trust at a competitive price and they were slightly better value for equivalent lifetime cover than PP. As a new dog owner, I had no history to know or trust the PP brand, but I had confidence in JL as they have a strong broad based brand, established for years around quality at fair prices.

Had I gone for a bargain bucket policy, I would be sitting here now saying oh well, you get what you pay for, hey ho I made a bad choice, deal with it. But I didn*t, I expect to pay a price for quality and I have gone along with 5 pound per month increase each year from 25 per month to 35 per month last year. But 51 pounds per month when they say the claim for his ear had little impact is not acceptable imo.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thought I'd give you an update...

Have given up with PetPlan as they won't budge on excluding every skin disorder know to man as well as ear problems - too risky.

Spoke with the next line of complaint for John Lewis, an agent for RSA who are their underwriters. Didn't shed that much light, but I did feel she was trying to be a bit more honest.

She said they have had to look at premiums across the board last year or so since taking over from AXA. Basically seemed to be saying they were not charging enough, didn't say they were making a loss, but were not covering their costs well enough. She obviously can't predict the future, but was hopeful there would not be such widespread increases next year.

She said how they treat claims is complicated, eg, had we claimed £4k last year rather than £250, our premium would still have gone up same amount, but they do look at claims and adjust for the fact that once you have claimed once, you are likely to keep doing so.

She did say that if we did a search now as a new customer that premiums for newby's are now much closer to renewal rates for existing ones, so less of a policy of grab 'em cheap then rack up the premiums - not that she was saying they had done that, more giving the impression they had been "caught out" somewhat and had now sought to rectify that.

maxsdad may well be able to say whether there is a whiff of something iffy about that conversation, but she did seem to be trying to help.
 

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If they had been under charging then you should have had a letter stating that

That pretty much confirms they do let claims affect premiums which isnt great.

She is right saying cannot predict the future. But everyone is hopeful cost won't rise each year.

The insurance market can rise and fall. But truthfully I've seen about 25-30 policies that have dropped in price at renewal. Out of thousands I've dealt with.

Current economy trends show a rise each year. But next year keep an eye on it but its a risk no matter what really.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Yeah, I expect a rise each year, that's normal. But she did go a small way to try to explain why such a large jump this year, and did specifically say they had been doing it across the board to address a specific problem. She did also acknowlege that PP as a larger insurer had better experience at identifying and managing risk with pet costs, and had therefore probably done a better job at getting premiums right, and that JL were playing catch up somewhat.

It will go up next year, of course. We can only hope the rise will be more reasonable, but clearly no gurantees. But same as insurers, us owners have to weigh costs and risks, and PP at the same price with equally no guarantee of sensible rises each year, plus huge exclusions which are ott imo, was just too much of a risk for us.

Fingers crossed for next year eh?
 

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Maxsdad we had never claimed with John Lewis,but they said because Tara was a lab,the area we live in and her age (8 years),they nearly doubled premiums.Iwonder Mandie whether people have left John Lewis in their droves.
 

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When a company takes on an existing book. Ie. John Lewis changing over rsa. It should not be a new policy it should be a continuation of the existing terms just with a new underwriter. You still should be dealing via JL unless they have transferred direct in which case all your paperwork should show the change and new terms.

The very fact they have told you they haven't been correctly charging only when pushed on the phone is a red flag for me. You should ask for that in writing as it seems they are clawing back the shortfall in your new premiums.

I'm sorry pp couldn't review the exclusions but there are hard fast rules. Underwriters must stick to with certain conditions. I do feel for you though

Hi margaret , Doubling a policy at renewal is disgusting and in my opinion a sign of an extremely untrustworthy and non stable book of insurance. Overnight with no notice. Unless you have moved premiums doubling is strange. An increase of up to 25%. Would raise eyebrows for me but double. No no no
 

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John Lewis? This is the "Never Knowingly Undersold" John Lewis I take it?!???

Back to vet with young Judith today for boosters etc. told her we are still plodding down non op route but I'm going to claim for the circa £500 we've spent to date on her ED as policy expires Friday and we'll never recover anything after that plus premium likely to rocket. The vet in complete agreement and was shocked I hadn't claimed for anything in the past for Jude or our cat. My reasoning was keeping premiums down when not recovering couple of hundred quid here and there over the year.
Now I feel I was wrong and should've been claiming!!!

I also didn't appreciate the time limit
I thought our policy cover would apply per incident or claim but appears time barred to costs per year, not each claim, as we are not lifetime cover
Gutted bout that one

For me it's all about fairness
Everyone should be MADE to have a licence and insurance
Premiums should then be more reasonable as bigger market
Vets and insurers should be entitled to FAIR profit levels
Regulation across the board would be wonderful

Never in a million years!!
 
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