Throughout our 35 year marriage we have owned dogs, usually 2 but sometimes 3 or 4 & anyone who knows us know our dogs have been the centre of our world, we have always taken insurance out for them, paid for grooming & kept their inoculations up to date & up to now our dogs have lived to a good age.
So our world was shattered 2 weeks ago when my husband following his usual daily routine carried our younger dog Teddy, who is still very excitable, down our garden path to the car with Bonnie trotting along behind him but on this horrendous day a cat walked straight in front of them & Bonnie took flight after the cat straight out of our close to the road that runs through our village. My husband called her name but was left to watch helplessly as she was hit by a car, which didn’t stop, the impact killed her instantly & my husband was left to pick up her lifeless body while being comforted by our neighbour. At the time I was visiting my daughter in Devon & received the awful news by telephone, so I returned to Cornwall straight away to offer comfort to my husband who was distraught by the accident. We are both broken by the loss of our beautiful Bonnie who was a placid & friendly dog who was loved by everyone who knew her.
I phoned our insurance company later that day & submitted a claim form for the £200 we believed we were entitled to which would enable us to arrange for a cremation & scatter her ashes on her favourite walk.
Less than a week after the accident we received a letter from Animal Friends accusing us of committing a criminal offence & declining our claim, we felt like the knife through our hearts from losing Bonnie had been twisted. I followed Animal Friends complaints procedure hoping to find they had some compassion but the decision to refuse payment was upheld.
I know there will be people who say it was our fault, as the insurance company did, but did we deserve to be told in such a cold & callous way that basically we failed our to ensure the safety of our beautiful Bonnie. The 4 conditions highlighted in the letter we received came from the 32 page policy document which accompanied the insurance we had taken out for Bonnie 4 yrs ago. I cannot believe many other pet owner would actually read the 32 pages let alone follow the conditions of the policy to the letter. It is my belief that Animal Friends just needed to find a reason not to payout on the policy & reading the highlighted conditions I fail to imagine there is any “accident” where they would not find a reason.