Written on: 07/05/2007 by vickyJ1980 (6 reviews written)
Reasonable pricing structure, particularly for large breeds.
Delayed claims turnaround (currently 10 weeks following a 'summer backlog' - from June 2006!)
Have the 'essential' policy offering very poor 12 month cover (no cover for any ongoing conditions eg arthritis, skin disease, heart or kidney disorders)
Not particularly friendly with vets who will 'claim direct' for their vet fees, ie not supplying claim forms, using data protection as an excuse for being awkward.
Very limited dental cover.
No prescription diet cover.
No behavioral disorder cover.
Direct Line have become a formidable force in the pet insurance sector over recent years. They have reduced the market leader's new business sales considerably and have produced a client friendly system, providing reasonably priced veterinary fees cover. Bad news is the essential policy is awful and most people have no idea about the terms and conditions until they claim for an ongoing medical problem only to be told there is a 12 month time limit and ongoing vets fees need to be covered by the customer. Dental treatment is another favourite, it is quite common for people to bring their pet in for treatment only to be informed the item isn't covered on their policy. The Advance policy is better being 6k per condition over the lifetime of your pet. This is a particularly big gamble for those people insuring large breed dogs on this type of policy. Customers should be aware that a bull mastiff requiring ongoing skin allergy medication could run through that maximum benefit in under 3 years. Likewise a diabetic cross-breed may only manage 2 years before reaching his insurance limit, less if there are secondary cataracts. So although a better policy than essential, it is certainly not a very good option and if you can afford a little extra each month , then go for a cover for life policy such as Marks or Petplan (Standard or supreme for dogs or Catplan / Supercat).
Vicky, Independant Insurance Advisor for large Veterinary Practice.