Horrible - try to wriggle out of legitimate claims

Out of 10

We got Petcare Insurance when we adopted out car, a healthy one year old, as Petcare was recommended by the company that had chipped our cat. We had a medical as required and sent the paperwork in. Our cat had vomited when we first got him but this was down to stress (quite normal when a rescue cat is adopted out and has a change in its environment) - our Vet confirmed this. So... no halth issues for our boy. Fast forward three months and we had a call from Petcare asking if we'd like to upgrade our coverage for anothe $5 per month. It sounded like a good deal given the extra benefits that we would get in coverage so we signed up and were told that our upgraded policy would be effective from 12.01am that evening. This was on a Thursday evening so the policy would come into play at 12.01am Thursday night/Friday morning. Three days later our cat went out in the yard first thing in the morning and came in and within half an hour was vomting liquid, foaming at the mouth and had keeled over and was not responsive to us. This was on a Sunday morning. We rang our Vet who referred us to the local emergency vet (30 miles) away as it was a Sunday. We rushed out cat there where he was put on an IV and treated immediately. They gave an open diagnosis but leaning toward plant toxin ingestion. We transferred our cat to our local vet the next day (Monday) after paying out around $1000 to the emergency vet. I called petcare to confirm that we did indeed have the upgraded coverage we had signed up for three days before.
Surprise, surprise they said they had no records of this. I asked that they check their records and gave them the time and date of the call and the name of the person I spoke with who sold me the upgrade. We had a call the next day saying that we did indeed have the upgrade after all, but the policy only came into effect at 12.01 am on the Saturday night/Sunday morning, not on the Thursday night/Friday morning. However, as our cat had been taken ill the Sunday morning we were OK. Or so we thought....

Our cat spent the next five days at our local vet. He showed no improvement and our vet did more x-rays and found what he thought was a foreign object. He went in to invesitage and it turned out that our cat's spleen was massively swollen and his intestine inflamed. The spleen was removed and within 24 hours, our cat was almost back to his normal buoyant self. We happily took our cat home after paying a further $1400 to our vet. The diagnosis was poisoning through toxic plant ingestion.

We filed the claims from both vet's to Petcare along with the invoices and other paperwork, with a covering letter explaining what had happened.

Three months later and we are still fighting Petcare for our reimbursement. After initially saying that we did not have the upgraded coverage, they then went back and tried to claim that because our cat had vomited, this condition was pre-existing! So he'd vomited once due to stress in July, and had vomited again due to plant toxin ingestion, and this is 'pre-existing'!! Our vet wrote a letter to them confirming that the two instances were totally unrelated.

I then spoke to someone who claimed to be a supervisor and he tried to tell us that there is a 30 day waiting period between signing up for a new policy and coverage starting. We checked our policy and terms and conditions and there is no such clause. Besides which, our cat needed emergency treatment - if we'd have waited 30 minutes more, mevermind 30 days more, we'd have lost him. It really was THAT serious! I took this up with the person handling our claim and of course, this has been swept under the carpet - this supervisor was simply lying to us to try and get us to stop pursuing our claim. As if we are that stupid.

Now they are trying to say that our cat was ill before we took him in on the Sunday morning. Despite us sending them all of the notes from the emergency vet and the local vet that show he was admitted on the Sunday morning. The reason for this latest denial of claim? The admission nurse at our local vet wrote down "cat taken to ER Sat" and not Sunday by mistake. Despite all of the other doucmentation that proves that he was taken in on the Sunday and a statement from the Emergency vet confirming that this is the case they are denying us our claim based on one tiny clerical error. They have piad out part of our claim but we are still $1500 out of pocket.

To say we are furious with Petycare is an understatement. I have asked them three times now to pull the tape of the initial sales we had on the Thursday evening so they can listen to the sales person telling me that our policy would be effective as of midnight that night. So far they have not to my knowledge pulled this recording and listened to it. Or they have and they know I am right so are not saying anything about it. After all, it seems some of their employees are not above lying to policy holders...

The problem is you have people there with no medical experience who are not qualified to make judgements on medcial cases. The supervisor who lied to us about 30 days waiting period befor coverage started said he used to work in a call center at Vonage. How does that qualify him to make decisions on the our cat's medcial treatment???

The girl who is dealing with our claim is actually very supportive. But the underwriters are awful - they are basically denying us a totally legitimate claim becuase our cat happened to be extremely ill a few days after we agreed to upgrade our policy. Petcare are not honorable people to deal with, and we are not giving up on our claim. We have the support of our vets and we will fight our claim even if we have to go to small claims court over it. It's more a matter of principal than anything else at this stage.

I'd rather not give my name as we are still fighting our claim with these jokers. I think the key to dealing with these folks is document EVERYTHING, keep your notes organized and DO NOT give up. Keep badgering them unitl you get fair treatment.

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