Shopping for pet insurance can be an exhausting process, especially when there are so many providers and policy options out there. When it comes to getting that peace of mind all pet owners crave, it seems every incentivised policy comes with a catch. It falls on pet parents themselves to carry out their own research, and determine the best pet insurance for their furry friend. 

The first step in making any insurance decision is to determine your pet’s requirements, and then assessing your own cashflow situation. Figuring out how much coverage you think your pet will need is an important way to begin finding the perfect pet insurance policy for you. This relies on cutting through the marketing and advertising jargon, and getting to the kernel of the offer, thereby working out how advantageous it could prove in the months and years to come. 

To help you through this process, this article explores the offering from another pet insurance provider – More Than Pet Insurance. 

More Than Pet Insurance – the company

More Than is a UK based firm that deal with a number of insurance products, including motor, home, travel, and – the focus of this article – pet insurance. The company is owned by RSA Insurance group, which in turn has major operations in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Scandinavia & Canada.  

Launched in 2009 with the TV advertising slogan ‘Don’t Accept Less Than More Than’ (a bit of a mouthful, we know), the company prides itself on its commitment to customer service, and providing an ethical entry in the personal insurance category. Its website’s ‘about us’ section lists one of its objectives to ‘carry out our business looking to create a positive social and environmental impact wherever we can,’ going on to claim that ‘as society’s risk managers, we know that individual choices can create a more secure future for all.’

Recently, More Than have been in the news addressing the concern of pet obesity stemming from the changing habits and behaviour due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. The company’s head of pet insurance Graham Nicholls said ‘what we don’t quite realise is the long term impact our habits can have on our pets’. It is clear then, that the corporation is alive to current trends and the impact that the changing times is having on consumer behaviours and choices. 

More Than Pet Insurance – it’s policies

More Than offer four primary tiers for its pet insurance policies: Accident Only, Basic, Classic, and Premier. These work on a sliding scale of coverage, with Premier representing the most comprehensive policy currently offered by the company. These policies differ in their vet fee limits, as well as some of the extra features provided alongside its primary health cover. 

In terms of its pricing, the standard quotes fall in line with some of the more competitively priced pet insurance options out there. Also included is a list of incentives, including a 25% online discount for new customers, which is currently being promoted on its website. 

Alongside individual insurance options for cats and dogs, they also offer multi-pet insurance, with a 10% discount currently being offered for each new pet added to your existing policy. According to its website, up to 3 pets can be added online and more when you call. So it’s important to look out for such promotions when it comes to deciding how to get the most cost-effective policy option for you. 

We’ll now set out each of their policies in more detail, running through the current benefits and exclusions of each. 

Accident-only Pet Insurance

Just like many other pet insurance providers, the accident-only policy is More Than Pet Insurance’s most basic plan, offering insurance payouts only in the event of accident and emergency related incidents. 

According to the finer details of this policy offering ‘you’ll be able to claim vet fees for a period of 12 months from the treatment for an accident or until the vet fees limit is reached, whichever happens first. If you make a claim and have any remaining cover benefits you wish to use in the next policy year, you must renew your policy with us and there must be no break in cover.’

The vet fee limit for this coverage currently stands at £2,500, which makes it suitable for many complications that may arise. It also includes third party liability for dogs (covering injury to others or damage to someone’s property), as well as accidental damage coverage. 

Exclusions for this policy includes accidents occurring before or within the first 48 hours of your policy start date, changes you or your vet notice in the health or behaviour of your pet before this policy started, and treatment for cruciate ligament injuries. 

Basic Pet Insurance

Also known as the time-limited option, this policy allows users to claim up to £1,500 or £3,000 for each new medical condition for up to 12 months from the first treatment date. As currently stated on its website, If you make a claim and have any remaining cover benefits you wish to use in the next policy year, you must renew your policy, and there must be no break in cover.

As with the Accident-Only policy, they also include coverage for accidental damage and third party liability, but they also include a range of other features not included in that policy. These include Lost and Found cover in case your pet goes missing (up to £1000 offered for advertising and up to £1,000 for a reward for their safe return). Emergency boarding cover is also provided, with up to £1,000 covering boarding costs in case you fall ill and are no longer able to look after your pet. 

With the vet fee limit standing at £1,500 or £3,000, this policy represents the company’s second tier choice for comprehensive pet insurance cover. The list of exclusions matches those listed for the accident-only policy. 

Classic Pet Insurance

Also known as maximum benefit, this type of coverage isn’t time-limited, making it more suitable for cases where your pet suffers from repeat instances of the same illness. More Than Pet Insurance allows customers to claim up to £4,000 or £8,000 for each new medical condition with no time limit on a claim. If you make a claim and have any remaining cover benefits you wish to use in the next policy year, you must renew your policy, again with no break in cover.

Other benefits include all those listed for the Basic policy, but with the inclusion of Pets Abroad cover, for circumstances where a pet falls ill while on holiday. This provides insurance in certain European countries up to the vet limit on your policy.

Premier Pet Insurance

The final, and most comprehensive policy offered by More Than Pet Insurance is their Premier option, covering pets for injuries and illnesses at their currently stated rates:

£4,000 (with each injury or illness limited to £1,000 of vet treatment) or £12,000 (with each injury or illness limited to £4,000 of vet treatment) each year.

In addition to the aforementioned benefits, the Premier tier also includes Farewell Cover, allowing pet owners to provide a fitting sendoff for their beloved companion. 

More Than Pet Insurance – our verdict

With their suite of insurance options, More Than appear to position themselves as a simple, no-frills provider where consumers can get better value for money and peace of mind across a range of products. Providing extra incentives for new customers, their marketing seems especially targeted at those looking to switch from another provider, or for those who might subscribe to other types of insurance, but who are looking for a reliable Pet Insurance company to help fill the gap. 

Their charming and popular ‘Got The Blues’ ad has delighted online audiences with their laid-back approach, evidenced by an animated cat performing on a harmonica. Here, we have an image of a company not taking themselves too seriously but at the same time providing caring service that is attentive to the needs of people and their pets. 

But while they have positioned themselves well to attract new customers to their service, it seems this falls at the expense of existing customers, many of whom have complained about the high cost of insurance renewals. As we’ll see from the customer reviews section below, More Than appear to take a somewhat heavy-handed approach to the liability risk that ageing animals represent.  This is one of the main concerns people seem to have with their service. 

Another potential gripe is the limited extra features available, particularly in their most comprehensive pet insurance package. While other providers like to tempt customers with a fully stacked suite of extras, More Than’s offering seems fairly limited in comparison. As always, it is up to the individual to determine whether or not these added bonuses are worth your while, but consumers opting for the most comprehensive package offered by a company will be used to a bit more. 

On the plus side, there don’t appear to be too many exclusions, with dog breeds appearing on the ‘dangerous dogs’ list the only prohibition, and the company apparently content to simply charge more for higher risk dogs than impose a strict exclusion on them. This is good news for those who own rare and exotic dog breeds, who usually have a harder time obtaining adequate pet insurance. 

More Than Pet Insurance – their reviews

More Than currently has a 4.2/5 rating on Trustpilot, but a 1.9/5 rating for its pet insurance offering alone on the industry-specific site petinsurancereview.co.uk. 

Aside from commonly reported issues concerning the company’s unwillingness to pay out in certain circumstances, the main problem concerns the high cost of insurance renewals, with many reporting extortionate fee increases, and general mistreatment of existing customers. Despite a few reviewers reporting minimal claims during their insurance period, the company decided to raise the premium to a seemingly inordinate amount. This, understandably, has made these customers pretty angry, and quite prepared to switch providers. 

In terms of its customer service, many customers are reporting excessive wait times, as well as an overly long period of time before a claim is confirmed. In some cases, customers have even reported rudeness when questioning an increase in their premium. While the company appear quick to respond to issues reported publicly on their Trustpilot page, perhaps the same care and consideration can be given to customers raising an issue privately. While extreme cases are known to swing the pendulum when it comes to online reviews, the average rating for the company seems pretty low compared to some of its competitors. 

If you’re looking for a more seamless experience with attentive customer service and premiums that won’t catch you out, you might want to consider speaking to one of the representatives at Emerald Pet Insurance. In just a quick phone call, our friendly team will be able to guide you through the process, determine which policy is right for you, and give you a competitive quote. 

While a pet’s health can be considered ‘priceless’, that’s not an opportunity for companies to take advantage of unwitting pet owners. At Emerald Life, we treat all our customers ethically, ensuring our pricing structure is designed to be as transparent and fair as possible, to help give you peace of mind for your pet. 

Including free 24/7 consultations through FirstVet, as well as a host of policies designed to work for every scenario, we’re confident that our offering provides unrivalled quality and value for money in the pet insurance industry. As experts in our field, we know that selecting the right pet insurance involves a lot of research and due diligence, which is why we’ve provided this industry review, and why we’re always on hand to help guide you through the process, and let you know what level of service you should be demanding. Simply get in touch using our contact page above, and we’ll help you to make the best decision for your pet. 

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Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-47981954