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Pet Insurers Are Refusing Payouts for Pets Deemed To Be Fat

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A lot of pawrents are guilty of sneaking one too many snacks to their four-legged best friend. After all, it’s not easy saying no to those sad puppy eyes, or, in case of cat owners, threatening stares. But, with pet obesity on the rise, we all need to think twice before we give into our pet’s gluttonous pleadings. Even if you’re not worried that your fur baby will quickly go from a bit chubby to obese, your insurance company might be.

In the United Kingdom, the country’s biggest pet insurer, Petplan, started imposing stricter rules on their furry clients. The company garnered a lot of attention, both negative and positive, when it declared that they’d be determining if pet’s weight had anything to do with the reason for the medical insurance claim. For instance, there has been a case where Petplan refused to pay out the promised sum in a case of a dog with a hurt leg, claiming it had been brought on by pet’s weight.

Pet obesity is an issue that we shouldn’t take for granted. Research indicates that overweight cats and dogs have a far greater chance of becoming ill, and the numbers of obese pets are on the rise: some estimates reveal that up to 40% of fur babies weigh more than they should. But, even though this is not a matter to be taken lightly, does it mean that the insurance companies are right in their strict policies?

Some people are, justifiably, worried that refusing to pay claims will often lead to a beloved family pet being euthanized due to his owner’s inability to cover medical bills. Another potential problem is insurance companies using weight as an excuse to back out on their obligations, as it’s not too clear what obesity means for each individual animal. And, lastly, even if pet owners need an incentive to keep their four-legged companions fit, there are other more productive ways to do it. Educating people on the importance of quality diet and regular exercise of their cats and dogs, or offering them wearable fitness tech for pets (as some insurance companies did), is a much better option than refuse to help when it’s needed the most.


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