Owners killing pets insurance

Owners killing pets insurance, False claims on pet insurance are soaring with some owners deliberately maiming or even killing their animals to get a payout.

Fake claims in the UK on pet policies have almost quadrupled in the last year making it the fastest growing area of insurance claims.

The injuries to animals mirror the 'cash for crash' claims made on cars - where vehicles are deliberately damaged for the insurance money.

Figures from the Association of British Insurers have revealed there was £1,929,900 worth of pet insurance fraud detected last year - up from just £420,000 in 2009, although the true scale is thought to be far higher.

According to insurers some owners have even killed their pets so they can claim an early death payout.
Others have injured their pets in 'fake accidents' to cover up previous injuries or conditions that were not covered by their policy.

Some pets go mysteriously missing because some policies pay out if a pet is lost or stolen, while some animals may never have existed in the first place.

A further scam is to include claims for vet treatments which have not been carried out or put through at up to double the cost of what they should be.

Experts believe some vets must be involved in carrying out the scams and say some healthy pets have even been deliberately put down.

Carys Clarke, a solicitor who works as an insurance fraud investigator for law firm Berrymans Lace Mawer, said: 'Between 2008 and 2010 the number of claims where fraud has been suspected or proven has increased by 440 per cent.

'As in motor insurance, the types of pet fraud vary, but suspicions are often aroused by potentially exaggerated claims for treatment.

'In addition to the loss of use and value of the animal, the deliberate destruction or maiming of an animal can also be disguised as an accident and deliberate destruction of an animal by a veterinary surgeon when unnecessary are also areas where fraud might arise.'

She said veterinary records, unlike humans, do not always follow animals around so can often be difficult to be trace, making it easier to carry out frauds.

She added that vets, who are not bound by the constraints of using the cheapest drugs available like the NHS, can even charge up to twice as much for treatment.

'Insurers may also be presented with claims for cost of drugs or treatment for animals that don't exist or for a treatment that is unnecessary or more expensive than needed', she said.

'These are particularly worrying types of fraud because it often requires the help of a vet.'

A total of 2.3 million cats and dogs were insured last year and virtually every type of animal can be covered.

The Association of British Insurers is now arranging a shared database of information about insured animals to detect fraud.

Read more: dailymail


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