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My experience with Waggel has just proven that insurance is a lot like gambling. They bet my pet will not need their services while tempting me with stories of how they saved the day with poor fluf...Read on
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Insurance for a rescue dog
My experience with Waggel has just proven that insurance is a lot like gambling. They bet my pet will not need their services while tempting me with stories of how they saved the day with poor fluffy got run over and I bet my pet will need their services to cover medical care that may be very expensive and I may not be able to afford. Surely no one wants Fluffy to perish for a lack of room on the credit card?
My claim with Waggel, (incidentally the only insurance claim I have ever made over 40+ years of having a pet), began in September 2020 and took two months to be denied. All through the process, it was up to me to chase up Waggle who blamed my vet for taking so long to send the paperwork but never bothered to chase them up themselves. I had to call Waggle to get them to do put pressure on my vet. According to the emails I received from my vet, they processed the request for my dog's history within 18 hours of being asked.
In the end, my claim was denied because I had taken my rescue Pug for a pre-spay assessment 11 days after purchasing a policy from Waggel. It never occurred to me that taking her in for a routine spay assessment before the 14 day waiting period would cancel any later claims. The spay was done 22 days after I bought the policy and 9 months before I made the claim.
The claim was denied specifically and any further claims associated with her entire respiratory system because during the pre-op assessment, the vet recommended having the dog's nostrils opened up during the spay to aid her breathing. BOAS was never mentioned.
Also, because my dog is a rescue and had no microchip when found, the two and nurse who have seen her have differing opinions as to her age (one says she is about 2 to 3, one says she is 4 the other says she is about 5). She was assessed as older when in poor condition and younger as she has gotten healty. Waggel have implied that I lied to them and thus my premium will now be increased with a penalty aka charge to change the policy to reflect her "true date of birth". When I told them this via live chat, the "customer champion" was rude and abruptly ended the chat without resolution.
What I find the most interesting about Waggel's claim to be different and their multiple five star reviews is that they strongly encourage you to review them as soon as you have purchased a policy and well before you have needed their services. Selling me the policy and taking my money was indeed 5-star easy. Leaving me thousands of pounds of essential medical treatment (which, contrary to their text message denial I did not see coming) and increasing my premium because I do not know my adopted rescue dog's "true" date of birth rates a 1-star experience.
Don't be taken in by their cute terms for things such as "customer champion" or discount offers on buying luxury dog jumpers, Waggle is an insurance company first and foremost. They make their money in getting you to buy premiums and denying large payouts. Before you say but they paid for Fluffy's life saving surgery....think about Vegas. Of course casinos have to let people win now and then, otherwise it would be bad for business, suckers won't put their money down if they think there is no chance of winning. Ultimately they make such a profit that paying a few claims to encourage more customers is how they work. Waggel has proven to be no different.
Read their carefully curated Facebook group, you will not see one negative word nor indeed will you be able to find a single post about a claim being denied. Read their official review site which claims 96% satisfaction and you will see that the majority of reviews are by people who found it easy to sign up and pay for premiums but have not made a claim.
So, my experience has been disappointing. Had I waited three more days before a routine surgery assessment then maybe they would have paid the claim made eight months later.... maybe not. Either way, I think my monthly premium is best kept out of their pocket.
Update: When they deny your claim, they close the support ticket thereby preventing you from appealing immediately. To appeal, you must go through a complaints procedure. When contacting them through live chat, the representative was rude and ended the chat abruptly without resolution.
Again, I warn you. Yes, they will make it really easy to sign up and perhaps offer you a lower price. They have a posh website and offer you discounts on expensive pet products but when it comes down to genuine concern for your pet, it is all about making money for them. They are no different than any other form of insurance, profit comes first.