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Dogfight with Sainsbury's over our pet insurance The Independent with additional information by Philip Suter

Memmories of Joss Suter

Joss passed away on the 15th September 2014, aged 10. She originally came from Limerick in Ireland and was picked up by the English charity The Hearing Dogs for the Deaf.

There are so many strays in Ireland and the charity often goes there to collect dogs from dog rescue establishments and bring them back to Saunderton near High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire to train them up as hearing dogs.

Like many others Joss was not suitable and she could not jump up. She had probably had been injured when she was a puppy. Dogs that cannot be trained as hearing dogs are then found homes in the neighbourhood.

She developed Addison's disease in 2006 and at the same time started to go around in circles a lot - always clockwise. When my brother Dick Suter was diagnosed with Leukemia we discovered that he was taking some of the same medication that she was taking - Prednisolone and Fludrocortisone. His only concern was that he did not start going around in circles. Fortunately he did not.

Over the years she often went back to Ireland staying in Dublin and visiting other parts of the country.

Back in 2013 we had a dispute with Sainsbury's Pet insurance.

Below is the details from The Independent Questions of Cash by a very helpful Paul Gosling on the 17th January 2014,

Dogfight with Sainsbury's over our pet insurance

Question. We adopted a Jack Russell terrier, Joss, in 2005. In 2006, it was diagnosed with Addison's disease. We paid vet bills of £2,000 and took out pet insurance with Sainsbury's Finance, which excluded cover for treatment related to Addison's. In 2008, Joss was again ill and as the illness was not connected with Addison's, the insurance policy covered treatment costs.

After that, the monthly premium rose from under £16 and by the end of 2012 was £57.69. I complained in 2011 at the cost and was given £30 in Sainbsury's shopping vouchers, but the premiums continued to rise.

In July 2013, Joss was again taken ill. Our vet diagnosed a renal problem and put her on a drip. This cost us £510.70. The vet said the illness was nothing to do with Addison's, but Sainsbury's has not met our claim. Initially, it said this was because it had contacted our vet, who did not respond. I spoke to the vet, who said he had not been contacted by Sainsbury's. Then in October we were told the claim had been rejected as the illness was "the same as an illness or injury that showed clinical signs before your pet's cover started".

We have appealed and the vet supports us. We have been told it could take three months for the appeal to be decided and our policy is now up for renewal. I have asked Sainsbury's why we should renew the policy in these circumstances, but it has not replied. PS, Buckinghamshire.

Answer. Sainsbury's Bank apologises. A spokeswoman says: "We initially turned down [the reader's] claim as Addison's can be a condition linked to renal disease, which Joss had previously suffered, thereby making it a pre-existing condition. We did, however, request further information from the vet so we could investigate the matter further and confirm if the two ailments were connected, so we could process the claim. Unfortunately, it turns out that the vet never received our request.

This resulted in the delay in settlement. We have now paid the claim and are very sorry we did not pay it sooner. As well as our best wishes, we have sent [the reader] a cheque for £80 for his family's distress and inconvenience."

http://www.independent.co.uk/money/spend-save/questions-of-cash-scottish-powerowed- me-money-but-i-couldnt-get-the-message-through-9068449.html

Dogfight with Sainsbury's over our pet insurance - The Independent January 2014 (Opens as PDF)

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Finally some more memories of Joss Suter - photos taken in Ireland, England and Wales over the years

©Philip Suter - September 2014

See also Oscar Suter

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