Pet insurers Churchill have refused to cover a bulldog - the very breed that stars in their advertising.
Potential customer Timothy Taylor of Leicestershire has applied for cover for his six-year-old bulldog Monty but was turned down. Call centre staff informed him the company does not insure bulldogs.
The company says Taylor was incorrectly advised: the refusal is not specifically because Monty is a bulldog, but instead because his age his higher than its limit for new pets. The limit applied regardless of Monty having recently had a good report from a medical examination by a vet.
Although Monty is only half way through the average lifespan for a Bulldog, most insurers have age limits for new pets because of the dramatic increase in risk of illness as they get older. This is particularly true of lifetime policies, which are the most expensive on offer and often allow guaranteed renewal each year. In effect, premiums paid when a pet is younger and healthy help subsidise the costs of treatment in their later years.