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Insure you don’t get ‘ticked off’

READERS ARE advised to be wary of reading the small print on Kennel Club puppy transfer documentation or they may unwittingly elect to take out pet insurance on the puppy in question.

A breeder contacted the OUR DOGS office this week to relate how she was surprised to receive notification of a direct debit to her credit card in respect of insurance for a puppy she had since exported.

The breeder (name withheld on request) had jointly bred a litter with another breeder, so the resultant puppies could not bear her affix. However, as she had bred both parents of the litter, she was entitled to apply for a name change and transfer in respect of one of the puppies that she wished to export, bearing her affix.

The breeder duly sent in the necessary documentation to change the puppy’s name and to transfer the puppy into her sole name before exporting it to Denmark. The application for export was arranged at the same time.

The breeder sold the puppy as arranged, but was taken aback a couple of weeks later when she received documentation from the KC’s Healthcare department informing her that the puppy had six weeks’ free insurance and, from a given date, the sum of £17 per month would be debited from her credit card account to pay the premium.

"I couldn’t believe it," the breeder told OUR DOGS. "I’d supplied my credit card information when I was arranging the transfer of the puppy into my sole name, I didn’t expect this information to be taken and used to extract money from me for an insurance policy I didn’t request."

After contacting the KC’s Healthcare department to complain, the breeder received a call back from the KC’s Customer Services department explaining how the error had arisen.


"Basically, I was told that I hadn’t ticked a box on the paperwork saying that I did NOT want to take out insurance," the breeder said. "This, to me, is ridiculous. Surely it’s more a case of ticking a box if I WANT insurance. It shouldn’t be down to me to say that I don’t. It shouldn’t be assumed. The lady who called me told me that if I’d paid the transfer by cheque, they’d not have had my credit card details and would simply have sent me a reminder when the six week’s free insurance ended. I’d have ignored that then, simply because I wouldn’t want it."

The KC’s Press Office told OUR DOGS that the ‘assumption’ of the pet insurance continuing beyond the free six week period was known in marketing terms as an inertia response, whereby if a customer did not indicate otherwise and had provided credit card details, it would be assumed that pet insurance would be required.

A KC spokesman said: "Our advice to anyone sending in this documentation and providing their financial details is simply this: always check the small print. If somebody receives notification of a policy they do not wish to take up, they simply need to contact Kennel Club Insurance directly and the policy will not be activated."