Lloyds Banking Group (LBG) has performed a massive U-turn and will now reinstate pet insurance for thousands of customers, after originally axing cover.
The 4,500 customers whose pets had a medical condition covered by Halifax or Lloyds TSB, both part of LBG, when the providers withdrew from the market will be offered new cover.
The new policy, Halifax Pet Cover, will cover an animal's pre-existing conditions, if protected on the original plan, plus any new problems that may occur.
LBG, which is writing to affected customers over the next few days to explain, says premiums will be priced at the same rate the customer paid when their policy ended, and that policies will be renewed annually.
We have campaigned heavily for customers to have cover reinstated as has site founder Martin Lewis on ITV1's Daybreak.
The group first announced it would reinstate policies in May, although it gave no firm details at the time (see the Lloyds U-turn MSE News story).
The change of heart followed an outcry from furious Halifax and Lloyds TSB pet insurance customers who feared for their animals' future after the pair stopped renewing all annual pet insurance policies from late last year.
Lloyds described some policies as 'lifetime', leading many owners to believe they could get cover until their pet died (see the Proof Lloyds sold lifetime policies MSE news story).
The key problem with axing cover was any ailment developed since first buying insurance would not be insured on a new policy with another firm.
About 25,000 pet owners had cover with the two brands, but only those with a condition originally covered by the pair will be offered new insurance.
How to sign up
All the information will be provided in the customer letters. The number to call for information is 0844 826 3604.
Martin Lewis says: "Lloyds has rightly received a kicking. Withdrawing its pet cover left many to consider whether keeping their pets was possible, or facing the consequences of having to have them put down.
"I'm delighted to see it's turned this around on the back of persistent media and public pressure, yet it should never have put its customers through this in the first place."
What if my pet is already ill?
Lloyds says anyone who needs to claim for a condition after their previous policy ended but before the replacement starts should get in touch. It will consider each claim on a "case-by-case basis".
If a customer has already paid vets fees, thinking they had no insurance, they should keep any evidence of payment, as Lloyds may refund this.
When was cover axed?
Lloyds TSB stopped selling new policies in October 2011. Any existing annual policies will still run until expiry, but any that ended after 1 February this year, won't be renewed as they were.
Halifax stopped selling new policies last August and stopped renewing cover in September.
A spokeswoman for Lloyds Banking Group says: "Following our letters in May to Halifax and Lloyds TSB pet insurance customers whose pets have pre-existing conditions, we are now writing to offer them a new policy, Halifax Pet Cover.
"The new policy will include cover for the pets' pre-existing conditions that were previously covered by Halifax Pet Insurance, Halifax Pet Insurance eXtra and Lloyds TSB Plus Pet Insurance policies."