The Law Office of Stan M. Doerrer, working with co-counsel, recently filed a class action Complaint relating to Healthy Paws Pet Insurance. The lawsuit alleges that Healthy Paws breached its contract with insurers by taking pets’ ages into account in increasing premiums.
Healthy Paws’ uniform contract states: “Monthly premiums may change for all policyholders to reflect changes in the costs of veterinary medicine.” In spite of this language, the suit alleges that Healthy Paws’ increased premiums yearly based on factors other than the costs of veterinary medicine, including the age of the pet.
As policyholders’ pets got older– monthly premiums increased significantly more than the costs of veterinary medicine. According to the Nationwide Purdue Veterinary Price Index, 2019 update: “Overall, veterinary pricing during the last four years, inclusive (end of 2014 to the end of 2018), has increased by 21.1 percent….” During that same period, the “Plaintiff’s premiums increased from $33.62 to $55.61, a whopping 65.4%. And in the two years’ since, Plaintiff’s premiums have increased from $55.61 to $104.50, an additional 87%”
The State of Washington’s Officer of the Insurance Commissioner recently fined both Healthy Paws and its underwriters (ACE American Insurance Company and Indemnity) for numerous violations, including impermissibly taking into account a pet’s age when calculating premiums. In a consent order, the Commissioner identified the following area of concern, “Allowing Healthy Paws’ producer to increase the pet age factor [in calculating monthly premiums] contrary to policy language indicating the factor would remain constant.”
Plaintiff seeks to represent a nationwide class for claims, including breach of contract, and a California statewide class for violations of California’s Unfair Competition Law. If you are a Healthy Paws policyholder and would like more information, please contact this law firm to discuss your rights.