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Our beloved dog was killed by a car… but the insurance company said it was OUR FAULT – it was a knife through our hearts

A DEVASTATED dog owner whose pet was killed after being mown down by a car was cruelly told by the insurance company that it was THEIR fault.

Sue Kennedy’s world was “shattered” when her beloved Yorkshire terrier Bonnie ran out into the road outside her home in Helston, Cornwall, and was fatally hit.


Yorkshire terrier Bonnie was tragically killed when she ran out into the roadCredit: BPM
Her owner Sue Kennedy says the insurance company blamed her for the pooch's death


Her owner Sue Kennedy says the insurance company blamed her for the pooch’s deathCredit: BPM

While wading through the grief of losing her canine companion, she says their callous insurance company then blamed her for Bonnie’s death.

The aptly-named firm Animal Friends refused to pay out for their claim and harshly insinuated Sue had been guilty of an offense under the Road Traffic Act.

The dog-lover explained she and her husband have cared for countless pups during their 35-year marriage, describing their pets as “the center of our world.”

She said: “We have always taken insurance out for them, paid for grooming and kept their inoculations up to date and up to now our dogs have lived to a good age.”

But two weeks ago, her husband was carrying their younger pooch, Teddy, to the car while Bonnie trotted behind them.

Sue explained: “On this horrendous day, a cat walked straight in front of them and Bonnie took flight after the cat, straight out of our close to the road that runs through our village.

“My husband called her name but was left to watch helplessly as she was hit by a car, which didn’t stop.

“The impact killed her instantly and my husband was left to pick up her lifeless body while being comforted by our neighbour.”

Sue rushed back from Devon where she was visiting her daughter after hearing the tragic news of the death of her “beautiful Bonnie”.

“We are both broken by the loss,” she said.

“I phoned our insurance company later that day and submitted a claim form for the £200 we believed we were entitled to, which would enable us to arrange for a cremation and scatter her ashes on her favorite walk.”

But a week after the death of their darling dog, Sue says she received a letter from Animal Friends “accusing us of committing a criminal offense and declining our claim.”

We felt like the knife through our hearts since losing Bonnie had been twisted.

sue kennedy

The owner continued: “We felt like the knife through our hearts since losing Bonnie had been twisted.

“I followed Animal Friends complaints procedure hoping to find they had some compassion but the decision to refuse payment was upheld.

“I know there will be people who say it was our fault, as the insurance company did, but did we deserve to be told in such a cold and callous way that basically we failed our to ensure the safety of our beautiful Bonnie.

“It is my belief that Animal Friends just needed to find a reason not to pay out on the policy.

“Reading the highlighted conditions, I fail to imagine there is any accident where they would not find a reason to decline an accident claim,” Sue fumed.

“We’re two weeks on now and the pain is still very much there. I can’t get through a day without breaking down.”

The letter received by Sue stated that any person who permits or causes a dog to be on a designated road is guilty of an offense under the Road Traffic Act 1988.


It also warned that dogs must not be able to escape a property and must be wearing a collar and lead.

Grief-stricken Sue said: “I want as many people to know that although they may think their dog is insured, small print means they probably are not.”

She has since launched a Crowdfunder page in a bid to give Bonnie the send-off she deserves.

A spokesperson for Animal Friends said: “We are deeply sorry to hear about the tragic passing of Bonnie and understand how devastating it is to lose a pet.

“The claim outcome letter sent to Mrs Kennedy was not of the high standard that we typically pride ourselves on delivering at Animal Friends Insurance.

“We did express our condolences to Mrs Kennedy in our subsequent communications however, we understand how this particular letter Mrs Kennedy received could have been distressing at what is an already difficult time.

“An internal review of our customer communications will be carried out to ensure that this does not happen again and we have also just invested in specialist bereavement training with the animal charity, Blue Cross, to ensure that we are providing our customers with the understanding and support they need when experiencing the loss of a pet.”

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