It seems Royal and SunAlliance (R&SA) and its sister More Th>n's attack on rivals for not offering pet insurance to old aged pets (OAPs) was a little premature.

For Direct Line UKI insurance has just revised its cover for all pets adopted from the RSPCA charity - regardless of age.

The original policy insured a pet up to the age of eight, leaving many with long-term health problems left in RSPCA centres nationwide.

The new policy gives owners 30 days free cover if they adopt a pet from the RSPCA with a promise of insurance to the age of nine if cover is continued after the 30-day period. And UKI pledges to give 10% of the premium back to the RSPCA.

But hamsters and goldfish may not apply.