Insurance feature

Insurance

Pets are part of the family, but they can prove costly if they fall ill and need veterinary treatment. While the NHS can treat the human members of our family free of charge, there is no equivalent for our pets!

The main reason for insuring your pet is to cover vet fees if your pet becomes ill or has an accident. Many conditions can be treated cheaply, however as advances are made in the investigation into complicated diseases e.g. X-Rays, Endoscopy, Blood Tests and the subsequent treatment can prove expensive. Another good reason for insuring your pet is third party liability - supposing your dog chews a friend's expensive three-piece suite or is involved in a road traffic accident - you are liable for the damage involved. Other benefits can include insurance against loss, theft and accidental death.

The main advantage of insurance is that it gives peace of mind to know that is insured then there are no financial obstacles involved in the treatment of your pet, especially if your pet develops a long term condition e.g. heart, skin or joint disease.

Over the last 10 years, there have been huge changes in the pet insurance market, with the influx of retail chains and household insurance names onto the market which has increased the exposure to you and can be more confusing than helpful. In general terms the policy becomes more expensive with increasing benefits, here is a rough guide which will hopefully help you through the decision making process.

Twelve Month Policies

Only provides limited long-term cover. A condition is only covered for a maximum period of twelve months from the onset of symptoms, not from the date of the inital claim and is generally a set amount i.e. £3,000. Any claims after the inital twelve month period will be declined by the insurance company. It is possible, therefore, to have a claim declined for a contition without ever submitting a claim or even having any treatment if symptoms have been previously recorded on your pets clinical history.

Maximum Benefit Policy

This type of policy provides a fixed maximum benefit for each condition, i.e. the insurance company covers your pet for £6,500 per condition for the lifetime of your pet. The only problem that may occur is if your pet has a costly chronic condition such as skin disease, these conditions can be costly and soon use up you "allowance", in these cases the additional costs of veterinary treatment above this amount would then need to be covered by you.

Cover For Life

These policies are often the best option, offering an annual benefit that is renewed each year, providing continuous cover for long term or re-occuring conditions. This means that the insurance company will pay £6,500 each year, even if you use up most or all of this "allowance" at the beginning of the next year you will again have a £6,500 allowance to be able to claim for your pets ongoing illness or condition.

 

Making a claim

Please be aware that we cannot guarantee that you pet will be covered. Some claims can be declined if there are any problems with premium payments, or if there is a pre-existing history of a similar illness at another Veterinary Practice prior to your policy starting .

It is our policy for all accounts to be settled by you at the time of your pets treatment. Request a claim form from your insurance company, fill in the sections that require you to complete and ensure that it is signed by you. Drop in the form either in person or by post and we will complete the Veterinary section and send to the company on your behalf. The insurance company will then pay you directly. There is usually no charge for this service at the present time, though we do reserve the right to do so.

Nearly all policies have an excess payable on the policy, which means that you will be liable for the first part of the claim i.e. £75. This will vary between companies and policies. As your pet gets older some companies also reserve the right to deduct a percentage from the claim. Always read the small print on any policy.