PET INSURANCE 
 
 
Introduction
Did you know 1 in 3 pets may require unexpected veterinary treatment each year?
 
Whilst advances in veterinary medicine mean we can do more for your pet, treatment costs can soon mount up.
 
We recommend Petplan insurance to all our clients to help cover unexpected vets bills. You may be surprised to hear that you are more likely to claim on your pet insurance than your car or household policies.
 
In fact, in our experience if you are one of the few people who don’t need to claim on your pet insurance you really are very lucky indeed! 
 
 It’s important to be aware that not all pet insurance is the same. Some policies limit the amount of time or money that you can claim for. Some companies offer on-going cover, but inflate the premiums dramatically when claims are submitted. Some policies may be limited to accidents only and some may even exclude certain illnesses or injuries. Don’t just shop around on price alone (please check text below "What Do You Get For Your Money?").
 
At Chantry Vets we recommend Petplan Cover for life policies for the following reasons:
 
1. With Petplan’s Covered for Life guarantee, your veterinary fees cover is renewed each year no matter how much you claim. 
2. Petplan does not place exclusions following renewal on their Covered for Life policies, so on-going conditions such as arthritis or diabetes; continue to be covered by the policy. 
3. Petplan won’t increase your premium or excess just because you make a claim.
4. Petplan is a pet insurance specialist so they understand the animal market and work closely with vets, charities and breeders.
 
 
Why not try before you buy?
 
 
Description 
More than half of UK households have a pet in residence. Cats seem to be the most popular pets at 8 million with dogs not far behind in number at 6 million. There are about 3500 veterinary practices that specialise in treating every type of animal from horses and cows to ferrets and hamsters.
 
Veterinary practices are improving their services all the time and as human medicine progresses some of the diagnostic techniques and treatments find their way into veterinary practice. Most practices now have wide ranging facilities such as hospitalisation with general anaesthetic facilities and ultrasound scanning. Treatment costs do not come cheap and repairing broken bones following an accident to a favourite pet can soon exceed £1,000 or more. This may come as quite a shock and cause financial problems. It is not surprising therefore that more and more of those pet owners are taking out insurance policies. Dogs and cats can be insured with most policies costing no more than a few pounds a month.
 
When To Take Out A Policy 
The same rules apply to buying a pet policy as your own health insurance policy - buy it when your pet is young and healthy and there are no existing conditions to report. Read the small print carefully and take particular notice of the terms and conditions that will explain what is and what is not covered together with any excess payments that may be required.
 
What Do You Get For Your Money?    
In general, diagnosis and treatment for any accident, injury, or illness, will be covered by most policies. However, pre-existing conditions will almost certainly be excluded from your insurance policy (if applicable). A pre-existing condition is a disease (or even just a symptom) present prior to the commencement of an insurance policy. For instance a puppy having one episode of diarrhoea before the insurance is started, could have a gastric/digestive exclusion placed on a policy. These decisions are made by the underwriters of the policy and are not the decision of Chantry Vets. Chronic conditions may not be covered if a policy is a 12mth or time limited policy. These policies offer the lowest level of cover and are not recommended by Chantry Vets. A 12month policy means a condition is only covered for 12 months from the start of the first symptom. This means that costly conditions that are life-long such as diabetes and arthritis are excluded after 1 year of claims or symptoms. Claims that are covered will also be subject to an excess, this is the amount that the insurance company deducts from any pay out. In the event of a Direct Claim, this amount is payable to Chantry Vets. Understandably any insurance policy with high claims likelihood has to maintain a careful balance between premium level, excess charges and exclusions, for the insurer to remain in business. This means that the policies offering the lower type of cover (such as the 12mth options) are usually the cheapest in price.
 
As in human medicine a very large number of sophisticated diagnostic tests are available. Some will require the services of a laboratory, for example blood and urine samples to test for the presence of infection, diabetes or metabolic disturbances. X-rays and ultrasound scanning are other commonly used diagnostic procedures. Rapid diagnosis is vitally important in the treatment of any illness and diagnostic tests may have to be carried out at intervals to monitor the success of the treatment or antibiotics being prescribed for an infection. Some Companies may place limits on the amounts that can be claimed for diagnostic tests, meaning additional payments are required by clients, on top of the excess. Petplan do not place limits such as this as per their normal terms and conditions.
 
Cats and dogs stray on to roadways and frequently have to undergo hospitalisation following an accident. X-rays, transfusions and major surgery involving the placement of metal implants, screws and plates to restore the function of shattered bones all require expensive resources. An insurance policy in these circumstances is essential and will bring peace of mind. Again some Companies can actually exclude Road Traffic Accidents (RTA’s) from their insurance policy.   Petplan do offer cover for RTA’s, subject to the normal terms and conditions.
 
Rare and unusual conditions such as leukaemia or cancer may have to be referred to a University establishment or specialists for treatment. Advanced cancer diagnosis and treatment can be given, for instance at Cambridge University and the Animal Health Trust at Newmarket. Referrals to any Centre of excellence do not come cheap and a good quality Pet Insurance product can literally be a lifesaver in these circumstances.
 
Third Party Liability  
This is an important benefit to protect pet owners against being sued if their pet causes damage or injury. This can be either a dog biting a child or causing a road accident.
 
Premium Levels  
As with most types of insurance, premiums will vary according to risk. A valuable pedigree will command a much higher premium than crossbreeds! Older pets generally have higher premiums than younger pets and large breed dogs generally higher premiums than toy breeds, (due to the increased costs for medications). Post Codes will also be taken into account and proximity to built up areas of towns and cities. Certain Counties may also attract higher premiums based on the costs of veterinary treatment in these areas (usually Home Counties and London).
  
Exclusions    
Routine and preventive care (vaccinations, neutering) will be excluded; together with anything classed as "cosmetic" (for example removal of dew claws if not causing any medical problems). A full list of exclusions can be found in the terms and conditions of the policy booklet. All pre-existing conditions will be excluded.
 
Summary 
Veterinary insurance has become much more popular in recent years and there are a variety of plans to choose from. The National British Small Animal Veterinary Association endorses the concept of Pet Health Insurance and almost all veterinary practices display Pet Insurance leaflets and actively recommend it. The on-going progress of veterinary medicine means that costs will continue to rise. An insurance policy is therefore a sensible way to plan for any unforeseen bills.

 

How to make a claim at Chantry Vets

  1. We can arrange a direct claim on behalf of the insured which will be paid directly to the practice under certain circumstances (and with certain insurance companies) as long as this has been approved or pre authorised by the Insurance Department at Chantry Vets prior to commencement of any treatment or surgery. If Chantry Vets specify that a pre authorisation is required before authorising a claim direct, this can take up to 3 working days to obtain.   

  2.
Prior to making a Claim Direct please contact our Insurance Department at Alverthorpe and provide us with your full policy details as requested.

  3.
Please contact your insurance company and give permission for Chantry vets to discuss your policy with your insurer on your behalf.

  4.
Please provide us with details of any previous vets you may have registered your pet with, as we will need this information to ascertain whether we can offer the claim direct facility.

  5. On the day of the appointment please bring your policy documents, and an insurance claim form.

  6.
If claiming direct an insurance form must be presented at each appointment in lieu of payment. 

  7.
If not claiming direct, we will expect you to pay the fees in full on collection of your pet and your claim form will be processed as soon as possible. 

  8. 
Processing and approving Insurance claims takes a considerable amount of time and effort from experienced staff. We do not charge anything for this service unlike some other veterinary practices. We do ask though that in order for us to continue to provide this service free of charge, clients provide us with claim forms as requested and make any payments required in a prompt and timely manner.

  9. 
Chantry Vets cannot negotiate or raise disputes with your insurance company directly.

10.
Any amounts on the final invoice which are not covered and paid for by your insurance company remain the responsibility of you the owner to settle with Chantry Vets, within one month of the treatment.

             CLICK HERE TO READ CHANTRY VETS PET INSURANCE TERMS & CONDITIONS 

  

  

  "A Passion for Pets and their People" 

 

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