As you will probably have noticed there are now many adverts for a huge diversity of different companies and level of veterinary cover. This emergency cover is aimed at un-expected bills and will not cover you for routine operations such as neutering or vaccinations, worming etc. They are there to cover for illness and more serious operations and in all cases there is an “excess” meaning that only after a preliminary amount of work has been carried out will they start to pay the remainder. This amount varies between policies and species.
I would have to say that these are a very important tool in allowing for better health provision for pets in general and I would always advise clients that unless they have a large enough credit card capacity, to pay for specialist care should it be required, that they get their pets insured.
Like many things in life…not all insurance policies are the same and in general you get what you pay for. The most obvious part of many of these policies which can come as a bit of a shock is does a policy offer “Life long cover” ?? Many policies will insure you for 12 months but then cut you off at this point meaning that no further payments will be made for that condition if it is ongoing. This can be an expensive mistake with say a long term heart condition in a big dog where the medication costs will soon add up and finance issues then compromise the dogs ongoing health etc.
Any insurance is better than no insurance but please come and speak to a member of staff about the various policies and especially the companies that are notoriously bad at the service they provide. In days gone by we could make lists of good and bad companies but we are not supposed to do this now so will just say that there are several companies leaflets in our waiting room and we do not have leaflets from the companies we are referring to.
Whilst most insurance companies have provision for what is termed a 'direct claim' we try to avoid these if possible. Insurance companies take longer to pay vets back than they do the fee paying client and nowadays we are not able to make direct contact with insurance companies about details of your claim making it very difficult to chase up any issues that frequently arise. So as a general rule whilst we will process your insurance claim fully, quickly and without any fee for doing so we will only allow for a direct claim except when the amount is very large or when failing to do so would be preventative in terms of the pets treatment. We also have certain companies that are consistently slow payers and who seem to go out of their way to make claiming awkward...we will not do direct claims with these companies.
Insurance Payment Issues
Please also note that it is the clients responsibility to settle all accounts and we can only advise on insurance matters. Non payment by your insurance company for what ever reason is ultimately between you and the company involved and in such cases we will expect payment from yourselves of any outstanding amounts.