We encourage pet insurance as part of responsible pet ownership. It can be particularly useful when you suddenly have an unexpected large veterinary bill, for example if your animal is involved in an accident or requires referral to a specialist. It can also make all the difference with treatment of chronic conditions like diabetes or arthritis which can be costly in the long term.
Seadown is an appointed representative for Pet Plan. This means we can discuss their policies in more depth and communicate directly with them in the event of a complicated claim. We cannot give advice on other companies specifically, but there are now multiple providers offering various degrees of cover. It is important to do some research before you make a commitment. The website www.insureyourpet.co.uk is useful for further information.
Types of policy
Cover for Life policy
These policies have an annual benefit which is renewed each year & provides continuous cover for long term or recurrent conditions. For example, the company may pay out £6000 a year for a condition. Even if you exceed this amount within a policy year, once you reach the renewal date the £6000 benefit will be re-instated.
Maximum Benefit policy
These policies pay out a fixed maximum benefit for a given condition. For example, if this is £3000 and your pet has a chronic skin condition, once you have spent this money you will no longer have any costs covered by the insurer.
These policies cover a condition for 12 months from the date the condition started and any costs incurred after this period will not be met.
What is covered?
Pet Insurance does not cover routine treatment like vaccination or neutering. Most policies do not cover dental work. Insurance cover of physiotherapy, hydrotherapy and alternative therapies is variable. An excess will usually apply if you make a claim or some policies require that the owner contributes a percentage of the overall bill.
What are your responsibilities?
It is your responsibility to pay your monthly policy and inform your insurance company of any significant changes to your animal’s medical history.
We would ask you to pay your bill with the practice as you go along, and then obtain reimbursement from your insurance company. We do not allow direct claims unless a pre-authorisation has been obtained from the insurance company (ie. Indicating that they will settle the claim) or the case has been discussed with our general manager.
What to do if you need to make a claim
Inform your insurance company of the situation. They will usually send you a claim form, or some can be downloaded from the internet.
Fill in your section of the claim form.
Submit the claim to us as a vet needs to complete the remainder of the form.
The necessary invoices will be provided by us and records of the claim kept.
There is a £5 administration fee for us to process your claim.
Tips for avoiding problems
Problems encountered by your pet prior to insuring it, will not be covered by your policy. For example if your pet has had a heart murmur since it was young and you decide to insure it at a later date, the company will probably not cover heart related complaints.
These count the start of a problem as when symptoms were first noted on the clinical history, even if no treatment was given, so it is possible to be excluded from claiming for a condition even if you have never made a claim.
Many policies do not allow you to claim for a condition for a short period after the policy has first been taken out.
Policies which cover dental treatment usually only do so if your pet is checked at least annually by a vet.