We are happy to help with insurance claims, and we pride ourselves on processing these promptly.
For us to assist you please make sure you bring your policy documents in with you and complete the insurance questionnaire that is available from our reception and often sent out in advance of appointments. If you could complete it in advance, that would be a great help to our reception staff.
You’ll need to know what excess you are liable for on your policy. This is the sum, usually in the region of £70-£100, that the insurance policy states as being deductible from the claim. Remember that some policies additionally require the policy holder to pay a percentage of the total bill themselves. If you want to make an insurance claim, please bring a claim form with you on the day. These can usually be sourced on line from your insurer’s web site, and printed off. Please fully complete the part of the form which is for you to fill in with your personal details, policy number etc etc.
We make no administration charges for submitting or assisting in the submission of insurance claims. We are pleased to assist clients and to submit direct claims to insurers, for sums over £300, to save our clients from potential cash-flow issues.
We do however ask that the client pays us the excess, and any percentage of the claim that their policy requires them to pay, and this needs to be done at the time of consultation/treatment. It is the client’s responsibility to know the details and terms of their own insurance policy, and the value of the cover that they have remaining (after allowing for fees already incurred at their own vets) in advance of arriving for consultation / treatment. We ask that these payments are made at the time of treatment. Every client will need to pay the excess to us unless this excess has already been deducted by the insurer for this claim. ie) The insurer has already received and fully processed at least one claim relating to the condition in question. Unless the insurer has already actually paid out at least one sum relating to the current claim, it has not yet been fully processed!!
For sums under £300, we reserve the right to ask for payment at the time, but we will still be pleased to help with the prompt submission of a claim form to allow the client to be remunerated by their insurer as soon as possible.
It is our intention to submit claim forms within just a day or two of receiving them. We can now submit many claims on line which saves postage time, and many insurers now manage a claim “turn around time” that is a few weeks at most.
For elective procedures (eg patella surgeries, cruciate ligament surgeries) a pre-authorisation needs to be done well ahead – usually at least a week ahead – of the day of the surgery. This confirms to us that you do in fact have the cover that you think you have, and is in your interests in that it protects you from the unpleasant shock of finding out too late that you don’t have the cover that you thought you did!! To complete the pre-authorisation process, please liaise with Jo, our head receptionist and office administrator. You may need to chase up your insurer to ensure they process this promptly. If the pre-authorisation process isn’t satisfactorily completed, we may not be able to offer you a direct insurance claim.
For urgent cases (fractures, spines etc) we appreciate that you probably won’t have time to complete a normal pre-authorisation process. However we’ll still need to see your insurance policy paperwork, and we may well need you to speak to your insurer to authorise them to speak to us. Because of data protection legislation, they aren’t able to speak to us unless you authorise them to. In any case, even for urgent cases, please remember that offering you the option of a direct insurance claim is at our discretion.
For years, we’ve been saying to each other within the veterinary industry that the steady inflation of veterinary prices and especially the steady inflation of referral practice prices is just not sustainable. It has been obvious that it would lead to more and more clients not being able to afford their escalating insurance premiums, or to the insurers having to place caps on their liabilities and cover, to the detriment of pets and their owners. We’ve seen both of these occurring year on year.
The RSA insurance group which underwrites More Than, Marks and Spencer and John Lewis insurance policies has led the way with a strategy to address this looming problem. They have put together a group of referral practices, their “preferred providers” that includes specialists and advanced practitioners covering a range of veterinary disciplines across the country. These allow pet owners to get a quality referral service, while keeping a limit on ongoing costs for the insurer. The aim of the RSA network is to provide a quality service that will be sustainable and so will be there for the generations to come.
We are proud to be one of the RSA preferred providers, as well as working with all of the other insurers that provide pet healthcare in the UK.