At West Midlands Referrals, we are happy to help with insurance claims and 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 before appointments. If you could complete it in advance, that would greatly help 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 require the policyholder to pay a percentage of the total bill.
If you want to make an insurance claim, please bring a claim form with you on the day. These can usually be sourced online from your insurer’s website, and printed off. Please complete the part of the form which you can fill in with your personal details, policy number, etc.
We make no administration charges for submitting or assisting in submitting 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 insurance policy and the value of the cover they have remaining (after allowing for fees already incurred at their own vets) before 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. Unless the insurer has already 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 promptly submit a claim form to allow the client to be remunerated by their insurer as soon as possible.
We intend to submit claim forms within just a day or two of receiving them. We can now submit many claims online, which saves postage time, and many insurers now manage a claim “turnaround time” that is a few weeks at most.
For elective procedures (e.g. 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 that you have the cover you think you have, and it is in your interests in that it protects you from the unpleasant shock of finding out too late that you don’t have the coverage 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 need you to speak to your insurer to authorise them to speak to us. Because of data protection legislation, they can’t speak to us unless you authorise them. 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, especially the steady inflation of referral practice prices, is not sustainable. It has been evident that it would lead to more and more clients being unable 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 limiting ongoing costs for the insurer. The RSA network aims to provide a quality service that will be sustainable and will be there for future generations.
At West Midlands Referrals, we are proud to be one of the RSA-preferred providers and work with all of the other insurers that provide pet healthcare in the UK.
For more information about Insurance please feel free to get in touch with us in Burton-Upon-Trent.