Insurance

Peace of mind in a crisis

Veterinary medicine and surgery have become increasingly complex over recent years. Technology and techniques are becoming more and more sophisticated and we are diagnosing and successfully treating cases that even a few years ago would have had a far lower recovery rate.  The downside of this is that, as in the NHS,costs have increased. Complex and prolonged cases can often have very high bills. For this reason we strongly recommend that all our clients take out pet insurance to help cover such fees.

On occasions a pet’s illness or injury may be curable but the costs involved are too high for the owner to bear, resulting in either no treatment being given or a cheaper but less effective treatment being used as a compromise.

Pet insurance can help protect against such difficult situations and allow the best work-up and treatment to go ahead.

We cannot recommend specific insurers, or policies, but would strongly advise the following:

  • Insure your pet at a young age. You never know when an accident may happen. Leaving insurance until later may make your pet more difficult to insure and there will be exclusions for conditions already pre-existing.
  •  Look for life-time cover. Some policies do not continue in older animals.
  •  Make sure there is no limit on the length of time you can claim for each illness. Chronic illnesses can last for life, so the cover needs to do the same.
  •  Use a reputable company, and if possible talk to friends who have used them for pet insurance.

We endorse the concept of pet insurance and strongly recommend it to our clients to ensure that we never have to compromise on the veterinary care we can give to your pet because of potential costs.

For independent insurance advice visit the UK-insurance-index.co.uk or defaqto.com website.

Terms of Trading

Although the responsibility for settling accounts within our terms of trading remains with pet owners at all times, we undertake to provide all necessary information to insurance companies promptly and efficiently in order to facilitate payment. We do require claim forms from pet owners with the claimants sections fully completed and signed before we can forward these to insurers with the necessary veterinary information.

Pet Insurance Claims

Eastgate Veterinary Group are not agents of any insurance company.

We cannot guarantee that your insurance company will pay for a specific condition and recommend that you consult your insurance provider if there is any doubt before treatment is carried out.

Fees should be settled direct with the practice and a claim form submitted to enable the insurance company to reimburse you. The insurance company will not usually pay the full amount claimed, as deductions will be made for your policy excess and any items not specifically covered eg: specifically covered eg: special diets

If pre-arranged with the vet, we allow direct claims with certain insurance companies, including Petplan, as long as the excess has been paid.

It is sometimes best to wait until a course of treatment is completed before submitting your claim, but for long term treatment or in the case of large fees, an interim claim can be made and additional continuation claims made for further treatment as it arises. In the case of Equine and Livestock it is vital that claim forms are submitted within 3 weeks of requesting a claim form from the company and direct claims are not allowed.

Please leave your form at reception ensuring that you have completed your part and signed it as appropriate. All insurance forms are dealt with by our Insurance Claims Administrator who has overall responsibility for completing them. We keep a record of the completed forms before sending it off direct to the company. We aim to do this within one week of receiving the form.

As mentioned previously, there are some circumstances where we will accept payment from an insurance company and this needs prior arrangement with the practice. There are some insurance companies for which this will not be possible. This should be discussed and arranged with the vet before treatment is carried out.

All fees are ultimately your responsibility and our accounts system registers the outstanding bill against you and not the insurance company. In the case of outstanding fees, a bill will routinely be sent to you at the end of the month, even if direct payment to the practice by the insurance company has been arranged. We advise in these circumstances that you contact your insurance company without delay to find out why the payment has not been made.

Please do not ask us to alter actual dates or conditions that you are claiming for, as this is illegal and refusal may cause embarrassment.

Routine Healthcare

No insurance policy covers routine vaccinations, neutering, flea and worm control which, particularly in the early years compromise most of the veterinary costs of ownership. Our Healthy Pet Club offers discounts for all of these and much more besides with monthly budget payments to spread the cost. Please ask at reception for a leaflet explaining terms and charges.