Top 10 tips for pet insurance claims
Insuring your pet is rapidly becoming the norm for pet owners - unfortunately, so is struggling to get your insurance company to pay up when you need them to.
So to help you along - here are ten top tips to make the process easier for you.
- Choose your policy carefully - If you have a pedigree dog, ask about exclusions in certain breeds and clearly understand what is or is not covered. A higher premium does not always mean more cover. Don't be afraid to phone and ask the provider about their process and rules etc.
- Be prepared - If you know that you may want to use insurance cover for an operation, check your policy first. Firstly, check that you know your insurance provider (Yes that's right - know who your provider is) - we get quite a few clients who can't remember their provider, which can add to a stressful situation. Secondly, check your cover and excess. Find out about what is covered in after care, further consultations and diet requirements. Finally, ask for forms and contact details to send the forms to as this will remove some of your stress and allow you to concentrate on looking after your pet.
- Do you need pre-authorisation? - A growing number of providers will require a quote and pre-authorisation in order to cover your costs, particularly with big operations. Insurance companies do not have to pay out if you have not stuck to their rules so it is worth checking with them first.
- Bring your forms with you and your pet on the day - Insurance companies are taking much longer to pay out than they used to (mainly due to more people using their services), so the sooner we get to work on filling in your paperwork. It is also much easier to fill out documents on the day as everything is fresh in the memory. If your pet requires multiple treatments, most insurance providers will pay for treatment as they go along as it is easier for them and for you.
- Fill out your side of the form and sign it. We are seeing an increased number of queries around dates, addresses and even the pets name so the more you can fill out to begin with - the quicker it can get sorted. You can even fill out the diagnosis section with your original concern e.g. Became lame and tired, loud and abrasive cough - your vet will fill in the details.
- It's good to talk - We want to get your claim sorted ASAP so being able to speak to insurance companies on your behalf is really helpful. Your insurance company will need you to let them know that they are allowed to talk to us. This will speed up your claim lots.
- Who pays who? - Usually, if a claim is over £350, the insurance company will agree to pay us direct and you can rest easy. If it is under £350 - you will usually need to do some of the work and chasing up. If you do have to do a bit of chasing up, it is worth knowing your providers 'quiet times' so you can spend less time on hold and more time speaking to an adviser.
- Lifelong awareness - lifelong treatment can mean a lifelong excess and increased premium. It is worth reading the small print in detail at the beginning.
- Digital forms! - Yes they exist - even in Pembrokeshire. More providers are moving over to digital forms which will make your claim much easier to process.
- A cross is a cross - If your dog is a cross breed, even if it is between two pedigree breeds, then it is a cross breed. Insurance companies will often charge a lower premium for cross breeds or require a lower excess so it is worth checking.
If you would like more information on Pet Insurance - or an independant view on your policy, please feel free to give us a ring for a chat.