Insuring your cat or dog is one of the best ways to ensure that you can get them the best available care if they should become ill or injured, covering the cost of potentially expensive veterinary treatments that you may not otherwise be able to fund. However, this peace of mind can only be found if you are confident that your policy will pay out for you when you need it to, and even in very cut and dried cases, there always tends to be an anxious wait between submitting your claim and waiting to find out if your insurers will honour it.
When you do make a claim against your pet insurance policy, your insurers will review the facts and circumstances leading up to the claim carefully, checking to ensure that your policy covers the situation that occurred and also, that you have complied with all of the terms and conditions of the policy. It is therefore important to make sure that you read the small print, pick cover that is a good fit for your pet, and comply with all of the requirements of the insurance company, in order to ensure that they will pay out when you need them to.
In this article, we will look at some of the steps that you can take, both when choosing a policy and when making a claim, in order to do everything that you can to ensure that your policy pays out when you need it to. Read on to learn more.
Your first step in ensuring a pay out when you need it involves picking the right insurance company at the outset, and the cheaper companies are not always the best value long term! Narrow down your choice of insurers to a few that will offer the coverage that you want at a price you can afford, and then head for Google to check out independent reviews on the companies, looking for comments on their general customer service, timeliness in paying out, and how easy or difficult the company made the claims process itself.
Your vet is also an excellent source of information on good and bad insurers, as your vet will of course be familiar with virtually every pet insurance firm in the UK, and have first-hand experience on how well they perform. Many vets will have a commercial agreement with one or more insurance companies, which involves the clinic promoting that company’s policies to their clients, but this should be made clear to you when you enquire.
Most veterinary practices will accept direct payment from some insurance companies, meaning that the company pays your vet directly without you having to first pay for treatment and later claim it back. While you will still have to pay your vet if, for some reason your policy will not pay out, vets know that should this happen, they are exponentially less likely to get paid in a timely manner!
This means that the vast majority of clinics will only accept direct payment from certain insurance companies that they are familiar with and that they know have a reliable record of paying out, so if your vet will accept direct payment from one firm but not another, steer clear of the one that your vet will not accept!
Even if you have picked the best, most reliable company that you are as sure as you can be will pay out, this is meaningless if the issue that you need to claim for is not covered by your policy! It is important to ensure that your policy fits your needs and will cover you for all of the possible situations that your pet might find themselves in; take into account factors such as the maximum limit of the policy, accident-only policies, and coverage for hereditary and pre-existing health conditions too.
When you first get your policy and are still within the cooling off period that allows you to cancel it without charge, it is vitally important to make sure that you read the whole policy, including the so-called “small print.” This small print will tell you about the caveats of your policy, exactly what is and is not covered, and various factors that can affect your right to claim.
Make sure that you understand all of these things, and are happy with what is on offer!
It should go without saying, but it is vitally important to tell the truth when it comes to both buying your policy, and communicating with the insurance company afterwards. Lying by omission is still lying, so don’t be tempted to leave out any prior problems or health conditions that the insurers directly ask about, if you have made any prior claims, or if there is anything else that may affect your policy. You might get away with it in the short term, but these things will all be carefully examined and investigated if you need to make a claim!
Most insurance policies are issued based on a range of assumptions about you and your pet, which you will be asked to agree with when you buy the policy, and which then form part of the terms of your insurance coverage. Common assumptions include things like annual vet checks and vaccinations for your pet, without which your policy will probably not cover conditions that could have been prevented by vaccination, and other factors such as that your pet does not have a previous history of aggression or any undisclosed hereditary health problems.
If you cannot say “yes” to all of the assumptions, you should still be able to get coverage, but you will need to contact the insurance company in order to allow them to adjust your policy and coverage accordingly.
If you do need to make a claim, let your insurer know as soon as possible. This not only means that you can get the ball rolling on your pay out, but because keeping your insurance company in the loop will make things easier down the line. Let your insurer know straight away if you move house or any of your other details change too, as these things can all affect your policy, and the potential likelihood of the insurer paying out when needed.