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Pet insurance

(17 Posts)
Pleasehelp17 Tue 30-May-17 09:33:38

My dog has recently been unwell, needing a few nights kept in at the vets with treatment amounting to just over a £1000 bill, I wanted to claim this on my pet insurance but vets have told be I have to pay this all upfront before I can make a claim... does this sound right?
I thought the whole point of pet insurance was so if you couldn't afford lump sum treatment costs then the insurance would cover it. My dog has never needed any treatment costing over £150 so I've never had to put a claim in. I haven't got just over £1000 to pay them upfront and the receptionist has just been really arsey with me when I just phoned to discuss this with them.
I just phoned a couple of other vets in the area to see if they had the same policy and yes they said they expect the money upfront too.

FiveHoursSleep Tue 30-May-17 09:39:08

It really depends on the insurance policy. Most vets do allow direct payments if your pet is insured with Petplan as they can be reasonably confident they will be paid.
A lot of the cheaper companies can be hard to get money out of, so yes, vets do commonly ask for payment upfront so that they are not left out of pocket.
If you can't afford to stick the amount on a credit card or something, then ring them back and ask to speak to the practice manager. Let them know what you can afford to pay, and hopefully you can work something out.

MipMipMip Tue 30-May-17 09:39:58

It is normal I'm afraid. If it is one of the big companies (petplkan for instance) they might let you do a direct payment. With my vet you need permission from the practice owner and to provide a copy of the certificate of insurance though.

Pleasehelp17 Tue 30-May-17 09:49:14

My dog is insured with petplan by but they didn't say they accept direct claims with certain insurers, i was just told payment upfront.
I'm afraid I haven't got a credit card but looks like I may have to get one as if he needed any more treatment I don't have bid sums of money to pay upfront.
I've set up a payment plan with them but by the time I've paid it off it will be too late to put a claim in. Lesson learnt I guess. Just seems I've been paying £37 a month insurance for nothing really!

Judashascomeintosomemoney Tue 30-May-17 09:51:58

Mine let you claim first for anything over GBP500, however they only do that for people they've known for a while.

MipMipMip Tue 30-May-17 09:52:49

Ask the practise manager, they might still agree as it's petplan.. And put a full claim in from when you make the first payment. When you get the money you can pay off the payment plan in one go.

Or ring pet plan for advise - they're very nice and helpful.

FiveHoursSleep Tue 30-May-17 10:02:17

Are you using your regular vets? Some clinics won't allow direct claims unless you are a regular client. Also, it may be that they suspect that the condition being treated for may not be paid out for?
Put a claim in to PP asap, you don't have to wait until you've paid the vets off. But do make sure that you pay off the vets as soon as the money is sent to you and you may be allowed to claim directly if your dog needs more treatment.

crazyzooo Tue 30-May-17 10:06:17

Unfortunately there are so many cheap/cheerful insurance companies out there that entice pet owners in with cute names and fabulous advertising. Sadly they can be so cheap because they don't pay out! Hence why most vets have a blanket "pay upfront" policy.

Your vets may authorise a direct claim with PP so it's worth asking. You will still be liable for the excess though which is normally around £80-150 depending on your policy. Even if they won't let you claim directly It's worth getting all the claim forms sent off asap. Petplan are normally very good and you should get the money in a couple of weeks.

Floralnomad Tue 30-May-17 10:08:45

Get them to do the claim form now , whilst you are paying them and then pay them the balance when the insurance company pay you . You do not have to wait until you pay it off to put the claim in . Most vets expect payment at the time of treatment as frankly they get a lot of non payers and bad debt , but most are happy with a payment plan .

BiteyShark Tue 30-May-17 10:35:28

I have had to pay upfront with pet plan but only because it wasn't my usual vets as it was an emergency out of hours. I would ask them whether they can suggest anything as you are struggling to get the money upfront but show them the documents so they can see you are insured.

tabulahrasa Tue 30-May-17 11:44:55

"I've set up a payment plan with them but by the time I've paid it off it will be too late to put a claim in."

No, you claim as soon as they're treated, they'll just pay out to you rather than the vet.

MissPollyPops Tue 30-May-17 16:56:21

The first time I claimed the insurance, I had to pay first then claim it back. The next time, the vet just did it all..

Pleasehelp17 Tue 30-May-17 18:08:04

Yes he's been at the same vets since a tiny puppy and he's nearly 3, I called this afternoon to arrange to pick up some more medication for him and someone different answered and confirmed what you all advised, that they ask for payment upfront as a lot of insurers are a nightmare for paying out and people don't end up paying their vet bills at all so understandable really.

Thanks everyone for your help. I thought I had to pay it all off first before I could put a claim in but panic over.

Floralnomad Tue 30-May-17 18:19:32

Glad you got it sorted , hopefully the insurance claim will be paid out quickly , hope dog feels better soon .

BiteyShark Tue 30-May-17 18:52:07

OP I presume this is the first claim you have done through petplan? For mine I saw an email sent to my vets asking for full medical history then a few weeks passed and they paid me directly minus my excess. At the time it was paid I was at the point of thinking of asking my vet if they had sent the details as I didn't see any reply grin. Hope it is as quick for you.

Violetcharlotte Tue 30-May-17 18:56:20

Hi OP sorry to hear your dogs unwell. This is normal afraid, there's only one vet in the town I live who accepts direct claims. My dog was really poorly last year and the bills came to about £1000, I had to borrow the money from family then pay it back once the insurance money came through. It's annoying but definitely worth having the insurance, as I got it all back minus the £70 excess. I think vets do it as the insurer could say they're not going to pay out.

Is your dog better now?

TheBrandNewBLUE Tue 30-May-17 22:53:48

A lot of vets do direct claim for petplan policies, so long as there is nothing likely to mean insurance won't pay out easily. For example my bro's first dog had a bill of almost £3,000 and vets did direct claim no problems, just asked for excess to be paid immediately. Bro's second dog had a catastrophic leg injury a mere 2 hours after insurance was taken out (he'd only got her from a rescue the previous evening), vets set up a payment plan and bro had to sort the claim - because there was a fairly reasonable chance insurance wouldn't pay out (amazingly they did, just took twice as long as normal to process and they asked a lot more questions than normal. But perfectly understandable in the circumstances and I think most companies would have wriggled out of paying that one).

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