Friday, 23 January 2015

Pet Insurance - did you know?

As you may have gathered I have had a rather unfortunate time with my animals.  I have learnt over the years that this is par for the course.  I work with lots of animals and I have a few myself.

Some people are lucky with their animals and some are not.  You can nurture and care for your dog yet they always seem to be the one that comes down with something yet the guy down the road who doesn't give one jot what his dog is fed on or how he is kept will have a dog who never seems to get anything wrong with them.

Funny thing is many people feel because I work with animals,  when something goes wrong it doesn't affect me in the same way.  This is simply not the case and often just because I know the possible outcome and the process of healing or the type of surgery means I am more worried.  With two Petnanny dogs recently ingesting things they shouldn't have and both had surgery one to remove thirty pieces of wire from a wreath and one who was opened up when it was thought part of the toy she ingested had been left in after she vomited the main part.  Whilst there wasn't any left in she now still has the recovery period and all that comes along with such a worrying time.  They may not be mine they are part of my life and are loved.

Anyway I am wandering down the wrong path!

When my pod was booked in for surgery unexpectedly I had little to fear from a finance point of view insurance, whilst the bane of the veterinary world in many ways, had given me the security of instant money.  Or so I thought.

The appointment was made and I handed my boy over, asking them to take good care of my precious big eared fool, handing over my little lad I also handed over my insurance claim form.

No matter how calm you try to be it is very difficult to not run the worse case scenarios in your head whilst trying to sort the practicalities of when to phone for news and when you can take them home.  To then have to find a large sum of money is nearly too much to take.  My estimated bill was £3,000! How do you even find that?

It was suggested using my credit card!  I don't have a credit card, I never have.

So if the worst should happen do you have the means to pay for your dogs or cats surgery/ treatment despite having insurance?

My insurance company was a recommended one, they had advised they would happily and promptly pay in advance so why did I have to pay first?  Maybe it was because I was referred?

I ended up emailing and was very grateful for the prompt reply and now I know what to do in the future heaven forbid it happens again.

Their reply was:

'Our payment terms are payment at the time of treatment.  We give a courtesy call the night before appointments to all clients - referral and our own - to remind them of this.  The circumstance where insurance companies pay us directly are when we have written acceptance that they authorise payment prior to appointment - a pre-authorisation. We would have been more than happy to deal with your insurance company but I can see no notes that you required this.' 

Did I miss something on the consent form?  Maybe and that is fine, I borrowed a credit card and found the remainder and all is well.  However without help this year I simply couldn't have paid, what on earth would I have done, this is why I have pet insurance so that I can guarantee if all else fails I have the money to have my pets treat.

So far things are going well, both my animals who have had surgery have had excellent thoughtful care, treatment and sweet handling.  I have been looked after and considered as part of the equation now I have to just do my part and hope the animals play their part by behaving CALMLY!

It may be hard to plan ahead as you never know quite what can happen with our animals and these instances are a rare occurrence.  Where you would be referred too depends on the skills required however it never does any harm to know that you may need to arrange payment before arriving for treatment even with insurance.

Keep safe and send healing thoughts to our walking wounded please!