Pet insurance reviews: Claiming on your pet insurance
An injured or ill pet is worrying enough without having to deal with the hassle of making an insurance claim. Here's our step-by-step guide to making your claim go smoothly.
1. Don’t delay urgent treatment
It might sound obvious but if your pet needs medical attention – and it is urgent – the first thing you should do is go to the vet. There will be time later to call your insurer but a rejected claim would be far less traumatic than the alternative. If it’s less urgent, and you have the time, check the details of your policy or call your insurer for advice.
2. Call your insurer and let them know what has happened
Call your insurer as soon as you can and explain that you want to make a claim. If your vet has already started treatment, check the details with them – including the name of the condition and how much it would cost - and report back to your insurer.
3. Follow the claims procedure
Claims procedures differ from provider to provider but you will probably have to fill out a form and send it back to your insurer. You will also have to send off evidence of the claim so make sure you keep all the relevant receipts and invoices. Check with your insurer if they will pay for the treatment for you or if you need to pay and then claim it back. Also ask how long you have to submit your claim – some insurers have a limit of 30 days.
4. Complain if you're not satisfied
If you're unfortunate enough to have to claim you’ll expect great customer service and a full payout but this isn’t always the case. If you feel that your claim hasn’t been handled fairly, complain to your insurer.
Common issues when claiming on your pet insurance are rejected pre-existing conditions and a refusal to pay out due to moratorium periods – illness or injury that occurs during the first 10 to 14 days of taking out a new policy.
5. Speak to the ombudsman
If you have exhausted the insurance company's complaints procedure (set out in your insurance policy) and your claim has not been settled, contact the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) on 0300 123 9123.
You usually have six months from the time you reach deadlock with the insurer in which to make a complaint. The FOS' decision is binding on companies but not on the consumer, so you could, if you wish, refer the matter to court.
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