Pet Insurance Referrals

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07/08/2015

IMPORTANT NOTICE

 

This notice affects owners of all animal patients who have purchased Pet Insurance or any other indemnity products for care of their pet from MORE TH>N, Tesco, Bank, M&S, John Lewis, Argos and Homebase, or any other member of the RSA Insurance Group.

 

RSA Insurance Group has informed us about changes that it is making to its pet insurance policy conditions. Henceforth RSA Insurance Group is advising its policy holders in NON EMERGENCY cases that require referral for specialist care or diagnostics to contact their insurer first.  RSA Insurance Group will then arrange a referral to one of their preferred professional specialist or referral practices. If you fail to follow RSA Insurance Group’s procedures, you, the customer, could suffer a financial impact over and above any policy excess. You should check your policy carefully because not all insurers make this type of demand on their policy holders.

 

A NON EMERGENCY case is a case that is not an emergency. An emergency is defined by RSA Insurance Group as a situation which if not resolved immediately will lead to a loss of life or cause a serious threat to the present or ongoing health of your pet.

 

WHAT THIS MEANS FOR OUR CLIENTS

 

From time to time, we may recommend that your pet requires Non Emergency Specialist Treatment from an expert veterinary surgeon in order to ensure that your pet continues to enjoy good health and well being.

 

Under the Code of Professional Conduct for Veterinary Surgeons, a vet must keep within his or her own area of competence.  If we consider that it is in the best interests of your pet, to receive specialist or advanced care or diagnostics we will advise that they be referred to a consultant. We will then advise you of where your pet is likely in our opinion to receive the best care.

 

Under the terms of your policy of pet insurance, we will no longer be able to refer your pet for specialist care unless and until you have contacted your insurers.  RSA Insurance Group will then offer to refer your pet to one of its panel of specialists.  If you do not adhere to the requirements of RSA Insurance Group and your pet is referred to a specialist who is not on the insurer’s panel, then you run the risk that RSA Insurance Group will not pay for the treatment of your pet, and you may therefore suffer a financial impact over and above any policy excess, and may require to meet the costs of the specialist out of your own personal resources.

 

We and the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons do not consider that, in the matter of animal care, the decision as to which specialist that your pet should be referred should be made by your insurance company.  The decision which the insurer may make may be motivated by factors such as cost and administration expediency rather than clinical excellence.  We strongly believe that your vet remains the most qualified person to decide what is in the best health and welfare interests of your pet, and which specialist is best placed to provide the care that your animal needs.

 

DISCLAIMER: When you bring your pet to us, we make no assumptions as to how you propose to meet the cost of your pet’s care, although we will as a matter of practice discuss care and treatment costs and means of payment with you as part of our standard terms of business with clients.

However, we will not discuss with you the merits of any insurance provider, the particular type of insurance cover that their policies provide, or what kind of insurance policy is most suitable for your pet. This is because vets are not regulated by the Financial Compliance Authority to give advice or recommendations to the general public relating to insurance products. If you are seeking to rely on pet insurance to meet the cost of your pet’s treatment while under the care of your vet, it is essential that you inform us of the identity of your insurer and provide us with basic details of your policy, such as policy number and any other information which we may reasonably request you to provide about your policy, so that we can establish that the specialist to whom your pet is to be referred is on the insurer’s panel.  This procedure must be followed before referral treatment is commenced.

 

Your failure to disclose to your vet that you are seeking to recover any element of the cost of your pet’s treatment under a pet’s insurance policy may result in invalidation of your cover, for which we accept no liability or responsibility.