Insurance Companies

This is how I feel some days when I deal with insurance companies. Although we do all the grunt work for you here it does not stop all of us wanting to bring out the insurance voodoo doll every now and then.

As many of you are aware the costs associated with Veterinary Care are increasing to be able to offer you the service that we do we obviously need to increase our charges to meet the growing costs of running Vet HQ. In saying that this year we have not increased our charges at all despite staff costs increasing by about 6% and rent by 5%.

Because of the growing costs of veterinary care we recommend pet insurance to all our clients. Many times in my career I have been faced with the agonising task of euthanasing an animal due to financial constraints. It is very distressing for all parties involved and so we at Vet HQ recommend insurance.

There are in essence two choices for pet insurance. Pet Plan that over a classic Care policy (middle range policy) that covers as far as I am concerned a sufficient amount of out of pocket expenses and has an excess of $150.00. On the other side of the fence there is the petsure group of policies. This company offers approximately 30 brands of policy that are all essentially the same, including RSPCA, Woolworths, Real, HCF, and Prosure. Again they offer three policies and I believe the middle policy is sufficient. The excess is 20% per condition. Please note the NRMA/GIO pet insurance policy is a pathetic attempt to be in the market place with a $500 limit to claims that is a waste of time.

During 2016, I and my team have been increasingly disappointed with the so called fine print from the pet sure group of policies. They introduced a limit on ‘cruciate disease’ of $2600.00. That is they consider the left and the right leg as one and they have a limit that barely covers the cost of a procedure for a under 10kg dog. However on the positive side their monthly payments are less than pet plan. We have spent some time as a team discussing what we should recommend to you and we have come up with the following guidelines.

1. We do recommend private insurance to all our clients for their pets.

2. Up until now we have thought the only major difference is that pet plan have a fixed $150 excess and that the petsure policies have a 20% excess. This is not the case.

3. It is all in the fine print. The pet sure policies have added multiple exclusions on their policies including but not limited to:

a. Cruciate excesses of $2600

b. Complete dental treatment exclusion

c. Many policies have a consultation cost exclusion.

1. We believe that our cat clients are seen more often and for less expensive procedures and so the petsure group of policies may suit cat clients better.

2. Both policies have added several breed exclusions and pricing surcharges for certain breeds.

3. It should be noted that once a condition has occurred it becomes excluded for life. This applies to an animal that is insured and changes insurance company even within the petsure portfolio of brands names. Ie if a condition occurs and you take up a new policy unless you renew your policy it will become excluded.

We do not recommend one insurance policy over another as some companies offer incentives for signing people up which we will not accept. We also offer to facilitate all insurance claims and will contest the claim should we believe the insurance company is being unjust in their decision. We respect the insurance companies for their work within the industry and their social presence, and we still recommend insurance despite some inadequacies especially for those people working within a budget.

If you have any questions regarding insurance please contact one of us at Vet HQ or email insurance@vethq.com.au

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