Insurance Advice

When to contact your insurance company

You are required to contact your insurance company and inform them of any changes in your horse's health status as soon as possible. Although you may decide not to claim for a particular problem initially, if complications were to occur, a claim may then be made. Some insurance companies require you to notify them about a potential claim within a set time frame, and if this is not done, the claim may not be settled.
For further investigation or surgical treatments to be covered, consent must be gained from the insurer's prior to these being performed.


How to make a claim

Once you have decided to make a claim, you need to contact the relevant company to request a claim form. On receipt of your form you need to complete and sign your sections to the best of your knowledge and then forward the whole form to us, along with payment for your excess. Once we receive your form and excess payment we can then complete the veterinary section and submit the claim form on your behalf. The invoices for the problem are accompanied by your horse's veterinary history and submitted to the relevant company.

Please keep in contact with your insurance company; they will be able to let you know if you have any exclusions on your cover that may affect your claim and how much your excess will be. Cliffe Equine will have added any associated invoices for veterinary treatment to your claim form and sent it on to your insurance company on your behalf. If you think that we have missed an invoice please contact us.

Whilst we are happy to accept payment direct from your insurance company, they will usually only pay the discounted amount for early payment and they will not then pay for any interest that has been added to an overdue account (currently 10% interest charged on all balances remaining unpaid after 90 days from the date of invoice and a further 2.5% per month thereafter). Insurers take the view that you should minimise the costs by using our discount system that is available for early payment, so it is better to pay us promptly before the early payment discount is lost and get reimbursed by the insurance company. If you think that your treatment might get close to the total vet fees coverable by your insurance company it may be advisable to pay at the time of treatment to take advantage of our 10% discount.

We appreciate that many large bills may have resulted from unforeseen events and in this economic climate finances are difficult for us all. Should you find yourself unable to comply with these procedures, please discuss with us at the earliest opportunity.


About Exclusions

Our clients often worry that by claiming for a particular problem, this will lead to a exclusion being placed on their policy. While, unfortunately, this may well be the case, avoiding making a claim is unlikely to change this. As mentioned above your horse's full veterinary history will be sent to the insurer's as part of your claim. If the insurers notice your horse has been treated for a condition they were previously unaware of, an exclusion may be placed on your policy regardless of no claim being made. Should the insurer's feel that the present claim may be related in anyway to a previous problem, the claim may be refused.

In light of this, we recommend you claim on your policy whenever the fees are greater than your excess amount and/or you are likely to incur ongoing costs over a prolonged duration. If you are undecided, it is prudent to inform the insurer's of this so they are aware a potential claim may arise.

Finally, certain exclusions may be reviewed and removed after a year. If you have existing exclusions on your policy contact your insurers to enquire if this can be re-evaluated. If so, you will need a visit so we can examine your horse and provide the insurers with a written report.


Ongoing Claims

Some insurance companies require a completed continuation claim form to be sent with any further invoices (Pet Plan, Scottish Equestrian Insurance Brokers, KBIS, Animal Friends or Stoneways for example). Other companies just need you to send them further invoices as you receive them (NFU, E&L, Horse, SEIB, Carriagehouse for example). If your insurance company requires a continuation claim form this can often be download from your insurer's website.

It is your responsibility to pursue your claim and provide any further information to your insurance company.


Charges for Insurance Work

We do not charge you additional fees for completing and assisting you with your insurance claims. However, due to growing amounts of written veterinary reports insurers require, and the time involved in producing these reports a administrative charge of £24 will be incurred.

The key to trouble free insurance is understanding your policy. Make sure you read the small print and understand the insurer's terms and conditions. Keep your insurer's informed of your horse's condition and obtain consent prior to going ahead with costly work as soon as possible.

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