London Vet Specialists understand that the expenses of veterinary treatment can be a worrying time, and we are equally committed to supporting our clients as we are for caring for our patients. Below, you will find information about our payment policies and how we can help with the processing of your pet insurance claims.
Payments and Part Payments
London Vet Specialists is a CASH FREE hospital, where we only accept payment through major credit and debit card providers, including American Express. Please note we also do not accept personal cheques or solo payments.
London Vet Specialists ask that all clients complete a signed consent form prior to any treatment commencing, ensuring a clear understanding of the nature of our proposed treatment and fees. Our Client Care Team can assist with any financial queries and the status of your bill at any time.
Should you be worried about the cost of referral but have adequate insurance cover, please call and speak to one of our Client Care Team about the possibility of making a direct insurance claim. We will need to undertake a pre-authorise of treatment, and where this may take several days to confirm, full terms and conditions can be located below. Pre-authorisations must be arranged before any treatment goes ahead; we are not allowed to authorise a direct claim once treatment has commenced.
At London Vet Specialists, our Client Care Team will always endeavour that the fees for your pet’s consultation are explained at the time of your booking.
During your initial consultation with a member of our specialist team, we will further provide you with an estimate of treatment to assist you in making an informed decision about the next stages of your pet’s care.
Private Clients (Non-Insured Pets)
It is our company policy that self-funding clients are required to make a 50% deposit of the lower estimate prior to commencement of treatment, and the remaining balance is paid upon discharge.
In the unfortunate event that the treatment fees exceed our original estimate, further incremental down payment may be requested for ongoing care of hospitalised pets.
Indirect Insurance Claims
It is our company policy that indirect insurance claims, where the insurance company reimburse the policyholder directly, clients are required to make a 50% deposit of the lower estimate prior to commencement of treatment, and where the remaining balance is paid upon discharge.
In the unfortunate event that the treatment fees exceed our original estimate, further incremental down payments may be requested for ongoing care of hospitalised pets. A member of our Client Care Team will be able to assist you in processing and submission of your insurance claim, where supplied with all relevant policy details, documentation, or links for submission to your insurers.
Direct Insurance Claims (Pre-Authorisation)
It is our company policy that direct insurance claims, where the insurance company reimburse the hospital directly, clients are required to make a 20% deposit of the lower estimate prior to commencement of treatment, and where the remaining balance is paid directly to the hospital following submission of a successful claim.
In the unfortunate event that the treatment fees exclude the remit of the policyholder’s terms and conditions, the client will remain financially liable for full settlement of the debtor bill. A member of our Client Care Team will be able to assist you in the processing and submission of your insurance claim, where supplied with all relevant policy details, documentation, or links for submission to your insurers.
What is a pre-authorisation:
Pre-authorisation is an agreement by your insurance company to pay a claim before treatment commences, or if treatment is expected to exceed a certain amount, this option allows additional financial security.
You need to allow up to five working days for your insurance company to complete and approve a pre-authorisation claim before the treatment of your pet can commence.
Most pre-authorisations are only valid for 28 days from the date of acceptance from your insurance provider.
Some insurance companies do not allow pre-authorisation.
If your insurance company does allow pre-authorisation and time permits, we recommend you seek advice directly from your insurance company.
Please make sure you have read your full insurance policy schedule before attending your appointment.
What is a Policy Excess:
An excess is a payment which must be paid by the client, regardless of whether you are making an indirect or direct claim. It is charged per condition or per year, depending on your policy and level of cover.
You may be required to pay another excess if your policy runs into a new policy year while making a claim.
Some policies charge a percentage excess, as well as a fixed excess, on the total of a claim.
Some insurance companies do not cover certain items or may ‘cap’ the amount they will pay for routine treatments such as consultations.
For full disclosure and understanding of your policy terms and conditions, please make sure you have read your policy and discussed any queries with your insurance providers ahead of your appointment.
What is a Referral:
A referral takes place when your general practitioner vet recommends that your pet be referred to a specialist consultant lead referral hospital.
Your insurance company will also require a claim form from your regular veterinary practice for the initial treatment of your pet before it is referred to us for further investigation and treatment of the same condition. Some insurance companies will not process our claim until they have received the claim from your regular veterinary practice, which referred your pet to us.
It is, therefore, important that you ensure your regular veterinary practice has submitted their claim form to your insurance company.
Direct Insurance Claims (Terms & Conditions)
It is our company policy that direct insurance claims can only be accepted following a successful pre-authorisation between our hospital and your insurance provider. Please note this process can take between 1-5 days to determine an outcome, depending on the insurance provider. Please also note that some insurance providers do not offer this service, and the decision to approve such a claim will be at the discretion of the hospital management team. A member of our Client Care Team will be able to assist you in the processing of your pet’s pre-authorisation and communications with the hospital management team where this option is not possible.
We ask that you agree to pay a 20% deposit of the lower estimate range, which includes an administration charge of £42.00. For clarification, this administration charge is not for processing a direct claim but is to cover the cost of the time spent communicating with your insurance company and referring vet(s) to establish the terms and conditions and extent of your available insurance cover. Once payment has been received from your insurance company, should this leave the account in credit, then a refund will be issued to you.
We ask that you agree to contact your insurance company to add London Veterinary Specialists as an authorised party on your pet’s policy. This will allow us to obtain information on all aspects of your pet’s policy details and to have full access to all the records concerning the insurance policy, claims history, and any veterinary practices where your pet has been registered or received veterinary treatment. We will not be able to investigate a direct claim request until this has been done.
Based on the information obtained about your policy terms and conditions, London Veterinary Specialists may calculate an estimate of an anticipated shortfall in Insurance settlement and ask you to settle this ahead of the insurance submission. Please be advised that this is only an estimate, and further shortfall could be realised following settlement from your insurance company.
If applicable, you agree to settle the cost of any percentage co-payment that is noted on your policy when requested at the time of discharge. We will make you aware of your policy details when we confirm details of your direct claim prior to your appointment.
If applicable, you agree to produce a signed insurance claim form at the time of collection, with the form completed to indicate that payment should be made direct to London Veterinary Specialists. We will make you aware if we require a claim form when we confirm details of your direct claim prior to your appointment.
You agree to pay all outstanding fees, in full, immediately should the insurance company decline to accept the claim in part or in full, or if the insurance company has not made settlement within 45 days of submission of the claim. Please note that the referring veterinary surgeon should promptly submit any claim for treatment or information requested as insurers may not process our claim until this is received. Failure to do so could result in us seeking full settlement from you after 45 days.
It is important that you are aware that if we have agreed to make a direct claim, you are responsible for any outstanding costs if your insurance company declines payment or makes any deductions. Some insurance companies require pre-authorisation prior to treatment, whether you make a direct claim or not.