From paw print to small print

Cherrydown is urging pet owners to check their insurance after several incidences in which life-threatening operations to remove peculiar objects from animals were not covered by policies.

We have faced numerous cases over the past 12 months or so, in which pet owners found their animal’s veterinary care was not covered by their insurance, having originally thought it was.

The practice has operated on a number of animals, predominantly dogs, who have swallowed common household objects and food waste such as tin foil, hair curlers, toys and even corn-on-the-cob.

Owners were told their insurance policies would not cover the costs of the treatments due to the limitations and exceptions found in the fine print of their current policies.

The practice is concerned that pet owners are unaware of the guidelines in place and recommend checking the small print of the insurance particulars.

Sarah Watt, practice manager at the Basildon branch, said: “Not all insurance is equal and it is important to consider what you are paying for and whether it fully meets your needs.

“It’s not like car insurance – changing your provider every year is not recommended because what’s covered and what’s not can vary quite considerably from one insurer to another.

“We had a case of a pet being brought in with a recurring urine infection, which the owners had claimed against previously on a previous policy, but because they’d changed insurers, the new provider wouldn’t cover it.

“With all policies, it’s important to read the small print very carefully.”

In addition, some policies now cap the amount of veterinary care they will cover and others will not pay for future claims once the limit is reached or the first year is up.

Cherrydown Vets also has practices in Wickford and Stanford-Le-Hope. For more information, call 01268 533 636.