Freely fixed, veterinary tariffs are high. They significantly impact the budget of pet owners in the event of illness or accident of their faithful companion. Fortunately, dog health insurance allows the owner to be partially or fully reimbursed for the costs incurred, depending on the contract for which he has opted. This allows him to watch over the health of his companion from an early age until the end of Its life, at a lower cost. But to be well reimbursed for all veterinary acts, it is necessary to respect certain procedures.

Veterinary care and advance payment

If the third-party payer exists in health insurance for humans, it is not the same for animals. The owner of the dog is therefore required to advance all costs related to the health of his faithful companion. Consultations, medications, additional examinations, hospitalization, surgery, and many others: the master pays the bills and fees and then requests reimbursement from the mutual health insurance for his dog. He must of course provide all the supporting documents in his possession, including the inevitable care sheet duly completed and signed.

What veterinary expenses are reimbursed?

Animal insurance companies reimburse all or part of the health costs incurred by the owner, up to an annual limit stipulated in the contract. Reimbursement can only be made upon the production of supporting documents. The amount of support varies depending on the plan chosen at the time of subscription. In general, dog health expenses are reimbursed between 50 and 100%. Still depending on the contract, the acts covered may concern illness, accident, hospitalization, euthanasia. Prevention can also be reimbursed, within the limit of an annual flat rate.

Before insuring his dog, the owner has every interest in comparing the plan offered by the different insurers. The ideal is to go for the best dog health insurance that perfectly meets the health needs of the animal, but also the owner’s budget. Between the mini-plan, the intermediate plan, and the high-end plan, the reimbursement rate varies as does the annual reimbursement ceiling. Using an online comparator allows you to request several free quotes without obligation. It then remains to study them one by one before taking out health insurance for your dog. It is important to insure your dog from the age of 2 or 3 months so that he benefits from regular veterinary monitoring as long as possible.

Dog insurance: the essential care sheet

The care sheet is a real key to getting reimbursed for the dog’s health care. It can be provided to the owner of the animal by the insurance company, on request, or downloaded from the Internet. It is essential to present it to the veterinarian during the visit. It must be rigorously completed and signed. This care sheet has two parts: one for the dog owner, the other for the animal health professional. The handler must enter the Insurance Policy number, his name and contact information, the dog’s name, his identification number, and other information concerning the animal. If the visit follows an accident, the circumstances of the accident must be indicated. He must finally date and sign. The veterinarian indicates the reason for the visit, the results of additional examinations and prescriptions, if applicable, as well as details of costs such as fees. He must also certify that the information given on the care sheet is correct, affix his stamp, date, and sign.

When the owner has several dogs, he must produce a care sheet for each animal consulted during a joint visit. Likewise, a care sheet can only include acts performed for the same reason when this required several consultations. Successive visits for different pathologies must be the subject of separate treatment sheets. Otherwise, the coverage may be refused by the animal health mutual.

Reimbursement method for veterinary care

After checking the various data, the dog insurance company reimburses veterinary expenses. Payment is made either by check made out to the owner of the animal or by transfer to his bank account. This solution is the most frequently chosen by owners because it allows reimbursement to be received quicker. However, it implies that the owner of the dog does not forget to notify the insurance company in the event of a change of bank identity. The slightest omission can lead to delays in treatment.

Quick reimbursement of veterinary expenses

The deadlines for reimbursement of dog health expenses vary from one pet insurance company to another. They generally take place between two and three weeks after receipt of the supporting documents by the insurer. This is the reason why it is better not to delay sending the request for reimbursement to the mutual insurance company of your animal.

We find more and more dog insurances which apply much shorter reimbursement periods, of the order of 72 hours after receipt of the documents, in particular when expertise with a consulting veterinarian is not requested by the insurance company. This is generally the case for routine care. On the other hand, reimbursement periods can be lengthened in the event of an accident because the circumstances of the accident must be precisely established, which sometimes requires time, or when the dog has undergone complex care.

Be that as it may, apart from very specific cases, the dog handler can obtain a rapid reimbursement of the expenses incurred as soon as he sends the insurer all the documents necessary for the establishment of the file. Failure to follow the procedure can considerably lengthen the waiting time, as can an incorrectly completed or unsigned care sheet. Rigor is therefore essential, and even more so when the costs incurred for the health of the dog represent a significant sum. Any delay in reimbursement can unbalance the owner’s budget.

About Amanda

Passionate about animals, Amanda draws her expertise from her training as an educator, pet behaviorist as well as her extensive experience with animal owners. A specialist in dog and cat behavior, Amanda continues to learn about our four-legged companions by studying veterinary reference books but also university research sites (UCD, Utrecht, Cambridge, Cornell, etc..)

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