We strongly encourage you to insure your pet, and we offer advice and guidance on choosing a policy and submitting claims.

One of the most distressing situations an owner can face when their pet becomes ill, has an accident or requires ongoing treatment is when they cannot afford to pay for treatments and we will always advise owners to have sufficient insurance in place to cover these unforeseeable events.

Payment is always due in full at the time of treatment. Any queries relating to the cost of treatment should be discussed with the veterinary surgeon at the time of the initial consultation or when the treatment plan is discussed.

Whenever possible, your vet will provide you with an estimate of costs for your pet’s planned course of treatment. Please bear in mind that this is an estimate, not a quotation, and the actual costs may be higher or lower depending on the complexity of your pet’s condition.

You will be contacted to update you with any significant increases in the estimated costs before proceeding with additional procedures, but this may not always be possible in emergency situations.

Our out-of-hours service, operated by Vets Now from our Wimborne branch, is a separate business and any fees incurred with Vets Now will therefore need to be settled and claimed separately to fees incurred with us.

We would always advise that you familiarise yourself with the small print of your insurance policy to avoid confusion and disappointment.

Some policies are more restricted than others. Most specify the maximum length of time you have from time of illness or injury to submitting the initial claim and many have certain conditions that must be fulfilled, such as keeping vaccinations current or regular dental checks, in order to submit a claim.

It is your responsibility to inform the veterinary surgeon treating your pet of your remaining insurance limit and to make arrangements for any costs that may exceed this amount.

Please note that due to the time and costs involved in processing insurance claims, we charge an administration fee of £6 for each claim form.

This contributes towards the completion and storage of the claim form in line with industry standards, as well as the cost of maintaining contact with your insurance company to ensure swift processing of your claim should any queries arise.

This fee is payable at the time and on receipt of the claim form, and is not usually paid for by insurance companies.

If your pet is insured (under normal circumstances) we ask you to pay your balance in full at the time of treatment and submit a claim to have this paid back to yourself.

On occasion, we may be able to offer a direct claim service where we instruct your insurance company to make payment directly to us.

This process must be requested as early as possible in the treatment of your pet and will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Any direct claim must be approved by practice management. Before assessing whether a direct claim is possible, you will need to bring in a copy of the certificate of insurance and policy schedule, showing the type of policy, any exclusions applying and the excesses for your policy.

There is a separate administration fee of £33.00 for any direct claim agreed for a new condition. If further continuation claims are required, the administration fee of £6 per form will apply.

If a direct claim has been approved, we will ask you to sign an insurance declaration, confirming that you have paid the excess and administration fee and that you understand that if for any reason your insurance company does not settle the fees, then any outstanding fees will be payable immediately by yourself.

Please note that we reserve the right to decline direct claims with some insurance companies.