AFI-FAQs | Animal Friends

FAQs

Purchasing Pet Insurance

As a non-advisory service we’re unable to recommend a policy to you, however we can give you all of the information you need in order to independently make an informed decision. If you are not sure how each policy works you can find out more on our Compare Pet Insurance page. Alternatively you can ring our Sales team who will be happy to explain our policies in further detail.

We will look to cover dogs and cats from four weeks of age with no upper age limit. However, to help us keep premiums as low as we can, we currently require a co-payment if you renew your policy after you dog’s 8th birthday, or after your cat turns 10. The co-payment is a set percentage of any claim for which you, as the policyholder, are liable, in addition to the excess. The terms of this co-payment should be outlined in your policy wording. The co-payment system means we can continue to offer cover for your pet’s whole life.

If you pay by direct debit your policy will renew automatically unless you instruct us otherwise. If you have an alternative payment method you will contact us via phone to arrange this. You will receive renewal documents including your new premium and any changes to the terms and conditions of your cover before your policy renewal date, and you must read these carefully to make sure the cover still meets your needs.

If you’d like to arrange a different payment date, please contact our Customer Service team who can arrange this for you.

Your first payment will be taken around 14 days after you take out the policy. All future payments will coincide with the anniversary date of your policy. Please note this means that in your first policy month you may have two payments debited.

We like to be flexible for your convenience, so we offer annual and monthly payment plans, and do not charge extra if you want to pay monthly. We accept payment from all major credit and debit cards, and can accept payment via Paypal if you take out your policy online and opt to pay annually. We can also accept annual payments via bank transfer, direct debit or cheque. Monthly payment will need to be paid via direct debit, which we can set up for you online or via phone.

You can take out a quick and easy quote online by clicking any of the blue Get a Quote buttons and filling out all the relevant information. Alternatively, if you’d prefer to speak to an agent, you can call our Sales team who will guide you through the process.

We will still offer insurance to a pet who has had an illness or injury before, however any injury, illness or condition that’s noticed or diagnosed before you take out the policy will be excluded from your terms of cover as a pre-existing condition. For more information about how we apply exclusions please read our policy wording thoroughly.

Any condition, illness, injury, symptom or sign of a condition occurring or existing prior to your policy’s start date will be considered a pre-existing condition and will be excluded from your terms of cover. You should inform us of these upon taking out your policy. If we find out about them later we reserve the right to apply exclusions when we are made aware of the pre-existing condition. We will also apply exclusions to any illness or condition if symptoms or signs are noted, or a diagnosis is made, during the 14 day waiting period at the start of your policy. However, cover for accidents starts after 5 days. You can, however, claim for public liability immediately (on policies where public liability cover is included).

As animal lovers ourselves we know how costs can add up, especially if you have more than one pet. That’s why we offer a 10% discount when insuring two or more animals with us* on most of our policies. For full Terms and Conditions of this offer, visit our Multi Pet Insurance page.

We offer a Standard policy for horses, ponies and donkeys aged from 30 days to 20 years, with a range of optional policy extras such damage/loss/theft of saddlery and tack. If your equine is over 20 they will need to take out a Mature policy. If you, as the owner, also regularly ride the horse you can opt to add personal injury cover to your policy. For regular horse riders who do not own or loan a horse, we have a Young Rider policy for riders aged from 5 years old to 17. From age 18 and over we offer two policies: Standard Rider and Super Rider. These policies offer personal injury cover for riding a horse that is not your own.

We have four different policy types for pets. Our Accident Only policies provide cover for injuries sustained in an accident, while our Time Limited, Max Benefit and Lifetime policies cover injuries, illnesses and conditions, as well as having other benefits available such as advertising and reward if you pet is lost or stolen, and compensation if you have to cancel a holiday due to your pet’s health. Call our Sales Team for more information.

We offer cover for dogs, cats, horses, ponies and donkeys, as well as insurance for riders. Some exclusions may apply based on your pet’s breed, behaviour and lifestyle, so it’s important to check our excluded breeds list and general exclusions. Please note that we will not cover mixed breeds where they are known to be a cross of any of our excluded breeds.

Claims

We review your premium price on an annual basis, and there are multiple factors that may cause pricing changes, either up or down, such as your location, the average cost of vet treatment at the time, changes in tax rates etc. However, we do not offer “no claims bonuses” to our policies, as we think that is unfair to our policyholders who do need to claim. We regularly review our pricing structure to make sure we give our customers a fair deal.

We aim to process claims within 5-7 working days assuming the appropriate claim form is used and completed in full with all of the relevant information by yourself and your vet. Errors on the claim form can cause delays. During periods of unusually high claim volume claims may take slightly longer, but you can always contact us for an estimation. If your vet claims directly using Pawtal, claims times are usually much faster.

For all of our policies except Max Benefit, your excess is deducted once per condition per policy year. This means that you pay your excess upon your first claim, and should the claim continue past your annual renewal you will have to pay the excess again. Our Max Benefit policies only require you to pay an excess once per condition. A co-payment is currently payable on claims if you renew your policy after your dog turns 8 or your cat turns 10. The co-payment is a payment of a fixed percentage of the claim for which you are liable. Like your excess, this is deducted from your policy limit. The co-payment system allows us to continue offering competitively-priced cover for your pet with no upper age limit. It means we can insure your pet for their whole life.

You can authorise a friend or family member to talk to us about your policy on your behalf. You will have to formally request for this person’s name to be added to the policy as an authorised person before we can speak to them, to ensure your protection and privacy. This may come in handy if you need us but are unable to contact us yourself for any reason. Your authorised person will only be able to relay information to you, they will not be able to make changes or amendments to your policy, such as a change of address or payment details, provide information regarding a claim, or cancel your policy.

Pawtal is our unique claims service that allows us to pay your vet directly, and in many cases we’re able to pay successful claims on the same day they are submitted to us. It’s free for vets to sign up, and we have thousands of practices using the service already. Check out our claims page for more information!

We pay claims via BACS transfer. If you pay by Direct Debit, we will pay your claim into the same account as we take payment from. If you pay by another method you will need to nominate an account on your claim form and provide details. If you have paid your vet already, we will pay you, or we can arrange to pay your vet if you haven’t already. For this, you’ll need to tick the relevant section on your claim form to allow us to deal with your vet directly.

We have four different claim forms for dogs and cats, and six for horses. For pets:

  • The New Claim form should be used if you’re claiming for a particular condition, illness or injury for the first time, or for a new medication that’s never been claimed for on an ongoing condition
  • The Continuation Claim form is used if you’re claiming for further fees regarding a claim you’ve started before, for example for illnesses, injuries or conditions requiring follow-up treatment
  • The Vet Pre-Authorisation form is for pre-authorisation of future treatment if it’s likely to cost over £1000.
  • The Repeat Medication form should be used to claim for repeat prescriptions from your vet or online pharmacy.
For horses:
  • The General Claims form should be used to claim for vet’s fees, Loss of Use and the death of your horse
  • The Saddlery and Tack form should be used to claim for theft, loss or damage of saddles and tack
  • The Trailer form should be used to claim for the theft, loss or damage of your trailer
  • The Personal Accident form should be used to claim for injuries caused to you by your horse
  • The Loss by Theft form is for claiming for the loss of your horse by theft or straying, as well as claiming for any monies used for advertising and/or reward for your missing horse
  • The Vet Pre-Authorisation form should be filled in and sent by your vet in advance of treatment likely to cost more than £1500
If you’re still not sure which claim form to use, [try our handy flowchart. If you need more help] please contact our Customer Service team who can direct you to the correct form. All of our claims forms can be downloaded from our website, or sent to you via post or email, on request by emailing claimformrequest@animalfriends.co.uk.

Your claim must be sent to us within 90 days of the first date of treatment you’re claiming for. If you’re claiming for something other than veterinary fees, such as medication or complementary therapy, you need to submit your claim within 90 days of purchasing the medication or your pet having the treatment.

Your policy documents contain all the information you need to find out what is and isn’t covered by your policy, as well as the appropriate policy limits. It’s important that you read your policy wording carefully so that you, and your vet, know what is likely to be covered. Different policies have different limits and exclusions, so reading your own policy documents in full is very important.

To make sure your claim is processed without a hitch you need to make sure:

  • You’ve selected the right form for your claim
  • The form is signed by the policyholder and the vet who carried out the treatment/appointment
  • You include a full medical history from all vets your pet has attended
  • An invoice with a full breakdown of the treatment is included
  • BACS details are included so that the relevant person can be paid; either yours if you paid your vet up front or your vet’s if we are paying them
  • If you pay by monthly direct debit we can only pay into the account we take payment from
  • If you wish for us to deal with your vet directly, please make sure this option is ticked on your claim form
  • All details must be correct, so please double-check them before sending
Alternatively your vet can claim directly from us using our Pawtal system. Your vet should be able to tell you if they’re signed up to the service.

General FAQs

If you need to speak to our Sales, Claims or Customer Service teams you can call us directly and follow the instructions to reach the appropriate department. If you’d rather get in touch via email the correct addresses are as follows:

Alternatively you can use the Contact Us form if you’re unsure who to speak to.

We are underwritten by Red Sands Insurance Company (Europe) Limited (RSE). For the full protection of UK insurance customers RSE are members of the Association of British Insurers, The Financial Ombudsman Scheme and the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, so consumers are protected on all fronts. RSE were Licensed by the Gibraltar Financial Service Commission in January 2004.

We donate money to animal welfare charities on a regular basis, in fact we’ve donated over £3 million to date! This is thanks to our wonderful policyholders; without them we wouldn’t be able to support the hundreds of worthy charities who benefit from our donations.

We are subject to the Data Protection Act, which controls how we are allowed to use your data. This ensures your protection. For more information, you can view our Data Protection and Privacy Statement.

If you are unhappy with the outcome of a claim you should contact a Claims Specialist on 0344 557 0300 to discuss your case further. Our agents will be able to talk you through the next steps. Should you wish to make a complaint, please visit our complaints page or more information.

General insurance products are taxed by the government. The tax is known as Insurance Premium Tax and pet insurance is taxed at the standard rate of 12% as of June 2017. You don’t have to pay VAT on insurance.

As we are a financial service provider, we are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA register #307858) to complete non-advised sales only. This means that we are governed by specific guidelines to ensure the fair and legal treatment of our customers. It also means we are unable to give out advice about which policy to choose. We are subject to UK regulatory conditions.