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RSA Penalise Pet Insurance Policyholders For Not Using Their Preferred Referral Network

Insurer’s RSA have been criticised by vets for limiting full cover to a handful of preferred referral centres across the UK.

Under their new policy, if a pet is referred for a major, non-emergency operation at a vets that is not a member of the RSA preferred referral network, pet owners will have to pay an additional £200.00.

Introduced in January 2016, RSA claimed the policy was a means of ensuring premiums did not rise, thereby keeping pet insurance affordable for more people. 

However, vets have voiced concern over the issues of quality of care this new policy brings.  Vet Dick White, who heads up the newly formed Vets for Choice campaign, stated:

"Owners should not have to compromise their pet’s lives and convenience just because an insurance company wants to save costs.

"It must be the absolute right of all pet owners, in conjunction with their first opinion vet, to select the referral centre that is most appropriate for each individual case."

Whilst this policy is currently limited to pet insurance, does it start a dangerous precedent in the industry where policyholders receive “penalties” for not using centres as directed by their insurers? 

As a building company who specialise in carrying out reparation works for building insurance claims, we have seen many cases where insurer’s preferred builders have left homeowners with sub-standard repairs. This has, in some cases, meant that homeowners have had to finance additional repairs out of their own pockets to adequately restore their property to pre-damage condition.

We strongly support that policyholders should be allowed the unimpeded ability to choose who they want to carry repairs “penalty free”.

Without this we believe the quality of care and service being offered by insurers will suffer.  With policyholders being left with little choice than to use low cost, low quality networks to avoid financial penalties imposed by the very people they expect to help them.

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