Due to the current government-imposed lockdown, it can be difficult to know what we can and can’t do, especially when it comes to our pets. At The Insurance Emporium, we want to make sure pet owners understand the best ways they can look after their pets at this difficult time. That’s why we’ve put together everything you need to know about taking your pet to the vet during lockdown, so you can be sure about when you can go, and how the procedures may change.
When should I take my pet to the vet?
The official government guidelines regarding the Covid-19 pandemic state that there are very limited reasons for people to leave their homes, including shopping for necessities, any medical need, and for one form of exercise per day. Because of this, many businesses are closing, while others are operating remotely.
While veterinary practices may remain open, according to the British Veterinary Association, they should reduce all direct contact with pet owners. This means that vets will be limiting the services they provide in person to fulfilling urgent prescriptions, maintaining the food supply chain and providing emergency care. That means non-urgent appointments like routine check-ups might not be carried out at this point, unless they are deemed urgent.
Alternatives to veterinary visits
In recent years, technology has improved the services offered by vets, with an increasing number of veterinary practices offering remote online or telephone consultations. During the current pandemic, the main benefit of remote consultations is reducing face-to-face contact for both clients and vets.
Prescriptions with online vet consultations
In ordinary circumstances, vets are not allowed to prescribe medication to pets without a physical examination. However, these standards are being relaxed during the current lockdown, to further minimise the contact between pet owners and vets. The RCVS Council are reviewing the situation on an ongoing basis, and their position on prescriptions will be reviewed no later than 30th June.
What should I do if I need to go to the vet?
Even in cases of emergency, you should always call your vets before taking your pet during the current lockdown. Although many veterinary practices are remaining open, this doesn’t apply to all vets, so if your usual vet is closed, they should have contingencies in place. Even if they’re open, your vet may be working with different procedures, so you should give them a call to ensure you understand their operating procedures during this time.
My pet needs access to a vet, but I’m displaying symptoms of COVID-19, what should I do?
If you’re self-isolating due to displaying symptoms of COVID-19, or because anyone in your household is showing symptoms, you should keep any direct contact with other people to an absolute minimum, to avoid putting yourself and anybody else at unnecessary risk. Again, the first thing you should do if you need a vet at this time is call them. They’ll be able to assess the situation and advise you on the appropriate steps to take. Your vet might still see the animal in person, either at the veterinary practice or during a home visit, but extra precautions will be taken.
What will my pet insurance cover during this time?
While we can’t speak for other insurers, at The Insurance Emporium, our policies won’t be changing. You’ll still receive exactly the same level of cover outlined in your policy documents. We understand that this can be a distressing time for many of our policyholders, so we’re also offering customers up to 90 days extended cover, should treatment be delayed due to COVID-19*. We also provide cover for telephone consultations up to a maximum of £45, or £90 when a telephone consultation with a specialist or referral practice is necessary.
However, like the majority of insurance companies, The Insurance Emporium do not cover any claim as a result of any notifiable disease. COVID-19 is officially registered as a notifiable disease in the UK. This may affect benefits like Boarding Kennel Fees, and if you are hospitalised as a result of COVID-19, your insurance may not cover the cost of boarding your pet.
Despite the lockdown, many vets across the country are working hard to continue providing essential services for you and your pets during these uncertain times. Here at The Insurance Emporium, it’s business as usual. We’re still providing exactly the same level of cover and the high level of service our customers have come to expect. If you have any questions regarding your policy, don’t hesitate to call our Customer Contact team on 03300 244 007.
* The 90 day extended cover is available for policyholders whose vets have delayed treatment due to COVID-19, providing we have confirmation from the vets and all premiums are kept up to date.
All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. We make no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. We will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. We will not be liable for any loss, injury or damage arising from the display or use of this information. This policy is subject to change at any time.