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Business Terms

Payment is expected at the time of veterinary services and treatment; this may attract a 5% discount. Cash, debit cards or credit cards are all accepted; you will receive an itemised receipt. Credit will not be available other than by written agreement with Helen Whitbread. Any expenses incurred by the practice in recovering debts will be added to the appropriate account. Services will be withdrawn from those who fail to comply with the terms of payment.

If you are experiencing financial difficulty then please let the practice know, in writing, as soon as possible.

Third party liability insurance is essential for all horse owners. We strongly recommend insurance cover for veterinary fees and suggest that you take out the best level of cover you can afford. A limit of £7000 is the highest level of cover available at present - with the advancements made in veterinary medicine and surgery over the last two decades, large amounts of money can quickly be spent.

Everyone tells you to read the small print, but check that cheaper policies do not carry larger excesses - perhaps disguised as a percentage rather than a fixed amount. Check whether or not your policy covers hospitalisation or visit fees, physiotherapy, surgical shoeing or if these are only covered if you pay extra. Some companies do not pay for supplements even if they are recommended by a vet. Others will only pay half the cost of an MRI scan. Beware cheaper policies with lower level of vet fee cover, eg only £3,000 per incident.

If you have lower veterinary fee cover or no vet fee cover at all, are you prepared to pay the veterinary fees yourself, request sub-optimal treatment or, as a worst case scenario, consider euthanasia as a possible cheaper option? For instance, a horse requireing colic surgery in 2012 is likely to exceed £5,000 in vet fees.

Veterinary Fee Insurance Claims
Under some circumstances*, we will allow our regular clients to pay us their insurance excess and request that their insurance company settle with us directly. Sadly, this system is being abused by some and in future all clients may have to pay us in advance of their insurance company settling their claim.

(* restrictions apply, please discuss with your vet.)

Loss of use / death claims
Loss of use is an additional insurance item which is available at extra cost with some insurance companies under certain circumstances. It provides cover if your horse is no longer able to perform the job for which it was purchased and insured for, eg dressage.
Mortality cover is available on most policies, but commonly a claim is only settled by the insurance company if the horse required immediate humane destruction (i.e. it would be cruel to keep the horse alive, not just because it can't be ridden etc).
Validity of all claims is always at the discretion of your insurance company.

See our Information Sheet on insurance tips