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Pet insurance
Insurer to go ahead with preferred referral network

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INSURANCE provider RSA announced on October 7 that it expects to introduce a new nationwide ‘preferred referral network’ by the end of this year. Under its plans, when a pet owner with an insurance policy underwritten by RSA is advised by their vet that their animal needs a non-emergency referral, the owner and vet will have a choice of referral vets from the network.

Earlier this year, both the RCVS and the British College of Veterinary Specialists expressed concern that the insurance group's plans to create the network would restrict veterinary surgeons' ability to refer animals to what they felt was the most appropriate referral practice (VR, June 13, 2015, vol 176, p 610; June 27, 2015, vol 176, p 664). However, RSA said on October 7 that the preferred referral network framework would allow policyholders to access ‘a range of expert clinicians at leading centres around the country, while enabling RSA to manage its claims costs by using preferred partners’.

Bill Paton, RSA's claims director for the UK and western Europe, commented: ‘The introduction of this new preferred referral network ensures that our customers will receive the most appropriate available treatment as diagnosed by their vet. …

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