To save you time in contacting us, we’ve tried to answer your common questions below.
Some common queries
Some common questions from our members are shown below, if you cannot find an answer to your question please contact us.
How are the restrictions affecting your customer service?
Due to government restrictions and to keep staff safe, most of our administration and claims staff will be working at home. During this period we may have to call you back as we have lower team numbers in our call centres.
Can I defer my insurance payments during the Coronavirus lockdown?
We appreciate many of our customers are experiencing reduced incomes or financial difficulties as a result of the coronavirus (COVID 19) pandemic. If you’re having financial difficulties, please contact us to discuss your options. We may be able to review your levels of cover, or offer a payment deferral. Please contact our customer services team on 0330 102 6839 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For further answers to common lockdown questions please see our Coronavirus advice.
How can I join Scratch & Patch
If you’re looking to join us then you can read our policy information to find out which fits your needs.
If you are looking to speak to us to discuss our policies, although we can’t give advice to you, we can assist in helping you understand your choices. You can contact us on 0330 102 6839.
You can also get a quote online in just a few minutes.
Do you offer advice on which policy to buy?
You will not be provided with advice or any recommendations relating to the purchase of a policy from us, but you will receive sufficient information on the product to enable you to make an informed decision on whether it meets your demands and needs.
Is my pet covered straight away?
Yes, cover starts straightaway for accidents. Illnesses cannot be claimed for 14 days after your cover starts, except where you are switching your cover directly from another pet insurer.
Can I switch my pet insurance to Scratch & Patch?
Yes, if you are already insured and you switch to us, we won’t enforce the 14 waiting period for illnesses on your policy.
However, we will not cover any pre-existing conditions your pet already has when you switch to our standard products (Bronze, Silver Gold, Prime, Premier, Premier Plus).
How are pedigree, crossbreed and mongrels defined?
There are sometimes different definitions of pedigree, crossbreeds and mongrels. For us, a pedigree pet is defined as when your pet’s parents are from the same breed.
Crossbreeds are when your pet is a combination between 2 different breeds.
If you’re unsure of what the 2 different parental breeds are for your pet then this is classed as a mongrel.
Do any of your plans cover pre-existing conditions?
We have Champ policies that are designed to cover pre-existing conditions, however we are no longer offering these as new business policies from November 2021.
Our Bronze, Silver, Gold, Prime, Premier and Premier Plus do not cover pre-existing medical conditions.
What is classed as a pre-existing condition?
Our definition of a pre-existing condition is as follows; Pre-existing condition: An injury or illness that:
Happened or first showed clinical signs,
Has the same diagnosis or clinical signs as an injury, illness or clinical sign your pet had, Is caused by, relates to, or results from, an injury, illness or clinical sign your pet had, before the start date of your pet’s first period of insurance (inception) or before the date the cover level on your policy was increased. No matter where the injury, illness or clinical signs are noticed or happen in, or on, your pet’s body.
I already have a pre-existing conditions policy with you, what will happen to me?
If you already have a pre-existing conditions Champ policy then you will continued to be covered for accepted conditions declared in your policy documents.
Are there any exclusions or restrictions I need to know about?
Some of the key policy exclusions are:
- Your pet must be at least 5 weeks old when your policy starts.
- Dangerous dogs and excluded breeds cannot be covered
The full list of policy exclusions can be seen here.
Additional exclusions may be applied after the policy is offered.
Can I change my personal details and contact preferences online?
Yes you can update your contact details and marketing preferences by logging into your account
Can I add another pet to my policy?
Yes, you can add a pet to an existing policy at the same level of cover. To do so you will need to contact us to update your policy. You can not make this change online using the quote facility or through your customer account.
Can I amend my policy online?
No, all policy changes must be made by speaking to our customer service team.
Do Scratch & Patch charge a fee to set up my policy or during my policy?
In addition to the insurance premium for you plan, we will charge for the following services:
– Cancellation of your policy (unless this is because your pet has died) – £30
– A change to your policy (i.e. address change) – £20
We also receive commission for our services from the insurer in addition to the individual service charges, shown above, to cover the administration of your insurance policy.
Who insures the Scratch & Patch policies?
We only offer cover from a single insurer HDI Global Specialty SE in respect of pet insurance for policies taken out or renewed prior to 31st December 2021.
HDI Global SE has been rated positively by recognised rating agencies, “Standard & Poor’s” and “A.M.Best”
– Standard & Poor’s (S&P): A+ (Outlook Stable) as of 18 October 2021
– A.M. Best: A (Outlook Positive) as of 12th November 2021
We only offer cover from a single insurer ETU Forsikring A/S in respect of pet insurance for policies taken out or renewed from 1st January 2022
Will I have to make a coinsurance payment towards the cost of a claim?
No, unlike most pet insurers our plans do not have a coinsurance or co-payment. This is an extra percentage of the claim which you must pay yourself – typically 10% to 20% of the claim amount after the excess has been deducted. With us you will only have to pay the excess.
Will you post my documents to me?
Your policy documents are available online and will be emailed to the email address provided to us. It is therefore important that you provide us with a valid email address and you keep us informed if this changes. If you want your documents posted as well you will be able to request this as part of the proposal process. You can also ask at renewal or during the lifetime of your policy; please contact our customer service team who can arrange for this for you free of charge.
Can I request documents to be resent to me?
You can request copies of your documents to be posted to you if you need them. In order to do this send us an email on email@example.com.
What age can I cover my pet?
Cats and dogs must be at least 5 weeks old on the day that the policy begins.
Can I change my level of cover?
You can move between Standard Plans (Bronze, Silver, Gold, Prime, Premier and Premier Plus) or Pre-existing plans (Champ 2.5, Champ 4.0, Champ 8.0) however it’s not possible to switch between Standard and Pre-existing plans.
If you choose to change your cover to one that provides a higher level of cover the higher level will apply to any injury and illness which first showed clinical signs after the transfer date. The higher limit will not apply to any pre-existing condition.
If you change your cover to one that gives a lower benefit the lower amounts will apply to all claims from the date you change onwards including those you are already making.
If you would like to amend your level of cover, you can do so by speaking with our customer service team.
How can I change or update my bank account details?
The best way to do this is to call our contact centre on 0330
102 6839 and we’ll help you update the records. Alternatively you can make the changes yourself at; https://pay.gocardless.com/AL0000M40N3819 and then email us on firstname.lastname@example.org letting us know you’ve made the change with your policy number so that we can make sure that the transfer goes smoothly. If you do not email us the process will not be completed and our records will still show your old details and this will mean that you premiums are not collected.
Can I select or edit the date my Direct Debit payment comes out?
If you pay your premium on a monthly basis, then we collect this via Direct Debit using the details you provide when you join us. The Direct Debit date is set up on the date you purchase the policy, so for example if you purchase the policy on the 10th of the month, then the Direct Debit payments for the remainder of the policy year will also be taken on the 10th of each month. Currently we are not able to change the date on which we collect the Direct Debit.
Can I pay for my policy in instalments?
Yes, you can pay for your policy in monthly instalments. This can be chosen as an option on the payment page when quoting or renewing. When purchasing, a breakdown of the payments will be shown in a blue box on the payment page.
Monthly payments can be selected at 0% APR.
What information do I need to know before I can claim?
You need to have the following information to hand:
Your policy number
Your pet’s previous veterinary practice/s (if applicable)
Your previous address (if applicable)
Your claim should be notified to us within 60 days of any incident. We will not pay any claims for vet bills that are 12 months old or older when they are sent to us.
To enable us to assess your claim quickly can you please return the claim form, fully completed, signed by you and the treating vet and stamped by the veterinary practice along with the required medical history and supporting documentation requested.
Claims that do not have the required information or signatures will result in them being returned to you or the vet and can cause you significant delays.
Can you pay directly to my vet directly?
Yes, we can pay your vet directly if you and your vet agree to it.
Can I submit a claim online?
Yes, you are able to submit a claim online. To complete your claim online yourself please visit: https://scratchandpatchclaims.davies-group.com/
If your vet is submitting the claim on your behalf then please share this link with your vet: https://scratchandpatchvetclaims.davies-group.com/
If you prefer, you can complete a manual claim form and send that to us. Find the relevant claim form on our dedicated claims page.
How long will it take to process my claim?
It depends upon the complexity of the claim you’re making. We try to deal with all claims as quickly, efficiently and accurately as possible. Most our our claims are dealt with within 8 days.
If you have questions over your claim or require an update on an open claim you can contact us on email@example.com or call us on 0330 102 6839 and choose option 3.
What are my options if my claim is rejected?
We paid 93% of claims in 2021, so it is rare that a claim will be rejected, but like any insurer it does happen. If your claim is rejected you will be told the reason for this. If you want to you will be able to challenge this and can make a formal complaint to us. Find more about our complaints procedure.
What is a claim excess and how does it work when I make a claim?
An excess is a payment that is made each time you claim and each policy year. When you make a claim which is accepted we’ll deduct the applicable excess from the payout that we pay to either you or the vet. Higher excesses may apply for claims made under specific parts of the policy like Third Party Liability as well as claims for accepted pre-existing conditions. You can find your excess levels on your policy wording.
Will I have to make a coinsurance payment towards the cost of a claim?
No, unlike most pet insurers our policies do not have a coinsurance or co-payment. This is an extra percentage of the claim which you must pay yourself – typically 10% to 20% of the claim amount after the excess has been deducted – depending on the insurer. With Scratch & Patch you will only have to pay the excess.
Do you cover the cost of neutering?
We do not cover the cost of neutering your pet. If there are complications arising from neutering then we may be able to cover these, but the actual procedure of neutering is not something that we cover.
Will my premium stay the same each year?
However, we will review your cover each year before offering to renew your policy. This means that based on the information you have provided to us, your pet’s age and medical history, any claims made and future expected treatment and claims costs, we may change the terms and conditions of your cover, your premium or not offer to renew your policy.
Please be aware that the chances of your pet getting ill increases as they age and this means your insurance premium will also increase. This increase could be significant if you have made a claim.
Will my policy automatically renew?
Your contract may automatically renew each year. We will contact you before the renewal date so that you can make an informed decision about your policy and contact us should you not wish to renew.
Can I renew my policy online?
We will send you a renewal invitation 21 days before your policy is due for renewal. Your policy may automatically renew in which case if you want to renew no action will be needed. If your policy is not going to automatically renew we will tell you in your renewal email and explain what action you need to take. In both cases you will be able to renew online once the renewal invitation is issued.
Can I amend my policy at renewal?
If you want to make changes to, or cancel, your policy at renewal you will need to contact us via our contact center and we will let you know if this affects your renewal premium or terms and conditions. You can not make changes through your customer account.
If you choose not to renew your policy with us, and you have a lifetime policy then, due to their ‘long-term’ nature, you may find it difficult to find alternative cover for any conditions you have already claimed for as they will be pre-existing and you might not be able to claim for them again.