Pricing and insurance

At Granta Veterinary Specialists we always aim to be clear and honest about our pricing and we believe we have created a fair pricing structure that reflects the complexity of the work we do and the people and equipment we have invested in.


We will always try to give your vet an approximate estimate of pricing before you agree to referral and, following a full consultation, we will always provide you with the most accurate cost estimate that we can or, depending on the condition, provide you with a fixed cost.

We will always try to be as flexible as possible and, where possible, discuss a range of solutions with you that reflect different treatment and management options. For example, if your pet is referred for a procedure that requires diagnostic imaging (X-ray, ultrasound, CT, MRI or endoscopy) we will discuss the pros and cons of the various imaging modalities and decide which is best for your pet and, where appropriate, the most cost-effective without compromising animal welfare.

We always strive to price fairly and openly and we endeavour to work with you to ensure we can treat your pet to the best of our abilities and we believe that having open and frank discussions from the beginning is important for all of us.


If you do not have pet health insurance then that doesn’t stop you coming to Granta Veterinary Specialists and we welcome all patients. However, we do understand that the cost of modern veterinary medicine and surgery can be expensive and that sometimes paying for unexpected bills can be challenging, so we will always be open and honest with you regarding the likely costs associated with our procedures and treatments to enable you to make an informed decision as to how you wish to proceed.

For patients who do not have pet health insurance cover, we will ask that you pay for your consultation in full on the day of your appointment along with a deposit that equates to 30% of the estimate that we will give you for your pet’s treatment. We ask that you then pay the remainder of your bill in full at the end of your pet’s visit and we require that all bills are settled immediately at the time of your consultation or discharge appointment.

If your outstanding account reaches £5000 and your pet is remaining in the hospital, we would kindly ask that you make an interim payment to clear the account.

Furthermore, if your pet goes home at the weekend, whilst we will do all we can to make sure your bill is accurate at the time of discharge we cannot always guarantee all items will have been invoiced and so there may be additional items invoiced after discharge.


None of us want our pets to be ill, let alone have to face veterinary treatment. However, if you have pet health insurance hopefully some of the financial stress will be taken away if you are referred to us at Granta Veterinary Specialists. We strive to keep the highest level of veterinary Specialist care as affordable as possible, but we do understand that modern veterinary medicine is often expensive – we all insure our cats and dogs too!

It is important to note that there are a very large number of different pet health insurance policies available but not all insurance companies or policies work in the same way, so this short guide is to try to help you understand the most important points you need to consider:

Are you covered?

Establish whether or not you are covered to come to see us. If you have pet health insurance then you probably will, but we request you contact your insurance company before you come just to make absolutely sure and also that you confirm on the client registration form we will email to you before you come. This is particularly important if your insurance company requests a “pre-authorisation” before agreeing to pay; what this means is that they will ask us to provide them with an estimate of what we think we will need to do and what the cost will be, either before we have seen your pet or immediately after your initial consultation. We will obviously do this as accurately and as quickly as we can, but if your insurer requests this, they have the right to refuse to cover you until the pre-authorisation has been completed and this can take up to seven days in some circumstances. Not all companies do this, but we do ask you to check your policy before you come to Granta to be sure of your situation.

If you are referred to us as an emergency, then obviously we will put the health and welfare of your pet first and do what we have to do to stabilise them, but it is vital that you then contact your insurer as soon as you can after admission to make sure you are covered. In the situation that for some reason your insurance company doesn’t cover you, you are liable for all of the charges that will be incurred as a result of your pet’s treatment.

Is the type of cover sufficient?

If you are fully covered, the second thing to establish is how much are you covered for and to work out if this will be sufficient to cover your bill with us. The amount of cover available varies from £1,000 per year in total for some policies and more than £12,000 per year with others. However, it is important to note that:

  • Some companies restrict the total amount you can claim for one condition and this may be less than your overall cover
  • Almost every insurance policy will charge you an excess for each condition that is diagnosed, a sum you have to pay regardless of the level of insurance cover you have. However, if you have already paid the excess at your vet’s for the same condition that you are being referred to us for, it is unusual for you to be charged a second excess unless your policy states this if necessary or unless you enter a new policy year during your pet’s treatment
  • Sometimes we diagnose more than one condition in a patient and we have to be honest and tell your insurance company this, which can complicate your claim depending on the policy you have. One very important point is that if we do diagnose more than one condition, your insurance company is likely to charge an excess for each condition which you will be liable to pay
  • Some companies also charge the excess again if a new policy year falls during your pet’s treatment
  • Some companies restrict the length of time within which you can claim for a condition, so making sure you are still within your claim time is important
  • Depending on your policy you may also have to pay a set percentage of your bill according to your pet’s age; knowing this will help both you and us work out what costs you may have to pay personally and therefore what may or may not be affordable
How much cover has already been used?

The third thing to know is how much you have already spent from your insurance policy at your primary care vet, as this needs to be taken into consideration when thinking about how much you have left to cover our bill. We will always try to help you work this out, but we are actually not allowed to ask your vet how much they have spent, so this is something we have to ask you to do. If you calculate that your insurance is not going to cover all of your bill with us, or you think that you may encounter difficulties covering the cost, please do talk to us as soon as you can.

We will always provide you with the most accurate estimate that we possibly can at the time of your consultation and we will also regularly update you with what your bill is if your pet has to be hospitalised with us, so we will do all we can to help you know where you stand.

Making payments

We regret that at present we do not accept cash or cheques for any transactions at Granta and we also apologise that we currently cannot accept Diners Club cards. However, we do accept all MasterCard and Visa cards for payments and we will process your payments with our reception team. We are also able to accept payments via BACS if required, but this has to be undertaken at the time of your appointment. For relatively small transactions, such as a repeat prescription or an unexpected excess fee, we can take payments online via our Windcave portal, a link for which can be sent to you via text or email. We always request that repeat prescriptions are paid for in full before we send them out to you.

If you wish to settle your bill through your insurance company and we have established that you do have adequate insurance cover, there are two ways that we can handle your bill. One important point however is that due to the cost of processing insurance claims we apologise that we are only able to make direct claims for sums over £500. We therefore ask that you settle any bills under £500 directly with us at the time you collect your pet and then claim the monies back from your insurer.

The two ways we can handle insured patients are:

Indirect claims

Our preference is that you settle your bill with us in full at the time you collect your pet and then re-claim the money back from your insurer, as this is usually rapid and the most efficient process. This is known as an “indirect claim”. We will complete and submit your insurance form as quickly as we possibly can and if you choose this method, we will waive the charge we usually make to complete the form.

Direct claims

If making an indirect claim is not possible, then we are often able to make what is known as a “direct claim”, which is where you request that your insurance company pays Granta directly. However, we can only do this: a) if you ask us to do this at the time of your initial consultation, b) if we fully understand who you are insured with and what the type and level of cover you have is and c) if your insurance company has agreed to allow this.

If we establish that you are able to make a direct claim, we will calculate any policy excesses or percentage payments you are likely to have to pay and we ask that these are paid at the time your pet is discharged. We will then complete the insurance form for you as quickly as we can but due to the costs associated with us doing this, we do levy a charge of £30 per claim and this will need to be settled at the time of discharge.

It is also crucial that you give your insurance company permission to talk to us directly to help us process your claim quickly and efficiently.

We also ask you to note that whilst we wish to do all we can to help your pet receive the treatment they need, we reserve the right to refuse to process a direct claim if we feel or know that it is likely to be unsuccessful, or if your insurance company indicates that they will not make a payment. In this situation, we will insist that we manage your insurance claim either as an indirect claim as described above, or, where necessary, manage your bill as we would for an uninsured patient.

Insurance shortfalls and credit finance

Our standard terms and conditions are that we ask you to settle your bill in full immediately after each visit or treatment. If however, you find that unfortunately there is a shortfall in your insurance cover, or your insurance will not cover the costs of your pet being with us for some reason, or if you are uninsured and the cost of treatment is likely to exceed your ability to pay in one go, we understand and we want to do all we can to help.

We do therefore have access to credit facilities that are provided by a company called CareFree Credit, but it is important to note that any agreements entered into with CareFree Credit are subject to interest fees and an eligibility credit check by a credit rating agency.

We apologise but we are unable to offer any extended credit terms or monthly payment plans.