It’s a question we often ask ourselves, usually after an unexpected visit to the vet or prior to getting a new pet. Often we wonder if pet insurance is worthwhile but unfortunately accidents do happen and sickness or injuries do occur. In some cases we may find ourselves wishing that we have already purchased pet insurance.

There are generally 3 DIFFERENT TYPES OF COVER:

  1. ACCIDENT ONLY COVER – This protects you against veterinary costs if your pet’s injury was caused by an accident. For example a car accident or a fall.

  2. ACCIDENT AND ILLNESS COVER – This cover adds protection for the treatment of a wide-range of illnesses. Some illnesses include cancer, ear or eye conditions, gastrointestinal problems and skin conditions.

  3. ACCIDENT, ILLNESS AND ROUTINE CARE COVER – A more comprehensive insurance, it can include some routine care such as vaccination, de-sexing, teeth-cleaning and worming.

More COMPREHENSIVE cover, will have a HIGHER PREMIUM and there are a number of variables to consider and compare between policies.

When choosing a pet insurance, it is important to consider the REBATES. For example, the majority of pet insurance policies will cover 80% of the vet bill; therefore you will only have to pay the remaining 20%. Although, it is important to research as some policies may only cover 75% of the bill and some may be only 50%.

Most policies will have an ANNUAL LIMIT on the amount you can claim per year from the insurer. This limit can range significantly so it’s important to keep an eye out for a policy with a higher annual limit. Also read the fine print when choosing pet insurance to check whether any SUB-LIMITS apply to the policy. Sub-limits are included within the annual limit but refer to how much the policy will cover on different areas such as surgery or paralysis tick. For example, while your policy may pay out up to $8000 in claims for the year, it may have a sub-limit of $1,200 for tick paralysis. As treating the effects caused by ticks can be very expensive, you may end up having to pay a large portion of the bill.

Some insurers will also charge an EXCESS on EACH CLAIM made. It varies in price and is deducted from the rebate amount; therefore if you make a large number of claims, it could be quite expensive.

It is important for you to understand that pet insurance is not the same as regular home and contents insurance. Pet insurance companies do not pay the money directly to veterinary clinics. You are usually required to pay the full amount at the time requested to the vet clinic, either prior to or after discharge. The required insurance claim forms are filled out by yourself and the veterinarian and are then sent off to your chosen insurer, who will process the claim and pay what is due to the policy holder.

Some HOME AND CONTENTS POLICIES provide some healthcare COVER FOR YOUR PET. Be sure to check for any existing cover that you may have in place before going out and spending money on extra cover.

Pets can USUALLY be insured any time FROM 8 WEEKS OF AGE. Some insurers will only start insuring pets below a certain age. For example, some pets over 8 or 9 years of age can be ineligible for insurance with some policies.. If you are considering getting pet insurance, it’s important to get your pet insured as early as possible before medical problems develop. This is because PRE-EXISTING conditions will NOT generally be covered by pet insurance.

For example, one of our vet nurses’ puppies was diagnosed with a heart condition at about 5 months of age. Unfortunately she had not thought to get pet insurance yet. This means that if she chose to get pet insurance after the heart condition had been diagnosed, any future medical issues related to the heart would not be covered by the pet insurance.

It is fast and easy to get a QUOTE for pet insurance ONLINE, therefore it is helpful to obtain quotes on a number of policies and compare them. Be sure to shop around and obtain quotes from a number of insurers as they will all differ! There are multiple WEBSITES in which you can COMPARE pet insurance such as FINDER.COM.AU and CHOOSI.COM.AU

We hope to have helped you weigh up the pros and cons regarding pet insurance.