Take the time to make sure your pet is covered
Every year many pets do not receive the care they require or are euthanased because owners are unable to afford treatment. Pet insurance is invaluable in providing peace of mind that if your pet becomes sick, you will be able to care for them and not be limited by financial constraints.
When considering what insurance to take out for your pet, there are several elements to consider;
Co-payment and Excess - Most Policies will pay around 80% of your veterinary bills with you required to pay 20%. Some will pay 100% and some will have additional co payments when your pet reaches a certain age. Certain policies may also require that you pay an excess for each condition that is treated.
Annual Policy Limits - Most Policies have an annual limit. Make sure this annual limit is not too constricting. It is not unusual for the treatment of illness or injury to cost several thousand dollars.
Accident Only vs Accident and Illness Coverage – Accident only polices are cheaper but limit quite significantly what you are covered for. There may also be confusion as to whether a condition is an injury or an illness. We would generally recommend taking out Accident and illness cover.
Age Limits and Pre-existing Conditions – Most Policies have an upper age limit on when you can join. In addition policies generally do not cover pre-existing conditions. The best time to get your pet insured is as soon as you get them. Deciding to switch insurers can also be an issue as the new insurer may not cover any pre-existing conditions. Therefore it pays to do your research well before choosing an insurer.
Waiting Periods – Most Policies have a 30 day Waiting Period. Some have a special Waiting Period for cruciate ligament conditions of 6 months unless a waiver is signed by a veterinary examination. Cruciate ligament conditions are very common and we would recommend having this waiver signed.
Wellness Packages – a wellness package often includes rebates for vaccinations, flea treatments and other preventative treatments. They can help to spread your costs, however be aware that they will increase your premiums.
Policies may also have certain conditions for treatment of tick paralysis and premium loading for special breeds such as Bulldogs. It is also important to consider the reliability and reputation of the company that is offering insurance. Some pet insurance policies are offered by large health insurance companies such as Medibank while others, such as Pet Plan are dedicated pet insurers.
Finally always read the fine print to make sure you understand your insurance completely.
Have a look at the top 10 pet insurance website to help compare different policy options.
Below are links to insurers who offer pet insurance policies. This is not a comprehensive list and we do not endorse any particular insurer.