Dog Insurance Australia – What you need to know
There’s no doubt that Aussies love their dogs. With an estimated 4.7 million pet dogs in Australia, we often consider them to be part of the family. Yet when it comes to protecting our pups’ health, only one in four dog owners has pet insurance.
What is dog insurance?
Whenever your dog needs medical treatment, medication or veterinary care, there’s a cost involved. Without pet insurance, you’d have to pay all of the vet’s bills yourself, which may be challenging.
Dog insurance, also known as pet insurance, helps you cover the cost of an unexpected trip to the vet. It can give you peace of mind when your four-legged friend is sick or injured, and reduce some of the financial strain.
You can elect to be covered for accidental injury, illness, medical procedures and/or routine care. Many plans will cover up to 85% of the costs, to a maximum of $14,000 each year. In most cases, you’ll need to pay the vet up-front, before making a claim on your insurance policy.
Some providers let you bundle your pet insurance and home insurance policies, while others offer separate policies.
What is covered by dog insurance?
Coverage can vary between providers and policies, but you can choose between three levels of cover.
- Accident-only: Dogs, young and old, love to run around, chase their tail and play around with one another. Occasionally this can result in bite wounds or cuts. Other days, man’s best friend will run into traffic, blissfully unaware of the dangers. Accident-only dog insurance helps cover the cost of trips to the vet during these unfortunate situations.
- Illness-only: Some dogs have skin conditions, others develop infections. It’s an unfortunate fact of life that animals get sick, just like we do. In times like these it helps to have peace of mind knowing you’ll be able to afford the medical care your dog requires. Illness-only dog insurance usually provides coverage for your normally healthy pup.
- Accident, illness and preventative care: The top level of dog insurance gives you coverage for both accidents and illnesses. No matter what your dog gets up to when you’re not watching, you can rest assured your insurance will help you cover the cost of any emergency trips to the vet.
It’s important to note that you should be aware that in all cases pre-existing conditions are excluded and there are other exclusions that apply depending on the type of cover.
Some providers also include desexing, microchipping, annual vaccinations and dental procedures. If you’re looking to assess the cost of after-hours or emergency services, you might also want to check your policy to see if it covers hospitalisaiton, after-hours care and emergency feeds.
Does breed affect insurance premiums?
Certain dog breeds are at greater risk of hereditary illnesses and problems, which may or may not be covered by pet insurance.
While you’ll love your dog no matter what, some breeds are more prone to injuries or health conditions than others, which means they may need more trips to the vet. It can help to think about this when you’re searching for your new furry friend.
Did you know owners of Maltese terriers are almost four times more likely to make a claim for the vet than Kelpie owners, according to owners. Here are their top-claiming breeds:
- Maltese cross.
- Staffordshirebull terrier.
- Golden retriever.
- German shepherd.
- Cavalier King Charles spaniel.
- Border collie.
- Staffordshirebull terrier cross.
- Kelpie cross.
Prevention is better than cure when it comes to keeping your dog healthy. For instance, if your dog is prone to hip or shoulder displacement, avoid playing games where they will jump and twist. Also, try to keep your dog away from things that will make them sick – chocolate and snail pellets are two common offenders.
It’s best to talk to your provider about your pet specifically, and read the Product Disclosure Statements before making a final choice.
If you’re in the market for some pet insurance for your pup, check out our pet insurance policies here.
Any advice provided on this website is of a general nature and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You need to consider the appropriateness of any information or general advice we give you, having regard to your personal situation, before acting on our advice or purchasing any product.