Pet Insurance for Dogs

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*iSelect’s partnered with Choosi Pty Ltd to compare a range of pet insurers and policies. Not all policies are available at all times or in all areas.  Our advice on this website is general in nature and does not consider your situation or needs. Consider if any advice is appropriate for you before acting on it. Learn more.

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How can Pet Insurance cover my dog?
What extra cover might be available?
When can I cover my dog?
Are there any limits or restrictions?
Does breed affect insurance premiums?

A Pet Insurance policy might be able to help cover some of the costs. And in this article, we’ll take a look at how such policies work.

A Pet Insurance policy may help cover a part of your eligible vet bills if your dog gets sick or suffers an injury.

This may also include treatments such as surgery, x-rays, hospitalisation and medication, as well as any other procedures provided by a veterinarian.

However, this all depends on the terms and conditions of the specific Pet Insurance policy.

How can Pet Insurance cover my dog?

There are different types of Pet Insurance that can provide different levels of cover for your dog. The first of these is accident-only Pet Insurance, which may cover your dog for accidents or injuries, including:

  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Broken bones
  • Bite wounds
  • Burns
  • Electrocution
  • Allergic reactions from insect or arachnid bites

The second type of Pet Insurance, usually known as accident and illness cover, may also cover your dog for certain conditions. This could include:

  • Cancer
  • Skin conditions
  • Eye / ear conditions
  • Tick paralysis
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Hereditary and congenital conditions
  • Swallowing a foreign object (e.g. sharp bones, needles, skewers)

Of course, insurers and policies can differ when it comes to the specific cover they provide. This is why it is important to read the policy’s product disclosure statement before applying. It’s in this document that you’ll be able to check which conditions are covered and which might be excluded – as well as any extra benefits a policy might provide.

What extra cover might be available?

The third type of Pet Insurance is commonly known as comprehensive cover. Such cover provides the same protection as accident and illness policies but may also help with some routine and preventative care costs. Among other things, this could include:

  • Desexing
  • Microchipping
  • Vaccinations
  • Heartworm control
  • Council registration fees
  • Flea and tick control

Although some comprehensive cover may include some of the above, if your cover doesn’t, insurers will offer such cover as an optional extra. In these cases, adding this cover to your policy can incur an additional cost.

When can I cover my dog?

Most insurers have some kind of age requirement for their Pet Insurance policies. This may vary depending on the insurer and the terms of the specific policy. For instance, some policies may not be available for dogs that are less than 8 weeks old or more than 9 years old – though other policies may cover pets that are up to 16 years old.1

Furthermore, some insurers will also provide lifetime cover for your furry friend. What does this mean exactly? Well, so long as your dog meets the age requirements when you first apply, and so long as you don’t leave any gaps in your cover, and the cover continues to be provided, then the policy could cover your dog for the rest of their life.

Of course, you also need to check the specific policy’s product disclosure statement to confirm whether or not it provides lifetime cover.

Are there any limits or restrictions?

Most Pet Insurance policies will exclude certain conditions or events from cover. They may also put certain limits on how much you can claim every year. So it may be worth keeping some of these restrictions in mind:

  • General exclusions These will be listed on a policy’s product disclosure statement. Cosmetic procedures, claw removal, prosthetics, pre-existing conditions, pregnancy and obstetrics are all typical exclusions. Though this may not be the case for every policy.
  • Waiting periods For some conditions, you might not be able to make a claim the moment your policy is approved. Instead, these conditions could be subject to a waiting period. This means you might have to wait a little before your policy covers certain vet bills. For instance, some policies will have a 30-day waiting period before you can make a claim for illnesses.
  • Annual benefit limit This is the total amount your policy will let you claim on eligible vet bills every year.
  • Sub-limits These are yearly limits on certain treatments, items and conditions. For example, some policies limit what you can claim on vet bills for tick paralysis. Or they might impose these limits on vet consultations and emergency boarding.

These limits and restrictions can also differ from policy to policy. And since your dog has specific needs, it may be worthwhile to compare different policies when searching for one that’s suitable.

Does breed affect insurance premiums?

Yes. The breed of your dog can affect the cost of your insurance policy. This is because some breeds are more prone to injuries and certain health conditions 2O’Neill DG, Pegram C, Crocker P, Brodbelt DC, Church DB, Packer RMA. Unravelling the health status of brachycephalic dogs in the UK using multivariable analysis. Sci Rep. 2020;10(1):17251. than others, and so they’re more likely to require vet trips. This represents a higher risk for insurers too – which results in higher premiums.

Where can I compare my options?

If you’re ready to find a Pet Insurance policy for your dog, then we can definitely help. At iSelect, we’ve partnered with Choosi to help you compare policies from a range of Pet Insurance providers and policies*, helping you to look for a suitable policy. Get started by comparing online, or call us on 13 19 20 today!

Last Updated: 02/06/2022

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*iSelect’s partnered with Choosi Pty Ltd (ABN 15 147 630 886) to help you compare pet insurance policies. iSelect earns a commission from Choosi for every policy sold through the website or contact centre. iSelect and Choosi do not compare all providers or policies in the market.

Any advice provided by iSelect 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 policy. You should consider iSelect’s Financial Services Guide which provides information about our services and your rights as a client of iSelect.  iSelect receives commission for each policy sold by Choosi.