Is pet insurance worth it?

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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 much does it cost to look after a pet in Australia?
What is the cost of a vet in Australia?
What does pet insurance cover?
Things to consider when choosing pet insurance
How do you find out what’s covered in a policy?
Is pet insurance worth it?

Quite often, one of these costs is pet insurance. And in this article, we’ll take you through some things to consider so you can choose a policy to suit you and your pet.

How much does it cost to look after a pet in Australia?

According to the RSPCA NSW Australians spend at least $910 each year to take care of their dogs, on top of first-year costs (approximately $3,200) to purchase, microchip, de-sex, vaccinate, etc.

They also estimate that those costs would equate to around $25,000 over the lifespan of their pet dog.

For cats, the figures are a little lower, with Australians spending around $880 each year to take care of them.

What is the cost of a vet in Australia?

While vet fees vary by each practice, the type of vet expenses you can expect include routine and non-routine procedures such as:

  • Physical examinations
  • De-sexing surgery
  • Neighbourhood mishaps, scuffles or accidents
  • Medicine

What does pet insurance cover?

Pet insurance can be a great way to help you cover many of the unexpected treatment costs that may arise due to specific accidental injury and illness, as well as a portion of the routine care costs that come with having a pet. These costs typically involve things like:

  • Injury from a motor vehicle accident
  • Snake bite
  • Bone fractures
  • Bite wounds
  • Skin conditions
  • Ingestion of a foreign object, and
  • Tick paralysis.

Additional benefits, known as optional routine care, may also be able to be purchased for an extra premium, which can provide some reimbursement towards preventative treatments and healthcare such as:

  • Desexing
  • Microchipping
  • Teeth cleaning
  • Vaccinations; and even
  • Flea/tick/worm control.

What doesn’t pet insurance typically cover?

The following won’t typically be covered by pet insurance:

  • Pre-existing conditions or conditions arising within the applicable waiting period.
  • Chronic or recurring conditions beyond any pre-set annual benefit limits.
  • Widespread declared pandemic diseases.
  • Alternative therapies.
  • Voluntary euthanasia.
  • Prosthesis and organ transplants.
  • Treatment related to breeding and obstetrics.
  • Elective treatments.
  • Routine/preventative treatments (unless you add it to your cover for an extra fee).
  • Dental care.
  • A lack of protection for pet/s due to gross negligence.

As with any policy, it’s important to read the Product Disclosure Statement to ensure you know exactly what is and isn’t covered by that particular insurer.

Things to consider when choosing pet insurance

  • Pet insurance can help to minimise the amount to pay (potentially large and unexpected) for eligible vet bills.
  • You can opt for basic cover or more comprehensive policies.
  • Pet insurance provides peace of mind knowing that your pet has access to surgical and hospital care
  • Specific health conditions of your pet may attract higher premiums or not be covered.

What types of policies are available?

Pet insurance policies tend to vary in levels of cover and could include cover for scenarios including specified accidental injury, illnesses and associated medical procedures. Cover is provided toward a percentage of an eligible vet bill and you are required to pay the remainder. The higher the level of cover usually the higher the percentage of the eligible vet bill is covered.

More comprehensive policies typically help provide a higher level of cover and a greater percentage paid toward eligible vet bills for specified accidental injury and illnesses. Some comprehensive policies also offer optional benefits, such as routine care cover.

How do you find out what’s covered in a policy?

It’s important to read the Product Disclosure Statement of any policy you are considering, to see exactly what the insurer will and won’t cover in various situations.

It’s also worth asking your insurer what you need to submit when making a claim, and how long this process could take.

Be mindful that some policies may have a waiting period. This means that you would need to wait for a period of time between commencing the policy and being able to submit an eligible claim. Every insurer has different waiting periods.

Is pet insurance worth it?

Ultimately, the value of insurance comes down to your own personal situation, however it can be a way to assist you to look after your pet throughout their life and potentially help your pet stay as happy and healthy as possible.

It could help alleviate some of the stresses of expensive vet bills, and help ensure that you’re on top of your pet’s health needs at all times.

If you do choose to take out pet insurance, know that there are a range of policies available to compare.

Where can I compare options?

We’ve made it easy to compare pet insurance policies with Choosi. Simply compare a range of policy options online from a range of pet insurance providers. Get started by comparing online, or calling us on 13 19 20 today.

Last Updated: 27/06/2022

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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.