- What is Pet Insurance?
- Dog Insurance
- Cat Insurance
- Accident Only Pet Insurance
- The Cost of Owning a Pet
- Get the right vet for your pet
- Reviewing Pet Insurance
- Seniors Pet Insurance
- Is Pet Insurance Worth It?
- Does Pet Insurance Cover Dental Cleaning?
- Waiting Periods For Pet Insurance
- How Much Is Pet Insurance?
Is Pet Insurance Worth It?
Paying for the upkeep of your pet can be an expensive task. For example, feeding your dog alone can cost around $800 per year for premium dog food1. Add to that the cost of de-sexing, flea treatment, toys and grooming, and additional extras such as pet insurance might seem a little too much.
Average fees for an annual insurance plan will be $293 for a dog and $246 for a cat, but they can vary according to the level of cover1. On the other hand, yearly vet costs currently average $397 per year for a dog and $273 for a cat1.
Understanding pet healthcare costs in Australia
There’s little doubt that vets can be expensive, and there are good reasons for this. It’s illegal for vets to prescribe medicines without a physical examination first2. So when your pet is ill, you’ll have to pay for an examination before paying for any medicine or surgery.
One of the reasons that vet fees seem high is because, unlike human healthcare, medical services for animals are not subsidised. This means that you’ll normally have to bear the full cost. Your dog or cat doesn’t even have to be ill in order for the vet to be called on. There are plenty of routine procedures and non-emergency costs you’ll have to pay for. Some of these include:
Chances are that your cat or dog will need de-sexing. Although many vets provide this service for less than cost, it’s still an expensive process requiring surgery. Expensive as de-sexing surgery might seem, the alternative may well be half a dozen hungry little mouths to feed and vaccinate.
Although de-sexing procedures will usually be an elective treatment that is excluded, some pet insurance providers may offer additional benefits to cover a portion of this cost.
Neighbourhood mishaps & scuffles:
Another concern with pets is that they can get up to all sorts of mischief.
Something as simple as crossing the road, or even running in a field, can result in a serious accident where your pet may need a serious operation. This can also apply to cats who are allowed to roam the neighbourhood, and can scuffle with other cats, or even possums.
It’s unpredictable healthcare costs like these that can be the most worrying. With such expenses to consider, pet insurance may seem like a sensible option.
What will a pet insurance policy cover?
One of the main benefits of having insurance is knowing that you won’t have to pay all of the—potentially large and unexpected—vet bills. Bear in mind though, some policies won’t pay towards all the costs you’ll face. Like insuring your car, you can opt for basic or a more comprehensive pet insurance policy.
Basic Vs Comprehensive policies
A basic pet policy will cover your pet only for accidents whilst more comprehensive policies will also cover illness. If you go for a more basic policy, you’ll need to think about whether you can cover the costs for medicine, or much larger expenses such as a serious illness that requires surgery.
Surgery for a tumour or joint issues, can run into many thousands of dollars. Not everyone can absorb such costs easily, but with the right insurance policy, you’ll only have to cover some of the fees.
Comprehensive policies may offer routine care to cover a portion of some of the regular costs, as well as yearly consultations and vet visits, so any problems can be identified early.
Taking care of your pet: It’s great for the pet and potentially your wallet
Just as with humans, taking care of your pet now means they might avoid health complications further down the line. Regular check-ups can prevent problems a vet might find before they get worse…and more expensive.
Once you add the routine costs of pet healthcare on to the potential costs of emergency care, you might find paying annual insurance cover to be a more manageable option.
Pet insurance usually increases with the pet’s age
For both cats and dogs, you’ll find that as your pet gets older, their health needs will increase, and insurance and treatments will likely become more expensive. As you’ll be more likely to call on your insurance, insurers will be less willing to offer you cover because it’s more expensive for them.
If you don’t want to be lumbered with those later-in-life bills, you’ll need to make sure you get your insurance sorted out before your pet is too old to get new cover. However, not every insurer will guarantee renewal, or they may impose certain conditions and limitations to a renewed policy.
Always check the small print
Pet insurance companies and policies aren’t all the same, and unfortunately the terms and conditions of some insurers’ contracts will mean that your pet isn’t covered for essential treatments you may need.
Always read any product disclosure statements very carefully to see exactly what your insurance policy will and won’t cover in various situations. Also, find out what you’ll need to submit when making a claim and how long the process will take.
Be mindful that some policies may have a long no-claims period between signing the contract, and being able to claim.
Ready to start comparing pet insurance policies?
For many pet owners, pet insurance is worth it—especially if you can find a policy that’s right for you. At iSelect, we understand that the number of different pet insurance providers and policies can be overwhelming.
That’s why we’ve made it easy to compare pet insurance policies the easy way—allowing you to review polices side by side, and purchase the right one for your pet’s needs. Get started by comparing online, or calling us on 13 19 20 today.
We do not compare all pet insurers or products in the market. Not all products are available at all times.
iSelect General Pty Limited ABN 90 131 798 126, AFS Licence Number: 334115. Any advice provided by iSelect 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. You should consider iSelect’s Financial Services Guide which provides information about our services and your rights as a client of iSelect. We receive commission for each product sold.