GUIDES & RESOURCES

Tips for comparing pet insurance

There are a range of factors to consider when you’re comparing pet insurance policies, from varying costs to different coverage options. We’ll take you through the ins and outs to help you choose a policy.
iSelect Pet Insurance Reviewing Pet Insurance – What you should look for
*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.

Easily compare Pet Insurance

We've partnered with Choosi to help you compare pet insurance policies.*

What affects the price of pet insurance?

There are a few factors to look out for:

  • Excess: Providers tend to either have a set fee, or a sliding excess fee. Typically, the higher the excess fee, the lower the premiums.

    Some policies don’t have an excess fee but may require a ‘co-payment’. In this case, you would pay a nominated percentage of each bill that you claim.

  • Age: As your pets get older, premiums may also increase. This reflects the increased risk that tends to be associated with ageing pets.
  • Breed: The breed of your pet can affect both the cost of your pet insurance, as well as what you may be covered for.

    For example, some hereditary conditions may be covered as long as your pet doesn’t show any related health problems or symptoms at the time of signing up to the policy. Other health conditions might attract a higher premium, or may not be covered at all.

  • Number of pets: If you have multiple pets, you could benefit from a discount from certain providers.

What costs can pet insurance cover?

Policies tend to vary in levels of cover and could include cover for scenarios including specified accidental injury, illnesses and associated medical procedures. Some comprehensive policies also offer optional benefits, such as routine care cover.

Depending on your insurer and the level of cover you choose, your policy may also include:

  • Treatment for allergic reactions
  • Burns
  • Bone fractures
  • Snake bite
  • Bite wounds
  • Hospitalisation
  • After-hours service & care
  • Emergency boarding fees (if your pet needs to stay in hospital for an extended period of time.)

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.

Things to consider when choosing pet insurance

Pet insurance can:

Keep in mind:

●        Minimise the stress of covering costs for your sick or injured pet/s.

●        Some providers have sliding excess fees.

●        Provide peace of mind knowing that your pet has access to surgical and hospital care.

●        Premiums may increase for ageing pets.

●        Help reduce the financial burden of caring for your pet.

●        Specific health conditions of your pet may attract higher premiums or not be covered.

Every policy is different, and so are the needs of you and your pet. That’s why it’s important to read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement before purchasing to ensure you’re choosing a policy that suits you.

Other things to look out for when you review policies

  1. Waiting periods
    Before you sign up with an insurer, check to see how long their waiting period lasts. This is the time you’ll need to wait between signing up and making an eligible claim for a specified injury or illness. Each insurer has its own waiting period, which can be found in the Product Disclosure Statement.
  2. Benefit limits
    Ask your insurer if there are any annual benefit limits in your policy in the event that you would need to make a claim.
  3. Pre-existing conditions
    A pre-existing condition means an injury or illness that occurred prior to the policy commencing or during any applicable waiting period, whether it has been diagnosed or not. Make sure you tell your insurer if your pet has any pre-existing medical conditions, because you may not have cover for that condition or you may be eligible to have it reviewed if the condition is considered temporary.
  4. Switching policies
    If you’ve already made a claim on your current policy and you’re looking to switch insurers, note that your new insurer could consider your claim or any pending claim as a pre-existing condition or chronic condition. This means that you may not be covered for that condition under your new policy.
  5. Policy exclusions
    Common policy exclusions are:
    • Pre-existing conditions - an injury or illness that occurred prior to the policy commencing or during any applicable waiting period, whether it has been diagnosed or not (as above).
    • Bilateral conditions: A condition that affects a body part that the pet has at least two of, one on each side of the body (e.g: eyes and ears). If your pet displays signs of an ear infection in the left ear (for example) prior to commencement a subsequent ear infection in the right ear will also be considered to be pre-existing
    • Costs of elective treatments or procedures such as cosmetic procedures, tail docking or de barking.
    • Treatment for illnesses that occur during the waiting period.
    • Negligence by you or failure to take all reasonable precautions to protect your pet from situations that may result in injury or illness.
    • Breeding or obstetrics
    • Dental care

Exclusions could be permanent, or able to be reviewed after a period (temporary), so check with your insurer to clarify any particular exclusions. For example, if your pet fully recovers from a sudden, onset illness during the waiting period, your insurer could agree to cover the illness at a later time if it is found the condition was temporary and not chronic.

For more helpful tips, check out Moneysmart.

Where can I compare policies?

You can start with us at iSelect. We’ve partnered with Choosi so you can start comparing a range of pet insurance policies and providers right here.

Having cover for medical care for your pet can help give you peace of mind for many years to come.

Last Updated: 24/06/2022

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