What is pet insurance?
According to the Animal Health Alliance, more than 60% of Australians live with a pet. Cats and dogs are great companions, and you may even think of them as part of your family, but the costs of pet ownership can add up. Along with food, toys, treats and accessories, you’ve also got to consider the price of vet visits.
This is where pet insurance can help.
Pet insurance is designed to help cover unexpected veterinary expenses when your cat or dog is sick or injured. Some home insurance policies offer limited pet insurance bundles. But you can also purchase an individual policy for your pet.
Plans may cover up to 80% of the cost of eligible vet bills, but this can vary between providers and your chosen level of cover. You are generally required to pay the vet’s bill up-front and receive reimbursement from your insurer after you make a claim.
Why would you need pet insurance?
No matter how caring you are for your pet, there’s always an unlucky chance they could break a limb, get sick or eat something they shouldn’t.
If your cat or dog ends up in hospital for a few days, the vet bills can potentially escalate. Unless you have savings available to cover the costs, it can be difficult to help your pet return to good health.
What does pet insurance cover?
Like with most insurance policies, you can choose your level of cover. The varying levels of pet insurance include:
- Accidental injury: This covers physical injuries caused by an accident, such as broken bones, flesh wounds or even snake bites.
- Illness: If your pet is an otherwise healthy animal, illness-only cover helps pay the bills when your pet gets sick. This can include infections, upset stomachs and skin conditions.
- Accident and illness: This comprehensive level of cover incorporates both accidents and illness and may also include some optional extras.
Your policy may also include de-sexing, microchipping and annual vaccinations. Some providers may also cover certain non-routine dental procedures. It’s also worth, ensuring that you are aware of whether your policy includes hospitalisaiton, after-hours services and emergency boarding fees if you find yourself hospitalised and unable to care for your pet.
What isn’t covered when it comes to pet insurance?
Pet insurance policies generally don’t provide cover for:
- Pre-existing conditions that your pet experienced before you took out the insurance or during the waiting period
- Behavioural problems
- Elective procedures
- Food and diet products and services.
Once you take out a new policy, there may be a waiting period of approximately 30 days before you can make a claim for your pet for illness. You may also find that some policies won’t cover pets that are younger than eight weeks or older than seven to nine years at the time that you apply.
Pet insurance may provide peace of mind for the times when your pet needs you most. With a range of policies available, take the time to consider the policy that suits both your pet’s needs and your pocket.
Looking for the most suitable cover for your pet? Check out pet insurance policies on iSelect today.
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.