10 Jan Pet Insurance Australia- How to Choose an Insurer
We insure our homes, our cars, our phones, ourselves…but why don’t we all insure our pets? Yes, pet insurance is becoming increasingly common however most pets are still uninsured.
Why should I insure my pets?
Veterinary medicine and animal care have advanced considerably in the last decade; this means technologies and treatments previously unavailable to animals are now readily accessible by modern clinics. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as Medicare for pets and as such, the patient is responsible for their entire bill. That is, of course, unless the patient is insured.
Simply put, if the idea of a $10,000 emergency surgery makes you a little nauseous, it’s probably time to consider pet insurance
How much does pet insurance cost in Australia?
This is a question we often hear from clients at Southern Cross Vet. The price of a pet insurance policy in Australia will always vary, depending on the type of policy and coverage you want, as well as the pet’s age, breed and current insurance status.
As a rough estimate, Accident only cover can cost as little as $25 per month, and comprehensive coverage can cost as much as $100 per month.
How do I pick the best pet insurance in Australia for my pet?
All pet insurance companies in Australia, bar one, are underwritten by the same umbrella company, Hollard (Petsure) insurance. The exception is a company underwritten by Allianz (formerly Lloyds UK); PetPlan. What does this mean? Insurers underwritten by the same company will provide roughly the same cover.
The major difference between the two ‘groups’ of insurers is how they cover each claim. Hollard group insurers will cover a percentage of the bill (usually around 80%) and may require an excess also, depending on your choice of cover; Petplan will charge an excess and cover the remainder of the bill. Both groups will have a limit to how much you can claim in total per year and this amount varies depending on your level of cover. Additionally, sub-limits exist within policies so that only a certain amount of money will be paid out for particular claims, such as tick paralysis or cruciate ligament surgeries.
Some companies offer ‘accident only’ insurance for a lesser premium, however, you must bear in mind that these policies will not cover any sorts of illness and thus may not be worth it in the end. Additionally, Petplan offers a 12-month plan which has a lesser premium however each condition claimed for will only be covered for twelve months.
It may also be important to note that only Petplan offers cover for surgical dental procedures (ie tooth extractions); no company covers a routine scale and polish, however.
So how do you choose?
Try to anticipate why you would make a claim through your insurance. If, for example, you have a breed of dog or cat which is well known to develop certain illnesses later on in life which require costly ongoing treatment (heart disease in KCCS dogs or diabetes in Burmese cats, for example), then it may be that a company offering cover with only a once yearly excess is a better idea.
Similarly, if 20-40% of a $6000 hospital bill is something you are not financially prepared for, then this type of insurance policy may be best for you.
Alternatively, if you are prepared to cover a portion of your pet’s vet bills throughout their life and would prefer a cheaper premium, then it would make sense to opt for an insurer which only covers a percentage of each bill.
It is important to bear in mind that all insurers will not cover pre-existing conditions (at least for a considerable period of time) and that all insurers will have a cooling off period before you can start claiming expenses.
Additionally, only you are aware of your personal situation and any information regarding insurance should be carefully considered in light of this.
Hopefully, we’ve answered your question: Is pet insurance worth it? We also get a lot of questions asking what is the best pet insurance in Australia? As per above, it really depends on your circumstances. If you do have any other questions, or would like to talk with a nurse or veterinarian about insurance, please do not hesitate to contact us, or book a consultation online