Why should you get pet insurance?
Pet insurance is becoming more and more popular in Australia. It offers you peace of mind as it covers some or all of the treatment costs if your pet was ever involved in an accident or suffers a sudden illness. There is no equivalent of Medicare for pets, thus you as the owner has to cover the cost of their medical care.
We advise you to consider insurance to cover the costs of serious injuries or illnesses that can run into thousands of dollars. For example, 24 hour emergency care for serious illnesses can cost over $1000 per day, while some surgical procedures like a fracture repair of a broken leg can also add up to thousands of dollars. It is a heartbreaking situation to have to choose between the health of your pet and financial constraints, so for peace of mind we strongly recommend that your pet is insured.
What does pet insurance cover?
There are many companies that offer pet insurance. Individual packages vary in the type of treatment covered. However, they usually include accident cover and unexpected illnesses. Top tier cover may also reimburse you for routine care such as vaccinations.
The premium will vary according to the age of the dog or cat and the breed. Some breeds such as King Charles Spaniels are more prone to heart disease, and as a result you will pay a slightly higher premium.
It is important to get pet insurance while the pet is young and has not yet been diagnosed with a pre-existing condition. Many policies will not cover pets for medical issues that they have already had. For example, one ear infection as a puppy may mean that any ear issue will not be covered by the policy for life.
All companies offer weekly, monthly or yearly payment plans. They all have websites where you can enter the details of your pet and view an accurate quote.
You need to consider the differences between policies, in particular the claim excess amount, proportion of treatment costs covered, annual claim limit, age restrictions, pre-existing illness exclusions and policy costs. We strongly encourage you to read the fine print!
How we can help
We cannot advise you on which insurance policy to choose, as we are veterinarians and not financial advisors. However, if you do have insurance, we encourage you to bring in those claim forms when you come to see us! We will help you to compile the information you need as soon as possible to make a claim, so you can get your money back sooner.