Pet insurance is becoming increasingly popular in Australia. Like any kind of insurance, pet insurance gives pet owners peace of mind, knowing it will take care of some or all treatments costs if your pet becomes sick or has an accident.
Because every cost for your pet is an out-of-pocket expense, pet insurance removes some of the financial stress of pet ownership.
There are a number of companies that offer pet insurance, so use our simple tips to choose the cover that suits you and your pet.
What does pet insurance cover?
Every package will vary when it comes to the level of treatments that’s covered, however, most options will include accidents and unexpected illnesses. More comprehensive pet insurance will cover annual vaccinations and preventative flea and worm treatments.
Carefully weigh up the different policies, and be mindful of the claim excess amount, the overall proportion of treatment costs covered, whether there is an annual claim limit, age restrictions, exclusions on pre-existing conditions and other policy costs.
What is a pre-existing illness?
A pre-existing illness is classified as an ongoing sickness or problem your pet has previously suffered from.
One example is if your pet has a skin problem that has been treated by a vet and now you want to insurance to help cover the future costs for that problem, the insurance company may not cover you. This is because the condition was present before the policy was purchased.
In most circumstances, if you have purchased Pet Insurance before an issue occurs, most insurance companies will contribute towards the expenses. If in doubt, it’s worth double-checking with the insurance company BEFORE you purchase the policy.
What should I consider before I decide on Pet Insurance?
Before you buy any insurance policy, make sure you read the fine print. You need to choose the policy that best suits you, your pet and your unique circumstances.
Due to the fact that many insurance companies don’t cover pets with pre-existing conditions it’s smart to choose pet insurance when your pet is young, healthy and illness-free. That way, you’re covered for any potential issues in the future and you safeguard your older pet from any age-related issues down the track.
Check the payment policy
Some insurance policies set limits on what they will pay out each year and/or for each health condition. If your vet bills are more than the policy limit, you’ll have to pay the difference.
Pay attention to what your policy covers
Some insurance companies won’t cover costs for elective treatments, like de-sexing and dental work. If there is a known vaccine to prevent an illness- as in the instance of Kennel Cough- treatment costs may not be covered. Some policies will cover treatment costs if the animal has been vaccinated previously, and before the illness occurs.
We’re often told to expect the unexpected, and pet insurance is incredibly helpful when the inevitable unexpected, expensive emergencies arise. Shop around and find the option that suits your needs. Taking the time to thoroughly research the insurance coverage you are buying will make a big difference in the future, to you and your pet.