Pet Health Insurance
Let Someone Else Pay your Vet Bill!
Owning a pet carries with it a lifetime of responsibility (up to 20 years in some cases!). This responsibility includes providing routine healthcare (vaccinations, worming, heartworm, flea prevention etc) as well as being prepared to financially meet your pet’s health needs in the unfortunate event that they become unwell or are involved in an accident.
We understand that veterinary bills often appear unreasonably high compared to bills we receive for human healthcare. We underestimate however what healthcare really costs us – with human healthcare substantially subsidised by Medicare we rarely pay full price for treatment. On average $700 of our taxes each year supports our healthcare system and many of us pay well over $1000 per year for private health insurance.
The level of healthcare available to pets is expanding all the time. With the availability of specialists, advances in surgery, medicine and diagnostics we have many more choices available for the treatment of pets than ever before and sometimes treatment can be quite expensive.
Do you need pet insurance?
This is for you to decide but ask yourself the question – if your pet suddenly became ill or was injured would you need to cancel your annual holiday, take out a high-interest loan or even consider euthanasia due to insufficient funds to cover the cost of surgery or hospitalisation?
Consider a few statistics from Hollard Insurance Co. Pty Ltd for the financial year 2007-2008. The average claim for a case of gastroenteritis was $286 (highest claim $3687), snakebite treatment $784 (highest claim $3594) and multiple fractures $1381 (highest $13525). How would this affect your hip pocket if it your pet required treatment?
What does it cover?
Pet insurance allows you to proceed with whatever treatment your pet needs without having to worry about the cost. Pet insurance will refund up to 80% of your veterinary bills or 100% if you choose to discount your premium with a fund providing an excess option. Although generally excluded from accident and illness policies, some funds will reimburse up to $150 annually for simply providing routine wellness care for your pet including vaccinations, heartworm and flea prevention. A nice refund for something you were going to do anyway!
Common cover options
- Accident only
- Accident and illness
- Accident, illness and routine wellness cover
Some policies will even provide coverage if…
- An owner is unwell and the pet requires emergency boarding
- Your pet dies from accident or injury
- Your pet is stolen or goes missing
What does it cost?
Pet health cover can start from just 30 cents a day. Monthly premiums range from $9.00 to $51.20 depending on the level of cover required and the age of your pet at the time health cover is obtained. Discounts usually apply if two or more pets are insured, and your annual premium can be reduced by accepting an excess of $100 to $500 per year.
The minimum age that pets can obtain coverage is normally 8 weeks. There is usually no joining age limit for accident coverage however pets must be insured prior to 9 years of age for illness coverage and may incur higher premiums if the age at joining is 5 years or over. Each policy has an annual benefit limit (varying up to $18,000). Some illnesses may have capped limits per condition or annual sub-limits. General exclusions are pre-existing conditions, breeding and pregnancy, routine dental, behavioural treatment and treatment for preventable diseases. For a full list of terms and conditions refer to pet insurance policy documents.
Please do not hesitate to ask our staff for more comprehensive policy information in our selection of brochures or visit the following websites.
Alternatively your existing human health fund or home contents fund may offer pet insurance but coverage is usually limited.