PETS INSURANCE

Is Pet Insurance Worth the Price?

20 min read
Is Pet Insurance Worth the Price?

Beginner’s Guide to Pet Insurance in Australia: 6 Reliable Sources in the Industry

There are many reasons to get pet insurance in Australia. Whether you’re trying to avoid a huge vet bill, or you want peace of mind in knowing your pet is covered if something happens, pet insurance can be a lifesaver.

But with so many options on the market, it can be hard to know where to start. Here are six reliable sources in the industry that can help you make an informed decision about which pet insurance policy is right for you and your furry friend.

Table of Contents:
1. What Pet Insurance SHOULD Cover
2. Does Pet Insurance Really Save You Money?
3. How Much Does Pet Insurance Cost?
4. Factors affecting your policy
5. Typical costs of pet care in Australia
6. What to Look for in Good Quality Pet Insurance
7. List of Reputable Pet Insurance Providers in Australia
Is Pet Insurance Worth the Price? | Stay At Home Mum

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What Pet Insurance SHOULD Cover

Pets are like family members, so when they get sick it’s natural to want to do everything possible to make them feel better. Veterinary care can be expensive, though, and pet insurance doesn’t always cover everything.

So what should pet insurance cover? Below are things that, in our opinion, every pet insurance policy should include.

Accidents

If you’re a pet owner, there’s a good chance at some point your furry friend will get injured. Whether it’s from running around too much, escaping and getting hit by a vehicle (it happens more than you might think), eating something harmful, or just playing rough, accidents and injuries can happen to any pet.

This includes:

  • Wounds
  • Broken bones
  • Sprains
  • Swallowed objects
  • Poison and toxic ingestion

Coverage varies depending on the policy, but most plans will help pay for vet bills if your pet needs treatment for an accident or illness.

bigstock Side View Portrait Of White La 409095803 | Stay at Home Mum.com.au

Pet Illness

Pets are just like people in the sense that they can get sick. There are several illnesses that pets can get that are specific to them. If you’re a pet owner, it’s important to be aware of these illnesses and know what to do if your pet falls ill.

  • Allergies
  • Arthritis
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Digestive illnesses
  • Ear infections
  • Vomiting

Pet insurance can help cover the costs of illnesses that may occur with your pet. This can help give you peace of mind knowing that you’re prepared in case something happens.

bigstock Vet Doctor Gives An Injection 439762043 | Stay at Home Mum.com.au

Pet Congenital and Hereditary Conditions

As a pet owner, it’s important to be aware of the different health conditions that can affect your furry friend. Some of these conditions are hereditary, meaning they are passed down from the animal’s parents.

Others are congenital, which means they are present at birth. Either way, these conditions can have a big impact on your pet’s quality of life.

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Heart disease
  • Blood disorders
  • Eye disorders

Hereditary conditions can be costly to cover, so you must look for pet insurance with this type of coverage. Some providers only offer the option as an add-on. This means those who want their pets protected from these disorders need to pay extra fees on top of them already paying regular monthly premiums.

Alternative Procedures

Pets are like family members, so when they’re in pain, we want to do everything we can to help them feel better. That’s why more and more pet owners are turning to alternative procedures to provide relief for their furry friends.

  • Acupuncture
  • Chiropractic
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Laser therapy
  • Physiological therapy
  • Rehab

These alternative therapies can be very effective in treating a variety of conditions. And best of all, they’re usually much gentler than traditional medicines.

bigstock Vet doing acupuncture treatmen 218106577 | Stay at Home Mum.com.au

Pet Diagnostic Tests

We all love our pets and want to make sure they are healthy. That’s why many of them get regular diagnostic tests. These tests help us identify any health problems early on, so we can address them before they become bigger issues.

  • Blood tests
  • Ultrasound
  • X-rays

More and more veterinarians are recommending diagnostic tests for pets as part of their routine health care. These tests can help identify potential problems early on when they’re often easier and less expensive to treat. And thanks to new advancements in veterinary technology, getting these tests is now easier than ever.

Pet Prescription Medications and Maintenance

It’s important to make sure they’re getting the best possible treatment included in the pet insurance policy. This includes regular check-ups, vaccinations, and any prescription medications they may need.

In some cases, they may even need ongoing maintenance to keep them in good health. Luckily, there are plenty of options available to help ensure our furry friends live long and happy lives.

bigstock Young Confident Veterinarian G 449117603 | Stay at Home Mum.com.au

Microchips

Microchips provide peace of mind in case your pet ever gets lost, but they can also help reunite you with them if they are ever stolen. Microchips are quick, painless, and relatively inexpensive – so there’s no excuse not to do it.

Does Pet Insurance Really Save You Money?

If you’re like most pet owners, you probably think about pet insurance as a way to save money in case of an emergency. But is it worth the cost? In this post, we’ll take a look at the pros and cons of pet insurance and help you decide whether or not it’s right for you.

Pros:

  • If you own a pet and are looking for peace of mind, consider buying pet insurance.
  • You get coverage that covers any veterinary expenses up to $2,000 or more.
  • Financial protection from unexpected events.
  • Flexible options for different pet healthcare needs.
  • You can use your policy for pets with age as early as six weeks.

Cons:

  • Certain breeds have expensive policies due to their predisposed illnesses.
  • Premium policies increase when your pet ages.
  • Some companies pay the policies as a form of reimbursement.
  • Some pet insurance policies serve as options or add-on extras only.
  • Pets with pre-existing conditions are not covered by most policies.

You need pet insurance if:

  • Your dog or cat is still young and healthy
  • Foresee predisposed congenital issues, illnesses, and injuries that incur heavy costs along the way
  • Peace of mind for unforeseen events

Pet insurance is not worth it if:

  • Your pet is old and has a hefty health problem
  • You can self-fund your pet’s care
  • You have access to other funding opportunities

How Much Does Pet Insurance Cost?

It’s a sad but real truth that many of us will never forget: the cost to keep your furry friend healthy can be extremely high. The average annual fee for pet insurance is AUD293 per dog and AUD246 for cats. But some companies offer discounts if you’re willing to pay upfront or have multiple pets in tow.

The first year alone will set you back at least 3k-6 thousand Australian dollars!

Some people think pet insurance is a waste of money, but if you have ever faced a costly veterinary bill, you know that it is worth every penny. The cost of pet insurance varies depending on the coverage you choose. On average, dog insurance costs around AUD25 to AUD30 per month and AUD15 to AUD20 for cats.

That may seem like a lot, but when you consider that one surgery could cost thousands of dollars, it’s easy to see why pet insurance is so popular. If you are thinking about getting pet insurance for your furry friend, here is what you need to know.

Factors affecting your policy

If you’re like most pet owners, you want your furry friend to have the best life possible. That means quality food, veterinary care, and plenty of exercises.

But it also means protecting them from unexpected accidents and illnesses – which can often be costly. That’s why many pet owners choose to purchase pet insurance. But what factors impact your premiums?

  • Age
  • Breed
  • Animal type
  • Gender of pet
  • State you live
  • Health status
  • Premium payments

Typical costs of Pet Care in Australia

We know that your pets are important members of the family, which is why we wanted to provide you with some information on average costs for pet insurance in Australia. The cost will depend heavily upon what type and size dog or cat they have as well as if it’s an accident versus illness policy that gets taken out!

Accidents and illness

Pets are part of the family, and we want to do everything we can to keep them safe. Unfortunately, accidents happen, and sometimes they can be expensive.

  • Cat insurance for accidents costs around AUD500 to AUD650 yearly.
  • Dog insurance reaches AUD1,200 to AUD1,500 annually.

Routine care

Anyone who has ever owned a pet knows that it can get expensive. From routine vet visits and shots to food and toys, the cost of taking care of a furry friend can add up quickly.

  • The annual cost for cat routine care reaches up to AUD800.
  • Yearly expenses for dog care start from AUD1,300 to AUD1,600.

Hospitalization, therapy, and surgery

Sometimes our pets’ illness or injury is beyond our abilities to treat at home. When this happens, it’s important to know what options are available for us and our furry friends. From common procedures to life-saving treatments and hospitalization, therapy, and surgery, here’s what it’s like.

  • Cat surgery may start at AUD1,500, but can be more than that depending on the medical needs covered.
  • Dog surgery may start at AUD2,000 or lower, but it can reach up to AUD25,000 for severe cases.

What to Look for in Good Quality Pet Insurance

Did you know that one in three pets will need surgery at some point during their lives? And that many pet owners routinely spend thousands of dollars on vet bills? Veterinary care can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be.

By getting good-quality pet insurance, you can help protect your furry friend from costly vet bills. But what should you look for when shopping for pet insurance?

1. Coverage that fits your pet

What type of pet insurance coverage do you need? It’s important to identify the right kind before buying a policy since it can be expensive. You might not need comprehensive benefits if your dog or cat has no major health problems. They might be young enough that they’re likely still going through developmental changes without incident!

  • Comprehensive coverage
  • Accident, injury, and illness
  • Accident-only
  • Add-ons and extras

2. Premium Plans

You can save time by identifying the type of coverage that is right for your pet first. Then, compare prices and details from multiple insurers so you know what options are available before making a decision.

Your unique needs might mean that one company offers better coverage than another but if they don’t have a policy that is right for your furry friend then there won’t be any point in going through this trouble!

3. How much time you’ll wait

The waiting periods for your coverage can be different from company to company. Make sure you know how long it takes before an insurer pays out on vet expenses, especially if there is a long wait time like in the case of chronic issues such as hip dysplasia.

For best practices, choose companies that release your insurance within three days.

4. Track record and portfolio of services

Invest in a company that will be there for the life of your pet. There are so many new brands offering pet insurance these days. You should only choose one with an excellent track record and long-term commitment to their customers’ needs. Look for a company that has your best interests at heart.

5. Discounts on Vet Visits

Pet insurance that includes coverage for vet exam fees can help relieve the burden of expensive veterinary care. Every time your pet goes in for an accident or illness, you will pay a fee that is usually not covered by their plan. Unless it has been decided beforehand how much this particular expense should cost per visit, then that’s that.

6. Reimbursements, Deductibles, and Limits

Deductibles can be a tough pill to swallow, but they’re an important part of buying pet insurance. The deductible is the amount you pay in advance before your plan starts reimbursing costs like vet bills and cremation expenses or whatever else may apply.

Pet insurance is a great way to protect your pet from costly veterinary bills. The typical percentage that an insurer pays out after you’ve met the deductible (70%, 80%, or 90%) can be lowered by selecting less generous coverage options like 70%.

And, don’t forget – know your annual limits! Pet insurance can be confusing, but it’s important to know the difference between a maximum payout limit and coverage caps.  If your pet needs costly treatments, like surgery or long-term care medications that cost thousands per month, then it’s good to know you have an unlimited plan.

List of Reputable Pet Insurance Providers in Australia

If you’re like most pet owners, you consider your furry friend to be a part of the family. And just like any other member of your family, you want to make sure they’re taken care of in case of an emergency. That’s where pet insurance comes in. Here is a list of some reputable providers in Australia so that you can compare policies and find the best one for your needs.

1. Bow Wow Meow Pet Insurance

The Australia-based company, Bow Wow Meow has been providing pet care services since 1995. From personalized tags to insurance plans they are on a mission of making your furry friend part of the family feel special!

The company offers people-friendly pet insurance with features like up to AUD7,600 per year for hip joint surgery. Bow Wow Meow Pet streamlines the process with a 95% claim success rate within 5 to 10 days. Plus, they offer lifetime coverage so you don’t need to worry about what may happen in future years.

Price per month:

The average annual cost of premiums for a Bow Wow Meow Accident and Illness policy amounts to $624.53 per annum or $52 per month. But, it can go up to AUD80.

What it covers:

With the Accident Plus Plan, your pet is covered for specified accidental injuries with an annual benefit limit of AUD10k and 80% coverage. The Peace of Mind plan offers much more with a limit of AUD15k. It protects against illness or injury to give you peace of mind knowing that they’re taken care of financially should anything happen.

The Ultimate Care Plan offers peace of mind for your furry friend with an annual limit of AUD20,000. Your pup can get the care they need without worrying about expensive vet bills or painful surgery because this plan covers everything from alternative therapy to dental illness.

What it doesn’t: cover

When it comes to pet insurance, there are a lot of things that are not included in the policy. Here are a few examples of what you might not be covered for:

  • Hereditary or congenital conditions
  • Pre-existing conditions
  • Routine care or preventive care (add-on premium plan)
  • Dental illness (add-on premium plan)
  • Alternative therapy (add-on premium plan)
  • Harm and negligence – swallowing or ingesting a foreign object
  • Parasites and infectious diseases
  • Transport services

2. PetsOnMe

PetsOnMe was launched in 2007 by a long time dog lover who saw and wanted the need for quality, affordable pet care including Pet Insurance.

PetsonMe offers different excesses ($50, $100 or $150) and has optional coverage for vaccinations, desexing and boarding fees.

Price per month:

I entered my own dog’s details (as they don’t have standard pricing) and he was $24.98/month (for a 10-year-old Golden Retriever) with an excess of $100.

What it covers:

PetsOnMe on the Deluxe Plan+ Wellness Benefit covers for accidents, illnesses, hereditary conditions, third party liability, prescribed medications, radiology, pathology, operating theatre costs, tick paralysis, non-elective euthanasia.

What it doesn’t cover:

The standard pet insurance doesn’t cover vaccinations, desexing and boarding fees but they do offer additional optional coverage for these.

On top of that, PetsOnMe doesn’t cover abscesses, gingivitis, tooth removal, cavities, tooth fractures, dental disease and retained deciduous teeth (in other words – no pet dental is covered).

3. Pet Insurance Australia

Pet Insurance Australia is a family-owned business with 30 years in the industry. They cover all your pets’ healthcare needs, including international travel plans.

Pet Insurance Australia has years of pet insurance experience and is internationally renowned for excellence. PIA offers international reputation protection on your furry friend, through our flexible plans that can suit any budget.

Price per month:

The cost of pet insurance varies significantly by breed and type, with some breeds costing less than others. The average monthly premium for a dog is AUD70 while the same goes up to about two-thirds more per month for cats. This can range anywhere between AUD28 dollars up into hundreds.

What it covers:

The basic plan covers 90% of your bills related to accidents, injuries, and illnesses suffered by pets up until $1,000 in annual conditions for each type. It covers most common ailments except for cancer treatment, consultations, ligament conditions, routine, and pre-existing conditions.

Meanwhile, the Comprehensive Plan protects up to 80% of vet expenses if your pet suffers from certain accidental injuries or illnesses. You may choose between AUD0, 100, or 200 for additional coverage which is applied automatically when needed. The limit is capped at AUD15,000. It covers a range of diseases and treatments except for routine care cover and pre-existing conditions.

What it doesn’t:

With that much to say, pre-existing conditions aren’t allowed.

4. RSPCA Pet Insurance

The society for the prevention of cruelty to animals has been around since 1871. They are well-known in Australia as an organization that works hard at protecting animal life from all sorts of situations. So it’s no surprise then when these good people created “RSPCA Pet Insurance” which helps cover your pup against accidents with its high-quality coverage.

With RSPCA Pet Insurance, you can rest assured that your pet will be taken care of. With plans to cover up 80% on eligible vet bills and no excess fees when they become sick or injured.

Price per month:

The cost of pet insurance varies significantly by breed and type, with some breeds costing less than others. For example, the average monthly premium for a dog is about AUD30-50 while cats might require around AUD25 per month or so.

What it covers:

This pet insurance policy covers all sorts of accidents and illnesses that your pet could get caught up in. It also includes cancer treatment, skin conditions like allergies or fleas, hereditary issues such as hip dysplasia, and more. There are even emergency boarding options if you need them for travel outside the country too.

What it doesn’t:

Some of the things that are not covered by pet insurance include behaviour problems, dental care, pre-existing conditions, food and diet restrictions, and elective treatments.

5. Pet Plan

Petplan was founded more than 40 years by a team of international experts who had decades’ worth of experience with pets and pet insurance. They understood that every animal has different needs, so they created the most comprehensive range possible to cover all those possibilities.

They cover anything from accidents, vet consultations, hip dysplasia, and more. They have a range of plans which caters to ones’ budget.

Price per month:

Low AUD150 fixed excess amount for dogs (AUD125 cats), meaning 100% of your approved claims beyond that will be reimbursed in full.

What it covers:

Petplan offers many unique and valuable benefits, including $1 million to $5 million in third-party liability coverage for injuries or property damage caused by your dog. If you’re travelling with your furry friend, the holidays can be tough. But thanks to its special holiday cancellation benefit they’ll cover up to $2k in costs.

By the time your pet reaches 8 years of age, there will be an additional 20% fee. In 10+years, those larger excess amounts kick in. The waiting period for this insurance plan is just 21 days, which means that you can get access to coverage sooner than most other plans.

What it doesn’t:

You can’t just go around and pick up any old dog! The Australian government has banned some breeds of dogs, so make sure that you’re aware before buying one with pet insurance.

If cancer is not a pre-existing condition, Petplan can cover the costs. However, transplant surgery isn’t allowed.

6. Medibank Pet Insurance

With Medibank Pet Insurance, you can get up to 80% back on eligible vet bills based on your level of cover. Receive a 5% discount for any additional pets covered.

With Medibank Pet insurance you can pick any veterinary clinic to treat them.  You’re covered no matter what diagnosis or injury they suffer from! There are four levels of cover available: annual benefit limits start at AUD4K and go up via repeated claims until AUD15k.

Price per month:

The cost of pet insurance can vary greatly. You might pay as low as around AUD60 per month, or you could end up paying over AUD100 per month just for coverage. The average price across all insurers is about AUD65 per month with Medibank.

What it covers:

With Medibank’s Ultimate Pet Care, you can rest assured that your furry friend will be covered for any accident or illness. This plan has an AUD15K annual benefits cap and 80% coverage of vet bills.

Make sure to choose one of our great pet care plans for your furry family member. With Ultimate Pet Care, you can select from a $200 excess amount that will be used on any accidents or illnesses without affecting their monthly premium price.

Medibank has a 10% discount for pet insurance plus there’s an additional 5%. That means you can get up to 20% off if you enroll more than one animal with them!

What it doesn’t:

The list of breeds Medibank can cover is not exhaustive and some dogs, such as those banned by Australian law, are not covered. In Medibank, pre-existing conditions are now assessed depending on whether they’re considered temporary or chronic.

If your pet has had a temporary pre-existing condition for 18 months or more before the date of claim, it will be automatically excluded from coverage.

When buying a pet, you might want to think about getting coverage for their chronic conditions. If your furry friend has any of these and they’re prior or current during purchase-time then it will never be covered under the policy.

7. Bupa Pet Insurance

Bupa has gone from providing care for people to also offering insurance on your pets. The largest providers of pet coverage in Australia now issue Bupa policies, which mean you’re guaranteed quality service at every turn.

Whether it’s an accident or illness, your pet can benefit from Bupa Pet Insurance. Peace of mind knows that if the unexpected happens you are covered for medical treatment with a policy designed just for animals.

Price per month:

The policy price per month differs on which levels of coverage there might be. Users reported paying the company at an average of AUD75 to AUD80 per month.

What it covers:

The Bupa pet insurance plan is an excellent option for your furry friend. Not only does it offer coverage of 80% on eligible expenses with a choice between $0, 100, and 200 excess amounts but you can also instantly see how changing the amount will affect premiums.

Bupa’s pet insurance policy offers a $20,000 annual benefit cap which is amongst the highest of any such product. This should provide enough coverage for most pets in case their life was threatened by an accident or illness.

Bupa members can enjoy an extra 10% savings on their furry friends’ healthcare plans.

What it doesn’t:

The pet insurance offered by the company will cover your animal’s illness for a limited time only. If you notice any symptoms of disease or injury soon after purchasing the plan, it may not be available due to a 30-day waiting period before an illness can qualify.

It’s best to shop around for the best Pet Insurance for your pet! We hope this article helps!

About Author

Jody Allen

Jody is the founder and essence of Stay at Home Mum. An insatiable appetite for reading from a very young age had Jody harbouring dreams of being a pu...Read Moreblished author since primary school. That deep-seeded need to write found its way to the public eye in 2011 with the launch of SAHM. Fast forward 4 years and a few thousand articles Jody has fulfilled her dream of being published in print. With the 2014 launch of Once a Month Cooking and 2015's Live Well on Less, thanks to Penguin Random House, Jody shows no signs of slowing down. The master of true native content, Jody lives and experiences first hand every word of advertorial she pens. Mum to two magnificent boys and wife to her beloved Brendan; Jody's voice is a sure fire winner when you need to talk to Mums. Read Less

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