We all love our furry friends and we want to do what’s best for them and give them a long, happy and healthy life. However, many owners have not heard of pet insurance, or are not fully aware of the benefits it provides. I am also guilty of this, where I disregarded the idea of insuring my 7 month old Bulldog, named Bibi and brushed it aside thinking, “I won’t need it, she’s young and healthy”. Consequently, several weeks after dismissing the idea, Bibi developed a slight limp and there was a distinctive clicking/popping sound coming from her hips. It turned out she had hip dysplasia, which is a degenerate joint disease that is often caused by genetics, among other environmental factors. It’s conditions like these that are very hard to detect and there’s no way of knowing it’s going to happen until it happens. Of course I’ll go through with the surgery, but purchasing pet insurance would have saved me thousands of dollars and taken some of the stress out of the situation.
After doing a bit of research, I condensed and simplified the many benefits of pet insurance into 5 key points and I encourage all pet owners to read it. Note: dogs, cats and equine animals are eligible for pet insurance.
1.) You can add pet insurance onto your existing health cover, depending on who you’re insured with. Medibank, RACQ, HCF and Bupa offer pet insurance options that you can add onto your existing policy. This makes signing up very easy and some insurance companies offer a discount to existing members.
2.) Most pet insurance companies pay anywhere from $7,000 to $20,000 in annual benefits that cover around 80% of vet bills for hundreds of conditions and procedures, including accidental injury, cancer treatment, surgery, prescription medicine, skin conditions, eye conditions, tick paralysis, gastrointestinal problems, consultations, after hours emergency care and much more. All policies vary, so be sure to read thoroughly what procedures your pet will be covered for.
3.) Pet insurance is very affordable and is worth every cent when the unexpected occurs. Policies are generally broken down into 3 different plans, being Accidental Injury Cover, Comprehensive Cover and Ultimate Comprehensive Cover (names may vary). You can apply for comprehensive insurance when your pet is over 8 weeks of age and younger than 9 years. There is no upper age limit for accidental injury cover.
- Accidental Injury Cover: Covers only injuries from accidents. Prices range from $13 - $20 per month.
- Comprehensive Cover: Covers both accidental injuries and illnesses. Prices range from $40 - $60 per month. This is the most popular choice of cover.
- Ultimate Comprehensive Cover: This is the highest policy you can get and it covers accidental injuries, illnesses and routine checkups. Routine care includes anything from vaccinations, worming, nail trimming and flea, tick and heartworm preventatives. Prices for Ultimate Comprehensive Cover range from $60 - $100 per month.
There is also the convenient option of paying fortnightly or annually for all three policies.
4.) Most pet insurance policies guarantee life-long cover for the duration your pet is insured for. This will give you that peace of mind knowing that if something ever happens, your pet will get the treatment they need without forking out thousands of dollars. Note: no pet insurance company will cover treatment costs for a pre-existing condition. Check with your provider for further clarification.
5.) It takes no more than 5 minutes to sign up and all accidental injuries are covered immediately, once approved. There is generally a 30-day wait for illness conditions and the cooling off period is around 21 days.
To find out more, feel free to get in touch with some of these pet insurance companies: