Insurance for your pet
Pet insurance has been around for a few years now and is growing in popularity. It is very similar to private health insurance for people, although there is no Medicare rebate for pets! Unfortunately, like ourselves, our pets do become ill from time to time, or become involved in road traffic accidents. The costs of treating many of these conditions can be expensive. However, with pet insurance, the bulk of these costs are covered by the insurance companies, allowing you to do the very best for your pet at a fraction of the cost.
Do I need pet insurance?
When considering whether to obtain pet insurance or not, you need to ask yourself a number of questions:
1. Will I be unable to pay for the costs of treating my pet should he/she become ill or have an accident requiring treatment?
2. Is my particular breed of pet prone to any inherited or breed specific problems?
3. Would it be easier for me to budget $300-$500 per annum in insurance premiums or potentially thousands of dollars in vet bills if my pet became seriously ill?
4. Is my car insured? Shouldn't I insure against medical bills for my pet?
If your answer to these questions is yes, then pet insurance is worth considering. 80% of pets insured have a claim of at least $800. The highest incidence of claims is usually in the first two years of your pet's life and once they are over eight years of age. The odds are very high that your pet will need at least one visit to the vet in his or her lifetime (excluding routine trips for checkups and vaccination). We commonly hear from clients who have had to claim that they wouldnb't know what they would have done if they did not have insurance.
EHVH recommends Pet Plan - view full details including terms & conditions at www.petplan.com.au
What types of cover exist?
There are four types of policies available:
1. Accident insurance — this policy covers accidental trauma to your pet (road traffic accidents, broken bones, fight wounds, snake bites etc).
2. Illness insurance — this policy covers medical diseases affecting your pet (skin disease, poisonings, vomiting, diarrhoea etc)
3. Comprehensive Insurance — this policy covers both accident and illness.
4. Comprehensive Plus Insurance — as above as well as some benefit towards routine healthcare of your pet (vaccination, heartworm/flea control)
Are there any exclusions to my policy?
As with any insurance policy, there are sometimes exclusions. These vary between the different companies and also between the different levels of cover available from a particular company. Some policies may also exclude certain genetic, hereditary or breed specific conditions. It is important to enquire about any exclusions that may apply to your cat or dog when deciding on a policy.
How much will the insurance company pay towards my bills?
In most cases, an insurance company will pay between 70% and 80% of the total bill for your pets treatment, depending on what level of care you opt for. Some policies will pay less than this, but those are generally the ones where you as the owner have opted to pay a lower premium each month.
So how do I get pet insurance and when is my pet covered?
Most companies have websites (listed below) that allow you to sign up online; or you may choose to contact them directly and apply over the telephone or via mail. Most companies provide accident insurance from the day that you sign up with them. Most if not all have a 30 day waiting period before you can claim on illnesses.
How do I make a claim?
Simply download a form online or apply for one via the postal service. Fill out the pertinent sections of information. Then drop it off at the clinic along with your original receipts and we then fill out our sections (a brief summary of the condition and treatment). The claim form is then sent off to the relevant company and you are sent a rebate cheque in the mail.