When you deal with unexpected vet bills, the right pet insurance goes a long way. Up to 80% of your bills can be covered by leading insurance companies. With plans which cover accidents, injuries or even routine care, it can be difficult to choose the right insurance for your beloved pet.

This is why this buying guide looks at the 15 pet insurance companies in Australia and it points out their strengths and weaknesses. Further along, pet owners can also benefit from a few pet insurance tips such as buying a protection policy while pets are young to save money. Regardless if you are a proud owner of a cat or a dog, you can choose one of the following insurance plans to cover your pet’s medical bills and needs for life.

1

Bow Wow Meow

5.0
Best value

About Bow Wow Meow

As one of the popular insurers, Bow Wow Meow offers dedicated pet insurance for both cats and dogs. There are 3 dog insurance plans to choose from. One of them is solely dedicated to accidents and illnesses. With zero excess and $10,000 annual benefit limit, the Accident Plus plan only covers unwanted events.

They cover bills from motor vehicle accidents, burns, electrocution, bone fractures, ligament injuries, and heatstroke accidents. There are 2-lifetime plans to consider for dogs. They have an annual benefit limit of $15,000 and $20,000 and up to 80% eligible vet bills coverage. The premium insurance plan for dogs from Bow Wow Meow also covers dental illness bills.

All insurance plans for cats come with zero excess as well. Owners can ensure their cats from ages as young as 8 weeks and older. The annual benefit limits range on cat policies from as little as $5,000 and up to $20,000. A distinct advantage of the premium pet insurance plan for cats is that it allows an added $1,000 limit for alternative therapy costs. They can include chiropractic manipulation and acupuncture.

There are a few benefits for new Bow Wow Meow customers. They include 10% discounts for most pets, 2 months’ free insurance for puppies and a free engraved pet ID tag.

Key features

2 months free insurance offer for puppies
Free engraved pet ID tag
High $20,000 yearly benefit

Specifications

Max yearly benefit
$20,000
Excess
Zero
Waiting period
30 days or 6 months for cruciateligament conditions
Vet bills coverage
80%
2

Guide Dogs Insurance

5.0
Most comprehensive coverage

About Guide Dogs Insurance

As its name suggests, this insurance is the only one of its kind for guide dogs in Australia. However, pets (cats and dogs) can also be insured through this company. Guide Dog offers a comprehensive plan with a large annual claim limit of up to $20,000. Excesses range from zero to $100 and eligible vet bills can be covered up to 85%.

Lab and diagnostic tests are also covered by the insurer. Extras can be added to all plans and they include desexing and microchipping. As with all insurers, a few costs are not covered by its policies. Dental procedures, behavioral problems, and pregnancy complications are not covered by insurance.

Key features

High $20,000 yearly benefit
High 85% bills covered
Policy supports Australian guide dogs

Specifications

Max yearly benefit
$20,000
Excess
$0, $50, $200
Waiting period
30 days for illnesses and 6 months for cruciate ligament conditions
Vet bills coverage
85%
3

Medibank

5.0
Best for young pets

About Medibank

Suitable for active pets and owners, Medibank offers a $100 Adidas voucher when cats or dogs are registered under one of the 3 insurance plans. Medibank is also one of the names which now offer travel pet insurance. These policies cover travel needs both inside and outside of Australia.

There are 3 main insurance plans to count on at Medibank. Two-lifetime plans have been put in plans for cats and dogs. The Essential Pet Care plan covers accidents and illnesses with an annual benefit limit of up to $4,000. The excess options in this plan range from 0 to $100. All eligible bills can be reimbursed up to 70% with the plan.

Ultimate Pet Care is a comprehensive solution from Medibank. It has a higher annual benefit limit of up to $15,000 and it covers most accidents and illnesses. The excess options are larger here, from 0 to $200.

Higher percentage eligible bills of up to 80% are offered with the Emergency Pet Care plan. Suitable for specified illnesses and accidents, this plan has a yearly benefit limit of up to $8,000. All of these plans enjoy unique advantages, for all types of illnesses. Pets can be covered for arthritis and even for cancer treatments.

Key features

$100 Adidas voucher offer
Coverage for arthritis & cancer available

Specifications

Max yearly benefit
$15,000
Excess
$0, $100, and $200
Waiting period
30 days for illnesses and 6 months for cruciate ligament conditions
Vet bills coverage
80%
4

RSPCA Pet Insurance

5.0

About RSPCA Pet Insurance

Those with multiple pets can find RSPCA Pet Insurance as a viable option. Up to 10% discount rates are available for multiple pets. There are only 3 insurance policies on offer and they cover both cats and dogs. The Basic cover is only suitable for accidents. Pet owners can claim up to $7,000 each year to cover medical bills. Up to 80% of these bills can be covered by this plan.

A balanced plan called the Economy cover adds extra coverage for illnesses. This plan also includes a higher annual claim totalling $11,000. The Ultimate plan from RSPCA covers up to 80% of the bills from the vet with an annual claim of up to $11,000.

These plans are mainly made for injuries and illnesses. All of these plans enjoy a zero excess policy. Payments are also flexible with RSPCA and pet owners can pay monthly or yearly. The process of making a claim is straightforward, based on a simple form and the bills from the vet.

Being part of RSPCA, these insurance plans also go further in helping animals across Australia. A small percentage of the insurance payments during the first year are directed towards animal protection plans across the country.

Key features

10% discount for multiple pets
Your payment help animal protection programs

Specifications

Max yearly benefit
$11,000
Excess
Zero
Waiting period
30 days for illnesses and 6 months for cruciate ligament conditions
Vet bills coverage
80%
5

Woolworths Insurance

4.5

About Woolworths Insurance

There are a few characteristics which make Woolworths unique. Positioning itself as an affordable pet insurance company, it matches the lowest rates on the market. The insurer also offers a distinct 12-months free VetAssist package for every newly insured cat or dog.

There are 3 insurance plans to choose from for both cats and dogs. The basic plan covers accidental injuries and illnesses. Up to $5,000 annual benefits can be claimed. A paralysis tick cover of up to $1,000 is included as well. The Standard plan comes with $10,000 annual benefit limits. The Comprehensive cover covers up to $12,000 annual benefit limits and a paralysis tick of up to $1,500. All of these plans benefit from emergency boarding from $500 to $1,500.

The Comprehensive Plan also includes other compensation for routine care. Every year, pet owners can claim up to $100 for treatments as vaccination or teeth cleaning. Microchipping costs can also be covered using this plan.

Key features

12 months access to VetAssist (online/video chat with Vet)
Microchipping can be covered

Specifications

Max yearly benefit
$12,000
Excess
Zero
Waiting period
30 days for illnesses and 6 months for cruciate ligament conditions
Vet bills coverage
80%
6

Pet Insurance

4.5

About Pet Insurance

With no excess pay, the online Pet Insurance policies are among the best when it comes to fast payments. It takes just 5 to 10 days to get up to 80% of the bills covered once a claim has been made. A few other benefits need to be considered as well. For example, the insurer covers home pet visits by the pet. It is part of the Indoor Cat insurance plan.

Those starting a new plan with a puppy will have two options to choose from. The insurance plans offer annual benefit limits of $10,000 and $8,000. 14 other extras are available for puppies as well. They include blood screens and worm controls. Similar plans are available for adults dogs as well.

Cat insurance plans have variable annual benefit limits between $3,000 and $5,000. In the case of crucial ligament treatments, these benefits drop to $2,600. The same extras such as prescription diets can also be added, just as with dog insurance plans. Up to 80% of the bills are covered with insurance plans.

Key features

Fast payments (5-10 days)
14 modularised extras available

Specifications

Max yearly benefit
$10,000
Excess
Zero
Waiting period
30 days for illnesses or soft tissue injuries and 6 months for cruciate ligament conditions
Vet bills coverage
80%
7

Real Insurance

4.5

About Real Insurance

The insurer is one of the accessible companies which covers the bills of all licensed vets across Australia. After the first year on its comprehensive plan, the insurer also reimburses 10% of its yearly fees to the owner.

There are 3 main plans to consider. With a $12,000 maximum yearly claim limit, the comprehensive plan covers up to 80% of the eligible vet bills with zero excess. This complex plan covers accidents and illnesses. As a result, pets are covered for car accidents, burns, snake bites and insect bites and their treatments.

A few extras can also be added to the plans. One of them is overseas travel insurance. But extras also include emergency boarding for when the pet is in hospital. A routine care pack can also be added for owners who want to cover most pet visits, not just injuries or other accidents. Vaccinations, obedience training, and teeth cleaning can be part of this extra routine care pack.

Key features

Reimburses 10% of yearly fees after first year
Extras such as overseas travel insurance available

Specifications

Max yearly benefit
$12,000
Excess
Zero
Waiting period
30 days for illnesses and 6 months for cruciate ligament conditions
Vet bills coverage
80%
8

Pet Secure

4.5

About Pet Secure

The plans from Pet Secure favor long-term insurance as well as the discounts it comes with. Assistance dogs benefit from discounted rates, as do rescue pets. 10% discounts are offered in these cases. Another interesting policy refers to the $20 per day allowance in case of boarding and having a pet hospitalised for more than 5 days.

Dedicated policies for cats and dogs are available at Pet Secure. Both of them are based on a $12,000 yearly claim limits for accidents and illnesses. Simpler accident cover insurance is available alternatively with a maximum yearly benefit of $8,000.

A distinctive characteristic of these policies is that they offer eligible benefit amounts of up to 85% of the bills. This is offered based on a personal vet choice. Pet owners can take their pet to any registered veterinarian across Australia.

Key features

High 85% vet bills covered
Personal vet choice - any registered vet across Australia

Specifications

Max yearly benefit
$12,000
Excess
Zero
Waiting period
30 days for illnesses and 6 months for cruciate ligament conditions
Vet bills coverage
85%
9

Prime Pet Insurance

4.5

About Prime Pet Insurance

Prime Insurance covers costs of up to $2,000 on dental illnesses for cats and dogs with its premium plans. The insurer has 3 main plans to consider for pets of various ages. The best plans enjoy high yearly claims of up to $14,000. Under normal circumstances, pet owners can claim up to 85% of the vet bills. This high sum is dependent on pre-existing conditions.

Pet owners with multiple cats and dogs in care can also benefit from discounted insurance rates of up to 10% on additional pets. The sole requirement to get this discount is the age of the pets. They need to be at least 8 weeks old before being put through the insurance plans.

Some pet owners might be looking to cover their bills in case of accidents with rescues. However, Prime Pet Insurance has a maximum age policy. For most of its plans, a pet doesn’t need to be older than 9. The Royal Accident Cover is the only insurance plan with no age limit.

Key features

No max age policy
High 85% vet bill coverage

Specifications

Max yearly benefit
$14,000
Excess
Zero
Waiting period
30 days for illnesses and 6 months for cruciate ligament conditions
Vet bills coverage
85%
10

Australian Seniors

4.5

About Australian Seniors

With 10% discounts for seniors over 50, the insurer is one of the options to cover the costs in case of accidents and illnesses. Eligible vet bill costs are covered between 75% and 80% by the company. The best cover is backed by a $12,000 yearly limit on veterinary costs.

In case of accidents, the same percentage of the claims can be made by the pet owner. These accidents can include burns, allergic reactions, snake bites or car accidents. A list of extras is also available. Depending on the personal case, the pet owner can opt for travel insurance, tick paralysis treatment insurance, emergency boarding, and necessary euthanasia insurance.

Those opting for the comprehensive also benefit from routine veterinary visits insurance needs. They include teeth cleaning, vaccinations or dog training. The good news is that pets are also covered for hereditary problems.

Key features

10% discount for seniors
Comprehensive plan covers hereditary problems

Specifications

Max yearly benefit
$12,000
Excess
Zero
Waiting period
30 days for illnesses and 6 months for cruciate ligament conditions
Vet bills coverage
80%
11

Petbarn

4.5

About Petbarn

Petbarn has one of the most considerable yearly claims from all insurers. It can cover costs of up to $20,000 per year, making it an interesting option for those with frequent veterinary visits. The cost of insurance depends on the age and the health of each pet.

Additional pets added to an insurance policy benefit from an additional 10% discount. A 2-months free insurance offer is also in place for those new to Petbarn. Depending on the selected policy, pet owners can benefit from yearly benefits between $10,000 and $20,000 with the Ultimate plan. This comprehensive plan covers up to 80% of the costs associated with vet visits.

Apart from accidents and boarding, the comprehensive insurance plan also covers routine care. Vaccination, desexing, urine tests and burial costs are included. There’s a $150 annual limit on these routine care extras.

Key features

High $20,000 yearly benefit
2 months free offer for new customers

Specifications

Max yearly benefit
$20,000
Excess
Zero
Waiting period
30 days for illnesses and 6 months for cruciate ligament conditions
Vet bills coverage
80%
12

PetInsurance Australia

4.5

About PetInsurance Australia

The international insurer offers a 2-months free insurance option for all those new to its plans. It is also one of the up to date insurers offering a simple online platform for all claims and customer care needs. The claim form is sent out directly online, on the personal account of the pet owner. Direct credit forms and ligament exams forms can also be downloaded from this personal account.

Dog insurance policies cover 10 breeds. They include Bull Terriers, Poodles, and Pugs. These policies can come with a maximum annual benefit limit of $15,145. Up to 80% of the bills can be covered within this limit every year. Lower premium options are available with excesses of $100 and $200.

The comprehensive insurance covers various medical needs such as illnesses, cancer treatments, eye conditions, gastrointestinal problems, accidents, after-hours emergency visits, radiology, and routine care. An incremental discount plan of up to 15% is offered for additional pets. A second pet would benefit from a 5% discount. A third insured pet would benefit from a 10% discount. A 4th pet would benefit from a 15% insurance discount.

Key features

2 months free offer for new customers
Incremental discount up to 15% on additional pets

Specifications

Max yearly benefit
$15,145
Excess
Zero
Waiting period
30 days for illnesses and 6 months for cruciate ligament conditions
Vet bills coverage
80%
13

Petplan

4.0

About Petplan

The company insures all types of animals. Starting with cats and dogs, it also offers comprehensive plans for horses or exotic animals such as parrots. A 10% multi-pet discount is available for all of these animals.

A maximum yearly veterinary fee covers a sum of $20,000 is offered for dogs. The sum is slightly lower for cats at $15,000. Additional plans are also included. For example, death from an illness is covered by up to $2,000. Quarantine expenses are covered with up to $1,000 every year. Excesses start at $150 up to the age of 7. From the age of 8, an additional 20% excess is added to the $150. An additional 35% excess is added after the age of 10. The insurer also offers multi-pet discounts, but only from 3 pets and up.

Key features

Covers exotic animals such as parrots
10% multi-pet discount

Specifications

Max yearly benefit
$20,000
Excess
$150
Waiting period
30 days for illnesses and 6 months for cruciate ligament conditions
Vet bills coverage
100% until the age of 8
14

Australia Post Pet Insurance

4.0

About Australia Post Pet Insurance

The insurance plans are offered by Australia Post. Their fast claims are backed by complete insurance needs. The Gold Pet Insurance offers an annual claim limit of up to $15.000. This covers illnesses, consultations, hospitalization, and emergency boarding.

The claim back benefits ranges from 65% to 80%. In case of accidents, there is no waiting period. In turn, pet owners will have to wait 30 days for illness claim back benefits and 6 months for cruciate ligament treatments.

Those planning to use the insurance for regular visits can count on its plans as well. Up to $300 can be claimed back with these visits as part of the general insurance plan. This sum includes alternative therapies as well as FeLV tests.

Key features

No waiting periods for accidents
Alternative therapies and FeLV coverage

Specifications

Max yearly benefit
$15,000
Excess
$0, $100, $200
Waiting period
30 days for illnesses and 6 months for cruciate ligament conditions
Vet bills coverage
80%
15

Kogan Pet Insurance

4.0

About Kogan Pet Insurance

With a first free month, the insurer offers policies for indoor cats and most dog breeds. Up to 80% of the costs of vet visits are covered by its Luxury plan. However, even this comprehensive coverage will start to drop its eligible bills to 75% after the pet reaches the age of 8.

A maximum yearly claim has been set for $15,000 with its premium insurance. Kogan Pet Insurance covers a wide range of possible health issues and even routine checks. Its health issues covered by insurance include patellar luxation, diabetes, bladder stones, poisoning, and ingestion of foreign objects. Even if it takes longer to get reimbursed for cruciate ligament interventions, they are still covered up to $2,600 by the insurance company.

Key features

First month free

Specifications

Max yearly benefit
$15,000
Excess
$0, $50, $100
Waiting period
30 days for illnesses and 6 months for cruciate ligament conditions
Vet bills coverage
80%

How to buy pet insurance

Buying insurance is different from any type of pet-related purchases. As it is a matter of health, most pet owners take their time selecting the best insurers to offer a bit of help when it’s truly important. All of the above companies offer some type of yearly benefit claim to be used with all registered veterinarians across Australia.

This is why the pet owner is still responsible for the quality of the medical act more than the insurer. This being said, there are a few characteristics which make the difference between good pet insurance and the best pet insurance.

Maximum yearly benefit

The maximum yearly benefit limits the total claims to be made for a single pet, within 12 months. This means that this sum is variable and it depends from one insurer to another. At its lowest point form the companies above, it sits at $10,000. At its highest value, it can reach up to $20,000.

However, these sums depend on a lot of variables. They are part of an insurance plan form these companies and they can be lower in some cases. Depending on the age of the pet, its breed and pre-existing conditions, the maximum yearly benefit can be considerably lower.

The best approach is to go as close to the $20,000 limit as much as possible. The contributions will be higher for this claim, but certain scenarios such as intensive care require a considerable financial effort. For example, some insurers have a maximum daily limit for intensive care situations.

Another important consideration comes with how this money is spent. Pet owners rarely have the opportunity to claim the entire yearly benefit for a single health issue. Many plans have an upper limit for many sub-health needs. For example, Bow Wow Meow only covers hip surgery up to $7,600 per hip. The same insurer has an upper claim of $1,000 per year for alternative therapies.

Tick paralysis is another health bill which comes with an upper limit, within the maximum yearly benefit at most insurers. Caused by tick bites, the paralysis is real in pets. It requires medical intervention for the tick to be removed. Such interventions can be part of standard pet insurance. Kogan Pet Insurance offers a high annual tick paralysis claim limit of up to $2,000.

Excess rate

The excess is what pet owners pay before they use the insurance. Those who need to be at the vet with their pets frequently are better off with low excess rates and zero excess rates. Those who only see pet insurance as helpful in case of accidents can choose higher excess.

The excess rate can also be seen as the amount the pet owners agree to pay with all claims. The insurance company then pays the difference. Pet owners who want to save on the long term will need to look for low excess.

Indoor cats, accident plans, accident & illness, illness, and routine care

There are various types of insurance plans to consider. Some of them can be used for cats while others for dogs. Most plans for cats have lower annual maximum benefits.

Indoor cat insurance

This type of insurance is one of the most affordable plans for owners to consider. Since cats which indoors have a lower risk of injury, the rates for such plans are considerably lower than for other pet insurance. An example of a maximum annual benefit for such a plan is Bow Woe Meow’s $5.000 limit. Such plans are perfect for small vet bills, which is often the case with cats which don’t go through accidents or rare illnesses.

There are a few basic health conditions which might be covered by such plans. They mainly include common issues such as lower urinary tract diseases. Gastrointestinal problems are also covered by this policy. Ingestion of foreign objects should be covered as well as this can happen indoors.

Diabetes and its treatment can also be covered by such simple insurance for cats. Hypertension and heart disease should also be covered as a lack of physical activity can occur for indoor cats.

As many cat owners know arthritis is one of the major health concerns, especially for older cats. It can come with pain when walking and it needs constant attention. Even the most basic cat insurance plan should cover arthritis and its variations.

Accident insurance is another type of specialised solution which aims to deal with the most expensive vet bills. Such plans can refer to car accidents, poisoning or even electrocution. Bone fractures can be expensive to deal with and it can be helpful to have a policy which covers such accidents and emergencies.

Ligament injuries and snake bites also come with high vet bills. In this case, pet owners should be looking towards an insurer’s contribution of at least 80% for each vet bill. Some of these accident insurance plans can also be activated for overseas travel. This is why pet owners can rest assured their beloved cats or dogs are safe even outside Australia.

Injury and illness plans combine some accidents and common pet illnesses. They can be seen as a step above emerge insurances such as those only dealing with accidents. Even if they do not cover every possible medical need of a dog or a cat, they can still come with a maximum yearly benefit of up to $15,000.

Comprehensive insurance, premium insurance or luxury insurance refers to the ultimate care plan for most insurance companies. They offer the highest maximum yearly benefit and they also represent a top package for non-urgent bills, such as those associated with a dental cleaning or alternative therapy.

Claim percent paid

The percent paid by the insurance company from each vet bill varies considerably. Premium insurance packs usually offer the most benefits when it comes to a higher percentage. Most leading insurers offer deductions between 75 and 85%.

Covered vet bills below 70% are not considered sustainable, especially with more complicated health problems and higher vet fees. There are not too many methods to increase claimed percent. It can rise in time.

One of the areas insurance companies fail to be more transparent about is with decreased claim percent in time. Pet Plan, Kogan Pet Insurance and other insurance start decreasing their contributions after the age of 8.

Many insurers do not offer this information upfront, especially when registering puppies for example. It is also one of the reasons why insurance companies can have an upper age limit when it comes to taking new pets onto one of their packages.

Routine care and extras

Routine care can be covered by standard insurance or it can be part of the extras of an insurance plan. Many insurers offer such routine care extras which can include the following.

  • Vaccinations

Vaccinations have their place in the importance of pets. For example, Australian pet owners are required to vaccinate their dogs against canine distemper virus, canine adenovirus, and the canine parvovirus. These vaccines and others can help prevent canine distemper (attacks the nervous system), canine adenovirus (attacks the liver), Parainfluenza virus (respiratory issue) and other similar conditions.

  • Paralysis tick limit

Paralysis tick interventions are not covered by all standard pet insurance policies. In this case, they are more than likely to be offered as an extra. Given there’s plenty of choices for reliable pet insurance at the moment, this should now be offered as standard for the unpleasant vet visit.

  • Desexing

Desexing is a major surgical intervention. It is not covered by standard pet insurance and its most likely offered as an extra. The procedure itself is not complicated and female dogs have their uterus and ovaries removed. However, this operation is done under full anaesthetic and it can cost thousands if not covered by insurance.

  • Teeth cleaning

Teeth cleaning is not considered as an emergency procedure and it is not covered by a significant number of pet insurance companies. However, teeth which are not clean regularly can lead to considerable problems in the future. It is the reason why pets should have their teeth cleaned from time to time.

  • Flea control

Flea control is also one of the extras with insurers such as Kogan Pet Insurance. This extra requires a $40 contribution from the pet owner. This type of control can also be tied with worm control and tick control. General health consultations can include this at a veterinarian and it is up to the pet owner to decide if and when it’s done.

  • Microchipping

Microchipping is done to both cats and dogs. Often confused with GPS chips, microchips are only activated by radio frequencies. They can store information about the owner and about the pet itself. Veterinarians can use microchips to quickly establish the medical procedures a pet can go through.

At the same time, it is also important to note that microchipping is not necessarily made without any risks. Even if it is covered by pet insurance, it does not mean pet owners can put their pets through the procedure without being properly informed about its risks.

  • Blood and urine tests

Blood and urine tests are still some of the best methods to determine certain health issue. For example, blood tests can be used to confirm certain urinary infections. Since they are covered only in emergencies, they might only be seen as extras for most other situations with general health checks by most insurers.

  • Training

Training pets is one of the most interesting extras for pet insurance. Dealing with training can cost thousands and having reimbursement from the insurer can go far. One of the best ways to keep this cost lower even as an extra is to arrange for training for multiple pets at the same time.

  • Cremation

The cost of cremation is not entirely covered by insurance. Cremation and burial are routine extras with insurers such as Guide Dogs and they are part of the Premium Care plan.

Cruciate ligament plans

Cruciate ligaments take longer to deal with and longer to heal. This is why the claims on insurance usually take longer as well. They can take as long as 6 months to clear. However, even if the medical procedure is more complex, the insurance still clears the bill similarly to how it would on any other claim.

Online claims and forms

One of the main reasons to go with the best pet insurance companies is having the ability to deal with all claims online. Insurers such as Woolworths offer a dedicated online space for all customers. Practically, each pet owner can see a full history of the insurance for one or multiple pets under a dedicated page with protected by login and passwords.

Making a claim is also possible online. Pet owners need a completed form which varies according to the insurer and a copy of the vet’s bill. These are then sent out to the insurer via the official website. It should not take more than 30 days for the bills to clear in case everything is in order in most situations. Insurers such as Pet Insurance are known to also clear claims faster, within 10 days in some cases. However, it can take up to a month with most companies.

It is also important to learn a few things about how a claim is made. This is often accessible via the online forms as well. For example, many insurers require pet owners to claim within 90 days of the vet’s intervention.

Tips for most pet insurance benefits

There are a few tips which can help pet owners make the most of their insurance. The simplest way to save is to only consider the plan which is truly needed. Some conditions are rare and they can be accessed as extras anyways. If a pet owner knows that a certain breed can be prone to certain diseases, the insurance needs to reflect these risks in its policy.

Choose insurance plans for specific breeds

Not all breeds are supported by insurers. For example, Bow Wow Insurance covers a few Australian dog breeds. It includes the Australian Bulldog, the Australian Cattle Dog, and the Australian Sheppard in its line of dog insurance plans. As a dog owner, customers should already know that these breeds come with certain health risk or they can be predisposed towards certain illnesses. This needs to be reflected in the chosen pet insurance.

Pay per condition

As a direct result, pet owners can specifically pay for a certain condition. Choosing the most affordable plan and then backing it with an extra such as blood and urine tests can be a good idea especially if the pet is going to see the vet frequently. Both cat and dog breeds have specific conditions. This is why many insurers are basing their policies on specific breeds.

Join a pet insurance plan at an early age

Another important aspect comes with the continuous insurance plan of a pet, during its life. Some insurers only take on new adult pets if they have a proven track record of previous insurance or medical history. It is why most pet owners should take full advantage of the policies which can insure new pets as young as 8 weeks’ old.

At the same time, younger animals are considerably cheaper to insure. This is because older pets are prone to multiple diseases and conditions such as arthritis. As a result, they would need more vet care. This is why young pets can be ensured with the best policies at affordable rates.

Lifetime policies can be an interesting choice in the case of the youngest pets. It may cost more in the long term but it also ensures that the pet is taken care of from a young age. Life policies are offered for cats, dogs, horses or exotic animals. But most insurers only focus on pets such as cats and dogs.

As the pet grows, the health needs change and adapt as well. This is why it’s reassuring to know that some plans can even cover eyesight problems and they are frequent, especially for older dogs or for breeds which are prone to eye problems,

Considering pre-existing conditions

Pre-existing medical conditions can seriously impact the monthly price of pet insurance. The best way to find a good deal is to ask for a quote from multiple insurers in this case. It also depends on the type of condition the pet is suffering from. In most cases, these conditions can require continuous treatment.

Heat and circulatory health are among the areas which require the most intervention from a vet. Regular visits and medication are often needed with illnesses in these areas. As a result, some pet insurers might not even consider extreme cases or they can increase the insurance fee to balance the extra possible spending.

Some of these pre-existing conditions are also tied to age. In many cases, the age of a pet can directly influence the success of a certain treatment. This is why a young cat with a pre-existing condition will still have a more affordable insurance plan than an older cat with a pre-existing condition. There are other situations where these conditions are hereditary and pet owners need to consider them as well.

Keep an eye on the premium

The premium can be influenced by previous claims and it can increase over the years due to various causes. One of them is with illnesses which become an on-going condition. Instead of dealing with a health issue on the spot, these types of complications will require extra treatment on the long term and as a result, they will increase the premium.

If you’ve already made a claim, you could also have to pay more when switching insurers. This is still the number one reason why premium increases from one year to another. But the premium can also rise as the pet ages.

This is why some insurers such as Kogan Pet Insurance will charge extra for pets over the age of 8. Other insurers will not consider pets older than 8 or 9 which means all medical costs need to be supported by its owner.

A premium can also be reduced further if the pet owner chooses a higher excess. For some pets, it is best to seek out a higher contribution from the owner, especially in the case of on-going conditions which could affect the premium.

Use the same policy for multiple pets

Another method of saving with pet insurance is by actually considering insuring multiple pets at once or at the same insurer. There is no time cap on the second or third pet to be insured to claim a discount with most insurers.

Pet owners looking to save with this method can expect a discount between 10% and 15% in the case of multiple pet insurance. Most insurers now offer a 10% discount for a second pet. Others offer increments of 5% depending on the number of insured pets up to 15%. A second insured bet would benefit from a 5% discount. A third pet would benefit from a 10% discount. A fourth pet and all other pets would benefit from a 15% discount in this case.

However, all other pets from this point onwards would still benefit from the same 15% discount. There are no policies which offer higher discounts at this moment. Referrals can also work with some companies and friends can cover their pets at lower rate insurance.

Other types of savings are considered with free months of insurance. This is usually the case when signing with a new insurer. If the pet is still young, it can benefit from one or two months of free insurance. Such a policy is in place at PetBarn. The good news is that this can also be the time when pets simply get familiar with their vets.

Choose the right vet

One of the areas which are often overlooked with insurance and pet health costs is the actual vet. All of the insurers listed above allow their clients to take their pets to any registered veterinarian. But not all veterinarians have the same price list.

This is why savings can start before a claim is even made. In most cases, it is important to understand that spending a bit more time researching affordable vets can save money in the long term. This might not be the case with rare visits. However, owners who know their pets have certain health risks can start looking for the best prices in the areas they live in.

Vets can also use different medication depending on the illness or the health problem. Of course, all pet owners want the best treatment for their friends. However, some vets have lower bills which can also impact the premium as the claims of the previous year can be lower. Furthermore, on-going conditions will require considerable investments even from the owner. If most insurers deduct 80% of the bill, the rest of 20% is still up to the owner to pay. This is why vet fees are important both for the insurer and for the insurance company.

Best pet insurance providers

Considering these characteristics, you can choose one of the following insurance providers for your pet. All of these plans allow pet owners full control and access to claims history via dedicated online accounts.

Best for Young Pets – Medibank

Offering plans for pets as young as 8 weeks old, Medibank is a leading insurer for young pets. Basic insurance, comprehensive insurance and emergency pet care insurance plans are the options for all pets up to the age of 8.

Most comprehensive coverage – Guide Dog Insurance

The company started off with plans for guide dogs but they now offer comprehensive plans for those who value their pets and who need the most reliable coverage, even with frequent vet visits. Their insurance plans offer yearly claims of up to $20.000.

Best Choice (Value) – Bow Wow Meow

With value insurance plans such as those for indoor cats, Bow Wow Meow can be considered for the best return on investment. Those on a budget can choose from the company’s dedicated cat or dog care plans.

Final considerations

The 15 pet insurance companies offer diverse packages which range from simple indoor cat policies to complex large-breed dog policies which cover respiratory and gastrointestinal problems. All of them have their strengths and weaknesses and they can be considered for any type of pet.

When looking for a quote, pet owners will need to enter the age of the pet, its breed and some information on medical history. This quote can be given on the spot in most cases or it can come in a few days in case the pet suffers from rare conditions.

However, unlike with other purchases such as with pet food, changing suppliers, brands or insurers might not be a good idea in the future. Choosing the right insurer can pay-off in the long term. Apart from better premium and loyalty points, pet owners can also have the considerable advantage of knowing when and how their insurance company is going to reimburse their vet bills. The good news is there is a 30-day standard for most conditions with most insurers.

The pet owners also need to decide if the policy is going to cover simple routine care or if it’s only made for accidents and other rare medical interventions. This can set the tone when it comes to the expected monthly or yearly fees.

Routine checks can benefit from simpler policies with a low excess. Policies dealing with complex interventions such as surgery following a car accident can benefit from comprehensive insurance with a higher maximum yearly benefit. It is one of the areas where pet owners can control their spending.

Rarer insurance policies are on offer as well. Guide dogs now benefit from dedicated insurance plans. Rescue pets can also benefit from their policies and better rates. But pet owners can also make the difference in terms of helping other animals with certain policies. For example, RSPCA Insurance directs a part of its earning towards bettering the lives of animals around the country.

While this is not something which is made every year of the insurance plan, it can be one of the small steps to improve the lives of all animals. On an individual level, it is worth preventing diseases in the first place than dealing with it and finding the best insurance means choosing one which offers reliable routine vet visits as standard.

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