Pet Insurance FAQs

Answers when you need them

Pet Insurance Frequently Asked Questions

Have a question about your dog or cat’s vet care, which type of pet insurance you may need, or what might be covered? We cover the basic of pet insurance – right here.

That’s right; we’re not just a great place to compare


Is pet insurance worth it?

Pets enrich the lives of many Australians – in fact, almost two-thirds of Australian households had pets in 20161. But no matter how much we love our pets, sometimes we can’t control what they do, and you might have to foot the bill for any medical assistance or surgeries that they require.

You also never know what will make your pets sick. While everyday items such as underwear, socks and dental floss might seem innocuous, they have been cited as three of the top five things that can make cats and dogs sick when they eat them2.

The medical costs involved in these scenarios can tally up to thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket expenses. Pet insurance, however, can help ease the burden of these expenses.

To find a policy that suits your pet, try our pet insurance comparison service or call 1800 353 962. With us, you can compare products from various reputable pet insurance providers in just minutes. Best of all, it’s free to complete a quote – so why not try and find a suitable policy for your furry friend?


Does pet insurance start immediately?

Your pet insurance coverage may not start immediately, but it will ultimately depend on which policy you take out. Some basic policies (i.e. accident only) may have no waiting periods, while others will commonly have a 30-day waiting period for illness conditions and six months for cruciate ligament injuries.

The six month waiting period may be waived at the time of the application if you submit a cruciate ligament waiver form, which should be available through your insurance provider. To complete this form, you will need your vet to answer questions regarding your pet’s medical history and sign an examining veterinarian’s declaration.

If you want to serve the waiting periods sooner rather than later, it’s recommended that you purchase cover right away. Our pet insurance comparison service allows you to compare policies from a variety of reputable providers. Best of all, it’s free to use.

Prefer to speak with a consultant? Call us on 1800 353 962.

What does pet insurance cover?

No matter what type of insurance you purchase, accidents should be covered since it’s a standard benefit. For everything else, it will depend on the level of cover you have. Here’s what each policy level generally covers:

 Accident onlyAccident and illnessComprehensive
Illness XX
Behaviour training*  X
Vaccinations*  X
Routine care*  X
* Limits and restrictions may apply

As you can see, comprehensive is the highest level of coverage you can purchase, with accident only being the most basic policy.

Still unsure about which policy would suit your pet? Learn more about the different types of pet insurance.

How does pet insurance work?

Pet insurance can help pay for eligible bills associated with vet care by reimbursing you up to 85% of the costs, up to a maximum limit of $14,000 per year.

There are three types of pet insurance policies:

  • Accident only. The most basic level of pet insurance covers instances where your pet requires treatment for injuries sustained by fights, bites from venomous animals or other accidents that have resulted in fractured bones.
  • Accident and illness. A mid-level policy that covers illnesses along with accidents, provided that they aren’t a pre-existing condition (i.e. an illness sustained before the commencement of the policy).
  • Comprehensive. The most advanced level of cover includes accident and illness benefits (excluding pre-existing conditions), along with expenses incurred from routine care (worming, vaccinations, etc.). Reimbursement for pet training programs may also be included in this type of policy.

Want to learn how this type of product can better protect your pet? Find out more about pet insurance.

Insuring your pet

Can you get pet insurance for older dogs?

It’s possible to get pet insurance for older dogs and cats, with accident only policies not having an age limit. However, for policies above basic cover, most providers will have a cut-off age. This can be up to nine years – but, it will depend on the breed.

Due to these limitations, it’s recommended to get cover as soon as possible. Usually, pets can be insured when they reach eight weeks old, which is generally the time breeders allow you to take home your new puppy. Furthermore, if you purchase a policy before your dog turns nine, it should roll over every year, meaning your dog will be covered regardless of its age, as long as you stay with the same policy.

To see what options are available for your dog, try our pet insurance comparison service. By entering in details such as your dog’s breed and its birthdate, it can quote policies specific to your pet’s needs.

If you’d prefer to speak with a consultant, call 1800 353 962.

What is the best pet insurance?

The best pet insurance – at a bare minimum – covers emergency vet care costs for your pet. If something unexpected happens, you want the peace of mind to know that you can afford the care they need to get them back on their feet (or paws).

If you’re looking for the highest level of cover, a comprehensive policy is the best pet insurance. Along with covering accidents and illnesses, comprehensive pet insurance can also cover costs of behaviour training activities, vaccinations and routine care (desexing, worming, etc.).

Conversely, if you’re just looking for basic coverage, accident only and accident and illness policies may be more suitable for you.

To be sure you’ve selected the best policy possible, however, you should compare your options first! Through our pet insurance comparison service, you can find policies from various providers for all three types of cover. It’s a simple way of comparing numerous products without having to go to each provider. Best of all, it’s free to use.

Don’t feel like comparing online? Talk directly to a consultant and call 1800 353 962.

What should I look for in a pet insurance policy?

There are various things you should look out for when you’re shopping around for a pet insurance policy, including:

  • Accident cover. No matter how well you look after your pet, accidents can happen and treatment can cost thousands. Accident cover helps offset these costs by up to 85%.
  • Illness cover. Much like their owners, pets can get sick at the worst times. Mid-level cover (and above) tends to cover illnesses.
  • Routine vet visits. Do you want coverage for vaccinations, worming and other routine procedures performed during regular vet check-ups? Comprehensive policies cover this up to a certain limit each year.
  • Exclusions. If a policy excludes coverage for a service your pet needs, you might have to consider additional coverage (for example, accident only policies won’t cover vet costs for illnesses). If your pet has a pre-existing condition, that will also be excluded from all types of policies.

Always read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) of any policy you (a) plan on taking out or (b) currently hold, in order to get an idea of the true extent of your coverage.

Learn more about what to look for in a pet insurance policy.

Managing your cover

Do all vets accept pet insurance?

Yes – pet insurance should be accepted by all registered vets across Australia. Just keep in mind that pet insurance policies cover up to 85% of the vet bill and are subject to annual claim limits. Always read your policy’s Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) for information on how much you can claim.

Can you transfer pet insurance to a new owner?

You should be able to transfer your pet insurance over to a new owner without a lapse in coverage. In order for this to happen, you will need to provide your insurer with the following:

  • Proof of new ownership
  • Full name of the new owner
  • Contact details (address, phone number)
  • New owner’s method of payment details

What's covered?

Does pet insurance cover snake bites?

Yes, snake bites should be covered by pet insurance, from accidents only policies to comprehensive ones. To protect your furry friend from snake bites and other types of accidents that might require visits to the vet, use our pet insurance comparison service to find a policy to suit your needs. If you’d rather discuss pet insurance options with a consultant, call 1800 353 962.

Does pet insurance cover pregnancy?

Pet insurance does not cover pregnancy. Pregnancy expenses can be substantial, particularly since specific breeds might have more complicated pregnancies and may require caesareans when giving birth.

To avoid major vet costs that aren’t covered, owners are advised to desex their pets - particularly since a large number of animals reported to shelters nationwide are a result of unwanted pregnancies5.



Does pet insurance cover pre-existing conditions?

No, generally pet insurance policies don’t cover pre-existing conditions. A reason for this is to deter people from taking out a policy for the sole purpose of making a claim straight away. Congenital defects and illnesses can be covered if pet insurance is purchased before symptoms arise, but not after.

If you have a pet that is a breed known to have hereditary conditions - but is relatively healthy at the moment - taking out a policy now is a great way to ensure that their medical costs can be partially covered in the future.

With our pet insurance comparison service, you can find policies from various providers that suit your pet and compare them all on the one screen. The products will cost the same as going direct, so you will only need to look at one site.

Alternatively, you can discuss your pet insurance options with one of our consultants on 1800 353 962.

Does pet insurance cover MRI scans?

Yes, MRI and CT scans may be covered by your pet insurance policy, provided it’s required to diagnose an injury/illness and the costs don’t exceed the balance left on your annual limit. For more information on how much you can claim, read your policy’s Product Disclosure Statement (PDS).

Does pet insurance cover dachshund back problems?

When it comes to covering dachshund back problems, timing is everything.

If you purchase a comprehensive policy before your dog shows symptoms, the treatment required should be covered. However, this may be subject to annual limits, so it’s best to read your policy’s Product Disclosure Statement (PDS).

Conversely, if you purchase a policy after your dog develops back problems, treatment most likely won’t be covered, since pre-existing conditions are generally excluded from pet insurance policies.

Back problems are quite common in the dachshund breed, with approximately 25% experiencing some sort of issue throughout their lifespan4. Since it can cost roughly $10,000 to treat the back ailments of dachshunds4, it might be worth purchasing a policy early to avoid having to pay this expense in full.

Through our free pet insurance comparison service, you can compare policies from a variety of leading brands in minutes.

Alternatively, if you want to discuss your decision with a consultant, call 1800 353 962.



Does pet insurance cover cherry eye?

Yes, provided your dog or cat didn’t have the condition prior to the commencement of your pet insurance, the medical treatment of cherry eye should be covered through an accident and illness policy or a comprehensive policy.

Does pet insurance cover allergy testing?

Yes, allergy testing can be covered through the routine care benefit of a comprehensive policy. However, your ability to claim on this benefit will depend on your annual limits, which should be stipulated in your policy’s Product Disclosure Statement (PDS).

Is desexing covered by pet insurance?

Yes – comprehensive pet insurance policies can cover desexing (or spaying) through the routine care benefit, provided you haven’t claimed up to the annual benefit amount before the operation.

While vets have traditionally desexed cats and dogs around the six month period, the RSPCA have suggested that spaying could be done as early as eight weeks3. So, depending on the age of your pet, you can potentially claim this straight away, as it isn’t technically a condition that requires a waiting period.

To find a comprehensive policy that suits your pet, try our free pet insurance comparison service. It allows you to compare a variety of reputable pet insurance providers in just minutes, all on one page.

Or, if you would prefer to talk to a consultant about your pet insurance options, call 1800 353 962.

Does pet insurance cover dental?

Pet insurance can cover some dental costs, provided your pet has a history of dental check-ups.

A dental illness benefit may cover treatment for conditions such as gingivitis and abscesses, along with medically-required tooth removal. However, orthodontic treatments (crowns, root canals, etc.) and teeth cleaning are generally excluded.

It’s worth noting that dental cover may not be a common inclusion in pet insurance policies. To see if you can find a policy with the dental illness benefit, use our pet insurance comparison service or call 1800 353 962.

Does pet insurance cover vaccinations?

Depending on the insurer, a comprehensive policy should allow you to claim vaccinations and other routine treatments up to a certain annual limit, while other lower tier policies like accidents and illness and accidents only cover won’t have those benefits. So, if you’re looking to claim vaccinations, you will have to factor this into your purchase decision.

With our pet insurance comparison service, you can compare comprehensive policies from a variety of reputable providers. Completing a quote takes just minutes, and there’s no financial obligation. For further assistance, call 1800 353 962.

Does pet insurance cover vet visits?

Yes – the primary purpose of pet insurance is to cover vet visits. In fact, some policies can reimburse you up to 85% of the costs. However, your level of coverage will depend on the type of policy you purchase.

The most basic form of insurance, accidents only, will only cover vet costs if your pet is involved in an accident. Such instances may include snake bites, fights or any accident where your pet sustains broken bones.

Along with accidents, an accident and illness policy will cover illnesses that aren’t considered pre-existing conditions.

Comprehensive cover has all the features of the policies above, but also contains added benefits such as routine care (worming, desexing, etc.), vaccinations and essential euthanasia.

All these levels of cover are available through our free pet insurance comparison service. You can compare policies from a variety of reputable providers in just minutes. Alternatively, call 1800 353 962 to speak to a consultant.

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