Types of pet insurance

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A guide to types of pet insurance

Updated 2 May 2024
Written by Eliza Buglar
Reviewed by Adrian Taylor

What is pet insurance?

Pet insurance can help cover vet costs for accidental injuries, emergency care and some illnesses up to an agreed amount. Your level of cover will depend on the type of policy you choose and your benefit percentage. Mainstream pet insurance is available for both cats and dogs; for other kinds of pets (like horses), you may be able to get a policy from a specialist insurer.

Expert tips on comparing types of pet insurance

Compare the Market’s resident pet insurance expert, Adrian Taylor, offers these handy tips for pet owners weighing up the different types of pet insurance.

Adrian Taylor
Executive General Manager – General Insurance

Compare the benefit percentage

Pet insurance policies usually cover between 60%-90% of vet bills, but sometimes this percentage can be higher or lower. When considering different products, make sure you take into account the level of cover you’ll receive to ensure you’re getting adequate coverage.

Adjust your excess

Some insurers may let you choose the policy excess when you purchase a policy which can raise or lower your premiums, so keep this in mind when comparing policies and prices.

You can switch policies anytime

You can compare and switch at any time during your policy period and may receive a refund for your unused premium, but make sure you also check for early cancellation fees.

What type of pet insurance policy should I get?

There are three general types of pet insurance available to Australian pet owners. Coverage and benefits can vary between these types, policies and insurers, so be sure to check the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) of any policy before purchasing, as well as the Target Market Determination (TMD) to check your suitability for each policy.

Accident-only cover

Accident and illness cover

Comprehensive cover

Optional cover

How does pet insurance work?

Pet insurance requires you to pay a premium (usually monthly) to receive coverage for specific injuries and illnesses your pet may experience and you could be reimbursed for part of your eligible vet bills. Keep in mind you’ll need to serve your pet insurance provider’s prescribed waiting period before making a claim, apart from accidents which are covered from the moment you take out cover.

Your benefit percentage, policy excess and annual limits will dictate how much of your vet expenses your pet insurer will pay and how much you’ll have to pay out of pocket after your excess is deducted.

How much does pet insurance cover?

How long are the waiting periods?

Are there any pet insurance exclusions?

Are there age limits on pet insurance?

Can I choose my own vet?

Are there any limits or caps on pet insurance?

Premiums and payments

How are pet insurance premiums calculated?

Do I need to pay a policy excess each time I claim?

Meet our pet insurance expert, Adrian Taylor

Adrian Taylor
Executive General Manager – General Insurance

As Executive General Manager of General Insurance, Adrian Taylor knows that dogs and cats get themselves into all sorts of mischief. One part of Adrian’s work is to help empower consumers to understand how pet insurance can help save them from exorbitant vet bills when their pet gets injured or falls ill.