Our pets are just like us – they can get into a lot of mischief and develop illnesses overtime.
Getting accident and illness pet insurance cover can help manage the costly unexpected bills that come with treating your beloved pet for these unforeseen events.
In short, it’s a great way of providing all-round protection without breaking the bank. We’ll explain why below.
Pet insurance for accidents and illnesses can help manage unexpected veterinary bills if your pet becomes ill or contracts a disease. The main benefit of such cover is that some insurers will cover up to 85% of the vet bill. However, not every vet bill is covered. Always remember to check your Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) to find out exactly what you’re covered for.
As the name suggests, this policy will cover treatments for accidents and illnesses only. This is crucial because some conditions can be extremely costly to treat without insurance.
That being said, conditions ranging from ear infections to cancer can be claimed on by an appropriate pet insurance policy – regardless of cost.
For example, say your dog develops a cruciate ligament condition. It may cost as little $500 in vet bills, or it could be something much more complicated to treat and total more than $10,000. Regardless of the final bill, your policy may still help pay for a majority of these costs (assuming you have the relevant cover).
The best reason we can think of to take out this kind of cover is peace of mind. If our pets fell ill or were injured at the wrong time, and the vet bill was expensive, many of us would be devastated. With this kind of insurance, you may not have to worry about that.
You may be entitled to some great benefits when you take out this kind of policy. Depending on which insurance provider you go with, you may receive additional benefits such as emergency kennelling, pet travel insurance and tick paralysis treatment. Although most insurance providers have these benefits as an optional extra that you can pay for, you might be able to enjoy these benefits at no extra cost!
One thing you should be wary of with any insurance policy is the excess you’ll have to pay every time you claim, and the out of pocket expense owed (i.e. the difference between how much of your treatment the insurer will cover, and what your vet charges).
That said, a few other things to be mindful of include:
Accident and illness cover typically has an annual limit of $10-15,000, which means that you make claims up to those limits. Many policies also have sub-limits that make up a part of the cost of the annual limit.
For example, your policy may include a $10,000 annual limit and a $500 sub-limit on skin conditions. Once you use up the sub-limit on skin conditions, you’ll have $9,500 left from your annual limit. Remember to always check your policy’s PDS to find out exactly what you’re covered for.
Some policies will pay the vet directly, while others will reimburse you after you pay your vet. Depending on whether you’ll be able to pay a hefty bill upfront at the time of service, your choice of pet insurer may vary, which is why it’s always good to compare different policies before you purchase.
Depending on the insurance provider, there may be minimum and maximum age limits. Typically, you can get an insurance policy for your pet once they are eight weeks old. If your pet is over the age of nine years old, you may not be able to purchase a new policy for them.
Many insurers will provide lifetime coverage for your pet when you start insuring them between the ages of eight weeks and nine years, as long as there are no breaks in cover.
There will always be some exclusions with every policy, but they will differ depending on your insurance provider. We’ve previously detailed a variety of common exclusions, which include pre-existing conditions, dental care and elective procedures to name a few.
It is the same story with accident and illness cover. As the name of this policy suggests, this policy only covers accidents and illnesses.
Always go through the PDS to check what you’ll be covered for before purchasing a policy. These are a few categories that may fall under the exclusions section of this type of policy:
|Congenital diseases/genetic predispositions||Routine care|
|A congenital disease is a condition that your pet was born with (e.g. cleft palates, dwarfism, extra vertebrae). A genetic predisposition is a condition that your pet may have a greater risk of getting because of your pet’s breed or genetic makeup (e.g. hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, early onset cataracts).|
Some insurance providers won’t cover congenital diseases and genetic predispositions at all. Others may cover some conditions and have restrictions on other conditions. It’s also common to only cover specific congenital diseases and genetic predispositions if you have purchased an add-on for it.
|Routine care comprises all the procedures and regular check-ups that keep your pet healthy. This includes all the essential procedures such as desexing, microchipping and vaccinations that your pet will need for a healthy life.|
Some insurance providers will include routine care as an optional benefit, or restrict it to comprehensive policies only. As such, it may be excluded from certain policies – including accident and illness products.
Pet insurance is typically $20-60 per month, depending on the level of coverage. For an accident and illness pet insurance policy, it’s usually $35-55 per month.1 That said, many different factors can affect the cost of your pet insurance policy. In fact, a great way to determine what it’ll cost you is by getting a quote for your pet through our comparison service.
You can usually submit claims online or by post. Simply fill out a claims form, gather the relevant documents and receipts, and send the paperwork to your insurer.
Most insurers can also accept online claims. You can usually find the relevant link for the claim form on your insurer’s website. Fill out the form, upload the relevant documents and receipts, and submit the online form.
The great thing about pet insurance is that you can cancel at any time. To do so, submit a cancellation request in writing. Keep in mind that without insurance, you’ll be out of pocket for every accident and illness that befalls your pet.
Pet insurance policies contain a cooling-off period. A cooling-off period is the time in which you can cancel your pet insurance without incurring any fees and charges (provided you haven’t yet made a claim on the policy). The length of a cooling-off period varies from insurer from insurer but typically ranges from 14 – 30 days. The specific details of your cooling-off period will be outlined in your insurer’s PDS.
If you cancel within the cooling-off period, you might not have to pay a cancellation fee and may receive a refund on premiums, provided that you haven’t already made a claim on the policy.
If you cancel outside of the cooling-off period, you may have to pay a cancellation fee.
Check your insurer’s PDS for more information on their cancellation policy.
If this sounds like the type of cover you’re looking for, try our free online comparison service to find fantastic value policies for your furry friend! Our handy tool makes it quick and easy to compare pet insurance with a convenient side-by-side view.
Compare policy features, costs, limits and exclusions from a range of pet insurers in minutes. Best of all, purchasing a policy through us costs the same as going direct.
So, what are you waiting for? Compare pet insurance today.
1 ASIC. Getting a pet. Accessed 11 November 2020.