You can hope for a life where your pets won’t fall ill or get injured, but it’s unrealistic to expect this. A pet insurance policy protects you from expensive healthcare costs for your pet, with accident & illness providing all-round protection without breaking the bank.

What is accident & illness cover?

Accident & illness cover can help you manage surprise veterinary bills in the event your pet becomes ill or contracts a disease. This is crucial protection because some conditions can be extremely costly to treat:

Treatment Average claim cost *
Arthritis $532
Cancer $1,821
Cataracts (a vision issue) $449
Cruciate condition $2,620
Dermatitis (i.e. a skin condition) $615
Diabetes $2,819
Ear infection $250
Epilepsy  $799
Foreign body ingestion $1,272
Gastrointestinal $900
Multiple fractures $2,350
Pneumonia $2,169
Snake bite $1,757
Urinary tract infection $582
* Average claim includes GST, Holland Insurance (2014)

The average cost for accident & illness cover is $35-55 per month on average, according to MoneySmart^. Like any insurance product, an investment on your part will get you serious benefits.

  • You still enjoy baseline cover for accidents. When trouble occurs suddenly, it’s important that you can care for your pet – regardless of the expense. Luckily, policies of this type include cover for incidents where an accident injures your pet.
  • Thousands of dollars in claimable benefits. Each policy typically has an annual limit in the thousands (many are more than $10,000), which means you don’t have to sweat an expensive bill. The only thing you should be wary of is the excess you’ll have to pay every time you claim and the out of pocket expense owed. This out of pocket expense is the difference between how much of your treatment the insurer will cover, and what your vet charges.
  • Potential for great benefits. While the benefits are more attractive for a comprehensive policy, accident & illness policies still showcase great features. Potentially, you can take your pet to whatever vet you wish for treatment, enjoy travel insurance for your pet while abroad, or be comforted by the fact that you have access to emergency kennelling (if you’re hospitalised).

While an accident & illness policy is a great way to cover your bases, there are two other types of pet insurance also available.

^ ASIC (2016, December 13th). Pet insurance. Retrieved from moneysmart.com.au