Without a medicare equivalent for pets, veterinary treatment costs can quickly add up. Emergency care for your pet can easily reach $1000 per day, and costs of emergency or specialist surgery can be several thousand dollars. This is when pet insurance can help. Pet insurance can give you peace of mind that when your pet requires treatment, you don't need to worry as much about finances.
There are many companies offering pet insurance, including several that also cover your routine home or car insurance. Make sure you take the time to look around at several options and work out which insurance is best for you.
What does pet insurance cover?
There are generally 3 cover options available for pet insurance:
- Accident cover only.
- Accident and illness cover.
- Accident and illness cover with routine treatment cover.
Pet insurance varies between companies, so it is important to spend time looking into the options and what they cover. Make sure you chose an appropriate level of cover for your pet. You need to consider the differences between policies, in particular the claim excess amount, proportion of treatment costs covered, annual claim limit, age restrictions, exclusions and policy costs. Please note that many pet insurance companies do not cover for behavioural consults or behaviour medication, so take care with selecting a company if you want this covered.
Be aware that pre-existing conditions are not covered by insurance, so the earlier you start the insurance policy, the more cover you will receive.
How does pet insurance work?
If your pet requires treatment, you will still need to settle the costs of treatment at the time of the veterinary visit. You then leave a claim form with the clinic, which will be filled in by your veterinarian, and copies of invoices attached. This will be returned to you, for you to submit to the insurance agency. Once the claim has been processed, the costs of treatment, minus the excess and restrictions, will be refunded to you.
We highly recommend pet insurance and encourage you to discuss this with your veterinarian at your next visit.