Dog nurse

Questions to Ask When Looking for Pet Insurance

Let’s face it being the owner of a pet is not cheap. Especially true when your pet gets ill or has an injury. It is a shame but unfortunately, there is no Medicare for our beloved pets! Thank goodness there is pet insurance though!

Making decisions about treatment for a pet that requires it, can be heartbreaking and stressful to say the least. Having Pet Insurance can help cover the costs and help bring ease of mind by being able to make a claim, whether that is at the Vet clinic at the time or on the phone or on their website afterwards.

The right pet insurance will be able to remove some of the financial pressure so you can stress less about the bill at the end of treatment and concentrate more on your beloved pet.

If you have had a pet in the past with an injury and needed an overnight stay you know the potential costs involved. Add to this, a potential surgical procedure and also medication, you get the idea that it doesn’t take long for the bill to add up. The circumstances where your pet might need a visit to the vet can include:

  • When your pet gets ill
  • If your pet has an accident
  • Wellness cover for routine vaccinations etc

Pet insurance may cover costs such as:

  • Cost of surgery
  • Anaesthetic costs
  • Overnight stays
  • Medication
  • Lab testing
  • Radiography
  • MRI
  • And more depending on your pet’s condition

There are different policies available, and the choice of insurance providers is large.

If this is your first time looking into pet insurance, it can be a bit confusing and overwhelming.

Where do I start?

What is the right one for my pet?

With so many different options out there and with different policies to choose from, we have put together some useful questions for you to ask the insurance provider you are looking into to. Remember research is the key, each pet is different from the next, it is very important that you are choosing the policy that is right for you and your pet!

There may be some other services that you can claim under your pet insurances I.E. Puppy School courses, Obedience Training courses and also in home behavioural consultations for barking dogs or dogs with separation anxiety.

Make sure to read through the policy thoroughly as some could provide this whilst others won’t.

We will break it down into three areas:

  • General
  • Cover
  • Claims

General

There are some very important questions to ask a potential provider in the heading “General Questions”. These include:

  • Are there exclusions based on Breed or the age of your pet?
  • How does the excess amount work? Can they adjust this to fit your budget?
  • Can you change your policy once it is set up?
  • What will the premium increases look like over the coming couple of years?
  • Are there any additional fees?
  • Is there a minimum or maximum age at which your pet will be accepted for cover?
  • And is there an upper age limit to join?
  • How do you get a pre-existing condition reviewed?
  • Will your pet insurance cover allergies?
  • And what about ticks? (Be sure to ask this… we have a huge issue with ticks in QLD so our recommendation is to make sure the policy covers this).

Cover

  • Are there payout limits on particular conditions?
  • Is there a maximum dollar value you can claim each year?
  • Is dental cover included in your insurance policy?
  • Are prescription medications, supplements, and nutraceuticals covered?
  • What about prescription food for your pet?
  • Is there cover for rehabilitation requirements?
  • Does cover include natural pet therapies?
  • Will the cover change as your pet gets older?
  • What is the payout percentage of any costs incurred?
  • Does this figure change as your pet ages?

Claims

  • Does the insurance provider pay the Vets directly?
  • If not, how long does reimbursement take to process?
  • Can you get a pre-approval to ensure that your pet is covered by the policy?
  • What paperwork is required to process a claim?
  • How long is the process assuming all necessary paperwork is sent in a timely manner?
  • What are the normal operating hours during which customer service help can be sought?

Getting clear answers to these questions will help you to determine if the cover being offered is right for you. Our recommendation to you would be to speak with a couple of different providers first. Doing this might uncover a need that you didn’t realise that you required. Ask friends with pets who their insurance is with and what was their experience about the current cover they are receiving.

Some of the top Australian Companies for Pet Insurance include:

Each has its strengths but what is right for one is certainly not the right policy for everyone. The list above is in no particular order and is not a recommendation from us. There are many more providers out there, ask friends and neighbours or even speak to your vet. They speak to insurance companies regularly so can give their perspective on who is easy to deal with and does what they say they are going to!

You can find out more about caring for your dogs on a wide range of topics by checking out our BLOGS. We regularly update these so keep dropping by to keep up to date!