With pet insurance Australia, you can be covered in the event of injury or illness to your four-legged friend. However, is pet insurance worth it and what level of cover do you need? These are the questions you’ll need to answer. Luckily, Monzi’s here to help. Read on for our comprehensive pet insurance guide. Let’s go.
Please note, certain ideas and products presented in this article may not be offered by Monzi nor the lenders we work with. This article presents only general information. Consider seeking professional financial, taxation, legal or other advice to check how the information and ideas presented on this website relate to your unique circumstances.
Pet insurance Australia explained
What is pet insurance? Well, think of it this way. It’s just like health insurance except instead of being for a person, it’s for a dog or cat instead. Simple, right?
In the event that your pet falls ill or suffers an injury, a pet insurance policy can help you pay your vet bills by covering a portion of your costs. With how expensive vet bills can be, an insurance policy can be a lifesaver.
Policies come in many forms ranging from basic-accident cover through to comprehensive coverage. As a result, you will need to do your research to determine what level of coverage suits your needs.
Finally, keep in mind that insurance doesn’t come free. You must pay monthly premiums which will vary based on your pet and level of coverage. As a result, before applying, ensure your policy is affordable for your circumstances.
What kinds of pet insurance are there?
In Australia, there are generally three types of pet insurance you can choose from. It pays to spend a bit of time comparing your options and selecting one that best fits your situation and lifestyle.
The three major types of pet insurance are accident-only cover, accident and illness cover and comprehensive cover. We’ll explore each of these in-depth below.
Accident only pet insurance provides a basic level of cover for your four-legged friend. Specifically, accident-only cover protects you financially if your pet is injured in an accident, such as:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Burns or electrocutions
- Broken bones
- Snake bites
Accident-only cover, however, does not protect you if your pet falls ill. Moreover, if your animal has a pre-existing condition or are above a certain age, accident-only cover may be the only insurance you’re eligible for.
Accident and illness pet insurance
In short, accident and illness insurance helps you financially if your pet falls ill or accidentally injures themselves.
Specifically, this level of cover insures you against any accidental harm caused to your animal (cars, burns, broken bones etc.) as well as any sickness diagnosed by your vet.
There are a number of factors that affect what you will pay. For example, purebred dogs are likely to be more expensive due to their predisposition to hereditary conditions.
Comprehensive pet insurance
As you may have guessed, comprehensive insurance covers you if your pet is injured, falls sick and can also aid you with things like vaccines, worming and other check-ups.
Specifically, comprehensive can generally help with the following:
- Accident cover. Physical injuries to your animal, including things like snake bites or broken bones.
- Illness. Reimburses you for vet bills. Does not include certain exclusions.
- Routine care. The routine care allowance is often an optional add-on. Moreover, it can help cover things like microchipping or having your animal spayed.
- Added benefits. Includes things like emergency accommodation cover for your pet as well as cover if you head overseas.
Bear in mind, comprehensive insurance is expensive. Moreover, many Aussies may not have that spare cash lying around to spend on an animal.
What does insurance actually cover?
In short, this will depend on your policy.
For example, a basic, accident-only policy will mean you’re typically covered for things like:
- Car accidents
- Injuries caused by other animals (e.g. bite wounds)
On the other hand, comprehensive insurance can even cover things like teeth cleaning, having your pet de-sexed or covering the cost of humane euthanasia.
What does insurance not cover?
While different levels of cover offer different services, there are a number of things your insurer will not cover, regardless of your policy. These are known as exclusions. We’ll list some common examples of exclusions.
- Pre-existing conditions. This is a major one for pet insurers. Moreover, it includes anything your pet has suffered from before taking out the cover as well as during the waiting period.
- Everyday expenses. This includes the day-to-day care of your animal, like grooming or pet food, as well as preventative care, like flea treatment.
- Dental. While some insurers may offer dental extras in some policies, most will not cover broken teeth, regularly cleaning or gingivitis.
- Infectious diseases. You may not be covered for infectious diseases, as well as illnesses caused by worms or fleas.
- Negligence. Any injuries caused by you failing to provide adequate care will not be covered. For example, if you leave poisonous substances lying around your backyard, your insurer is unlikely to cover any resulting illnesses.
- Occupational use. If you use your dog for guard duty, pigging or racing, you are unlikely to be covered. This does not include guide or assistance dogs.
- Elective treatment. Any non-medically essential procedures. Includes things like nail clipping or cosmetic procedures, like getting the tail docked or ears trimmed.
- Pregnancy. If you opt to breed your dog or cat, services and products related to the pregnancy are unlike to be covered.
What is the best pet insurance in Australia?
Unfortunately, Monzi is unable to say who the best provider of pet insurance is. In short, it will depend on your requirements and budget. With this, it’s important to shop around to find the policy that suits you.
To help get the ball rolling, some of Australia’s leading pet insurers include:
- Real Insurance
This is by no means an extensive list. However, it’s a great place to start. Research the products offered by these insurers and others to find one that works for your budget and needs.
Pet insurance Australia reviews
Worried that you might not choose the right insurer? Why not rely on the experiences of others? Seek out Pet insurance Australia reviews and you might be able to get an idea of how past pet owners have fared. If an insurer has a long history of positive reviews and a trusted name then there’s a good chance that you can put your faith in them.
Alternatively, keep an eye out for industry awards and other such honours. If you’re dealing with an insurer who was awarded the best pet Insurance 2019 honour then there’s a good chance they’re someone you can trust.
How to compare insurance
With so many insurers and policies on offer, Pet insurance comparisons Australia is a must. In short, not only can you find the right level of cover, you can potentially save yourself money too.
If you’re not sure where to begin, think about and compare the following:
- Level of cover: ranges from basic, accident-only cover up to comprehensive cover.
- What’s your budget: will influence the level of cover that’s affordable.
- Are there waiting periods before you can make a claim?
- What does your policy cover?
- What does your policy not cover?
- How much is your excess?
- Are there caps on the amount that you can claim annually?
For further details, Moneysmart has a great pet insurance breakdown to help you select the right policy. Alternatively, there are a host of comparison websites including some that are dedicated to pet insurance comparison Australia. They can make it easy to compare policies side-by-side to help you select the best policy for you.
Pet insurance Australia claim form
When it comes time to make a claim, each insurer’s process will be slightly different. However, the general requirements will be similar. In most cases, you will need to take the following steps:
- Fill out the relevant personal and pet details.
- Take your form with you to the vet and have them complete the applicable sections related to your pet’s illness or injury.
- Attach your invoices and receipts.
- If it’s your first claim, attach your pet’s full veterinary history.
- Sign the declaration and submit your claim.
What goes into the cost of pet insurance?
The cost of pet insurance comes in the form of premiums. In short, premiums are the amount you must pay for your policy. Typically, this comes in the form of monthly or annual payments.
In terms of what your premiums will be, it’s impossible to say. Insurers calculate premiums based on a number of factors including your level of cover as well as your excess (more on that soon). As a result, your premiums may vary significantly from the premiums someone else will pay.
However, as a guide, they usually range from $20 to $60 per month. Although, this is simply an estimate. Your actual costs may vary.
Which animals are cheaper to insure?
As we mentioned above, insurers use all sorts of criteria to determine the cost of your insurance. One major determining factor is the breed of your animal. As a general rule, cats are cheaper to insure than dogs. Moreover, the cost of insuring your dog can vary wildly depending on its breed.
For example, here are a few of the cheapest dog breeds to insure in Australia:
- Jack Russell
- Australian Shepherd
- Maltese Cross
As you can see, the cheapest breeds are often the smaller, more common ones. Moreover, as a general rule, larger dogs or purebred dogs prone to hereditary conditions are more expensive to insure. Examples include:
- French Bulldog
- Yorkshire Terrier
- Great Dane
How can I get the cheapest pet insurance?
First things first, you will need to select the basic level of cover. This will cover a range of accident-related injuries and in most cases, will be all you that need.
From there, the other thing that you can do to access cheap pet insurance Australia is select a higher excess. In short, your insurance excess is the amount that you must pay out of pocket. For instance, if you’ve got a $1,000 excess and your vet bills total $3,000, then you must pay the $1,000 while your insurer will cover the rest.
An excess is a way of assuming some of the risk yourself. The higher your excess, the less risk there is for your insurer. As a result, they will be willing to offer lower premiums.
Is insurance worth it?
If your four-legged friend remains healthy and injury-free through the course of their life then yes, pet insurance may not be worth it. However, that rarely happens.
If something does go wrong, the peace of mind knowing that you’re covered is invaluable. Vet bills are often steep so it’s possible that pet insurance may be the difference between being able to afford them and not.
At the end of the day though, it’s up to you. Consider the benefits, risks and costs to determine if it’s the right choice for your circumstances.
Best value pet insurance Australia
If you’re looking for value, then there are a few things that you can do.
Firstly, check online for coupons and discounts. There are a number of insurers who may provide special deals to help get you over line. If you’re lucky, you can potentially save yourself a ton on your premiums with the right deal.
In addition to this, if you’ve got a couple of pets, you may be eligible for a multi-policy discount. In short, with this, all your four-legged friends are covered under the one policy. The premiums are usually much more affordable compared to a number of individual policies.
Finally, shop around. There are plenty of insurance companies offering pet insurance. As a result, if you don’t compare policies then you’re doing yourself a disservice. At the same time, you might be costing yourself money too.
How much is insurance for a dog in Australia?
Monzi is unable to provide an assessment. This is simply due to the fact that there are a number of factors that go into the calculation of your costs. These factors include features specific to your pet as well as the type of cover you’re after.
Looking first at your pet, the costs of your premiums may be affected by the following:
- Is your dog desexed/spayed?
- Any pre-existing conditions
This will then be combined with your level of cover. Premiums for basic accident cover are usually much lower than those applied to a comprehensive policy.
As a result, given the complexity and range of factors, if you’re after an idea of total cost it’s best to approach an insurer directly. Find out the policies they offer, detail the specific features of your pet and they should be able to provide pet insurance quotes Australia.
Can you get pet insurance if your pet is already sick or injured?
Yes, however, you will not be covered for any current injuries or illnesses. In short, these are listed as pre-existing conditions that are excluded from your insurance cover. As a result, it will be up to you to pay for any of the associated costs.
This is why when it comes to Australia pet insurance, it pays to be proactive. Being insured means that if something does go wrong, you’re covered. If you wait until something goes wrong then you will be liable to cover the costs.
How much does pet insurance go up by after a claim?
In short, it’s difficult to provide an exact figure. In most cases, if you submit a claim then your future insurance premiums will rise. This is similar to most other insurance policies available across a range of categories (e.g. car insurance).
In addition to this, insurance premiums may rise as your pet ages too. As they get older, the probability of illness or injury increases too. As a result, insurers may adjust your policy to account for their additional risk.
5 tips for finding great value pet insurance
Understandably, browsing online for pet insurance can feel overwhelming. Moreover, for man Aussies, pet insurance is a bit of a luxury. So, to ensure you get the best deal possible, here are five things to be aware of when browsing for insurance:
Tip 1 – The two main players
As you browse online for policies, it may feel like they all seem very similar. Well, this is because pet insurance in Australia is dominated by two major players: MS Amlin and Hollard Insurance Company.
These underwriters create policies which they then sell on to providers, like RSPCA or Woolworths.
While this may seem like a horrible small market, providers are able to adjust certain features and costs differently to compete for your business. Furthermore, if you decide you like MS Amlin policies the most, it becomes easier to compare plans like-for-like.
Tip 2 – Age limits apply
Most insurers will not extend illness cover to your cat or dog if it over a certain age. As a result, you may only be able to get accident-only cover.
This is worth noting because, realistically, your pet is unlikely to be gallivanting around the streets over a certain age. After all, just like humans, your pets like to spend their retirement relaxing.
Tip 3 – Cheaper may not actually be cheaper
Insurers offer two major types of cover, accidental injury and accident and illness cover.
This may seem straightforward, but things can quickly become muddled around the definition of injury or illness.
Let’s give you a working example. Let’s say your dog has an existing condition that is made worse by an accident while playing in the backyard. You may assume you will be covered by your accidental injury policy, but you may not be.
If the lender deems the injury to be the final result of a pre existing illness, you may not be covered by your injury only policy. Therefore, it may actually be cheaper to sign up to accident and injury originally.
Tip 4 – Accident vs. injury
Depending on your policy, the terms accident and injury are defined.
For a clearer example, you may not be covered for injuries resulted from a poisonous snake.
Therefore, get in contact with your provider for more details.
Tip 5 – Be aware of your limits
Be sure you understand the following:
- Percentage. Instead of covering the entire bill, most insurers will pay for a percentage. For example, around 80% is pretty standard for for most comprehensive policies.
- Limits. The total your policy will pay in a given year. Generally, this amount is enough to cover your pet for the year, often around $10,000 to $15,000 for comprehensive plans.
- Sub-limits. Max limits for specific treatments. For example, you may only be able to claim object removal surgery once a year.
What do I need before I get a pet?
If you’re looking to adopt a new dog or cat, then you’re going to need a range of supplies. As a guide, first-time pet owners may need to purchase:
- Bowls for food and water
- Crates and carriers for transport
- Collars, leads and harnesses
For more information, Monzi’s guide to budget pet products may help you discover how to score a bargain today.
What happens if I can’t pay my vet bill?
If you’re uninsured and have a vet bill to pay then you will need to pay it in full. However, vet bills are expensive and often you may lack the required funds.
If this is the case, one option to get you out of bind could be to apply for a personal loan. In short, you can borrow amounts ranging from $300 to $10,000 and spread the costs of the coming 12 to 24 months.
If you opt to go down this route then Monzi can make it easy for you. Simply submit an application through our lender-finder service during business hours and we’ll aim to pair you with a licenced and available lender in just 60 minutes. From there, you might be able to access the cash loans you need.
Am I eligible to apply with Monzi?
Before you begin, you must first ensure that you are eligible to apply. At Monzi, we have four basic criteria that you must meet. Check them out:
- Australian citizen or permanent resident.
- At least 18 years of age.
- Have a current email address and contact phone number.
- Hold an online banking account with at least three months of transaction history.
How do I apply with Monzi?
Have a vet bill to cover? While we do not offer pet insurance Australia, Monzi’s lender-finder service may make it easy to access lenders offering personal loans. Best of all, our application process is as simple as can be. Check it out:
- Select your loan amount and preferred repayment term (where applicable)
- Provide the required personal details. Hit submit.
- Relax while Monzi’s automated system attempts to pair you with an available lender willing to take on your application.
- We’ll text you with an outcome. If our search was a success, your lender will be in touch to begin the assessment process.
Not sure how much to apply for? The loans potentially on offer from our lenders include:
|Small personal loan||$300 to $2,000||No|
|Medium personal loan||$2,001 to $4,600||Yes|
|Large personal loan||$5,000 to $10,000||Yes|
Do you think Monzi’s lender-finder service is right for you? Scroll up and use Monzi’s loan slider to begin your application today.