You have insurance for your family’s health, your car, your home, or maybe even your death… but what about the dog? In Australia, pet insurance operates on the same principle as any other type of insurance, allowing you to invest in a policy that will save you a hefty bill if your pet becomes ill or needs a surgery. Just like any other policy, there are many different options that have varying coverage and costs and it is important to research all of them. Depending on what type of animal you have, as well as age and breed, it may not be the best option for you.
Now unfortunately, if Fluffy, the family guinea pig, gets pink eye you are on your own… pet insurance is typically only offered for dogs and cats. However, some companies are starting to consider exotic birds as well. Check with the insurer to see what and whom they cover. Listed below are a few questions you should ask yourself before deciding on a policy.
Q: If a major operation or procedure is done are you more likely to put your pet down or pay for the operation?
A: If your answer is to put your pet down than pet insurance isn’t for you. Even with full coverage you will incur some costs, as most policies will still leave you with at least 20% of the costs as well as an annual limit.
Q: How old is your pet?
A: If your pet is 10 years old you will not be able to get a comprehensive care plan if any plan at all. On the flip side plans start at 8 weeks and any conditions diagnosed beforehand will not be covered. The costs of your policy will go up as your pet ages.
Q: How often do you plan on bringing your pet to the vet’s office?
A: If you only ever bring your pet in for a severe illness or mandatory shots you will not be getting the full value of the insurance plan. However if you plan on bringing your pet in for multiple visits a year the plan has more value.
Q: How much does it cost?
A: Plans typically cost between $10 and $60 monthly depending how much coverage you elect to receive. You may also receive a discount if you insure multiple pets. An important note is that you will most likely have to pay the bill first and than submit the claim.
Q: What isn’t covered?
A: Again it depends on the policy. However there are a few items are typically not covered. These include pregnancy, pre-existing conditions, grooming, elective procedures, etc…
Q: What type of pet do you have?
A: The cost for a pet insurance policy differs depending on age, breed, and health of your pet. If you have a breed that is prone to hereditary or congenial birth defects than a policy may hold more value to you.
Q: Which type of policy should I choose?
A: Insurers and policies differ greatly and it is up to you to research which one works best for you. Read each policy thoroughly and pay close attention to the fine print. Talk to your vet, see what they recommend and compare what actual fees you will incur for everything from a simple visit to a major procedure. Finally, ask around, read reviews online, compare pet insurance, and make sure all your questions are answered before committing to a policy. You need to ask yourself what type of plan you want. Do you want an all-inclusive plan or one just in case of emergencies?
Deciding on whether it is a good decision to insure your pet is a personal matter and you need to decide for yourself. Although pet insurance can be a strain on your wallet each month, it can wind up saving you big time when unexpected situations happen. However, it may not make financial sense to buy in depending on your situation. If uncertain you can always start a plan and opt out if isn’t for you. Ultimately buying pet insurance is also buying you peace of mind.
- What Does Pet Insurance Cover?
- Keeping Your Furry Friends Safe: Pet Insurance in Australia
- Selecting Dog Breeds
- Pet Insurance: What Does It Cover?
- Quick Guide: Pet Insurance In Australia
This article is opinion only and should not be taken as financial advice.
Filed Under: Pet Insurance