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Pet Insurance

Looking to protect your furry friend should they find themselves in a pickle? We've got the lowdown on what you need to know about pet insurance cover.

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Looking At Pet Insurance But Not Sure Where To Start? Take A Look Here!

Looking At Pet Insurance But Not Sure Where To Start? Take A Look Here!

For many of us, our beloved cats, dogs, rabbits or reptiles aren’t just pets, but members of the family. We spend countless hours and indeed years with them, looking out for their needs and getting unlimited love in return. It’s safe to say that most of us would do almost anything for our furry family members and indeed, the idea that something may happen to them is heartbreaking. This is perhaps why pet insurance is one of the best things you can possibly purchase for your pets. Being covered financially were your pup to end up at the vets can take so much of the stress out of the situation, cause let’s face it. Vet bills aren’t cheap. But where do you start? How do you know what type of policy to choose? Read on to find out.

What is pet insurance?

Pet insurance is a specific type of insurance that is designed to cover the medical expenses of our four-legged friends. It’s basically a healthcare plan for your pets that will reimburse you for certain medical expenses that are incurred in case of emergencies, accidents, illness and even general health and dental check-ups. It’s no secret that an emergency trip to the vets can be an expensive and nerve-wracking night out. Pet insurance helps to protect you against the risk of paying such high vet bills that you might not necessarily be able to afford if it’s something serious.

If you don’t have enough savings to potentially fork out thousands of dollars in unexpected medical expenses, pet insurance is absolutely worth it. For a small fortnightly or monthly payment, you can have peace of mind that your best friend is covered in the event of a medical emergency. Reducing the immediate costs of out of pocket medical expenses could be a lifesaver for both you and your pet.

What does pet insurance cover?

Pet insurance covers a certain percentage of the costs of many eligible medical procedures and vet bills that you may incur. These eligible medical procedures will vary from provider to provider so it is important to always check what’s included in your policy before you sign your paperwork. Take a look at some of the common vet bills that may be included in your cover:

  • Accidental injury: think physical injuries such as broken bones, snake bites, or flesh wounds caused by unexpected accidents.
  • Illness: for otherwise healthy pets’ illness cover can cover things such as infections, skin conditions, upset stomachs or gastro or certain new illnesses that were not present when you first took out the cover
  • Miscellaneous: depending on which pet insurance provider you go with, your policy can also include things like preventative dental care (think teeth cleaning), de-sexing, micro-chipping, annual vaccinations, prescriptions, hospitalisation, after-hours services, emergency boarding fees etc.

What’s excluded from pet insurance?

There are a number of things that are generally excluded from pet insurance. These can include pre-existing conditions or ailments that were present before you took out pet insurance or breed-specific illnesses that may be common problems. Make sure you take a good look at your contract before signing to ensure that everything you think is important is covered. Take a look at some of the common ailments that are regularly excluded in most policies:

  • Pre-existing and hereditary health conditions such as brachycephalic problems
  • Behavioural issues
  • Hip and elbow dysplasia
  • Dental disease
  • Routine check-ups and preventative care
  • Grooming
  • Elective treatments such as de-sexing your pets
  • Illnesses that can be prevented by vaccines such as kennel cough, parvovirus, etc.

Different kinds of pet insurance cover

There are a few different types of cover that you can choose from when you’re initially choosing your pet insurance. Generally, your options start at a basic accidental injury cover and go all the way through to your more comprehensive accidental injury and illness cover. Take a look here at the different type of cover and see which one is best suited to you, your budget and your pet.

Basic Accidental Injury Cover

This critical treatment should probably be your chief concern when picking a policy as these vet bills can generally be your most expensive treatments. Your basic accidental and emergency injury cover covers physical or bodily injuries that are caused by external and violent accidental means. Think broken bones from falling down stairs or being hit by vehicles, poisonous snake or insect bites or lacerations that could be caused in a dog fight or attack. These are generally your most time important life-threatening concerns so knowing that you have cover if the unexpected occurs will save you a lot of stress and money as you know your beloved pet has access to immediate care at a reasonable price.

Illness Cover

This will cover your pet in the event that they develop an illness that was not present when you first took out the cover. Again, every policy will be slightly different depending on what your provider decides to cover, however, you can expect illness cover to cover the costs of illness such as arthritis, hernia, skin conditions, pneumonia, cruciate ligament conditions, cancer, diabetes, hip or elbow dysplasia, cataracts, spinal disease, and other such illnesses that may develop as our pets age. These illnesses can require expensive treatments such as surgery or ongoing medication that can be fairly expensive, so having a pet insurance policy that covers you and your pet can be a great idea financially.

Comprehensive accident and illness cover

This is exactly what it sounds like. This level of cover combines both your accident and illness policies into one to give you a fairly comprehensive level of cover for your pet. Comprehensive plans will also generally have higher claim limits per illness or accident type. It is a little bit more expensive, but having a comprehensive level of pet insurance for your pet will ensure that you’re never caught out by expensive vet bills and you can provide your beloved furry family member with the best possible care that’s available.

Pet insurance policy waiting times

As with most standard human health insurances, per insurance will have a waiting period that must be observed before you’re eligible to make any claims. This will differ depending on the type of treatment. Accidental injury cover is usually active within a few days of the policy being taken out, however, many of your illness benefits won’t be able to be claimed on for a few months to a year after taking out your policy This is why it’s so important to secure your pet insurance as early as you can. If you have to wait 12 months for illness cover you may not be able to use your policy when you most need it. Plan ahead so that you’re not caught out.

Can I get pet insurance if I have a brachycephalic dog?

Brachycephalic dog breeds such as French Bulldogs, Pugs and Bulldogs are dogs that have a shortened skull, short nose and flat face. This commonly results in dogs suffering from breathing difficulties and other related health problems. It is suggested that due to the increasing popularity of these dog breeds throughout Australia that there are increasing numbers of surgeries being performed by vets around the country to help relieve some of the health problems these dogs suffer from. The most common issue these animals face is Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS) which is basically overcrowding of the face due to the shape of the jaw and nose resulting in problems breathing.

The good news is that with the ever-increasing popularity of these dog breeds, there are good quality pet insurance options available to help relieve the financial stress if your pet does require surgery to correct any of these problems. Just be aware that the premiums may be more expensive than your typical pet insurance costs as these are commonly known health problems of the breeds.

While Frenchies and pugs are undeniably adorable, it’s always important to think carefully about the possible future costs of your pets’ health. If you do decide that you’re going to purchase a breed that commonly suffers from brachycephalic conditions it will likely be a life-long financial commitment to make sure your pet is healthy and happy.

Why it’s important to get pet insurance

Pets lives and their reactions to the outside environment are usually unpredictable and sometimes chaotic. Pets can be a lot like children. They’re known to eat things they shouldn’t, chase things that can fight back and run away with the zoomies with no warning. While we all love our goofy pets and their personalities, no matter how well trained they are, sometimes they can do the unexpected when we least expect it. And sometimes, this can result in costly vet bills and heart-breaking situations. Having sufficient pet insurance to cover the costs of these accidents and injuries can ease the burden significantly. Not only can it ease the burden, but it could be the difference in having to make a heartbreaking decision if you’re unable to afford costly surgery. Cover yourself now so you don’t have to make these difficult decisions later.

What if I don’t want pet insurance?

Some pet owners won’t want to purchase pet insurance as the premiums may seem too high, especially if you never need to claim on them. If you don’t want to purchase pet insurance that is entirely up to you. However, it’s a good idea to make sure that you have enough savings or funds available to cover any unexpected accidents or emergencies that may crop up over the life of your pet. A great way to ensure that you have enough money to cover your pets’ medical expenses is to put a set amount away each paycheck into a savings account. This way you have money available to you to cover your pets’ medical expenses, but you’re not out of pocket on those monthly premiums if you don’t claim for several years.

Regardless of what you decide to do it’s your responsibility to maintain the health of your furry family member and ensure that they have access to good medical care should they require it. Having spare savings available or access to a good pet insurance policy will ensure that you can keep them in good health and not be hit with a vet bill that you can’t afford.

The breakdown on pet insurance

Pet insurance is undeniably one of the most important purchases you can make for your pet. It may seem mundane and just another bill coming out of your account every week, but it could be the difference between paying sky-high vet bills or a much more reasonable vet bill if you and Fido do end up at the vets for an unexpected reason. Any pet owner will tell you that having a pet in the home is incredibly fulfilling, but almost exactly like having a toddler around as well. It’s not uncommon for accidents to happen, things to get knocked over, objects to get eaten and our beloved animals to end up with some gross stomach bugs from the dog park or something they’ve picked up and eaten outside. They’re accident-prone.

Think ahead and purchase pet insurance before you need it. It will ensure that you’re covered for most eventualities well ahead of time and that you don’t have to worry about these waiting periods if and when something does happen. Going without pet insurance is a risk that not every pet owner wants to take. With different policy levels available to you, as well as numerous different pet insurance providers available for you to choose from, there should be a pet insurance policy available for every budget and every level of care you could possibly want.

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