Just like health insurance for humans (or hoomans in dog and cat speak), your fur baby will need pet insurance. Vet bills and unexpected injuries or illnesses will occur during your pet’s life, that’s a fact. And when they do you’re going to want them to be covered.
Most pet insurance policies offer up to 80% coverage on vet bills and you can claim up to $12,000 each year, some may even offer more. It seems like a lot of money and you may think that there’s no way you’re going to claim $12,000 but vet bills and associated specialists can add up very quickly. For example, if your dog or cat breaks a leg it can cost thousands of dollars once you’ve added up anaesthetic, operating and overnight care costs. Then what about all the follow-up vet checks just for the leg, not to mention your fur baby’s regular checks?
According to the RSPCA the costs of de-sexing a dog can range from $200-$500 all depending on age, gender and size, whilst with cats, it is between $115-$300. There’s also flee, worm and heartworm treatments that will be ongoing and annual vet checks. This is just the basics and some policies do actually cover these costs.
We all know both cats and dogs like to be adventurous and put things in their mouths that don’t belong there or in vet speak “foreign body ingestion”, like kids toys or earrings. So, if they do, you could be up for a vet bill that can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousands of dollars. You don’t want to be out of pocket with no way of getting some of the costs back.
According to Canstar a list of the highest claims price per surgery was compiled by Pet Insurance Australia in 2015 and some of the prices were phenomenal – and judging from the data it pays to have your pet covered.
What to check if you’re taking out pet insurance or renewing:
There are a number of factors to keep in mind when taking out a pet insurance policy. These tips below will help you to make sure you get the right cover at the right price.
- Your pets age: Some policies will have different clauses depending on your pet’s age. For instance, some policies are not available for pets that are between certain ages like 7 and 9 years old. Also, keep in mind that once your pet does reach a certain age you may not be able to switch to another insurer.
- Your pets breed may not be covered, or the premium insurance rate may be higher because of the health risks of that particular breed. So make sure you specifically ask about your pets breed!
- Always look at the excess. Make sure that the excess amount of the insurance policy isn’t too high because you may need to pay an excess when you make a claim. You don’t want this to outweigh the cost of your claim.
- Emergency boarding: Some insurers have emergency boarding as part of an additional cover in case you (yes, you not your pet) have to go into hospital. Check to see if there is an additional cost or if it’s part of your policy. Depending on your living situation it may be worthwhile adding this cover to your policy.
- The age of your pet may reduce the amount you are covered for – even if it says 100% cover, ALWAYS check the fine print. Policy terms and conditions change from year to year, so like you would with your health or car insurance, always check to see if cover remains the same or what the changes are and if they are suited to your pet. Make sure that you check to see what your policy doesn’t cover. This includes pre-existing conditions, elective treatments, routine care (some policies exclude this) and illnesses that occur during waiting periods.
Petbarn offers a range of insurance policies for cats and dogs that offer varied cover and budget options, the best part is that you can also earn cashback when you purchase through Cashrewards, currently 4.34% cashback at Petbarn. So, make sure your fur baby has the right cover they need because at the end of the day their health is just as important to you as your own.