Don't be cold-blooded; protect your not-so-furry friend with exotic pet insurance.
Just like cats and dogs, exotic pets such as reptiles, birds and small mammals also get injured and ill. Often, exotic pet insurance goes further than ordinary pet insurance, providing cover for alternative treatments and specialist vet bills. It can also pay for any advertising and reward if you lose your pet. Read our guide to learn what you should look out for.
What's included with exotic pet insurance in Australia?
With exotic pet insurance, you will usually have three policy options to choose from, ranging from basic to comprehensive. To help you understand what is covered, here are some of the services that are normally included with exotic pet insurance:
- Veterinary Fees. This covers you for the cost of treatment as a result of injury, accident or illness. Policies generally cover you for illnesses and injuries up to 12 months.
- Alternative or Complementary Treatment. Often your exotic pet will require alternative treatment. Services such as physiotherapy to treat an injury or illness are often included in policies.
- Advertising and Reward. You are more likely to lose exotic pets such as a bird than a cat or dog. Insurers often include cover for the cost of advertising and any reward you are offering for your pet's safe return.
- Third Party Liability. If your small mammal, bird or reptile damages property or hurts someone, third party liability will cover you for any compensation you have to pay.
- Specialist Vet. The more exotic the pet, the harder it is for a vet to diagnose and treat. As a result, you may need to go to a specialist vet. Insurers don't generally cover you for all of the treatment so look for an insurer with the highest % back.
- Diagnostic Examinations. This can include things like an MRI and CAT scan. Once again, you will have to pay for some of the costs yourself, with the insurer covering the rest. Policies usually come with a 50% excess for diagnostic examinations.
You can get bird insurance for large parrots, birds of prey and small birds including Cockatoos, Eagles, Hawks, Budgies and Canaries. Your level of coverage and premiums will depend on the bird you own. Here are a few inclusions you should look out for:
- Veterinary fees. A comprehensive policy usually provides cover for vet fees, including alternative treatment and specialist fees, for up to $6,000. Birds can be expensive to treat, largely because they often require a specialist vet. A comprehensive policy then, comes with higher limits, for greater peace of mind.
- Advertising and Rewards. Unlike a dog or cat, if you have your back turned for just a second, a bird can easily get away through an open window or door. Taking out a policy that covers the cost of putting up ads and any reward you offer means you don't need to worry about money when searching for your pet.
- Add-ons for your bird of prey. Some providers come with add-ons ideal for larger birds. For instance, Petcover will pay up to 50% of the price you paid for your Bird of Prey if it is goes missing whilst flying.
Reptile insurance can cover your lizard, snake or turtle. Here are a few things you should take into consideration when insuring your reptilian friend.
- Lifespan. Many breeds of snake and turtle can live for up to 40 years, so bear that in mind when getting a policy as you could be paying it for a long time. Try and find a policy that doesn't raise the cost of cover annually. You might pay more at first, but it'll keep things affordable in the long run.
- Age restrictions. Policies often come with age restrictions. Considering that so many reptiles can live into their 30s, make sure to read the product disclosure statement (PDS) as you might find your snake or turtle is only covered up to the age of 15 or 30.
- Unusual illnesses. It's often hard to recognise when our reptile pets are ill. Many insurers don't offer Routine or Preventative Treatment so keep in mind this is something you will probably have to cover yourself.