Pet insurance in Australia: Your go-to guide to comparing policies

Compare 11 brands side-by-side to see which pet insurance is right for you.

Medibank Pet Insurance

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Promo code PET100.
Ends 19 Oct 2021.

  • Over 10 years of experience
  • Choose from 3 cover options
  • Insurance for dogs and cats
  • Choose any licenced vet*
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*T&Cs apply. Visit our website for more details.

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Compare 11 pet insurance brands in Australia

Pet Insurance Finder™ makes it easy to compare your options online, for free. Simply select your needs below, then head off to tailor your quote for your furry friend with your favourite option.

Name Product Accidental Injury Illness Maximum Yearly Benefit Paralysis Tick Benefit Maximum yearly benefit Reimbursement rate Reimbursement Rate Bonuses
Medibank Ultimate Pet Care
$100 PETstock e-voucher, 10% off for health members
Want a $100 PETstock e-voucher? Plus, health members save 10% every year. Sign up using promo code PET100. Ends 19 Oct 2021. T&Cs apply. Visit our website to find out more.
Budget Direct Pet Insurance
15% off your first year
Get 15% off on your first year’s premium when you buy online.
PD Deluxe Plan
First 2 months free
⭐Finder Exclusive: Apply online and get your first 2 months free. Offer ends 30 November 2021. T&Cs apply.
Knose Pet Insurance
70%, 80% or 90%
70%, 80% or 90%
10% off your first year
⭐Finder Exclusive: Get 10% off your first year's premium. Lower prices for lower risk pets. T&C's apply.
PIA Major Medical Cover
First 2 months free
Covers specified accidents and illnesses, with Routine Care Cover included. Get 2 months free when you sign up.
Vets Choice Elite Cover
80% or 100%
80% or 100%
5% multi pet discount
Get a 5% discount when you insure more than one pet.
Petsy Dog Accidental Injury and Illness Cover (Vet Select)
2 months free + custom pet tag
Enjoy 2 months free and personalised pet tag with promo code: PETSYPET. Petsy members enjoy free personalised gifts, exclusive pet discounts and perks for humans.
Kogan Pet Luxury Cover
80% or 65%
80% or 65%
$75 Credit
Sign up and get $75 Credit. T&Cs apply.
Coles Premium Cover
80% or 100%
80% or 100%
10x Flybuys points per $1 spent on Coles pet food
Earn 10x Flybuys points per $1 spent on pet food at Coles Supermarkets. T&Cs apply.
PetSecure Accident and Illness Cover
75% or 85%
75% or 85%
10% multi pet discount
Your pet is covered for life.

Compare up to 4 providers

What is pet insurance in Australia?

Pet insurance in Australia works like this: you pay a certain amount (a "premium") to your insurer each month, and in return, they pay a percentage of your cat or dog's vet bills if your pet is sick or injured, up to an agreed maximum. Pet Insurance Finder™ makes it easy to compare your options online, for free.

How does pet insurance work in Australia?

Like health insurance for humans, pet insurance helps cover unexpected bills if your furry pal needs surgery or treatment for anything from a snakebite to cancer, as the bills can add up to thousands of dollars. Since most of us don't have that kind of money sitting around (and there's no Medicare for our dogs and cats), having insurance can help you make decisions based on your pet's health and not your bank account. This is how pet insurance works in Australia:

  • You pay your pet insurance premium monthly or annually
  • You can visit any licensed vet in Australia if your pet gets sick (as long as it's not due to a pre-existing condition)
  • You pay the vet directly
  • You get up to 85% of vet costs reimbursed, as much as $20,000 a year

Comparing the different types of pet insurance

When signing up for pet insurance, you can generally choose from three types of cover:

Dog tag
Accident Only Cover

Accident-only insurance covers injuries caused by an accident. This can include broken bones from a car accident, scratches from fighting with other animals, burns or snake bites. Keep in mind that this policy doesn't pay out for all types of accidents.

Learn more

Accident & Illness Cover

Accident and illness cover will protect your pet from accidents, as well as sickness or disease. Your furry friend will be covered for conditions such as cancer, infectious diseases, hereditary illness, and skin conditions.

Learn more

Dog vet sign
Comprehensive Cover

Comprehensive cover protects your four-legged friend against accidents and illness as mentioned above, but often to a higher limit. Some policies include (or allow you to add) routine care, which provides a set amount for training, prescription diets, deworming, desexing etc.

Learn more

How can you compare pet insurance policies?

At first glance, it might seem like most pet insurance policies are pretty similar. Here's how 2 insurers' comprehensive policies stack up against one another.

Insurer AInsurer B
Annual Benefit Limit$12,000$20,000
Reimbursement rate80%85%
Illnesses YesYes
Accidental Injury YesYes
Cancer treatmentYesYes
Choice of excess $0, $100 or $200$0 or $50 only

This insurance policy comparison was made for Teddy the male French bulldog. He is 4.5 years old, desexed, and lives in Campbelltown NSW.

As you can see, these policies cost around the same and cover Teddy for similar services. However, there are some key differences worth noting, such as:

  • Annual Benefit Limit: The maximum benefit limit between policies can vary from around $11,000 to $20,000. A lower limit generally means cheaper premiums but you risk reaching your annual limit and being out of pocket if your pet is seriously ill or injured or becomes ill.
  • Choice of excess: This is how much you pay out of pocket if you needed to make a claim. Some policies allow you to choose your excess amount (the higher your excess, the less you pay each month).
  • Reimbursement rate: While the difference between an 80% and an 85% reimbursement rate doesn't seem like a lot, imagine if you were faced with a $5,000 vet bill. You'd be out of pocket $1000 with Insurer A (80% reimbursement) or just $750 with Insurer B (85% reimbursement).

Case Study: Teddy the Frenchie

As many a pet owner will tell you, it seems like pets are forever munching on things they're not allowed to eat, from slippers to freshly baked brownies.

French bulldog

It only takes a moment's lapse in concentration and you could be looking at an expensive trip to the vet. For instance, imagine that Teddy the frenchie swallows one of his owner's socks. Surgery can range from $982 to a staggering $22,919 and costs generally depend on where and when you need it.

With something like a swallowed object, you don't have time to shop around for the best deal - your pet needs to be taken care of now. A comprehensive policy with a benefit limit of $20,000 would help cover up to 85% of the cost of surgery to remove the object. So while you'd still be out of pocket $3,000 in the worst case scenario, it's a bit more palatable than $20,000, or having to make a far more difficult decision.

That's why it's always worth looking for higher annual limits when searching for a policy. While slightly lower premiums may be tempting, you risk being seriously out of pocket if something goes wrong.

Common situations where pet insurance can help

Our pets can get themselves into all sorts of trouble. Pet insurance can help you out if an accident or illness strikes. Here are some common issues your pet insurance can help cover:

  • Illnesses: Diarrhoea, conjunctivitis, ear infections and lethargy are all common illnesses among kittens and puppies, and can cost anywhere from $100 to $2,500 or even more. While pet insurance can also cover you for scarier things like cancer and surgery, pet insurance is often just as helpful when it comes to these common illnesses.
  • Accidents: Animal fights, car accidents, swallowing objects - these are all common occurrences with pets, often resulting in a trip to the vet. The average cost to treat a fracture is $2,500, meaning if 80% of your bill is covered with pet insurance, you'll be looking at $500 for out of pocket expenses.
  • Genetic health conditions: Short-nosed dog breeds such as pugs often have breathing and digestive problems, labradors often have hip dysplasia and Persian cats are prone to certain kidney diseases. If you have a pet that's pre-disposed to health issues, you're better off getting insured before any of them come up.

When should you get pet insurance?

You can get cover for your pet once it's 8 weeks or older. If you're considering pet insurance, you're better off getting it while your pet is young and healthy, before it develops any pre-existing conditions. It's a good idea to consider pet insurance for any of the following reasons:

  • You have a purebred: It's more likely that your purebred will have congenital conditions which means they're likely to need surgery at some point, or regular medication. Pet insurance can help keep things more affordable.
  • If you can't afford a huge unexpected bill: Pet insurance keeps things manageable with a small monthly payment. Without insurance, you run the risk of being hit with an unexpected bill you can't afford and a potentially horrible decision to make.
  • If you've got an adventurous pet: Is your canine naturally excitable? Does your pet love exploring the outdoors? If so, you really need to think about pet insurance as you never know what kind of trouble your pet might get into, whether it's eating something they shouldn't, getting into a fight or running into traffic.
  • If your pet is under the age of 9: You can get usually cover for vet bills, accidents, illnesses and routine care for pets under the age of 9. Some policies do cover pets for illness over the age of 9, but it can be harder to get comprehensive cover, as most insurers only offer accident cover for older pets.

Should you switch pet insurance?

It's often the case that the best deals are available to new customers, so it makes a lot of sense to compare what's out there and switch to a more affordable policy, as long as you're still covered for what you need. However, there are a few key things to watch out for when switching brands:

  • Pre-existing conditions: Any pre-existing condition your pet might have suffered from prior to being insured is unlikely to be covered. If your pet has had a pre-existing condition, you may not be covered with a new insurer. Always check the product disclosure statement (PDS) before you switch providers and check in to make sure.
  • Your excess: The monthly premiums might be cheaper but a high excess means that sometimes you'll be forking out more than the cost of treatment itself whenever you need to claim. Look for a policy that comes with a low excess. Some have options as low as $0 or $50.

How much does pet insurance cost?

We crunched the numbers on 560 dog breeds and 96 cat breeds, and found that the average cost of comprehensive pet insurance for a 5-year-old dog was $78.04 a month, while the average cost of comprehensive pet insurance for a 5-year-old cat was $51.69 a month.

As a pet owner, you know that having a pet isn't exactly cheap. The average Australian dog owner spends $1475 a year, and the average cat owner spends $1,029 a year on their pets (ASIC MoneySmart). When you consider that Australians spent $2.24 billion on vet costs in 2016, pet insurance starts to make a lot more sense. Insuring your pet helps offset the costs of owning a pet with policies ranging from around $20 a month (accident only cover) to $60 a month and upwards (comprehensive cover). As you can imagine, the cost differs considerably from one brand to another, so it pays to compare. Read our pet insurance cost guide to see what impacts the cost of pet insurance.

Is it worth it?

Check out some of the pros and cons of pet insurance to help you work out if it's worth it.


  • Helps cover unexpected or ongoing vet bills, which can be very expensive
  • Peace of mind, knowing you won't be forced to consider costs when it comes to your pet's health
  • Your pet can get covered for congenital conditions
  • The Australian Veterinary Association strongly recommends it


  • Your pet may not have expensive health issues (in the short run anyway)
  • Some conditions have sublimits (e.g. treatment for paralysis ticks)
  • You are unlikely to get cover for pre-existing conditions
  • You'll still have some out of pocket expenses

If you're still unsure whether it's worth it or not, check our our guide on the pros and cons of getting pet insurance.

What extra cover should you consider?

Pet insurance policies will often let you tailor your policy to work for you. Consider each optional extra on its own merits, and compare pet insurance policies to look for the ones you're more likely to use. Here are some optional extras that are available with different policies:

  • Routine care. Routine care can be added onto most comprehensive policies. This covers the cost of everyday care, from vaccinations to teeth cleaning.
  • Alternative and complementary medicine. This provides cover for things like physiotherapy, acupuncture and hydrotherapy when recommended by your vet.
  • Dental illness. This covers conditions such as gingivitis, abscesses, and the removal of teeth due to cavities or tooth fracture.

Things you probably didn't know pet insurance could cover

Other than health issues for your cat or dog, pet insurance policies often include some cover for the following:

  • Emergency boarding. If you're hospitalised for an extended period or in an emergency situation, most policies will cover the cost of boarding for your pet until you're able to get home again.
  • Overseas pet travel insurance. Extends your cover overseas, but generally only if you're travelling to New Zealand or Norfolk Island.
  • Essential euthanasia. Under this option, if euthanasia is deemed humane and essential by your veterinarian, your insurance provider will cover the expenses involved in this process.
  • Paralysis tick treatment. Your policy will cover up to a certain amount of veterinary treatment arising from paralysis tick bites.

What isn't covered by pet insurance?

Just like any other insurance, pet insurance doesn't cover everything. Here are some common exclusions:

  • Pre-existing conditions that your pet was diagnosed with or showing signs of before you got insurance.
  • A malicious act, deliberate injury or gross negligence by you or even someone living with you.
  • Treatment for diseases for which there is a known vaccine. This includes conditions like kennel cough and parvovirus.
  • Preventative treatments and procedures such as vaccinations or flea/tick control, unless you have routine cover included.
  • Behavioural problems or any conditions caused by behavioural problems.
  • Breeding or pregnancy, or any conditions resulting from these.
  • Grooming, including shampoos, baths, dips or any cosmetic surgeries.
  • Training, socialisation and any alternative therapies.
  • Pet food or supplements, even if they've been recommended by your vet.
  • Organ transplant surgery, artificial limbs or prosthetics.
  • Dental procedures or dental diseases. Some insurers offer specialist dental cover, but this isn't very common in Australia.

Learn more about pet insurance exclusions.

Some common questions about pet insurance

When should I get pet insurance for my cat or dog?

You can usually insure your pet as soon as it's 8 weeks old. Generally, the earlier you get pet insurance, the better (before health problems develop) as these won't be covered by pet insurance.

Do I have to provide a copy of my pet's medical history?

You generally won't need to provide a full medical history, but will need to disclose any illnesses or injuries your pet has suffered prior to taking out the policy.

What if my pet was adopted from a shelter?

You will need to provide a copy of the documentation provided by the pet shelter.

Can I get cover for multiple pets at once?

Yes. Most companies will let you get cover for multiple pets, with some offering multi-policies discounts when you do.

How do I renew my cover?

Most pet insurance policies will require your pet to be under eight years of age when starting the policy. The policy is then renewed automatically each year provided there are no gaps in cover.

Read more on this topic

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8 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    CoreyNovember 4, 2019

    Good afternoon, was just taking a look at your comparison website with regards to pet insurance and I can’t seem to find any information on Petplan insurance listed for me to compare with other policies?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      AlexandraNovember 4, 2019Staff

      Hi Corey!

      Thanks for your message. We don’t currently have Petplan as a partner, but I’ll make sure to add them to our comparison table anyway. In the meantime, have a look at our policy summary page for Petplan pet insurance for an idea of what kind of cover they offer.

      Hope this helps – and thanks for the suggestion!


    Default Gravatar
    Judith=AnnOctober 10, 2019

    Thank you so much for the info Alexandra

    Default Gravatar
    Judith-AnnOctober 10, 2019

    I have read all of the above & am more confused than ever. Choice & Mozo have different opinions on insurers for 2019. I am with Aust. Seniors who seem not to pay for anything most of the time including yearly vaccinations ( under routine care ). They even tried to use a Behavioural reason not to pay one account – when confronted they admitted their mistake but didn’t refund the account anyway. My little poodle is 22months old & I want to change insurers before he gets any older.

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      AlexandraOctober 10, 2019Staff

      Hi Judith!

      So sorry to hear you’re having problems with your claim. Were you trying to claim for vaccinations? If so, some insurers have quite a small limit of even around $50 in some cases! I’d continue to follow up with the insurer, and if you’re not satisfied by their answers, get in touch with the Australian Financial Complaints Authority – they might be able to help you reach a resolution.

      In terms of changing insurers, just be careful that you won’t be covered for any pre-existing conditions, so it’s a great idea to swap as soon as possible if that’s the direction you want to take. Whilst we can’t recommend any set insurer as we can only provide general advice, I’d recommend looking at each insurers reimbursement rate, maximum payout limit, and especially exclusions. Exclusions are usually the area where people can sometimes get confused and claims can be rejected, and they differ so much depending on the company! Also keep in mind that the policies are quite similar if they’re from the same underwriter, so it might be a good idea to have a look at companies from different underwriters.

      I hope this helps. If you’ve got more questions just shoot them through!


    Default Gravatar
    EmmaFebruary 28, 2019

    One thing to remember, you will get reimbursed for the vet bills, so it might take 5-10 days to get the claim. I have pet insurance and but still worth it to have as you have the peace of mind.

    Default Gravatar
    JasonJanuary 25, 2019

    Hi, which – if any, providers will cover for parvovirus. I have a 10 week old French bulldog and am concerned with the increase in parvovirus cases – even with dogs that have been vaccinated.

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JeniJanuary 27, 2019Staff

      Hi Jason,

      Thank you for getting in touch with finder.

      Currently we do not have a page that you may refer to on this matter as many pet insurance companies will not cover for conditions such as parvovirus, however vaccinations are covered up to the applicable limit under the Routine Care, if the customer has that level of cover. It is best to contact your chosen insurer on level of cover you’re getting for your pet.

      I hope this helps.

      Thank you and have a wonderful day!


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