🐶 For dogs specifically, policies might exclude cover for:
- Infectious canine hepatitis (canine adenovirus)
- Canine distemper
- Kennel cough
We’re reader-supported and may be paid when you visit links to partner sites. We don’t compare all products in the market, but we’re working on it!
Pet insurance won't cover you for everything that could happen to your furry friend, so it's important to understand some common pet insurance exclusions. Find out what you need to know below.
If your pet has already been treated for a condition or illness (or is showing symptoms) before you buy a policy, this is considered to be a pre-existing condition which isn't usually covered by insurers. It could be something as simple as an ear infection or as complicated as heart disease.
💡Good to know: This category also covers bilateral conditions – in other words, something that can affect both the right and left sides of your pet. For example, if your pet has suffered from cruciate ligament damage in its right leg then surgery on its left leg for the same condition will not be reimbursed. Conditions such as arthritis or skin lumps are usually grouped together, too. So, if your pet suffers from arthritis in the shoulder then arthritis in the hip will be considered a pre-existing condition.
With pet insurance, you won't be covered for grooming services (including the use of medicated shampoos), pet food, vaccinations or routine visits to the vet. You also won't be reimbursed for visits to a behavioural or alternative therapist, or for vitamin supplements prescribed by your vet.
Most insurers don't cover treatment for fractured teeth, gingivitis or regular cleaning, although you can get cover for pet dental care on some policies. One of the big draws of taking out routine cover or joining a wellness care program is the inclusion of a benefit for dental services such as teeth cleaning.
Even if all of your pet's vaccinations are up to date, most insurers won't cover you for infectious diseases such as feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) or canine hepatitis. Illnesses caused by worms, fleas or ticks (other than paralysis ticks) are also excluded.
If you, or someone you live with, deliberately hurts or injures your pet, your insurance won't cover you. This includes making sure your beloved pet is safe from harmful substances.
💡Good to know: Animals that are used for guarding, pig hunting or racing are also excluded, but this restriction does not extend to guide dogs or assistance animals.
Most providers won't cover you for at-home vet visits or ambulance transportation to the veterinarian practice, unless it's an emergency. There are also exclusions for emergency boarding unless you're the sole carer for your pet, or if you have to be hospitalised for non-emergency cases such as pregnancy or cosmetic procedures.
What if I'm travelling abroad with my pet? You'll usually be covered if you want to take your pet overseas with you. That's unless you're visiting a country that will mean your pet needs to quarantine on its return.
An elective treatment is anything that's not a medical emergency but could help to improve your pet's quality of life. It includes surgeries such as amputations, tumour/mass removal and hernia removal.
If you're thinking of pet breeding, you won't be covered for any service or product related to your pet's pregnancy. This includes anything from treatment during the pregnancy itself to difficulty giving birth.
💡Good to know: Some breeds, such as pugs, require a caesarean to give birth, a procedure that you will need to foot the bill for.
Genetic testing, cell replacement therapy (except when a blood transfusion is essential for your pet's survival) and organ transplants are normally excluded. You will also not be covered for pacemakers, artificial limbs and other prosthetics.
More general exclusions are hidden under clauses in PDSs with general titles like this. Exact details vary from policy to policy, but you'll usually find limits related to certain medications and diseases that can't be conclusively diagnosed and if you act against the advice of your vet.
General exclusions apply to any claim that you make under your policy and usually include:
Certain health conditions might be excluded by your policy, or you could only be covered for them in certain events.
An important exclusion to be aware of is breed-specific congenital conditions that may not be covered, as well as conditions that certain breeds are at a particularly high risk of developing.
These can include:
🐶 For dogs specifically, policies might exclude cover for:
🐱 For cats specifically, policies might not cover:
You can't claim for some treatments, even when they're recommended by a vet. These usually include:
Other policy conditions may apply, such as:
Pet insurance extras aren't treatments, and instead have different exclusions which may apply.
While most insurers have similar exclusions, it's still important to check the fine print.
Your pet insurance PDS is a detailed document that highlights what will and won't be covered by your policy. However, it's still more general than your certificate of insurance. The certificate of insurance is tailored to your specific animal, so it's a good idea to go through it line by line.
An example: Your PDS might include a note about special rules that apply to certain breeds, but it might not list exactly which breeds these are. So there is a chance you won't find out that your Pyrenean mountain dog is one of them until you receive your certificate of insurance.
💡Good to know: It's worth asking your vet to review the certificate as well and confirm that your level of cover is consistent with their recommendations.
A couple of common pet insurance traps to look out for include:
If you have major doubts once you've purchased your policy, most insurers offer a cooling-off period of between 21 and 30 days. During this period, you have the option of cancelling your policy without being charged, as long as you haven't submitted a claim within that time.
Exclusions are a way to balance the risk for the insurer, while still providing policyholders with a reasonable level of coverage at an affordable price. Since most pet insurance plans are underwritten by a very small group of companies, the typical exclusions are usually similar, but details do vary.
With such a long list of exclusions, you may be wondering whether pet insurance is worth your investment. It's important to look past the exclusions and use them as a list of potential hazards to be aware of. After all, your pet insurance will still cover you for a long list of illnesses, accidents and genetic health conditions.
💡Good to know: It's also worth remembering that routine care pet cover, often available as an extra with comprehensive insurance, can help with costs such as desexing and dental care, which are normally excluded from your main policy.
Everything we know about the Allup Silica IPO, plus information on how to buy in.
From where the no-makeup makeup look meets the model off duty vibe, we've put together a range of no-fuss products you'll love.
Every man wanted her – 1 man dared to love her.
Manchester United are scrambling to stay in touch with the top 4 as they host Arsenal this week
From toys to socks to beauty items, these are the top 12-day advent calendars you can still enjoy in the lead up to Christmas.
Steps to owning and managing McDonald's shares from in Australia.
Reputation + Christmas parties: could it be the potential volcano erupting leaving rands, families and individuals to deal with the fallout?
Insurtech Flip has shaken up the insurance industry by launching the first on-demand injury cover in the country.
Everything we know about the Qualitas Limited IPO, plus information on how to buy in.
How much does it cost to insure a dog in Australia?
finder.com.au is one of Australia's leading comparison websites. We compare from a wide set of banks, insurers and product issuers. We value our editorial independence and follow editorial guidelines.
finder.com.au has access to track details from the product issuers listed on our sites. Although we provide information on the products offered by a wide range of issuers, we don't cover every available product or service.
Please note that the information published on our site should not be construed as personal advice and does not consider your personal needs and circumstances. While our site will provide you with factual information and general advice to help you make better decisions, it isn't a substitute for professional advice. You should consider whether the products or services featured on our site are appropriate for your needs. If you're unsure about anything, seek professional advice before you apply for any product or commit to any plan.
Products marked as 'Promoted' or 'Advertisement' are prominently displayed either as a result of a commercial advertising arrangement or to highlight a particular product, provider or feature. Finder may receive remuneration from the Provider if you click on the related link, purchase or enquire about the product. Finder's decision to show a 'promoted' product is neither a recommendation that the product is appropriate for you nor an indication that the product is the best in its category. We encourage you to use the tools and information we provide to compare your options.
Where our site links to particular products or displays 'Go to site' buttons, we may receive a commission, referral fee or payment when you click on those buttons or apply for a product. You can learn more about how we make money here.
When products are grouped in a table or list, the order in which they are initially sorted may be influenced by a range of factors including price, fees and discounts; commercial partnerships; product features; and brand popularity. We provide tools so you can sort and filter these lists to highlight features that matter to you.
We try to take an open and transparent approach and provide a broad-based comparison service. However, you should be aware that while we are an independently owned service, our comparison service does not include all providers or all products available in the market.
Some product issuers may provide products or offer services through multiple brands, associated companies or different labelling arrangements. This can make it difficult for consumers to compare alternatives or identify the companies behind the products. However, we aim to provide information to enable consumers to understand these issues.
Providing or obtaining an estimated insurance quote through us does not guarantee you can get the insurance. Acceptance by insurance companies is based on things like occupation, health and lifestyle. By providing you with the ability to apply for a credit card or loan, we are not guaranteeing that your application will be approved. Your application for credit products is subject to the Provider's terms and conditions as well as their application and lending criteria.