Living in New South Wales? Find the right pet insurance policy for your furry friend.
Pet insurance can help smooth out unexpected vet bills and provide a range of other benefits to keep your friend safe over the years.
This guide explains how to find the right pet insurance for your needs. Compare pet insurance from providers in NSW or read on to learn more about how it works.
Compare your pet insurance options in New South Wales
How does pet insurance work?
You can pick from three different types of pet insurance:
- Accident only. This only pays for treatments required following accidents.
- Accident and illness. This can cover illnesses as well as accidental injuries.
- Comprehensive. Not only does this policy cover accidents and illnesses, but it can also deliver a range of other benefits, like helping pay for emergency pet boarding if you have to go to hospital.
As you look for pet insurance around New South Wales, you’ll also encounter some key differences:
- Percentage of costs covered. Pet policies typically cover around 70-80% of vet bills with comprehensive cover, while more basic ones might only cover 50-60% of costs.
- Annual limits. Comprehensive cover often pays up to $15,000 per year for necessary vet treatments, while the more basic ones might have limits of around $5,000 per year.
If you’re after the cheapest pet insurance in New South Wales, it’s most likely going to be an accident-only policy with low limits and a low percentage of costs covered.
However, you might be able to get significantly better value in the long run with comprehensive cover.
How much does pet insurance cost in New South Wales?
The cost of pet insurance varies depending on a range of factors.
- What kind of cover you get. Comprehensive policies naturally have higher premiums.
- Age. Older pets are typically pricier to insure.
- Breed and gender. Different breeds may encounter a very different range of health issues, with different congenital issues and temperaments. Your pet’s gender can have similar effects.
- Size. As a general rule of thumb, larger pets will often cost more to insure.
- Whether your dog is desexed. Desexing or neutering your dog or cat typically won’t be covered by pet insurance but can be a good way to reduce premiums as well as the chance of risky behaviours.
Have a dog? Find out how much pet insurance costs for each breed.
Your address can also affect costs substantially.
For example, when you get a quote for pet insurance in Sydney, insurers will often ask for your postcode to determine risk factors. A cat in the suburbs might be more likely to run into a Sydney funnel web spider, but a dog in Chatswood or Sydney CBD might be more likely to run into traffic.
Pet insurance in regional NSW, for example, might be more likely to involve risk factors such as venomous snake bites, ticks and other hazards.
Is pet insurance worth it in New South Wales?
Is pet insurance worth it or are you better off putting that money into savings?
A lot of different factors will affect costs, but even something relatively straightforward, like a broken leg, can run into thousands of dollars.
Consider the usual costs of pet insurance in New South Wales for different types of cover.
|Policy||Cost per week||Cost per month||Cost per year||Cost of cover over 5 years||Cost of cover over 10 years|
|Accident and illness cover||$8.08 - $12.69||$35 - $55||$420 - $660||$2,100 - $3,300||$4,200 - $6,600|
|Accident and illness cover plus routine and preventative care||$13.85+||$60+||$720+||$3,600+||$7,200+|
Now consider the cost of some common vet bills.
|Illness or injury||Total cost of treatment||Amount covered by pet insurance (80% of bill)||Remaining amount you would need to pay|
|Cruciate ligament surgery||$2,500||$2,000||$500|
|Vomiting/diarrhoea||$200 - $3,000||$160 - $2,400||$40 - $600|
|Ingesting a foreign body||$2,000||$1,600||$400|
*Disclaimer: Please note that the costs quoted in the above table are guides only. Costs can vary greatly based on severity, required treatment and how much your vet charges. For example, the quoted cost of snake bite is $2,000, but in severe cases treatment could cost well over $10,000.
So, is it worth it?
Comprehensive pet insurance might set you back $7,000 over a decade. During that time it might have saved you a couple of hundred dollars or paid for itself five times over.
You know your pet better than anyone else, so consider how likely it is to get in trouble.
- Energetic? Just like pro athletes, activity can take a toll over time, causing health issues down the line.
- Aggressive? Aggression towards other animals can naturally lead to a range of injuries. Even if your pet’s the aggressor, these injuries are often covered by pet insurance as long as it’s not registered as a dangerous dog or if the aggression is not specifically the result of a diagnosed disorder.
- Healthy? Just like people, some pets might be born with a range of congenital health issues.
- Curious? Curiosity can lead to pets eating things they shouldn’t.
It’s typically a good idea to get pet insurance before you need it.
- Pre-existing conditions. These might not be covered if you wait to take out pet insurance. If you get it before the condition develops, then they can be covered.
- Age limits. You generally can’t insure animals over the age of nine. However, if you take out a lifetime pet insurance policy before then, you can maintain cover no matter how old your furry friend is.
Are there any exclusions to be aware of?
All insurance policies have exclusions, and pet insurance is no exception. In New South Wales, some of the conditions to watch out for as you compare pet insurance include the following:
- Dental. Not all pet insurance will cover dental needs, like gingivitis treatments.
- Pre-existing conditions. These are conditions that were apparent prior to taking out cover. It can be a good idea to take out cover sooner in order to avoid getting these excluded when they arise.
- Infectious diseases and parasites. Many policies might also require you to make sure your pet’s vaccinated in line with vet recommendations as well as exclude cover for preventable illnesses.
You are also required to follow a range of state and local council laws. These are not only a legal requirement, but also a requirement of your pet insurance in many cases.
Laws for pet owners in NSW
You are obligated to take care of your pet’s basic welfare, including:
- Providing a balanced diet and making clean, cool water readily available as needed
- Ensuring your cat or dog has appropriate shelter for all weather conditions
- Making sure your pet is well trained, socialised and exercised
- Having regular health check ups, including worming, tick and flea preventions and cures as needed
- You are strongly encouraged to desex your cat or dog if you are not using it for breeding purposes
- Make sure your pet is well looked after whenever you go away
Under NSW law, all cats and dogs, unless exempt, must be microchipped by 12 weeks of age, or before being sold or given away. Cats and dogs must also be registered by 6 months of age unless exempt.
Pets may be exempt if they are a working dog on a rural property or a registered racing greyhound.
Certain breeds of dogs are also restricted. If you own a restricted dog, you must report any attacks or injuries it causes to other people or animals (except vermin) to your local council within 24 hours of the incident.
Restricted dog breeds in NSW include:
- Pitbull Terriers
- Japanese Tosa
- Dogo Argentino
- Fila Brasileiro
- Any dog whose importation or restricted or prohibited, or which has been declared to be restricted by an appropriate authority