Enjoy the Sunshine State with your furry friend. Find the right pet insurance policy and protect your pet.
Every pet owner’s worst nightmare is waking up to vet bills they can’t afford. The sad truth is that too many pets are put down each year because of unaffordable bills.
Pet insurance is designed to help make sure you don’t find yourself in that position by smoothing out the expenses, and helping cover emergencies when they come up.
Compare pet insurance policies in Queensland, and learn more about how insurance works and what to look for.
Compare your pet insurance options in Queensland
How does pet insurance work?
There are three types of cover to choose from:
- Accident only. Covers treatments required for injuries following accidents.
- Accident and illness. Can cover accidental injuries, as well as illnesses.
- Comprehensive. Can cover accidental injuries, illnesses and some routine care costs, while also paying out for other situations, like emergency pet boarding if you have to go to hospital and there’s no one to take care of your friend.
When you compare the different pet insurance options you’ll find around Queensland, you’ll also find differences, such as:
- Percentage of costs covered. Comprehensive pet insurance can often cover 70% to 80% of vet bills, or more. Some of the more basic ones might only cover 50% to 60% of costs.
- Annual limits. Comprehensive accident and illness policies generally pay up to $10,000 to $15,000 per year for necessary vet fees and other expenses. More basic policies might have limits of around $5,000 per year.
If you’re after the cheapest pet insurance in Queensland, it’s most likely going to be an accident only policy with low limits, and a low percentage of costs covered.
Illness cover and higher limits can significantly increase premiums, but might be better value for your money in the long run.
How much does pet insurance cost in Queensland?
The cost of pet insurance varies depending on a range of factors.
- What kind of cover you get. More basic policies are typically cheaper.
- Age. Costs usually increase for older pets.
- Breed and gender. Different breeds have very different risk levels, due to the likelihood of congenital issues, temperament and other factors. Your pet’s gender similarly affects risk levels.
- Size. Larger animals can cost more to house when needed, as well as more to treat with surgery and other medications. They can also be more prone to certain health issues, such as cruciate ligament injuries in dogs.
- Whether your dog is desexed. Desexing or neutering your dog or cat can considerably lower your premiums, by reducing the chance of risky behaviours like escaping, as well as make it less prone to certain health issues.
Have a dog? Find out how much pet insurance costs for each breed.
Your location can also play a significant role. For example, brachycephalic dog breeds, like pugs or other French bulldogs might have higher premiums in Queensland than other states because it can get a lot hotter up in the top end, and these breeds often have trouble regulating body heat.
Other risks insurers might consider include:
- The odds of snake bites
- If there’s a lot of busy traffic
- How likely your pet is to have their needs attended to in your living situation. For example, Great Danes don’t do well in small apartments
- How likely your pet is to encounter other venomous or dangerous animals
Is pet insurance worth it in Queensland?
Is pet insurance worth it, or are you better off putting that money into a savings account and paying for treatments as they arise?
It’s a tricky question because of all the factors that can affect costs. But it’s worth noting that first-time pet owners are often caught by surprise when they run into vet bills. Even something relatively straightforward, like a broken leg, can run into thousands of dollars.
Your own situation also changes things. If having pet insurance means you don’t have to decide between putting down your friend or selling the car, then it’s probably a great investment.
Consider the usual costs of pet insurance in Queensland 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 to $12.69||$35 to $55||$420 to $660||$2,100 to $3,300||$4,200 to $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 to $2,400||$40 to $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.
Is it worth it?
You might pay over $7,000 for comprehensive pet insurance over 10 years. During that time, the insurance might have saved you nothing if you haven’t needed to make any claims, or might have saved you well over $30,000 if you’ve had to pay a lot of vet bills.
You know your pet better than anyone else, so consider how likely it is to get in trouble.
- Is it a high energy pet? Just like pro athletes, activity can take a toll over time. Very energetic pets might be more likely to run into additional medical bills in later years, even if it doesn’t show right away.
- What’s your pet’s temperament? 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.
- How’s the animal’s health? Some congenital disorders are more likely to manifest in different breeds, but just like people some pets can experience chronic health issues.
Generally, the older your pet, the more likely it is that pet insurance will be worth it, even though it costs more. Generally, you’ll want to get pet insurance before you need it, on account of:
- Pre-existing conditions. If you only take out pet insurance after your pet has developed chronic health issues, these might not be covered. If you get it before, then those issues can be covered.
- Age limit. You generally can’t insure animals under 8 weeks old (so the insurer has time to see whether they might have any pre-existing conditions from birth), or over the age of 9. However, if you take out a lifetime pet insurance policy before then, you can maintain cover no matter how old your buddy is.
Are there any exclusions to be aware of?
All insurance policies have exclusions, and pet insurance is no exception. In Queensland, some of the conditions to watch out for as you compare pet insurance include:
- No cover for dental issues. Some policies won’t cover dental conditions, like gingivitis.
- 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 rather than later, in order to avoid getting these conditions excluded when they arise.
- Infectious diseases and parasites. Specific preventable and infectious diseases might not be covered under your policy, especially if they can be prevented with vaccinations. Some policies might also require you to make sure your pet is vaccinated in line with vet recommendations.
- Occupational use. You may not be covered for injuries your pet sustains while hunting, working as a guard dog, herding or otherwise being used for occupational purposes. Guide dogs and assistance animals are exempt from this rule.
- Breeding and pregnancy. You are typically not covered for illnesses or injuries resulting from a dog being used for breeding purposes, or sustained as a result of pregnancy or giving birth.
It’s also important to be aware of the laws around pet ownership in Queensland, for both legal and insurance reasons. Generally you’ll be required to follow the relevant pet ownership laws in order to maintain cover.
Laws for pet owners in Queensland
You are obligated to:
- Provide your pet with appropriate food, shelter and care. This can include taking care of certain pet medical issues.
- In all Queensland council areas you must register your dog. In some of them you are also required to register your cat. Check with your local council to find out whether you need to register a cat.
- Have your dog or cat microchipped, and ensure its details are up to date. This is so it can be returned to you if lost.
You are also strongly encouraged to desex your pet, and if you want to own a regulated breed of dog then you will need to request a permit from your local council.
All dogs must be registered before they are 12 weeks old, and within 14 days of moving to a new council area.
In Brisbane you must apply for a domestic dog permit if you keep more than 2 dogs, and there is a maximum of 4 dogs. If you keep more than 3 cats, you will need to get a cattery permit. This lets you keep up to 10 cats.
A breeders or show permit is also required if you want to keep more than 2 dogs for breeding, racing, sale or showing, or keep any cats for breeding or showing.