Compare your pet insurance options in Western Australia.
First time pet owners are often astounded when they discover how expensive vet bills can be. This is where pet insurance comes in, making sure you don’t find yourself needing to decide between your best friend and your life savings.
Compare pet insurance quotes in WA, or read on to learn more about picking cover, and how pet insurance works.
Compare your pet insurance options in Western Australia
How does pet insurance work?
There are three types of cover to choose from:
- Accident only. This type of basic pet insurance only covers accidental injuries.
- Accident and illness. This is a more comprehensive type of cover that can help in the event of injuries as well as illnesses.
- Comprehensive. The highest level of pet insurance can cover accidental injuries and illnesses, as well as pay out for routine care costs and other situations, like kennelling if you have to go to hospital and no one else can take care of your furry friend.
When you compare pet insurance options around Western Australia, you’ll also encounter some other differences, such as:
- Percentage of costs covered. At the upper end, pet insurance policies might cover 80% of a vet bill, although many will cover less, and a few might even cover more.
- Annual limits. At the upper level of cover, pet insurance can pay over $15,000 in a 12-month period for required vet bills. Accident only policies, and other more basic cover might only pay out $5,000 a year or less.
The cheapest pet insurance in Western Australia is most likely going to be a low limits, accident only policy. That doesn’t mean it’s the best though, or that you’ll get the most value for money with it.
Illness cover can be exceptionally important, while higher limits might be essential for cushioning your wallet. Vet bills can run to well over $10,000 in some situations, so higher limits can be important.
How much does pet insurance cost in Western Australia?
The cost of pet insurance varies depending on a range of factors.
- What kind of cover you get. Comprehensive cover will typically cost more.
- Age. Older pets are more likely to encounter illnesses or other incidents, and so will often get higher premiums.
- Breed and gender. Different breeds of dog and cat might have very different health needs and temperament, while gender can also have similar effects.
- Size. As a general rule of thumb, larger pets are more expensive to insure, as well as being more expensive all around.
- Whether your dog is desexed. If you want to lower your premiums, you probably want to desex or neuter your pet. This can eliminate the chance of certain health issues, and greatly decrease the risk of others. It can also help tone down a pet’s tendency to engage in risky behaviours, such as fighting other cats or dogs.
Have a dog? Find out how much pet insurance costs for each breed.
Your location can also play a significant role, and insurers might consider it in different ways.
If you take out pet insurance in Perth, for example, insurers will often ask for your postcode in order to assess the odds of a pet being hit by a car. Conversely, pet insurance in regional WA might come with lower premiums due to the reduced traffic, but might have higher premiums due the potential dangers posed by kangaroos, snakes and more.
Different insurers will assess location and other risk factors in different ways so it can pay to shop around.
One insurer might give cheaper cover for a terrier owner in Perth than in the country, but another insurer might do it the other way around.
Is pet insurance worth it in Western Australia?
There are no guarantees, but like any other insurance, if you do need it you’ll definitely be glad to have it.
It’s hard to say whether it’s worth it because of all the different pricing factors. However, it should be noted that even a fairly straightforward injury, such as a broken leg, runs up thousands of dollars in veterinary bills. Having the “bill smoothing” effect of pet insurance can make it a lot more affordable and easier to pay, even if you do end up paying more in premiums than you save.
But in the long run, you might be more likely to get value for money than it would initially appear.
Consider the usual costs of pet insurance in Western Australia 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 to $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 a snake bite is $2,000, but in severe cases treatment could cost well over $10,000.
Is insurance worth it to cover vet fees?
Over the next ten years someone might pay $7,000 for comprehensive cover. During that time they might only claim a few hundred dollars in vet fees, or over $30,000.
It’s largely down to luck, but you might also consider your pet’s individual factors.
- Is your pet energetic? Just like pro athletes, activity can take a toll over time. High energy breeds of dog, or just energetic personalities, might be more likely to need a range of treatments in later years. You might claim nothing for 5 years, after which a range of health issues might emerge quickly.
- What’s your pet’s personality? Does it get into fights with other animals? Does it like eating things it shouldn’t? Is it going to try to make friends with a venomous spider?
- How’s your pet’s general health? Just like people, individual animals might also run into their own health issues. It can be a good idea to take out cover before health issues become pre-existing conditions.
Generally, the older your pet, the more likely it is that pet insurance will be worth it, even though it costs more. Think about getting 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. There’s generally a minimum age of 8 weeks before you can take out pet insurance, so there’s a little time for the pet’s personal health situation to become clear to insurers.
- Age limits. The maximum age at which you can take out cover is generally 9. However, if you take out a lifetime pet insurance policy before then, you can maintain cover no matter the pet’s age.
Are there any exclusions to be aware of?
Pet insurance has a range of general and specific exclusions, just like other forms of insurance. In Western Australia and elsewhere, some of the conditions to watch out for include:
- Dental exclusions. Not all policies will pay for pet dentistry for issues such as gingivitis.
- Pre-existing conditions. These are conditions that were apparent prior to taking out cover. They are typically not covered.
- Infectious diseases and parasites. Specific preventable and infectious diseases are frequently excluded, particularly when a vaccine can prevent it.
- Occupational use. You may not be covered for injuries your pet sustains while hunting or otherwise working. 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.
Insurers may also decline claims if they are the result of your breaching local council or state pet ownership laws.
Laws for pet owners in WA
- All cats and dogs in WA, unless exempt, are required to be microchipped by 6 months of age and registered with the appropriate local council.
- In a public place, your cat or dog must also be wearing a collar and displaying a registration tag.
- Dog owners are required to keep their dogs under appropriate control at all times, either with a securely fenced enclosure, or by handling it in a suitable way. Excessive barking may constitute a public nuisance, and pet owners may be fined.
- In many local council areas, you will be legally required to pick up droppings.
- Pet owners are also generally required to make sure their pet is well looked after, with appropriate veterinary care, food, water and appropriate shelter.
- Certain breeds of dog are prohibited or restricted, but any dog might be declared restricted by an appropriate authority. Ownership of these dogs carries additional obligations.
- In some situations, councils may also set up “no cat” zones for the protection of local wildlife.
- The person caring for a pet, whether the owner or just a temporary carer, is responsible for ensuring that all laws are being appropriately followed.
What insurers can I access in Western Australia?
Western Australia has a range of different insurers that offer pet cover. Compare quotes and check out some of the different options to find the cover that’s right for you.