Is your pet disqualified from illness cover because they’re too old or have too many pre-existing conditions? Maybe they’re quite healthy but like to get themselves into all kinds of mischief.
Accident-only pet insurance (also known as accident and injury pet insurance) is perfect for cases where you don’t need or can’t get illness cover. This basic form of pet insurance will cover your pet if they get bitten by a snake, gobble up a sock or get hit by a car while chasing a mouse out into traffic. It's also a lot more affordable than comprehensive pet insurance.
Is your pet accident-prone? Protect them now
Featuring Guide Dogs Pet Insurance
Featuring Guide Dogs Pet Insurance
Protect your furry friend while supporting Guide Dogs Australia.
Get back up to 85% of eligible vet bills – as much as $20,000 per year
$3,200 cruciate ligament conditions benefit and up to $2,000 tick paralysis benefit
No maximum age limit for illness cover, unlike other insurers
Why are we highlighting this product? Guide Dogs Pet Insurance offers the highest reimbursement rate, annual benefit limit, cruciate ligament and tick paralysis benefit among the pet insurers on our site. They're also the only insurer that covers your pet for illness if it's over 9 years old. While we do get compensated by Guide Dogs Pet Insurance, this doesn't influence our recommendation.
Updated December 15th, 2019
What does accident-only pet insurance cover?
Accident only pet insurance generally provides a basic level of cover, and tends to be the most affordable pet insurance option. Compared to more comprehensive accident and illness pet insurance policies, accident only cover will usually have a lower annual benefit limit. This refers to the amount you can claim per year on your policy.
Types of accidents your pet can be covered for
In most cases, there are only a few specific situations and types of injury that are covered. This includes situations include:
Motor vehicle accidents, whether it’s because your pet was hit by a car or riding in one at the time
Burns or electrocution
Allergic reactions to insect bites other than ticks or fleas
Injuries your pet will be covered for
Snake bite toxicity
Ligament or tendon injuries
Bite wounds or injuries from fighting with other animals
Cuts, scratches and abrasions resulting from external forces
In other words, your pet is generally covered for almost all injuries that are the result of one of the situations covered, but will only be covered for specific injuries when they’re the result of an accident as defined by the policy.
What accident-related treatments will your pet be covered for?
After-hours emergency visits
Laboratory and diagnostic tests
Medicines and drugs
X-rays and other screening
What’s the definition of an accident?
Policies will include a specific definition of accident. Generally this refers to a single, specific and unintentional incident which can be said to have occurred at a distinct time and place.
How do basic and accident-only plans on finder.com.au compare?
Choice of excess
Pet Insurance Australia
Up to 80%
$0, $100 or $200
5% per pet, up to 15%
Your choice of 75% or 85%
Bow Wow Meow
Up to 80%
$0 or $100
Looking for extra cover?
With accident only pet insurance, your pet is not covered for any illnesses. This is important, because some pet accidents might need treatment that would only be covered under “illnesses” in your pet insurance policy.
There is a range of other options you may want to consider:
Routine care cover: You can claim up to a certain amount per year for routine care costs, such as desexing, preventative medication, deworming and other semi-predictable expenses.
Tick paralysis benefits: Cover specifically for tick paralysis treatment.
Emergency boarding fees: Helps cover emergency boarding costs for your pet, if you are hospitalised and there’s no one else to take care of it.
Consultations and visits: Helps cover the cost of routine visits to the vet.
Hereditary and congenital conditions: Pays benefits towards treatment for conditions that your pet is genetically predisposed to.
Cruciate ligament cover: Cover for this condition that is relatively common in dogs.
What isn't covered?
There are some conditions that your pet insurance won’t cover. The exclusions are typically the same for both basic accident only, as well as comprehensive accident plus illness pet insurance.
Elective procedures and treatments: Procedures that are not essential for your pet’s survival, or not part of a recognised treatment plan for a specific condition.
Dental procedures: Policies will often, but not always, exclude cover for dental procedures. For example, with accident only pet insurance you could not claim treatments for a fractured tooth.
Day to day care: Expected everyday costs, such as grooming or bathing, food or accessories like crates or collars.
Cover while your pet is being used for occupational purposes: Pets are generally not covered while being used for certain purposes. For example, a dog might not be covered while pig hunting, or being used specifically as a guard dog. Guide dogs and assistance dogs are exempt from this exclusion.
Behavioural problems: For example, if a dog is injured after attacking another dog, and the attack can be attributed to behavioural problems such as a chemical imbalance or poor socialisation.
Unapproved or extensive medication: Medications must be approved by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medication Authority (APVMA), and you may not be covered for more than 30 days, or another period of time.
Breeding or obstetrics: Injuries or illnesses arising as a result of pregnancy.
It’s also important to note that your pet will generally only be covered for treatments or procedures which are recommended by a vet, following the diagnosis of a specific condition.
What factors will impact what I pay?
Your premiums are generally impacted by how likely you are to make a claim, and how much it’s likely to cost.
As such, insurers will naturally consider the breed, age and species of your pet.
Cats are typically cheaper to insure than dogs.
Large dogs are typically more expensive than smaller dogs.
Breeds with a high risk of congenital issues are typically more expensive than those without.
Some key things to look for when weighing up different policies include:
Types of treatment covered: You should look at whether accident-related consultations, surgery, specialist care, diagnostic tests and other veterinary procedures are covered.
The injuries covered: The injuries that your pet is covered for can vary from one policy to the next. This should be outlined in the policy document
How much you will be reimbursed per treatment: Different policies will reimburse you for different amounts, and may generally range from about 65% all the way up to 80% or more.
The total amount you can claim: The annual limit is the total amount you can claim back per year. Sub-limits will also apply for certain claims, which are individual limits for those specific treatments.
If the policy has guaranteed renewability: You probably don’t want to go without this feature, now a relatively common inclusion in Australian pet insurance. With this, an insurer cannot decline to renew your pet insurance as long as you keep up with the premiums and policy conditions. Without it, an insurer might decline to renew your cover when your pet gets older and is more likely to need pet insurance.
As Group Publisher for Insurance and Utilities, Zahra Campbell-Avenell leads a team of over 15 experts to deliver on Finder’s mission to help Australians make better financial decisions. Zahra has a Bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University in Washington DC, with a double major in Anthropology and English. She has worked for companies such as Booking.com and Bank of America, as well as a number of non-profit organisations.
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