You don’t have to be a senior to take out this pet insurance, but you do receive a 10% discount if you’re aged 50 or older.
Despite its name, Australian Seniors Insurance Agency is not exclusively for seniors. Its pet cover products are backed by The Hollard Insurance Company teamed with PetSure, and you can choose from three levels of cover for your dog or cat.
What are my cover options with Australian Seniors?
The entry-level offering is Accident Only cover, which provides you with annual benefits of up to $8,000. With this type of cover, you are insured for up to 80% of your veterinary bills for treatment of injuries such as fractured bones and snakebite toxicity. Your pet is also covered for vet expenses incurred overseas (excluding countries from which animals must be quarantined after return), as well as emergency boarding if you are hospitalised and can’t fulfil your responsibilities as sole carer of your pet.
Essential Accident & Illness Cover
The next level up is Essential Accident & Illness Cover, which entitles you to as much as $12,000 per year at 75% of your veterinary expenses. Pre-existing conditions are excluded, as well as a range of specified ailments, but like Accident Only cover, you are insured for overseas travel and essential euthanasia.
Top Accident & Illness Cover
As the name suggests, this level of cover offers the greatest benefits. Like the Essential option, you’re entitled to a maximum of $12,000, but you get back 80% of any applicable veterinary treatment costs. Top Accident & Illness Cover also includes the option of a routine care benefit, but this is at a lower limit than some other insurers offer, so it’s worth doing your maths carefully to make sure it’s the right choice for you.
What isn’t covered under my policy?
In addition to the exclusions listed below, if you purchase Accident Only cover, you will not be able to claim for selected conditions such as dysplasia, dislocated kneecap and fractured teeth, even if they were sustained in an accident. The following won’t be covered by your policy:
- Ambulance fees, and any hospitalisation not deemed essential
- Artificial limbs, organ transplants and prosthetics (for example, total hip replacement)
- Breeding or obstetrics
- Deliberate harm to your pet, caused by you or anyone living with you
- Dental care, behavioural therapy and alternative therapies
- Elective procedures such as declawing, and cosmetic procedures
- Euthanasia necessitated by one of the conditions mentioned in the list of general exclusions
- General day-to-day care, such as food, dietary advice, grooming and accessories
- Illnesses that are caused by parasites other than paralysis tick
- Infectious diseases specific to canines and felines, such as kennel cough or Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV)
- Injury or illness arising from you neglecting to keep your pet safe, for example by minimising its access to anything hazardous it might ingest
- Pre-existing and bilateral conditions
- Treatment for illness or injury related to your pet being used commercially or occupationally, for example as a guard dog
- You will not you will not eligible for a reimbursement of boarding costs if the reason you are in hospital is pregnancy, cosmetic surgery, or any ailments you knew about before your pet’s cover commenced
What do I do if I need to make a claim?
You can either submit a claim online or send a paper claim form by mail, but in both cases, your claim must be received within 90 days of the treatment date, or you may be charged a late fee.
If you wish to claim online, you need to sign up to the online service, and if it is your first claim, you must supply your pet’s full veterinary history, as well as the adoption paperwork if it joined your family as an adult. You then need to upload a copy of the consultation notes from your trip to the vet, and the itemised invoice for any costs incurred.
For paper claims, you need to print and fill out a claim form, and ask your vet to complete the relevant section. The form needs to be signed by both your vet and yourself, and you need to include all the original receipts, itemised invoices, and consultation notes when you mail the form.
What are the benefits of choosing Australian Seniors Pet Insurance?
Australian Seniors policies offer several distinct advantages, the first one being that no excess is charged at any level of cover. The cost of your vet visiting your four-legged friend at home is also eligible for reimbursement, although certain sub-limits apply.
While some companies charge extra if you choose to pay your premiums monthly or fortnightly, this is not the case with Australian Seniors. The total amount you have to pay is the same whether it’s in one lump sum, or divided into instalments. To protect you against potential interruptions in cover, your policy is renewed automatically, although you will be notified when this is due to take place.
Any questions? Here are some answers
Do I have to be a senior to be eligible?
No, all adults can apply for this pet insurance, but anyone aged 50 or older receives a 10% discount.
At what age can I insure my pet?
If you are insuring your pet for accident and illness, you can commence your policy any time after your furry friend is eight weeks old, until its ninth birthday. There is no maximum starting age for accident-only cover.
Will my pet still be covered for illness when it’s more than nine years old?
Yes, as long as you have renewed your policy continuously and there has been no break in your cover. Exclusions do apply for pre-existing conditions and specific ailments, so please consult the product disclosure statement (PDS) for details.
Can I change my policy to a higher or lower level of cover?
Yes, but several conditions apply. These include waiting until the renewal date before changing policies if you have made a claim, and if you change from accident-only to a higher level of cover, your illness claims will be affected by the relevant waiting periods.
Can I get a discount if I insure more than one pet?
Unfortunately not, the 10% discount applies only to policyholders aged 50 or older.
How soon can I submit a claim?
If you are claiming accident cover, as soon as your policy commences, in other words at 11.59pm on the day your application is accepted. There is a 30-day waiting period before you can claim for illnesses; for cruciate ligament damage, the waiting period is six months unless you apply to have this waived.
How do I cancel my policy?
If you decide to cancel within the 30-day cooling-off period, you will receive a full refund unless you have submitted any claims during that time. After the cooling-off period, if you cancel for any reason other than because your pet has passed away, you may be charged a cancellation fee.