Known for providing low-cost, high-value insurance, Budget Direct has partnered with the RSPCA to cover your pet for medical bills.
Budget Direct’s award-winning approach of offering reasonable insurance options for relatively low-risk policyholders has made the company a household name. Although Budget Direct does not currently include pet-cover products in its portfolio, it directly endorses RSPCA Pet Insurance to provide a range of affordable options for pooches and pussycats.
The RSPCA is famous for its commitment to animal welfare, and the company’s genuine concern “for all creatures, great and small” is evident in its pet insurance policies. There are three levels of cover, as well as an optional extra for routine care.
What policies are offered by the RSPCA?
The cheapest option insures domestic dogs and cats for accidental injuries only, and it can be purchased as soon as they are eight weeks old. There is no upper age limit for this policy, meaning you can commence cover even after your pet turns nine years old.
With Basic Cover you will be reimbursed for up to 80% of eligible vet bills, up to an annual maximum of $7,000. Under this policy, you can also claim for emergency boarding, up to $500 per year.
The next step up insures against illness as well as accidental injury. You are covered for up to 75% of eligible bills, up to an annual limit of $11,000.
This policy includes sub-limits of $2,600 per year for cruciate ligament problems, $1,000 for treatment of tick paralysis and $1,000 for emergency boarding. The term “sub-limit” refers to the maximum amount payable for specific conditions each year, out of the total annual limit.
Economy Cover also insures your pet during overseas travel to countries from which it doesn’t have to be quarantined upon return, as well as reimbursing you for essential euthanasia.
This comprehensive policy covers you for up to 80% of eligible bills, to a maximum of $11,000 per year. The sub-limits are $2,600 per year for cruciate ligament problems, $1,200 for treatment of tick paralysis, and $1,000 for emergency boarding.
Optional Routine Care Cover
The RSPCA is all about “responsible pet ownership”, so it provides the option of a routine care add-on with the Ultimate Cover policy. This extra offers up to $80 per year in total for several types of preventative care services.
|Basic Cover||Economy Cover||Ultimate Cover|
|Accident only||Covers Accident & Illnesses||Covers Accident & Illnesses|
|Claim up to $7,000 per year||Claim up to $11,000 per year||Claim up to $11,000 per year plus optional routine care cover|
|Up to 80% of eligible vet bills back||Up to 75% of eligible vet bills back||Up to 80% of eligible vet bills back|
|Premiums help support the RSPCA||Premiums help support the RSPCA||Premiums help support the RSPCA|
What isn’t covered by RSPCA pet insurance?
- Breeding, pregnancy and obstetrics
- Dental care, except as covered by optional routine care (available for Ultimate Cover only)
- Diets, grooming and accessories
- Diseases transmitted or caused by parasites such as fleas and worms, except for paralysis tick
- Elective procedures, organ transplants, artificial limbs and prosthetics
- Fractured teeth, elbow dysplasia or dislocating kneecap under Basic Cover, even if these problems were caused by an accident
- Genetic testing and cell-replacement therapies, except in the case of a blood transfusion that is needed to save your furry friend’s life
- Home visits and after-hours treatment, except if your vet deems the situation is an emergency
- Inability to reach a conclusive diagnosis, as well as your choice to pursue a different course of treatment to the one recommended by your vet
- Infectious diseases including Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) and parvovirus, regardless of whether or not your pet’s vaccinations are up to date
- Pre-existing conditions, bilateral conditions, and related conditions such as recurring instances of skin lumps or arthritis, regardless of where they occur
- Travel benefits if your pet is not under your direct care at the time it became unwell
- Using your pet for commercial and occupational purposes, such as racing or fighting
How do I make a claim?
You can submit a claim as soon as your four-legged friend has received treatment, but you need to make sure the insurer receives all the relevant documentation within 90 days.
If you sign up to manage your policy online, you must provide your pet’s full veterinary history at the time you make your first claim. From there, it’s simply a matter of uploading a copy of any consultation notes made by your vet, and the itemised invoice.
If your furry friend was no longer a puppy or kitten when you adopted it, you must submit all veterinary records since it joined your family, as well as the adoption documents themselves.
To make a paper claim, print the claim form from the website, fill in the details, then ask your vet to fill out their relevant section. Once the form is completed and signed by both you and your vet, attach the original consultation notes, receipts and itemised invoice, then mail everything to RSPCA Pet Insurance.
What are the benefits of RSPCA Pet Insurance?
- You’re supporting the RSPCA. Part of your premiums goes directly towards financially supporting the organisation.
- Cover for chronic and recurring conditions. Under the Economy and Ultimate plans, your four-legged friend will be covered for ailments such as cancer, as long as they did not affect your pet’s health before you took out the policy, and you have renewed it without any interruptions to your cover.
- No excess. You receive the full 75% or 80% reimbursement of eligible vet bills, and pay zero excess.
- Multi-pet discount. You will receive a 10% discount for the second pet you insure, as well as for any additional pets.
Frequently asked questions about Budget Direct Pet Insurance through the RSPCA
Can I pay my premiums monthly or fortnightly?
Yes, but you still have to pay the total premiums for the period of the policy, which is 12 months, unless you cancel within the cooling-off period. You might be eligible for a refund in some situations if you don’t make a claim and your insurance is cancelled part way through the policy period.
Is my pet covered for hereditary and congenital disorders?
Yes, on the condition that your furry friend showed no signs or symptoms of these defects before your policy commenced, or during the 30-day waiting period.
Can I continue to visit my favourite vet?
Yes, you can be reimbursed for eligible expenses from any licensed vet in Australia.
How soon does my cover commence?
Once your application is accepted, the policy begins at 11.59pm that day. You can claim for any accidental injuries suffered by your pet from that moment on. If you are also insured for illness, you will only be able to claim for health problems that first showed clinical signs or symptoms 30 days after the commencement of your policy. For cruciate ligament problems, the waiting period is six months, although you can apply to have this waived if you pay for a special vet examination and submit the relevant form.
What if I want to cancel?
Your premiums will be refunded if you cancel during the 30-day cooling-off period and you haven’t made a claim, although you will be charged for any administration and transaction fees that cannot be recovered by the insurer. A cancellation fee will be charged if you cancel your policy for any reason other than your pet passing away.