Compare Cat Insurance Policies
If you take out pet insurance cover for your cat, you can receive cover for up to 80 per cent of eligible vet bills when your feline suffers an illness or injury. From snake bite toxicity and injuries resulting from car accidents, to gastrointestinal problems and even cancer treatment, pet insurance covers a wide range of common veterinary expenses.
Having the right type and level of cover in place for your pet ensures that you do not have to compromise on the level of care you give to your pet. This guarantees that your pet will be looked after when something goes wrong, and gives you the peace of mind you need to simply enjoy spending lots of quality time with your cat.
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What Does Cat Insurance Cover in Australia?
The level of cover available under your cat insurance will depend on the type of policy you choose and the level of cover you select. The range of policies available includes the following:
- Accident only cover. The most basic level of cover available is a policy that offers cover for accidents only. Under such a policy, up to 80 per cent of your vet bills will be covered when your pet suffers an accidental injury. Your policy will pay out up to an annual benefit limit, usually around $12,000, so you can care for your pet when he/she needs it most. In order to classify for cover, your pet’s injury will need to be a direct result of a motor vehicle incident, a burn or electrocution, or an allergic reaction to an insect bite (excluding flea or tick bites). Alternatively, the injury will need to result in one of the following:
- a bone fracture
- snake bite toxicity
- a traumatic ligament or tendon injury
- a bite wound or fight wound abscesses
- or lacerations or abrasions of tissue
- skin or mucous membrane as a result of external violence
- Accident and illness cover. The second type of policy you can choose from offers cover for up to 80 per cent of vet bills for the injuries listed above, but it also does the same when you incur veterinary expenses for treating your pet for a range of illnesses. These include gastrointestinal problems, cataracts, cancer treatment, skin conditions and other infectious diseases. With a broader range of conditions covered, you’ll receive financial assistance to help pay for many more of those expensive vet bills. However, illnesses resulting from things like fleas, ticks, skin mites and worms are not covered.
- Comprehensive cover. Just like an accident and illness policy, comprehensive cover provides protection against vet bills resulting from injuries and illnesses. Again, it will cover up to 80 per cent of vet bills, but the annual benefit limit offered will often be higher than that under accident and illness cover. You may also receive a higher level of cover for certain additional benefits (described below). Finally, most comprehensive policies will allow you to add an optional Routine Care Benefit to your cover. Designed to promote responsible pet ownership, this benefit covers certain listed preventative healthcare treatments for your pet. This usually includes an annual benefit limit (usually around $100) for things like worming, desexing, microchipping and vaccinations.
In addition to the cover listed above, many cat insurance policies also offer additional benefits to policyholders. These are:
- Emergency boarding. If you are the sole carer for your pet and you are hospitalised for more than five consecutive days, the cost of boarding your pet at a licensed cattery or boarding kennel will be covered. However, you won’t be covered if you’re hospitalised for pregnancy or a cosmetic procedure.
- Essential euthanasia. If your vet deems that the most essential and humane course of action is to euthanise your pet, the cost of having this procedure performed is covered. However, things like burial and cremation are not included in cover.
- Tick paralysis benefit. Your policy will cover the cost of treatment when your pet covers tick paralysis, but the cost of tick preventative medications will not be covered.
Pet overseas travel insurances. If your pet travels overseas with you to a country where Australian regulations will not require it to be quarantined on your return, you’ll be covered for the vet expenses you incur overseas.
Cat Health Insurance General Exclusions
Just like with any other form of insurance, cat insurance features a long list of exclusions. Your claim will not be paid if:
- It relates to your pet’s pre-existing conditions.
- It arises from dental procedures, dental diseases, gingivitis, teeth fractures, removing deciduous teeth, teeth cleaning, orthodontics or any oral disease.
- It is for the cost of regular, prescription or dietary pet food, or vitamin or mineral supplements.
- It is related to grooming or bathing your pet, even if you use medicated shampoos.
- It arises from the cost of accessories such as bedding, crates, collars and cages.
- It is for the cost of preventative procedures and treatments, such as routine anal gland expression flea and tick prevention and vaccinations.
- It is for the cost of training, socialisation, behaviour therapy or alternative therapies.
- Your pet is used for commercial or occupational purposes.
- Your pet is treated for or has a condition attributable to behavioural problems, including anxiety disorders and phobias.
- Your claim is for cell replacement therapies, including stem cell therapy.
- Your pet is given an inconclusive diagnosis, but the treatment protocol is consistent with a treatment protocol that would be used for a condition which is excluded from cover.
- Medication not approved or listed by the APVMA (Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medication Authority)
- It is for medication for your pet more than 30 days beyond the expiry date of the policy.
- You pursue a course of treatment other than that recommended by your vet.
- Your claim is for breeding or obstetrics.
- Your claim is for boarding or transport expenses, other than under the emergency boarding benefit.
- It is for ambulance fees and non-essential hospitalisation.
- If your claim is for house calls or out of hours treatment, your policy will only cover you in terms of what the cost would have been had your pet received treatment in ordinary circumstances—except in cases where your vet deems it an emergency.
- It is for genetic testing, organ transplant surgery and prosthetic limbs.
- It is for routine examinations, cosmetic procedures, experimental treatments, desexing, elective treatments, or hip or elbow scoring.
- It relates to a malicious act, deliberate injury or gross negligence by you or someone else living with you.
- You do not take all reasonable precautions to protect your pet from a situation that could lead to them suffering an illness or injury.
Do I Actually Need Pet Insurance for My Cat?
Our pets play more important roles in our lives than ever before. Whereas once upon a time we brought animals into our home for more practical purposes, for many of us our cats are now hugely important members of the family. They bring joy, love and companionship into our lives, so the very least we can do in return is give them the best possible chance at a happy and healthy life.
Pet insurance offers you the financial security you need to do just that. Without any insurance policy in place, how would you be able to cope financially if your cat received an unexpected cancer diagnosis and you were left with a vet bill totalling several thousands of dollars? You might think that stashing money away in an emergency fund will be enough to cover you if your moggy gets herself into strife, but you’d be amazed just how much treatment can set you back and how quickly costs can pile up.
With this in mind, it should come as no surprise that most vets—including the Australian Veterinary Association—strongly support pet insurance. Vets want to be able to give the best possible care to the animals they treat, and owners with pet insurance mean they can do just that.
Cat insurance means you won’t have to compromise on care for your cat. With up to 80 per cent of eligible vet bills covered, you can treat a wide range of health problems that your cat may encounter. This will go a small way to repaying your pet for all the joy they bring into your life, and it can help make cat ownership much easier on your wallet. So if you love your cat as part of your family, cat insurance is something you should definitely consider.Back to top
How Much Does Cat Insurance Cost?
The exact cost of your cat insurance policy will be determined by a range of factors. These include:
- The breed of cat you own. Certain breeds are more prone to suffering certain injuries and conditions, so you can expect to pay higher premiums as a result. Rare and therefore expensive breeds may also cost more to insure.
- The age of your cat. The older your pet is, the more likely he is to suffer from illness and injury. He’ll also take longer to recover from health issues as he ages, so this will once again be reflected by increased premiums.
- Your cat’s gender. Males and females can experience an increased risk of suffering certain health conditions.
- Whether your cat has been desexed. Pets that have not been desexed can be more prone to developing certain conditions, so they will in most circumstances cost more to insure.
- Whether your pet is cross-bred or purebred. Cross-bred pets tend to suffer fewer health problems than purebred animals so will attract lower premiums.
- The type of policy you choose. A comprehensive policy will obviously cost more than a basic cat insurance plan.
- When you pay your premiums. You can typically elect to pay your premiums fortnightly, monthly or annually.
Things to be Aware of When Purchasing Cat Insurance
- It is important to find the right cover and it is best to buy early: With most policies excluding pre-existing conditions, it is crucial to find the right policy and purchase earlier to avoid having to switch further down the track. Any conditions that your pet suffered at the start of the policy will be excluded from cover. As always, make sure you read the product disclosure statement to ensure you know exactly what your pet is covered for.
- Premiums will increase with age. Nearly all policies will increase the premiums for older cats. Another reason to buy earlier.
- Ongoing conditions. Beware of policies only offering limited cover for chronic or recurring conditions. Many policies will not give cover for conditions that returned after 12 months.
How Do I Make a Cat Insurance Claim?
While the claims process under your cat insurance policy may differ from one insurance provider to the next, most insurers follow a similar claims procedure. To start with, you’ll have to obtain a claims form from your insurer, which can usually be done online. You’ll then have fill this form out, provide full details of your claim, sign it and return it to the insurance company.
If this is the first time you’ve made a claim, you will have to include a full veterinary history for your pet from any attending vet and any other vet who has previously treated your pet. You’ll also have to attach original itemised invoices and payment receipts to your claim form.
All claims should be submitted to and received by your insurer within 90 days of your pet receiving the treatment in question. Each individual insurance company will be able to provide further details about its own claims handling process.Back to top
Tips to Find Cheap Cat Insurance
- Consider your cover requirements and what benefits are suitable for your pet. You may find that a basic policy still offers the level of protection that you require
- Compare quotes for cover online. Ensure the price matches the level of cover required
- Look out for bonus offers including multi-policy discounts and purchase online discounts
- Consider what payment structure you wish to use. Most providers will allow you to pay for your premiums either fortnightly, monthly or annually
Cat Insurance F.A.Q - Common Questions Related to Cat Insurance
Q. Why should I take out cat insurance?
- A. Cat insurance offers critical financial assistance to cover up to 80% of your cat expenses.
Q. What if I have more than one cat?
- A. Each cat is provided with its own individual choice of cover and benefit option. Generally there are multi-policy discounts provided.
Q. How do I pay my premiums?
- A. Premiums can generally be paid either fortnightly, monthly or annually either by credit card or direct debit.
Q. Are there restrictions applied to the vet that treats my pet?
- A. There are generally no restrictions as to what vet you use but they must be licensed to legally practice veterinarian in Australia.
Q. Can I change the level of cover on my policy in the future?
- A. Yes, most policies will allow you to increase the level of cover on your policy further down the track provided no claim has been made.
Q. Can I cancel my cat insurance policy?
- A. Yes, you can cancel your cat insurance policy at any time. All policies will offer a cooling-off period (usually about 30 days) whereby the cat insurance policy can be cancelled and all premium payments that have been made can be fully refunded.