Comprehensive Pet Insurance

Information verified correct on April 25th, 2017

Get premium pet insurance for both accidents and illnesses under a single policy.

Pet insurance provides an important level of protection for both you and your pet, protecting your bank account from potentially enormous veterinary bills and ensuring that your pet is able to get the medical treatments they need. Comprehensive cover will provide a high level of cover both accidental injury and illnesses under one policy.

This guide will provide an overview of what comprehensive policies will cover you for and what you will be excluded for.

Comprehensive policies available on

Rates last updated April 25th, 2017
Details Features
Gold Pet Plan
Gold Pet Plan
Get cover for up to 80% of your eligible bills back. Receive 10% off when you insure multiple pets in your family.
  • 80% claim back benefit to $15,000
  • $1,500 tick paralysis
  • $300 consultations and vet visits
  • $1,200 emergency pet boarding
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Comprehensive Cover
Comprehensive Cover
Price Beat guarantee on comparable pet insurance policies. Terms and conditions apply.
  • Accidental Injury and Illness Cover Plus Routine Care
  • $12,000 annual benefit limit
  • $1,500 annual tick paralysis benefit
  • Up to $1,200 emergency boarding fees
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Accident and Illness Cover
Accident and Illness Cover
Cover 75% - 85% of your veterinary treatment costs up to $12,000. Multi-pet discount up to 10%.
  • Annual limit up to $12,000
  • $500 tick paralysis treatment cover
  • 10% multi-pet discount
  • $300 in consultations covered per annum
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Major Medical Cover
Major Medical Cover
Reimburses 80% of veterinary treatment related to Accidental Injury and Illness less your choice of excess per-condition claimed.
  • $15,000 annual benefit limit
  • 80% of vet bill covered subject to terms and conditions
  • $1200 emergency boarding fees per year
  • 5% discount for each additional pet insured up to 15%
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Comprehensive Plan
Comprehensive Plan
Free online dog training course valued at $99 for successful applications.
  • $8,000 or $12,000 annual benefit limit
  • Up to 80% of vet bill covered
  • Excess of $0, $100 or $200 per each unrelated condition
  • Optional Routine Care Cover
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What does comprehensive pet insurance cover?

Comprehensive policies will generally cover the following:

  • Accident cover. Helps cover vet fees relating to physical injuries, such as electrocution, broken bones, fractures and snake bites.
  • Illness cover. Reimburses you for all vet bills, up to the limits and chosen reimbursement percentage of your policy, except for certain conditions that are specifically excluded.
  • Routine care allowance. Benefits to spend on routine care expenses, such as microchipping, neutering and teeth cleaning.
  • Additional benefits. Gives your pet emergency boarding cover, overseas pet cover, tick paralysis benefits and can cover the cost of essential, humane euthanasia.

What to look for in a comprehensive policy

One insurer’s comprehensive policy might be equivalent to a mid-level policy from a different insurer. You’ll need to look at a few specific factors when choosing the pet policy that’s right for you.

  • What does it cover? It’s usually clear whether a given plan has both accident and illness cover, but you will need to look for some of the less common additions, such as dental cover, and check the exclusions.
  • How much does it reimburse you? Pet insurance policies reimburse you a certain percentage of medical costs. The typical amount for comprehensive cover is 80%, but it’s possible to find policies that go all the way up to 100% reimbursement, at the cost of higher premiums.
  • What’s the annual limit? The annual limit is the total amount you can claim per year. Comprehensive plans typically provide around $15,000 of cover, but once again it’s possible to find higher limits with select policies of up to $20,000. Sub-limits will also typically apply to specific conditions, such as cruciate ligament claims.

What is not covered?

General exclusions include the following:

  • Medical expenses relating to pre-existing conditions
  • Costs relating to breeding or obstetrics
  • Injuries or illnesses relating to the use of an animal for commercial purposes
  • Day to day costs, such as pet food, accessories and grooming, even if prescribed or recommended by your vet
  • Specific preventative procedures, such as flea, tick or worm control. However, the actual treatment of conditions arising from these may still be covered by certain policies.
  • Specific training, socialisation and alternative therapy costs as specified in the policy, even if recommended by your vet
  • Elective procedures that are not part of the prescribed treatment for a specific condition
  • Cell replacement therapies, except blood transfusions when medically necessary
  • Treatments other than those recommended by your vet

The exclusions are not necessarily set in stone. If you want cover for something in particular, such as a specific type of alternative therapy, then you may be able to adjust your policy in consultation with your insurer at an extra cost. Similarly, if you disagree with your vet’s recommendation at some point and want to pursue a different treatment path, you may be able to clear it with your insurer and get it covered. In both cases, you’ll need to get it clearly stated in writing.

How do I get lifetime or old age cover for my pet?

Most insurers will set age limits for new policies, and you cannot typically take out a policy for animals older than nine years old. Generally, there are two different ways to get cover for pets older than this.

  • Guaranteed renewability. Look for insurers with “renewal guaranteed” or a similar lifetime cover option. This is available from most insurers and simply means that as long as you take out a policy before your pet is nine years old and maintain cover without letting it lapse, you are able to keep it in place regardless of your pet’s age.
  • No age limit. Certain policies do not carry any age limit, but often these will be basic accident-only cover.

In Australia, the ideal way to make sure your pet has comprehensive medical and accident cover after the age of nine is to take out a policy before your dog reaches this age and maintain your cover.

How does pet dental cover work?

Even if you get the most comprehensive policy available from an insurer, it probably won’t include dental cover unless you’ve specifically asked for it. It can be worth doing so, as many cat and dog breeds are especially prone to certain dental conditions.

  • Most policies will, by default, exclude dental procedures such as periodontitis treatments and tooth extractions.
  • Choosing to include dental illness cover will cost extra.

Even with a dental plan, your pet will still not be covered for all possible oral procedures. Instead, you will only be covered for the procedures or eventualities specifically listed in your policy. Typically these include the following:

  • Gingivitis
  • Abscesses
  • Tooth removal
  • Dental diseases resulting from infection
  • Retained deciduous teeth
  • Cavities
  • Tooth fracture

Between these, you’re covered for many of the more common dental issues that cats and dogs will encounter.

How much will it cost?

A number of factors affect the cost of a pet insurance policy. The age of your pet makes a significant difference as older animals are more susceptible to a range of health issues, which translates to higher premiums with age. Certain breeds are also more at risk of specific health issues and will also grow up to be very different from each other. Larger breeds of dog, for example, will cost more to feed and house than others and will attract higher premiums.

Your policy options also affect premiums.

  • Your excess. As with other forms of insurance, pet plans typically require you to pay an excess when making a claim. You can generally choose your own excess. You can opt for a higher excess to reduce premiums or select a $0 excess to avoid it entirely. If you select a lower excess, you will have to pay more in premiums.
  • Your chosen reimbursement. Many policies give you a range of options, and let you select your own reimbursement amount up to a specific cap, such as 80%.
  • Multi-pet discounts. If you’re looking for cover for multiple animals, it can be a good idea to get them all from the same provider. Many providers will give discounts based on the number of animals insured with them.
  • Your payment plan. Some insurers will let you opt to pay premiums monthly, fortnightly or annually. It often costs less to opt for annual payments.

The example below provides an example quote from a known pet insurer:

Cover TypeBreedAgeAnnual Premium
Premium Accident and Illness CoverLabrador5$1095

Please note that this example should only be viewed as a guide for what you may expect to pay for a comprehensive policy.

How to get cheaper comprehensive pet insurance

You can use the above options to help tailor your policy’s costs to suit your needs, but it’s also a good idea to consider other ways of reducing costs.

  • Access discounts. Australia’s pet insurance market is relatively small and competitive. Many insurers extend discounts to new customers.
  • Utilise routine care. The total limits on your routine care allowance will often exceed your cost. You can save money by using its full limits each year on benefits such as teeth cleaning, which also helps your pet stay healthy and reduces the odds of it needing more expensive treatments later.
  • Keep your pet happy. Health and happiness often go hand in hand.

Comprehensive policies available on

The complex nature of animal health needs and the differences between policies mean it’s often a good idea to consult your vet before deciding on any one option. Where possible, you should do this before your puppy or kitten is eight weeks old, so you’re ready to find cover as soon as you can.

It’s often worth getting quotes from multiple insurers and checking how to customise a policy in line with your vet’s recommendations. This will help you to find the highest level of cover available and make sure you and your pet enjoy your time together to the fullest.

Amount reimbursedAnnual limitsAccident and illness coverOptional dental cover availableRoutine care availableGet a quote
Pet Insurance AustraliaUp to 80%$15,145
  • yes
  • no
  • yes
Bow Wow MeowUp to 80%Choice of $8,000 or $12,000
  • yes
  • no
  • yes
WoolworthsUp to 80%$12,000
  • yes
  • no
  • yes
Australia Post Pet InsuranceUp to 80%$15,000
  • yes
  • no
  • yes

Compare comprehensive cover from Australian Brands

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