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Gap only pet insurance

Gap only pet insurance lets you claim on the spot and is available with a handful of insurers in Australia.

What you need to know

  • Gap only pet insurance processes your claim at the vet.
  • It is intended to ease the strain on your bank account if your vet needs treatment.
  • Insurers including RSCPA, Everyday and Pet Insurance Australia all offer gap only cover.

What is gap only pet insurance?

Gap only pet insurance is designed to make claiming more convenient. Rather than paying the full vet bill, submitting your claim and waiting to be reimbursed, gap only cover calculates your pet insurance claim on the spot while you're still at the vet. All you need to do is pay the gap – that is, the difference between the vet bill and how much your pet insurance covers.

Savings
Kinder on the wallet
For example, if you have to pay $1,000 for your pet's surgery and your policy covers 80% of vet bills. With a gap only policy, you'll only need to pay $200, rather than wait on the insurer to reimburse you for $800.

How does gap only work?

Gap only pet insurance removes a couple of steps from the claims process you would ordinarily have to go through if you had a standard pet insurance policy. Here's how it works:

Pet insurance

Get a pet insurance policy

You'll need to take out a pet insurance policy that includes GapOnly cover. Say you have to pay $1,000 for your pet's surgery and your policy covers 80% of vet bills.

Vet hospital

Visit a GapOnly vet

If your pet needs to go to the vet, you'll need to take them to a GapOnly vet. The GapOnly website lets you search your location for a nearby one.

Gap payment

Pay the gap

This is where things differ to a standard policy. Once your pet has received treatment, you only need to pay the gap. You don't need to pay the full bill and wait to be reimbursed.

Finder survey: How many times have people made a pet insurance claim?

ResponseMaleFemale
082.93%80.97%
16.71%6.99%
25.49%3.11%
31.42%3.3%
50.61%1.36%
100.2%1.17%
200.41%1.17%
60.81%0.78%
40.61%0.39%
120.41%
140.2%
80.2%0.19%
110.19%
150.19%
90.19%
Source: Finder survey by Pure Profile of 1009 Australians, December 2023

What does it cover?

Gap only pet insurance covers the same things as any other pet insurance policy. The difference is the claims process. In that sense, it works more like many extras health insurance policies where you generally only need to pay for upfront treatment costs. The insurer and the vet take care of the rest.

Who offers gap only pet insurance?

Here's a list of pet insurers currently offering gap only cover:

  • Everyday
  • RSPCA
  • Pet Insurance Australia
  • PetSure
  • petinsurance.com.au

Compare pet insurance policies in Australia side-by-side

Name Product Accidental Injury Illness Paralysis Tick Yearly Sub-Limit Maximum yearly benefit Reimbursement rate Reimbursement Rate
Everyday Comprehensive Plus Cover
tick
tick
$3,000
$30,000
80%
80%
Everyday Pet Insurance customers get 10% off their monthly Woolworths shop. T&Cs apply.
Medibank Pet Max Cover with Extra Care
tick
tick
$30,000
$30,000
90%
90%
Get your first month free if you sign-up by 19 August 2024. Use promocode 1FREE. T&Cs Apply.
PIA Major Medical Cover
tick
tick
$3,000
$30,145
80%
80%
Covers specified accidents and illnesses, with Routine Care Cover included. Get 2 months free when you sign up using the code PIA202. T&Cs apply.
Coles Premium Cover
tick
tick
$2,500
$15,000
80% or 100%
80% or 100%
Earn 10x Flybuys points per $1 spent on pet food at Coles Supermarkets. T&Cs apply.
PD Deluxe Plan
tick
tick
$15,000
$20,000
100%
100%
Apply online and get your first 1 month free. T&Cs apply.
Fetch Pet Insurance
tick
tick
$30,000
$30,000
80% or 90% or 100%
80% or 90% or 100%
Get dental, physio and behaviour cover included and skip wait periods by following our in-app journey.
Pet Circle Dog Cover
tick
tick
$10K or $17.5K or $30K
$0
70% or 80% or 90%
70% or 80% or 90%
Get 2 months free when you sign up using the code PCI2FREE. T&Cs apply.
Vets Choice Elite Cover
tick
tick
$2,500
$15,000
80% or 100%
80% or 100%
Get a 5% discount when you insure more than one pet.
Guardian Platinum Accident & Illness Cover
tick
tick
$1,200
$12,000
80%
80%
Lifetime cover for cats and dogs, up to 80% covered.
Petsy Custom Cover
tick
tick
$5000 or $10,000 or $25,000
$0
80% or 90%
80% or 90%
⭐ Finder Exclusive: Enjoy 30% off your first month of pet insurance, plus receive a custom pet tag. Sign up using the code FINDER. T&Cs apply.
Real Premium Accident & Illness Cover
tick
tick
$1,200
$12,000
80%
80%
Claim up to a maximum of $12k per year, with no excess to pay.
RSPCA Ultimate Plus Accident and Illness Cover
tick
tick
$20,000
$20,000
80%
80%
Comprehensive cover for your pet, including the option of routine care. Get 1 month free for the first year of new policies. T&C's apply.
Australian Seniors Top Accident & Illness Cover
tick
tick
$1,200
$12,000
80%
80%
Benefits include overseas cover when in NZ or Norfolk Island for your pet, plus an optional routine care add-on.
Knose Pet Insurance
Finder AwardExclusive
Knose Pet Insurance
tick
tick
$25,000
$25,000
90%
90%
⭐Finder Exclusive: Get 10% off your first year. Sign up using promo code FINDER10. T&C's apply.
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Gary Ross Hunter's headshot
Editor, Insurance & Innovations

Gary Ross Hunter was an editor at Finder, specialising in insurance. He’s been writing about life, travel, home, car, pet and health insurance for over 6 years and regularly appears as an insurance expert in publications including The Sydney Morning Herald, The Guardian and news.com.au. Gary holds a Kaplan Tier 2 General Advice General Insurance certification which meets the requirements of ASIC Regulatory Guide 146 (RG146). See full bio

Gary Ross's expertise
Gary Ross has written 729 Finder guides across topics including:
  • Health, home, life, car, pet and travel insurance
  • Managing the cost of living

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