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Looking for pet insurance but not sure how to tell the brands apart? We've reviewed the core standout features from each pet insurance company on our panel so you can make a better decision.
How do the insurers on our panel stack up? Here's our review
- Up to $12,000 worth of benefits covered.
- $0 excess option so your cash stays in your pocket.
- Up to 80% of vet bills covered.
- No excess and no joining fee to pay.
- Choose from any licenced vet in Australia.
- Claim up to $12,000 per year.
- A portion of your premiums goes back to Guide Dogs Australia.
- Liability cover for Registered Guide Dogs.
- Cover options for animals over 9 years old.
- A huge $15,145 benefit limit - one of the highest plans in Australia.
- Cover up to 80% of your vet bills.
- Optional $0 excess.
- 85% of vet bills covered - one of the highest reimbursement rates.
- Cover for your pet while travelling overseas.
- Huge $14,000 annual benefits cap.
- Cover up to 85% of vet bills.
- No excess - so your money stays in your pocket.
- Rescue animals, assistant dogs, and pensioners can save
- 10% refund on your premium after a year
- Pay fortnightly, monthly or yearly at no extra cost.
- Visit any licensed vet in Australia.
- A portion of your premiums supports the RSPCA.
- No excess - so your money stays in your pocket.
- Annual benefit cap of $20,000.
- Woolworths Rewards members save 10% on their premiums.
- Price beat guarantee on comparable policies.
- Donates $10 to Pet Rescue for every new policy.
When you’re reading pet insurance reviews to help you make an informed choice about a policy, keep the following pointers in mind:
- Read multiple reviews. Don’t make up your mind based on one review. Read a number of reviews to get a more complete picture of the features of a policy and the strengths and weaknesses of an insurer.
- Be wary of reviews written by angry customers. If a customer has had a bad experience with an insurer, fair enough — it’s certainly information that could help you make a choice. However, make sure to check that the customer has a legitimate reason to be disgruntled, as many customers complain about dodgy service from insurers when it is actually the customer who was in the wrong.
- Examine who wrote the review. Was the review written by a so-called industry expert? If so, what are their qualifications? Was it written by a former customer? Look for any vested interests a reviewer might have that could influence their review.
- Watch out for reviews on the insurer’s website. No insurer is going to post negative product reviews on its own website, so don’t take these types of reviews as a completely accurate portrayal of a policy.
- Watch out for fake reviews. Use your wits and don’t be sucked in by any reviews that sound too good to be true.
Is a policy right for you?
You can garner a great deal of useful information about pet insurance policies by reading reviews. Any decent review will detail the features and benefits of a policy, but knowing what to look for in a review can help you make sense of the technical jargon.
What is covered?
The first piece of information to look for is exactly what a policy covers you for. Items to look for include:
- Are accidents and illnesses covered or is it an accident only policy?
- Can you add a benefit for routine care procedures (for example vaccinations)?
- What optional extras are available with your policy?
- What is the maximum amount you can claim against your policy each year and what percentage of your eligible vet bills will the insurer pay?
What is excluded?
Look for the section of the review that refers to a policy’s exclusions. Common exclusions include:
- Pre-existing conditions. However, some insurers make it possible to take out coverage for certain pre-existing conditions once your pet has recovered from them.
- Illnesses for which there is a known vaccine
- Breeding and pregnancy
- Failing to take proper care to look after your pet.
Consider your own needs
It’s your job as a savvy consumer to use online pet insurance reviews to help you find value when it comes to choosing your policy. While the cover provided across the industry is roughly similar between all insurers, no two policies are exactly the same. This means you’ll need to make the most of pet insurance reviews to ensure that you end up with the right policy.
- Know the cover you need. Look at the cost of accident cover as compared to the increased cost attached to a combined accident and illness policy. Are you looking for basic or comprehensive cover, and how does the protection offered by each policy stack up against the competition?
- Know what is covered. Look for information on exactly which injuries and illnesses each policy covers. Does one policy cover a larger number of conditions than the rest of the competition? Or is there one particular policy that covers all the injuries you fear your pet is most likely to ever sustain?
- Check the maximum benefit. You also need to examine the maximum benefit limit per year on each policy. As pet insurance will only cover a certain percentage of your eligible vet bills, usually ranging from 50-80%, you need to look for a policy that will provide as much coverage as possible.
Other features to look for in a review include exclusions, sub-limits, excess amounts, average premium costs and any waiting periods that may apply.
Take note of different levels of cover
Before you start reading pet insurance policies it’s a good idea to consider the exact level of cover you require.
- Accident Only. If you’re on a tighter budget and only want protection for some of the worst-case scenarios your pet might encounter, an accident only policy may be a good option. This offers protection for the medicine and treatment costs for a range of injuries, including injuries caused by car accidents, falls, burns, insect bites and snake bites.
- Accident and Illness. If you want an increased level of cover, a combined accident and illness policy will offer cover for the treatment costs when your pet suffers one of a wide range of illnesses. These include cancer, skin conditions, hereditary problems and other infectious diseases.
- Comprehensive. A comprehensive policy offers an increased level of cover, typically featuring a higher benefit limit and the option to include cover for routine care procedures. However, in order to decide on which type of policy is right for you, you’ll need to consider how important it is to you that your pet is covered and how much insurance you can afford.
Once you know what features you want in a policy, you can then start examining pet insurance reviews to find the best* policy option.
Protect your pooch
Dogs are wonderful animals. Loving and enthusiastic, it’s no wonder they’re known as man’s best friend. Every dog lover wants to give their furry friend the care it deserves, but sometimes the restraints of your budget can prevent you from doing so.
Did you know?
- Dogs are Australia's most popular pet.
- 64% of people said their dog was a member of the family.
- The average dog-owning household spends $1,975 per year on their dogs.^
With this in mind, taking out dog insurance is a wise financial investment for many. It provides the cover you need to help you take care of those expensive vet bills when your dog is ill or injured. This allows you to give your dog the treatment and care he needs, rather than having to compromise or even forego care altogether.
When comparing policies, look for an insurer that covers the injuries and illnesses your pooch is most likely to face. Examine benefit limits and rebate percentages to find a policy that offers the right cover for your dog and your hip pocket.
Care for your kitty
If you’re a cat person, you’ll want to do everything you can to look after your feline friend. Pet insurance for cats is designed to do just that.
Did you know?
- Cats are found in 19% of Australian households.
- Over half of cats in Australia were acquired for free.
- The average cat-owning household spends $1,480 per year on cats.^
Sadly, many people simply can’t fork out this type of money at a moment’s notice, which is why pet insurance for cats is becoming increasingly popular. It covers up to 80% of your vet bills, up to a maximum limit of around $14,000 or $15,000 each year, so that you can give your cat the highest quality care possible.
When comparing policies, consider whether you want accident and illness cover or just cover for accidents. Do you want cover for routine care so that you can claim for things like vaccinations and desexing?
Pet insurance reviews: where to find them
Once you’ve decided on your cover requirements, it’s time to start hunting for reviews of cover. The Internet is your friend for this process. There’s a wealth of information out there on a number of insurers.
There are plenty of other places online where you can find pet insurance reviews. Start by doing a simple Google search for insurance review websites and more generalised product review sites. Look for reputable operations so you know exactly how accurate and trustworthy the reviews you are reading actually are, and examine multiple reviews for each policy to form an accurate overall picture.
Another great place to look for pet insurance reviews is in online forums. There is no shortage of forums for pet lovers on the world wide web, and you can bet your bottom dollar that the subject of pet insurance regularly comes up in such portals. This will give you a chance to find out about the experiences and recommendations of dog and cat lovers just like you, who want insurance that offers similar cover to what you will want for your pet.
Know what you want to find out when you start reading reviews, and remember to make your own assessment about each policy — don’t simply swallow everything a review tells you word for word.
Regardless of whether you’re a cat person or a dog lover, pet insurance can offer much-need protection for your pet and your hip pocket. To find the best* policy for your needs, seeking out pet insurance reviews can give you plenty of useful information and point you in the right direction.
^ Source: Animal Medicines Australia 2016 Pet Ownership in Australia Report
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