Find out what types of cover RAC offers for your cat or dog.
RAC has a wide range of membership benefits and discounts available, which can translate into value-for-money pet health cover for your cat or dog.
There is only one level of pet cover available, offering comprehensive accident and illness insurance.
What am I covered for?
RAC covers up to 80% of necessary vet bills resulting from your pet’s accident or illness, up to $12,000 per year, subject to some exclusions.
You can also get the following:
- Emergency boarding benefits. You can claim up to $1,000 per year to help cover boarding costs for your pet if you are unexpectedly hospitalised for five consecutive days or more, and there is no one else who can care for your pet in the meantime.
- Essential euthanasia. If your vet recommends euthanasia, then RAC may cover 80% of the costs. This benefit can still pay out if you have reached your annual limits.
- Cover abroad. Your pet is still covered by this policy in New Zealand and on Norfolk Island.
You can also purchase Tender Loving Care (TLC) cover as an optional extra, which covers up to $100 per year of preventative care expenses.
Routine care additional option
Certain treatments, or types of treatment, cannot be claimed under this policy. The exception is when they are covered by the Tender Loving Care (TLC) optional extra, which includes:
- Teeth cleaning
- Dewclaw removal
- Health check ups
- Council registration fees
- Food that is prescribed by your vet
- Heartworm preventative medication
What are my policy obligations?
You are required to take good care of your pet. This includes:
- making sure they get recommended vaccinations
- ensuring they have a yearly dental exam, and giving them any vet-recommended oral treatments
- preventing fleas, heartworm, worms and other parasitic infections as far as possible
- regularly washing your pet
- giving your pet food and fresh water every day, and
- making sure your pet gets regular exercise.
If you haven’t met these obligations then you might not be covered for any resulting conditions. For example, you can only claim dental treatments under this policy if your pet has a yearly dental exam and you follow vet oral treatment recommendations.
What conditions are excluded?
This policy does not cover pets other than dogs or cats. In order to claim for treatment of a pet’s injury or illness, you must have met your policy obligations, and the treatment or health issue must not be one of those listed as excluded.
Pre-existing conditions are not covered under this policy. These are conditions that were present or apparent before taking out the policy, including diseases in remission, illnesses being controlled by medication at the time you take out a policy, and any skin conditions or seasonal illness.
If your pet does have any pre-existing conditions, you can ask RAC to cover them anyway by sending in a “pre-existing conditions waiver” form.
In addition, you cannot claim for injuries or illnesses that include or result from the following:
- Patella luxations (dislocated kneecaps)
- Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD)
- Endoparasites or ectoparasites, such as worms. The exception to this rule is paralysis ticks
- Behavioural problems, regardless of their cause
There are also some conditions that are specifically excluded, unless your pet was vaccinated against them, regardless of whether or not a vet recommended the vaccinations.
Exclusions for dogs
For dogs: Illegal breeds or dogs that have been officially designated as dangerous cannot be covered by this policy. Neither can you claim treatments for any of the following, unless your dog was vaccinated against it:
- Canine distemper
- Infectious canine hepatitis (canine adenovirus)
- All forms of kennel cough
Exclusions for cats
For cats: You cannot claim treatments for any of the following, unless your cat was vaccinated against it:
- Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV)
- Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP)
- Herpes virus
- Feline leukemia (FeLV)
- Viral rhinotracheitis
- All forms of cat flu
Waiting periods also apply, and your pet will not be covered immediately after you take out a policy.
- 30 days. You cannot claim for any illnesses within 30 days of taking out a policy.
- 6 months. You cannot claim for cruciate ligament conditions within 6 months of taking out cover.
Finally, dogs or cats that are used for any commercial purposes cannot be covered by this policy.
How much does RAC pet insurance cost?
The cost of your policy is based on factors including:
- the age of your pet
- whether you are insuring a dog or a cat, and its breed
- whether you have chosen TLC extra cover
- your excess amount
- any discounts you may be entitled to.
What discounts are available?
You can receive a discount for paying premiums annually rather than monthly. If you are an RAC member, you can enjoy member discounts, and other benefits such as discounts through other RAC partners.
Bronze, Silver, and Gold or Gold Life RAC members are entitled to 5%, 7.5% and 10% respectively off the cost of pet insurance.
To get this discount you simply need to sign up online at RAC, and enter your membership number when applying for a quote.
How do I make a claim?
To make a claim after visiting a vet, send in a completed RAC claims form online or by post, and include:
- A full treatment history for your pet
- The original receipts and treatment invoices
In some situations, RAC may reduce the amount paid out; for example, if your pet is also covered by another insurance policy, or if the vet fees were excessive and well above the industry average.