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Routine Care Pet Insurance

Here's how to figure out what you get and whether it's worth the money.

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If you've been looking for pet insurance for your cat or dog, you might have come across the term "routine care cover" – but it's not always clear exactly what that means.

Here, we'll walk you through what routine care cover includes and how it works alongside your normal pet insurance policy, so you can figure out whether the option is right for you and your furry family member.

How does routine care cover work?

From puppy training to prescription diets, keeping your pet healthy and happy can be an expensive quest; routine care cover is designed to help with some of those costs.

While your standard pet insurance policy will kick in if Fido suddenly gets sick or injured, routine care cover is designed to help with the things that are more routine when it comes to caring for your pet, such as registering your dog with the council or cleaning your cat's teeth.

Sometimes, routine care cover is already included in your pet insurance policy as standard, but it's more likely that you'll be given the option to add the benefit for a price.

However, there are pretty strict limits to how much you can claim and how often – usually, you'll only be able to claim for routine treatments once or twice a year, depending on how much you've paid for your benefit.

The good news is that this is completely separate to your standard pet insurance policy, so if you reach the maximum amount of claims for routine care cover and then your fur baby swallows a sock and needs emergency surgery, you'll still be able to make a claim.

What's included under routine care cover?

Heaps of different things! The specifics will vary from insurer to insurer but, generally, you can expect to get between $50 and $120 every year to spend on any of the following treatments:

  • Microchipping and desexing
  • General health checks
  • Vaccinations
  • Obedience training
  • Flea and worming treatments
  • Removing dew claws
  • Council registration fees
  • Controlling heartworm
  • Teeth cleaning
  • Alternative therapies
  • Prescription diets
  • Cremation or burial

You'll also get an additional allowance of at least $30 to pay for other specific treatments or procedures, like urinalysis and blood testing.

What isn't included under routine care cover?

Lots of regular expenses are covered under routine care cover but, usually, you'll only be able to claim from the benefit once or twice a year.

So if you spend $5 a month adding routine care cover to your pet insurance policy, you'll probably get up to $50 every year to spend – but you can only spend it on one treatment. This means if you spend $35 on a teeth cleaning treatment, you won't be able to use the other $15.

You're also likely to get at least $30 to spend on specific tests, like blood screens and urinalysis. In this case, you're getting a maximum annual value of $80 for a package which cost $60 – great! But be aware: if you don't claim benefits worth at least $60, you'd be out of pocket.

How much does routine care cover usually cost?

Unless routine care cover is included as standard, you can expect to pay between $5 and $12 a month, on top of what you're already paying for your insurance policy. It's typically a flat-rate benefit, regardless of age or breed, but the more you pay for routine care cover, the more you'll be able to claim back.

Policies that include routine care cover as standard will likely be more expensive because you don't have to pay an additional fee for the benefit. This is an important point to remember when comparing prices and choosing your provider, as the premium may look pricier, but you'll be getting more bang for your buck.

Is routine care cover really worth it?

This is where it gets a little tricky. Depending on your provider and how much you would spend on routine treatments every year, routine care cover could be a guaranteed cost saver or a complete waste of money.

For example, the RSPCA recommends dogs get vaccination boosters annually – which typically cost $90. Routine care cover could contribute towards that expense every year.

However, it's important to know that routine care cover restricts the number of times you can claim. So if you want to use the benefit to pay for an obedience class which costs $40, you might not be able to use the remaining balance to help with anything else.

The table below shows a list of which insurers offer routine care cover, what's included in their packages and how much you can expect to pay.

Partner brandIncluded?Cover typeCost per monthWhat is covered/limit
Picture not described
Australian Seniors
Optional
  • Top Accident and Illness Cover
$5.00
$50 annually to cover any one of the following:
  • Worm, flea or tick control
  • Vaccinations and health checks
  • Prescription diets
Bow wow meow pet insurance logo
Bow Wow Meow
Optional
  • Accident Plus
  • Peace of Mind
  • Ultimate Care
  • Accident Plus - $9.83
  • Peace of Mind - $9.84
  • Ultimate Care - $9.84
$50.00 annual benefit for any ONE of the following:
  • Desexing
  • Microchipping
  • Heartworm control

Guardian pet insurance logo
Guardian
Optional
  • Platinum Accident & Illness Cover
$5.00
$50 annual benefit for one of the following:
  • De-sexing
  • Microchipping
  • Heartworm preventative medication
Guide dogs pet insurance logo
Guide Dogs
Optional
  • Premium Care
$5.01
$50 annual benefit for any one of these routine treatments:
  • Desexing and microchipping
  • Heartworm preventative medication
  • Teeth cleaning

Medibank pet insurance logo
Medibank
Optional
  • Ultimate Pet Care
$11.71
$50 each year for any two of the following:
  • Vaccinations or health check
  • Council registration fees
  • De-sexing

Pet insurance australia logo
Pet Insurance Australia
Yes
  • Major Medical Plan
$50 annual benefit for one of the following:
  • De-sexing
  • Micro chipping
  • Heart worm

Petsy Logo
Petsy
Optional
  • Accidental Injury and Illness Cover
  • Accidental Injury Cover
$8.77
$100 Benefit for any one of the following:
  • Desexing
  • Microchipping
  • Heartworm control

Pet secure logo
Petsecure
Yes
  • Accidental Injury & Illness Cover plus Wellness Care
$60 Annual benefit limit for any one of the following:
  • Desexing
  • Heartworm Control
  • Dew Claw Removal

Prime pet insurance logo
Prime
Optional
  • Sovereign Accident & Illness Cover
$5.00?

Real pet insurance logo
Real
Optional
  • Premium Accident & Illness Cover
$5.00
Claim a $50 annual benefit for any one of the following:
  • De-sexing
  • Microchipping
  • Heartworm preventative medication

RSPCA pet insurance logo
RSPCA
Optional
  • Ultimate Plus Accident & Illness Cover
  • Ultimate Accident & Illness Cover
$5.00
$50 annual benefit for any one of these routine treatments:
  • De-sexing and Micro-chipping
  • Heartworm preventative medication
  • Teeth cleaning

Woolworths pet insurance logo
Woolworths
Yes
  • Comprehensive
$50 Annual Benefit on either:
  • Vaccinations
  • Health Checks

50 for one of the following treatments:

  • Desexing
  • Microchipping

Why doesn't everyone offer it?

Some more comprehensive insurance policies will offer routine care cover as standard, but others won't even give you the option to add it.

This might be because their policies already cover much of what is included in routine care, or it might be because they don't think they can provide a policy that's of value to you, for a price that is appealing.

Remember to check if a certain provider has routine care included as standard; it could explain why the monthly premium is slightly higher.

Compare policies that offer routine care cover

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Maximum yearly benefit Maximum yearly benefit Paralysis Tick Benefit Reimbursement rate Reimbursement rate Accidental Injury Illness
Woolworths Comprehensive Cover
$24,000
$24,000
$1,500
80%
80%
Woolworths has a price beat promise for similar policies. 1 year free VetAssist gives you instant access to vets online (valued at $199). T&Cs apply.
Vets Choice Elite Cover
$15,000
$15,000
$2,500
100%
100%
Get a 5% discount when you insure more than one pet.
Knose Dog Cover
$25,000
$25,000
$25,000
70%, 80% or 90%
70%, 80% or 90%
Get cover for your pet.
PIA Major Medical Cover
$15,145
$15,145
$1,200
80%
80%
Get 2 months free when you sign up.
Bow Wow Meow Ultimate Care Plan
$20,000
$20,000
$3,000
80%
80%
Join and get 2 months free pet insurance for puppies. T&Cs apply.
Kogan Pet Luxury Cover
$15,000
$15,000
$2,000
80% up to age 8 & 65% over age 8
80% up to age 8 & 65% over age 8
1 month free for new customers.
PetSecure Accident and Illness Cover
$12,000
$12,000
$500
75% or 85%
75% or 85%
Your pet is covered for life.
Petsy Dog accidental injury and illness cover (Vet Select)
$25,000
$25,000
$1,500
100%
100%
Enjoy 2 months free and personalised pet tag with promo code: PETSYPET. Petsy members enjoy free personalised gifts, exclusive pet discounts and perks for humans.
Medibank Ultimate Pet Care
$15,000
$15,000
$1,200
80%
80%
Want to win 1 of 10x $1,000 pet food vouchers? Plus, health members save 10%. Use promocode: SAVE10. Ends November 1 2020. T&Cs apply.
RSPCA Ultimate Plus Accident and Illness Cover
$20,000
$20,000
Up to $20,000 annual limit
80%
80%
Get 1 month free for the first year of new policies. T&C's apply.
Real Premium Accident & Illness Cover
$12,000
$12,000
$1,200
80%
80%
Pay fortnightly, monthly or yearly at no extra cost.
Guardian Platinum Accident & Illness Cover
$12,000
$12,000
$1,200
80%
80%
No joining fee to pay.
Prime Sovereign Accident & Illness Cover
$14,000
$14,000
$1,200
85%
85%
With guaranteed renewal you can protect your pet for life.
Australian Seniors Top Accident & Illness Cover
$12,000
$12,000
$1,200
80%
80%
If you're over 50 get 10% off.
Guide Dogs Premium Care
$20,000
$20,000
$2,000
85%
85%
Helps support Guide Dogs Australia.
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