The pet insurance industry has boomed recently with numerous companies offering the service, allowing for a wide range of choice when deciding what is the best option for your canine companion. It’s inevitable that your dog will visit the vets countless times over their life, leaving you with the big decision whether or not to get pet insurance, and if so, what company best suits your needs and situation. So why are so many of us reluctant when it comes to picking the right cover?
Every pet is different and every pet owner’s situation is different, therefore Australian pet insurance companies have a huge range of policies to suit your lifestyle and budget needs. With policies ranging anywhere from $20 to $100 a month, there is no wonder many Australians are having a tough time choosing the right one for them.
The major policy covers for pets, are accident and injury, which can be separated or combined in your insurance policy. Accident cover is a low cost policy and is limited to injuries arising from accidents, but does not cover illnesses. On the other hand, illness cover excludes accidents but provides cover for life threatening medical conditions. The risk of only getting one of the two covers for your pet could be monumental when vet bills easily make their way into the thousands. However, nearly all insurers offer a comprehensive cover which covers both accident and illness. With this comprehensive cover comes higher premiums but greater coverage for your pet, making it the most popular choice in Australia.
On top of accident and injury cover is the added benefits that each insurance company uses to draw the customer to them. Many of these are common in insurance policies, such as cover for boarding fees, loss by theft or straying, and complementary vet treatment, whereas cover for third party liability is not a common benefit, making it a large drawing card for insurers who offer it.
Third Party Liability cover for dogs is an added benefit that will cover up to a certain amount depending on your coverage (usually in the millions). This allows coverage for damage to property, or injury or illness caused by the actions of your dog.
Many people can become overwhelmed when searching for pet insurance which can lead to them forgetting to read the fine print, excesses, and exclusions. Exclusions are usually pre-existing conditions or an area of concern that are very rarely covered in an insurance policy. This information can be hard to find with some insurers, however others will tell you up front what you can and can’t claim for.
Once you have found the general cover that best suits your needs and pricing, shortlist potential insurers so you can compare their policies with one another and be sure to read all areas of coverage, as what some policies exclude, others may not, and benefits can vary drastically.
You can also speak with your local veterinary surgery for advice – although by law they cannot recommend a specific policy for you, their professional knowledge will help you to make the best choice, as well as guide you in your research.
Remember to always:
- Read the fine print
- Check for exclusions
- Compare with other insurers
- Find a cover that suits your needs and the needs of your dog
- Cheapest is not always the best option