I’ve had pet insurance for years…I searched extensively to find less expensive products. I have one dog insured with Woolworths and the other one with Medibank (members get 10% discount). They are the same underwriters…Hollard Insurance…and quotes were very similar, and when you call them, you are dealing with the same people. Note…sometimes different cross breeds may cost different amounts to insure…eg a poodle cross may be cheaper to insure than a Shihtzu cross.
As your dog gets older, the premium will increase and generally, once your pet reaches 8yo, if you don’t already have pet insurance, you won’t be able to get it.
I’ve found the claiming process to be a bit subjective at times, especially if you have an excess, or you have multiple issues to claim. For future dogs, I would look for a policy with a nil excess, just because of these hassles.
The excess business is a bit complicated…most policies give you 80% back, less the excess. This excess is applied per condition and per year. For example…both of my dogs have had ongoing cruciate ligament issues with constant claims, but on the anniversary of my policy, they will reapply the excess to my first claim submitted for the policy year.
Another issue was when my dog had her toe amputated…this was the major reason for her vet visit and surgery, but…whilst having an anaesthetic, it made sense to remove a couple of lumps, which the vet charged at only $50 each. Try explaining that to the insurance company! They require all the vet/surgery notes but then it is often up to them how they attribute the costs. For this example, they ended up saying the cost of the toe amputation surgery was about $700, but the lump removal was $600…with each one attracting individual $100 excesses.
My 15yo Westie’s annual premium is now $866…covered for accident and general illness. She was admitted to weekend emergency care last year with gastro and that visit ended up with a $2600 bill.
Some people suggest putting the similar amount away in a savings account, but all vets/ staff I know individually, have pet insurance. My daughter’s Golden Retriever had both cruciate ligaments replaced at a cost of $5000 each surgery.
To sum up…I’ve been pretty happy with my companies and I would look at them again, but with no excess.
Note also…RACQ does offer full pet insurance, but they also have an intermediate type one that is just attached to your house/contents insurance. It is a relatively cheap option which does take the sting out of bills, especially if you have more than one pet.
“Pet cover Get up to $750 cover for up to two pets (dogs or cats only), for veterinary costs associated with accidental injury or illness. Please note that it doesn’t cover elective, routine or preventative care like vaccinations, spaying or heartworm testing.”