Australia has over 29 million pets and one of the highest pet ownership rates in the world. If you are reading this, you are most likely part of that statistic and are looking for the best insurance plan for your pet. That’s great news because pet insurance will help you enjoy life with your pet without the financial burden of an unexpected vet bill.
Finding the best pet insurance for your pet in Australia can be tricky and sometimes overwhelming with all the jargon that comes with it. That’s why we are here to help fine-tune the process for you and get you started. We reviewed the best pet insurance plans in Australia and included a guide to help you select the best plan for you and your beloved pet.
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The 10 Best Pet Insurance Providers in Australia
1. BowWowMeow – Best Overall
BowWowMeow is one of the best pet insurance companies in Australia, offering a range of flexible coverage with the option to add routine care coverage. These plans can be customized to suit your budget and needs. BowWowMeow provides benefits such as discounts for puppies and kittens, a free yearly ID tag, and a 10% discount for insuring more than one pet. To make claims easier for you, they offer GapOnly, allowing you to file claims on the spot; 95% of claims are typically processed within 5–10 days.
While BowWowMeow offers a range of flexible coverage options, some policy holders have found them to be a bit confusing. Unfortunately, this company doesn’t provide coverage for pets over 8 years old.
2. Pet Insurance Australia
Pet Insurance Australia provides pet owners with a wide range of coverage options so that you can select the best pet insurance policy for your pet’s needs. Their different policies include overseas travel insurance, which is a great benefit for pet owners who enjoy traveling with their companions, as well as emergency boarding and discounts for multi-pet owners. Once you have signed up your pet, renewed your policy, and paid your premiums, Pet Insurance Australia will cover your pet for life.
One drawback of Pet Insurance Australia is that its policies have a lot of exclusions, so it’s important to read and understand your policy thoroughly before committing.
3. Knose Pet Insurance
Knose is an award-winning company that offers customizable plans for pet owners. There are no sub-limits or hidden costs, and you can select your annual limit, benefit percentage, and annual excess from a range of options. Optional Extra Benefits can also be added if you want to include coverage for dental procedures, behavioral issues, and alternative treatments.
Policy owners have mentioned that working with Knose is quick and easy, and the company is praised for its helpful service. Knose’s policies also include exclusions that you must be aware of before signing up and various waiting periods that can be as long as 6 months.
4. Coles Pet Insurance
Coles is a well-recognized name in Australia, and its good reputation makes its pet insurance an excellent option for you. Coles offers three coverage plans, so you can pick one to suit your needs and budget. Optional coverage plans such as routine care can be added, and unlike other companies, their coverage for cured pre-existing conditions is covered. They offer lifetime coverage for your pet, no matter their age.
All of Coles’ policies include an excess of $200 for accident and illness cover, and they exclude breeding-related issues. So, if you need coverage for a pedigree pet, it may be best to look for a company with a more comprehensive policy.
5. Petsy Pet Insurance
Petsy is a great pet insurance for tailor-making your own policy to suit your budget and needs. When you begin your quote, you will see a summary of the coverage, and you can customize the level of coverage based on available options for the benefit percentage, as well as your preferred start date. Petsy has no sub-limits, no hidden costs, and no smoke and mirrors. They are very clear about what they offer and what they exclude, so there are no unwanted surprises.
When starting a new policy, pets must be at least 6 weeks old and under 9 years old.
6. RSPCA Pet Insurance
RSPCA offers four levels of coverage that pay at least 80% of your vet bills. You can claim up to $20,000 per year, depending on your level of coverage, and a portion of your first-year premiums will go to support the RSPCA’s work in supporting animals in need. They also offer a 10% discount for insuring more than one pet and routine care add-ons on two of their policy plans. One month free is applied as a discounted premium over the first year of coverage.
Exclusions apply to some of their policies, so it’s essential to understand and read the fine print before signing on.
7. Petsecure Pet Insurance
With Petsecure, you can customize your premium to fit your budget and choose from various benefit payment options. Petsecure supports rescue organizations throughout Australia, so when you pick this insurance company, you contribute to a great cause. You can get up to 85% of eligible vet bills paid, up to $12,000 per year with no excess, and your pet’s policy is renewable for life.
Petsecure gives you extra peace of mind by offering a 21-day free look period, so you can be sure this is the policy you are looking for. Petsecure members also receive a 20% discount on a wide range of high-quality ID tags that come with a lifetime guarantee.
When you sign with Petsecure, there is a 48-hour wait for accidents, a 14-day wait for illnesses and behavioral therapy, and a 6-month wait for dental care, so if anything happens to your pet in that time, they won’t be covered.
8. Real Pet Insurance
Real Pet Insurance pays up to 80% of eligible vet bills and allows you to claim up to $12,000 annually. They allow you to take your pet to any registered veterinarian in Australia, and their policies include tick paralysis and a routine care benefit as an optional extra. Their policies also have benefits like emergency boarding while you’re in the hospital, overseas coverage when traveling with your pet to New Zealand or Norfolk Island, and payment for euthanasia.
Preventive and routine care, such as health checks, flea, tick, worm control, and vaccinations, are not covered.
9. Prosure Pet Insurance
Prosure provides two coverage options to fit your budget and pet’s needs, allowing you to receive up to 80% of the total cost of treatment. Their Gold and Platinum cover options include dental illness and tick paralysis coverage. If you have not claimed for illness or accidental injury on renewal, you will be rewarded with $50 for having a healthy pet. Prosure also offers a 10% discount on additional pets.
Prosure’s annual benefit limit of $14,500 is relatively low since many insurers, including Petsy, Coles, and Knose, offer a higher amount.
10. Prime Pet Insurance
There are three coverage plans to choose from with Prime pet insurance, all of which cover specific accidental injuries and illnesses. After two years of policy ownership, their Sovereign and Imperial insurance plans include an annual benefit of up to $2,000 for some common dental illnesses. Prime allows up to $14,000 in claims per year, with up to 85% of eligible vet bills reimbursed and no excess to pay.
Prime’s insurance policies may include exclusions, benefit limits, and sub-limits, and one of their drawbacks is that dental illnesses have a 2-year waiting period under Sovereign and Imperial cover.
Buyer’s Guide: Comparing the Best Pet Insurance Providers in Australia
What to Look for When Choosing the Best Pet Insurance in Australia
When choosing the best pet insurance for you and your pet, there are some key factors to consider.
Policies differ among insurance companies, but they all specify which conditions and expenses are covered, as well as the reimbursement rate, deductible, and maximum payout or annual limit. Some policies will provide more coverage than others, so it’s crucial to find and compare insurance policies to find one that meets your needs. Many policies will also have exclusions, limits, and sub-limits, so you must identify which insurer offers everything you need. For example, dental issues are a common exclusion, so if your dog is a breed that is prone to dental issues, you will need a policy that offers coverage.
Customer Service & Reputation
Good customer service is a vital factor to consider when choosing an insurance plan because that will count when you file claims, make important inquiries, and customize your policy. When making a claim or collecting important information, you don’t want to be left waiting for a response. A company’s reputation will reveal a lot about how competent they are, so be sure to read as many reviews as possible to gauge if the insurance company is worth signing a contract with.
Claim repayments can often be a nightmare with pet insurance, and you will want to find a company with a good reputation for processing claims. Each company will vary, but some offer online portals or apps to make processing convenient and easy.
Typically, a claim payout is a portion of your vet bills, depending on what is covered. Before you file a claim, check with your insurance provider and your vet about your eligible payout. Some plans also include a waiting period before coverage begins, so bear that in mind when signing with an insurance provider.
Price Of Policy
It’s natural to want to find the best price, but remember that the best price won’t always mean the best value. The policy’s price will be determined by your pet’s breed, age, and your location. The younger you insure your pet, the cheaper your policy, and if you insure more than one pet, some companies will offer a discount.
Some companies offer very basic plans with the option of add-ons, and some offer more comprehensive policies that can be customized. A basic accident and illness plan may be suitable for your pet, with a preventative care add-on, while other pets may need specific coverage that isn’t offered in a basic plan. Customizable plans can help you save money by offering flexible deductibles, high reimbursement rates, and annual benefits.
Is Pet Insurance in Australia Worth it?
Pet insurance is worth considering, as vet costs, especially emergencies, can cost much more than you realize. Having pet insurance will give you peace of mind to know that your pet will be taken care of if it is unexpectedly injured or falls ill without having to worry about financial constraints.
Can I Cancel my Policy at Any Time?
Most insurers allow you to cancel your policy as long as you give them the required notice, which is usually a calendar month. Some companies also offer a window in which you have time to look through and understand the policy thoroughly, and if you change your mind, you can cancel. This window is usually 21 days.
Will My Premium Increase Every Year?
Your premium is likely to increase every year, just like everything else, because veterinary costs go up, and your pet will get older, which increases insurance costs.
How Can I Save Money with Pet Insurance?
You can save money by choosing a higher deductible and a lower reimbursement percentage. This will reduce the cost of your policy. It’s also best to pay your premium annually since you save money compared to monthly payments. You can also save by looking for discounts and special deals.
What the Users Say
Most pet insurance reviews are positive, but finding negative ones is not hard either. When reading reviews, you should be very discerning. The thing that insurance holders appreciate most is that many plans are customizable and can be tailored to your needs and budget.
Most complaints are due to poor customer service, waiting too long for repayments, unexpected premium increases, or being denied specific coverage. It is important to read through your contract and understand it thoroughly to avoid misunderstandings.
Which Australian Pet Insurance Provider Is Best for You?
There is no one final answer here, as it will differ for every person and their pets. So many factors go into determining the best plan for you, and only you can select the ideal insurer for your pet. Compare policies, read the fine print, and ensure you know what you are signing up for.
Try to find a suitable policy while your pet is still young, as it is usually cheaper, and the chances of being denied coverage will be lower. Research the breed of your dog or cat so you know what health issues they may be prone to, and make sure the policy you choose covers those conditions. Think about your pet’s lifestyle; for example, an adventurous and active dog is more likely to experience injuries, but if you have a small, indoor dog, you may need a basic policy.
Pet Insurance is a helpful way to save money if your pet suddenly falls ill or gets injured. When looking for the right insurance plan, it is beneficial to compare plans to determine which one suits your pet’s needs and your budget. Our best overall provider is BowWowMeow because they offer a broad and flexible range of coverage at a reasonable cost. It is essential to look at other reviews and customer feedback to get a better feel of the company you are leaning towards, and be sure to read all the fine print and understand the policy thoroughly before signing your pet on.
Featured Image Credit: Olena Yakobchuk, Shutterstock