A Vet bill is something a pet owner will be faced with at some point – often at the most unexpected times.
Continually advancing diagnostic and treatment options mean that these costs can add up very quickly if your pet becomes ill. The unpredictable nature of some Veterinary Diseases, also means that some diagnoses are hard to make without advanced diagnostics such as CT and MRI scans, and that occasionally, treatment outcomes may not be favourable.
The cost of quality Veterinary Care is an uncomfortable subject – so our commitment to all our clients is that we’ll be open and honest about all aspects of your pet’s care, from treatment choices through to the costs thereof.
Pet Insurance has a history of bad press, mainly because pet owners have been sold a policy that they don’t understand, or had exclusions or sub-limits that have resulted in claims not being paid out.
As a result, some clients feel pet insurance isn’t worth it. This isn’t a view we share and we strongly recommend pet insurance. However, we believe that the only people who are able to give unbiased opinions about which policy is suitable for you, are the people who deal with all the Insurance companies every day – us!
We aren’t financial advisors so aren’t able to give financial advice – but we can explain in very plain language what each policy offers, so you can make the decision you feel is best.
This is a complicated subject so we encourage you to pop down and discuss this with one of our friendly team before you take a policy out online.
what to look for in an insurance policy?
Below is a very brief summary of some of the things to look out for when investigating an insurance policy – but again, we encourage all clients to pop down for a chat with us before making a decision, because once a claim has been made on a policy, it can be risky to change.
lifetime vs time-limited
A lifetime policy simply means that if your pet gets a condition that could last for it’s lifetime e.g. diabetes or arthritis, as long as you keep your premiums up-to-date, your pet will be covered for life.
Cheaper policies often have time limits i.e. they will pay for a particular condition for a limited period of time
sublimits for conditions
Regardless of the headline amount of cover a policy states, many have specific limits for for certain conditions.
A common example is cruciate ligament injury, which often has a sublimit of under $3000 or there could be a limit on amounts that can be claimed for consultations.
We don’t recommend polcies with sublimits.
excess or gap
The amount of excess or gap that you need to pay will reflect in your insurance premium.
Generally the higher the excess, the cheaper the premium.
The commonest excess is 20% – in other words you will pay 20% of the Vet bill.
Using an comparison site is a common way to compare insurance. Understanding what is or isn’t covered is difficult for our clients, so the fallback when using these sites is to compare on cost.
For reference, Dr Haydn pays $86 per month for his Golden Retriever, Nala. If you have been quoted less, it pays to read the fine print carefully.
The thorniest issue regarding pet insurance is that in general, insurance companies won’t cover pre-existing conditions and illness.
So, if you are thinking of changing your insurance provider, pop down and chat with us first.
the claims procedure
Many Vets require clients to pay their Vet bill up front and reclaim the fees themselves.
Depending on your Insurance provider, we take this burden away, often only requiring that the gap or excess is paid at the time of your visit.
so, who do we recommend?
We know Insurance like the back of our hands and have researched the various policies thoroughly.
In our view any policy is better than no policy and understand that your household budget needs to be considered too – but the policy Dr Haydn chose for Nala is the Superior Plan (mid-point), provided by Petcover.
Why you ask, would a Vet need insurance for their own dog?
Although we do advanced work at our Practice, if Nala ever needed an MRI or CT scan, or needed to be referred to a specialist for a second opinion, we would be charged just as any client would. So we, just like anyone else, need the reassurance that we have comprehensive cover so she can have the very best treatment available.
4 weeks free Petcover insurance
For all new puppies and kittens, 4 weeks of introductory, FREE cover will be provided at their first vaccinations or their first visit to us if they are younger than 12 months of age.
as with all insurance products, T&C’s apply