When your best friend isn’t feeling too good or they’ve picked up an injury, you don’t want to be worrying about expensive vet bills or complex insurance policies. Pet insurance is a great backup plan to have in case you encounter unexpected veterinary costs, the best policy to have is one which you fully understand. Here are some questions to ask your provider prior to purchasing a policy.
Can I choose the vet?
If you are taking out a pet insurance policy in Australia, you should be able to use whatever vet you like. However, they must be a fully qualified veterinarian who is licensed to practice in the country. If you speak to a pet insurance broker and they tell you that you must use their vet, look elsewhere for insurance.
What are the waiting periods?
Like with all insurance policies, there may be a waiting period before your premium comes into effect. It is important to question your insurance provider before you purchase cover, if your pet gets seriously ill or injured and you think you are covered, you could be in for a big surprise. The last thing you need is a hefty medical bill that isn’t covered by your insurance policy simply because the policy hadn’t come into effect. To avoid any issues, take note of when your pet insurance policy starts and ends.
How old does my pet have to be?
Most reputable pet insurance companies in Australia will allow you to take out a policy when your pet is 8 weeks and older. But you must be aware that after their 9th birthday if you haven’t been with the company before, you won’t have access to comprehensive cover or any major medical cover. So, it is best to have your pet insured from an early age.
What is excluded from my policy?
When you’ve discussed your needs with a company representative be sure to ask about exclusions. All pet insurance policies have certain types of exclusions and they vary depending on the organisation. Some of the most common exclusions you’ll encounter are pre-existing conditions, hereditary defects, grooming and pregnancy.
Will I be fully covered for vet expenses?
It is very difficult to find any company in Australia who will fully cover all your vet expenses, a reputable company offering pet insurance should cover up to 75% of your bills, if they offer anything lower you should consider another company. It is important to discuss what you are covered for prior to agreeing a contract.
Is the business reputable?
The final question you should ask yourself is about the company’s reputation, are they trustworthy and genuine? The easiest way to find out is online using review sites and other sources.
It is important to feel comfortable with the company you are interested in, you want to deal with a competent, reliable pet insurance provider, not a business who refuses to honour their agreement. The company must be willing and open to answering all your questions, if they aren’t transparent from the beginning, select another pet insurance provider.