When your pet is injured or falls ill unexpectedly the large vet bill can cause a lot of emotional and financial anxiety. Do you get have your pet fixed or do you make the tough decision to have your pet euthanized?
Many are now considering pet insurance as a way to ensure their pet gets the attention it needs without having to part with their life savings.
Previously I have reviewed RSPCA Pet Insurance; in this post I will be reviewing Real Pet Insurance. To ensure all the quotes are consistent when calling the individual insurers I have used my own cat as the subject.
Who am I insuring?
Thomas is 6 years old, a ginger moggie, with no real problems to date. In fact he has been a fairly low maintenance cat. I live in NSW. Of course premiums will differ based on the type of pet, and the breed, and probably the area you live in. So although this post will provide an outline of how each organisation compares, premiums will differ depend on your pet and the area you live in..
Real Pet insurance is underwritten by Hollard Financial Services Group, the same group that underwrites RSPCA insurance.
There are three levels of cover available
Premium Accident and Illness Cover – This cover will protect your pet against all Accidental Injury and Illnesses. It will also cover some routine treatments
Standard Accident and Illness Cover – Which covers your pet for Accident and Illnesses, but does not cover routine treatments.
Accident Only Cover – Which as the name suggests will only cover your vet bills resulting from your pet being injured accidentally.
What is and is not covered by Real Pet Insurance?
Here are the answers to some of the most important questions regarding pet insurance.
- Are there any limitations? - Pets are covered between the ages of 8 weeks and 9 years. However life time cover is available for pets that were insured prior to 9 years. Breeding and obstetrics are not covered.
- How is the rebate calculated? -You will receive a rebate based on a certain proportion of your bill. If you have Standard Accident and Illness cover you will receive 75% rebate. If have Premium Accident and Illness Cover or Accident Only cover you will receive 80% rebate.
- Is there an excess payable? – There is no excess to pay just a percentage of your bill.
- What other exclusions are there? -.Pre-existing conditions are not covered, this includes conditions that owners should have been aware of when taking out the policy. Conditions that occur during the 30 day waiting period will also not be covered. Any illness for which there is a vaccine available will not be covered. Check page 28 of the PDS for other exclusions there are a number of conditions on there that are not covered such as dental work and house calls.
- Are there any limits on how much you can claim? Accident Cover will insure you for accidental injury for up to $8000 per year. While both Premium and Standard Accident and Illness Cover will pay up to $12000 per year.
- How often do premiums increase? -Premiums are reviewed annually.
- Are specialist treatments covered? - Yes all treatments and expenses are covered if they are required to make your pet well.
- Are prescriptions included –Yes unless it falls outside 30 days from end of policy?
Emergency boarding – If you are hospitalised as a result of an injury or illness Real Insurance will cover the cost of emergency boarding for your pet, up to the benefit limit.
Essential euthanasia – If the vet decides that euthanasia is the most humane treatment for your pet they will cover the cost up to the benefit percentage.
10% Return on your first years premium – If you keep your insurance for 12 months you will receive a 10% rebate of the premiums you paid in the first year, even if you have made a claim.
Pet overseas travel insurance -If your pet is overseas with you in a country that does not require it to be quarantined on its return then you will receive a percentage of the expense.
Insurance for my cat Thomas was $19.97 per fortnight for Premium Accident and Illness, $17.82 for Standard Accident and Illness and $11.51 for Accident only.
The type of cover will depend on what you need and how much you can afford. Below is a table to remind you what each level of cover provides.
Source: Real Insurance
|Premium Accident and Illness||Standard Accident and Illness||Accident Only|
|Percentage of eligible vet bills covered||Up to 80%||Up to 75%||Up to 80%|
|Annual benefit limit
With an annual benefit up to $12,000 on Premium and Standard Accident and Illness Cover plans, you can give your pet the highest quality care
|Maximum age limit
You can apply to insure your pet until they reach the maximum age – once insured; you can keep your pet’s cover for life.
|9 years||9 years||No age limit|
|Accidental injury cover||Y||Y||Y|
|Insurance available for puppies and kittens||Y||Y||Y|
|Waiting period for illness||30 Days||30 Days||N|
|Immediate cover for Accidental injury||Y||Y||Y|
|Choose your own vet||Y||Y||Y|
|No extra cost for additional benefits||Y||Y||N|
|30 day cooling off period||Y||Y||Y|
|No card fees||Y||Y||Y|