Pets are family. Their health and well-being are essential to our happiness, the same as with any other family members. Bringing a new puppy onto the scene is an exciting time for anyone but is also a little stressful trying to ensure the best possible care to provide them with a great start to life.
Comparing pet insurance packages can be overwhelming. With so many things to consider and so many variables in the early life of puppies, knowing what way to go is not always straightforward.
To help clear the mist, here is a guide to the key aspects of what to look for and overviews of some of the best Australian pet insurance packages for a puppy.
Four Steps to Picking Puppy Insurance
Although simplified, these four steps are essentially all you need to make sure you make the best decision for your pet.
- Check the age restrictions.
New puppies are not guaranteed cover with just any insurer. Some policies don’t cover animals under one year, and others start from as little as five or six weeks. Before anything else, make sure you know this detail. It’s worth also checking the maximum renewal age and how long the policy lasts, just to prepare for the future.
- What does the policy include?
The next step is to find out what is covered. Try to have a pre-set idea of your priorities. Knowing what you need to have included helps you rule a policy out or in. Some of the most important inclusions are accident and injury cover, extensive illness treatments, dental care, and emergency boarding. Being clear on what your puppy is covered for is essential to avoid nasty surprises further down the line during potentially stressful moments.
- What is excluded?
Most policies are not all-inclusive, so choosing one with exclusions you can handle is essential. Some policies exclude certain breeds, pre-existing conditions (not so much an issue with a puppy but still worth knowing about), pregnancy, and vaccinations.
Each pet is different; for example, a pedigree puppy whose owner intends to breed in the future should be insured with pregnancy cover, but this is not a concern for someone who intends to have their pet spayed. Not every exclusion is a problem you are likely to face with your pet but picking a policy with the right ones saves money and headaches further down the line.
- Know the costs.
The annual price of a policy is not the only cost you need to consider, although it is a good idea to have a look! You must understand the excess, benefit percentage, and annual limit:
- The excess is the amount you pay yourself before insurance kicks in, so if it’s $100 and a vet bill is $75, you pay it all yourself.
- Benefit percentage refers to how much insurance refunds you on each bill. For example, if you have an 80% benefit percentage and a vet bill of $1000, insurance cover 80%= $800, and you pay the difference. Most providers offer options on this front, depending on the package you opt for.
- The annual limit is the maximum you can claim within one year. Unless something goes very wrong, all respectable policies are high enough to cover all the usual annual needs of a puppy.
A puppy has a lot of needs, and the instinct is to rush to the vet with the smallest of issue, so it is worth going for a higher tier insurance package for the first year at least; one with a low excess and a high benefit percentage to keep treatment as affordable as possible.
Top Three Australian Insurance Providers for Puppies
Petsy has a specialised insurance plan set up for puppies from eight weeks old, with fixed costs for three years. The zero excess and 80% benefit percentage allow new puppy owners to feel at ease knowing care for their furbaby is affordable.
They have two package options, but the Accidental Injury and Illness premium is well worth the extra. Optional extras are available to boost the insurance policy, and as your puppy grows, you can easily switch over to a new setup.
The award-winning pet insurer Knose follows the mantra of “pet care made easy” and aims to make Australian pets the world’s happiest and healthiest. Backed up by Allied world, Knose keeps it simple, which is ideal for first-time puppy owners. They offer one coverage plan with a few optional add-ons and cover all the most important bases.
Knose covers puppies from as young as six weeks old and offers up to a 90% benefit percentage, with one of the best annual limits of any provider in the country. They also offer an optional add-on for behavioural therapy, which can be immensely beneficial early on in a dog’s life.
Vets Choice is the only insurance provider with the endorsement of the Australian Veterinary Association, making the make pretty appropriate. They have two package tiers- Pro and Elite, and two add-on packages- Dental and Dental Plus. Both options provide an impressive range of inclusions, and they pay near to the entire amount of cost incurred.
When it comes to a puppy, the Elite package with the Dental add-on is best because of the higher maximum claim limit and some of the additional health issues covered. Puppies are most at risk in the first six months of life, so having the highest level of coverage for this time is worthwhile. Vets Choice offers extensive coverage from eight weeks old.
Puppy insurance doesn’t need to be as complicated as you may think. By having a decisive plan for what must be included and what you want to pay, you can narrow down the choices pretty quickly. Remember, the first year of your puppy’s life is bound to bring an abundance of great memories, but curious puppies need a lot of care- and good insurance to pay for that care as and when they need it.
A new furbaby brings joy into any home and insuring him or her properly and efficiently takes the weight off your shoulders and lets you enjoy the time to the fullest.