As a pet parent, you’re going to have many surprises. While most of these will be the fun, funny, sometimes-stinky and cute kind, others might be the unfun, stressy kind: like vet bills after an emergency. One way to counter bill shock, alongside thoughtful budgeting, is to take out pet insurance so that you and your pet are covered when some surprises strike. But what’s involved? Here are some things to ponder on the topic of pooch (and kitty) insurance.
British shorthair or Russian blue: does breed matter?
Some floofers are more prone to health challenges than others, and this can affect the price of pet insurance. Breed is one important factor here. According to Finder, a shmoosh-nosed French Bulldog might bring a higher premium than a jaunty Jack Russell. If you’re a cat person, you’ll be happy to know that insurance costs for kitties are generally pretty similar across breeds.
If Carol the cat seems happy with her regular vet, do I need to change?
No one likes going to the doctor to get prodded and poked, and this goes for pets too. It can be a stressful time for your pet (and you). Many pet insurers allow you to go to any registered vet in Australia – ING Pet Insurance included. This means that you and your pet can go to a vet you get along with. So there’s no need to stress if you’ve already got a favourite pet doctor you’re comfortable with.
What about pre-existing conditions?
Keep in mind that some insurers don’t cover pre-existing conditions (in other words, conditions that have existed or occurred before the start of your policy), so be sure to factor that in when you budget for your buddy. If you’ve adopted an older friend, for example, they might have known health troubles like arthritis that mightn’t be covered. So it’s a good idea to factor pre-existing conditions into your costs and decision. A reminder, age restrictions apply to ING Pet Insurance if your cat or dog is 8 weeks old and under or 9 years old and over at the time of application.
Is your pet a family member and your #1 helper?
Are you a cattle farmer with a cattle dog? A pig hunter with a pig-hunting pal? A security guard with a gargantuan Doberman? Because of the risks these working doggos face day in, day out at their job, insurers generally don’t cover them. The good news is that assistance dogs like guide dogs and other support dogs, those thankless heroes, may be covered.
If my best friend has an accident, what are we covered for?
Generally speaking, pet insurance can cover unforeseen illnesses and accidental injuries. Yep, those surprises we mentioned earlier. Without getting bogged down in the fine print (that’s what Product Disclosure Statements are for), an illness is a change to their normal, healthy state (independent of any pre-existing condition), and accidental injury is physical harm to your pet by an accident. We hope neither of these things happen to you and yours!
Am I covered as soon as I sign up?
Like they are with human health insurance polices, waiting periods are a thing for pets, too. A waiting period means your pet is not covered for a certain amount of time after you take out a policy (and it’s important to note that any illnesses or injuries that happen during the waiting period will be considered a pre-existing condition). The waiting period will probably differ for different injuries, illnesses and conditions. But when it comes to renewing your existing policy, there are no waiting periods. So once you’ve cleared the first waiting period and if you maintain your policy, your pet is covered (in line with the cover detailed in the Product Disclaimer Statement).
Out of pocket?
Pet insurance can offset the damage to your bank account when the unexpected happens. But keep in mind that you’ll normally still need to pay your vet bill in full with your own money first before the insurance company reimburses you for the amount you’re entitled to under your policy. So, it’s smart to keep some money tucked away for when surprises like these pop up. What do you pay? Well, you’ll pay the vet’s bill on their terms. Subject to the insurer’s assessment of your claim, if approved, you’ll get a percentage of the money back (up to 80% of elegible vet bills with ING Pet Insurance) minus your policy’s excess. Keep in mind, too, that there are limits (and sub-limits) to how much you can claim across a 12-month period. You can check these details by reading the Product Disclosure Statement.
The information is current as at publication.
ING Pet Insurance is issued by Auto & General Insurance Company Ltd ABN 42 111 586 353 AFSL 285571 (AGIC) as insurer (Insurer). It is administered by Pet Health Insurance Services Pty Ltd ABN 59 638 910 675 as authorised representative 1282153 of AGIC. It is distributed by AGIC and by ING Bank (Australia) Ltd ABN 24 000 893 292 as Authorised Representative 1247634 of AGIC. ING is a business name of ING Bank (Australia) Ltd (IBAL). An ING Insurance policy issued does not represent a deposit with or liability of, and is not guaranteed or otherwise supported by, ING or its related bodies corporate. ING will receive a commission from AGIC for each policy purchased which is a percentage of the base premium. For further details see the Financial Services Guide.
ING Pet Insurance is subject to AGIC’s underwriting criteria and ING’s Customer Eligibility and Name-Screening Assessment.
Pet Insurance is not available for dogs and cats 8 weeks old and under or 9 years old and over at the time of application.
This is general information only, and does not take into account your particular objectives, financial situation and needs and you should consider whether it is appropriate for you having regard to these factors before acting on it. Read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement, Target Market Determination, Financial Services Guide and the ING Customer Eligibility and Name-Screening document available at ing.com.au and consider if an ING Pet Insurance product is right for you before deciding to purchase or continue to hold the product.
The price we quote is at the Insurer’s sole and unrestricted discretion. It is based on the profile of the risk to be covered and any other factors the Insurer may choose. These factors may change at any time without notice, as may the prices. If the policy renews, the price may exceed the price paid for the previous policy. Base premiums are subject to change. You will be responsible for all applicable GST and other statutory charges.
The information is current as at publication. Any advice on this website does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs and you should consider whether it is appropriate for you. Deposit products, savings products, credit card and home loan products are issued by ING, a business name of ING Bank (Australia) Limited ABN 24 000 893 292, AFSL and Australian Credit Licence 229823. ING Living Super (which is part of the ING Superannuation Fund ABN 13 355 603 448) is issued by Diversa Trustees Limited ABN 49 006 421 638, AFSL 235153 RSE L0000635. The insurance cover offered by ING Living Super is provided by Metlife Insurance Limited ABN 75 004 274 882, AFSL 238096. ING Insurance is issued by Auto & General Insurance Company Limited (AGIC) ABN 42 111 586 353 AFSL Licence No 285571 as insurer. It is distributed by Auto & General Services Pty Ltd (AGS) ABN 61 003 617 909 AFSL 241411 and by ING as an Authorised Representative AR 1247634 of AGS. All applications for credit are subject to ING's credit approval criteria, and fees and charges apply. You should consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement, Terms and Conditions, Fees and Limits Schedule, Financial Services Guide, Key Facts Sheet and Credit Guide available at ing.com.au when deciding whether to acquire, or to continue to hold, a product. Before interacting with us via our social media platforms, please take a minute to familiarise yourself with our Social Media User Terms https://www.ing.com.au/pdf/Social_Media_User_Terms.pdf.