If you are a part of the 61% of Australians who own pets,1 then you are most likely looking for the best pet insurance policy to cover your beloved companion. Finding the best insurance can sometimes be overwhelming.
There are so many to choose from, with varying conditions and options, but we’ve compiled a list of the best pet insurance companies in Australia to assist you in finding the right policy for your pet. To find the best pet insurance policies on the market, we considered various factors such as coverage options, add-ons, waiting periods, pros and cons, and customer reviews.
We have also put together a buyer’s guide to assist you in finding the best policy for your pet.
A Quick Look at Our Winners in 2023
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The 10 Best Pet Insurance Providers in Australia
1. Trupanion – Best Overall
Trupanion has a policy that covers injuries and illness that will reimburse you for 90% of eligible treatment costs regardless of how high your bills become because there is no benefit cap. However, there are sub-limits or payout limits. Some benefits come standard with your policy, and a few require an additional fee. Dental coverage is an included benefit, and if you visit a partner vet or hospital, your claim will be approved, and your invoice will be paid on the spot. Optional benefits include Recovery and Complementary Care, which covers a range of natural therapies, and Pet Owner Assistance Package, which protects you from expenses that are not vet-related.
2. Bow Wow Meow
Bow Wow Meow provides flexible pet insurance plan options to meet a variety of needs and budgets and has been awarded Pet Reviews Pet Insurer of the year, every year from 2018–2022. You can get up to 80% of eligible vet bills reimbursed, with the option to adjust your benefit percentage. There is no excess so that you can claim for even the smallest eligible vet expenses, and they provide additional benefits such as discounts for puppies and kittens, a 10% multi-pet discount, a pet health card, and a free ID tag each year.
Bow Wow Meow has a simple claims procedure so you can get your claim processed right away electronically. Your claim is calculated while you are still at your veterinarian’s office, so you only pay the difference. While searching through Bow Wow Meows’ lowest ranking reviews, we found that customers were having a hard time with claims and getting very little back. A few reviews also mentioned that the premiums went up exponentially. It is important to read through your claims policy thoroughly to avoid frustration.
Petsy offers one comprehensive insurance policy to keep things simple. It is customizable, and you can choose the level of coverage that best suits your pet. It has an annual limit of $25,000, which is the highest limit around. You can get reimbursed up to 90% of eligible vet costs, and Petsy allows you to customize your policy, with options in annual limits, benefit percentage, and annual excess. Their claims processing is quick and can be done from any device. There are no sub-limits or hidden fees, and with an affordable premium, Petsy is great value for the money.
Petsy only covers cats and dogs; if you have any other pets, you will need to find a company that covers other species. If you choose to upgrade your policy, there is another waiting period.
4. Knose Pet Insurance
Knose has flexible options to make it simple and help you tailor your coverage, and their insurance policies include several benefits that may be suitable for you, such as emergency boarding, paralysis tick benefit, and taking your pet overseas There are no sub limits or hidden costs, and you can choose options for annual limits, excesses, and benefit percentage. Knose allows you to add optional benefits, including coverage for dental illnesses, behavioral problems, and alternative treatments.
Knose does not offer routine care benefits as part of their insurance cover. When going through some of the reviews for Knose, we noticed that a few customers had a problem with the 25% increase in their premium.
5. Pet Insurance Australia
Pet Insurance Australia provides pet owners with a wide range of coverage options to choose from, so you can select the best pet insurance policy for your pet. It covers accidental injuries and illnesses and offers a list of preventative care under its Major Medical Cover. Routine care is included in the Major Medical Cover Plan and can be added to other policies. Pet Insurance Australia will reimburse you for up to 80% of eligible vet bills.
The company has several exclusions on its policies, and it is vital to read the fine print before you sign up.
6. Coles Pet Insurance
Coles has three levels of coverage, and you can choose the best policy to suit your pet. Routine care coverage can be added to other policies if you want to cover preventative treatments. You can get up to 100% of eligible vet bills reimbursed or choose to lower your premium and still get 80% of the cost covered. Your approved procedures will get paid directly to your vet. It also offers a 5% multi-pet discount.
Coles does not offer coverage for breeding-related issues, so if you have a pedigree pet, you may need to look elsewhere.
7. RSPCA Pet Insurance
RSPCA has four levels of coverage to choose from, and your first month is free if you sign up. They offer routine care coverage as an additional add-on and up to 80% reimbursement for eligible vet bills with no excess. You can claim up to $20,000 a year. You can also submit and track claims, update your information, and easily manage your policy online.
RSPCA has had a few reports of poor claim service, but this is not a surprising problem with pet insurance companies. It is always essential to read the fine print.
Petsecure offers customizable plans to suit your personal needs and budget. It has accident and illness coverage with the option to add on Wellness Care to help cover routine care. PetSecure will continue to pay until you reach your annual benefit limit, even for chronic conditions. They also have extra benefits such as emergency accommodation resulting from a paralysis tick.
You can get up to 85% of eligible vet bills paid, with no excess, up to $12,000 per year, and it’s renewable indefinitely. You are eligible for a 10% lifetime discount if you have an assistance dog, are a senior or pension card holder, or have a rescue pet.
If you insure more than one pet, you are entitled to a 10% lifetime discount on the second and subsequent pets’ premiums. PetSecure pays claims within 48 Hours of receiving claim documents and provides 21 days to cancel your policy after signing up if you are unsatisfied.
Its annual benefit limit of $12,000 is among the lowest compared to other pet insurers.
9. Budget Direct
Budget Direct is a low-cost insurance company that has a 15% discount for the first year’s premium when you sign up online. It provides one level of coverage with an annual limit of $12,000 and will reimburse up to 80% of eligible vet bills. Budget Direct covers all orthopedic conditions, including those other insurers do not cover, and you can send your pet to any qualified and registered vet in Australia. Budget Direct does not cover routine care and charges $100 excess per condition.
If you already have a Medibank health insurance policy or own more than one pet, Medibank Pet Insurance is a good option. You can get 10% off every subsequent year you have a policy. You also get a 5% discount for each additional pet you insure. Medibank has a $15,000 annual benefit and an 80% reimbursement rate on eligible vet bills. Routine care is an optional add-on that can help cover costs.
Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Right Pet Insurance Provider in Australia
What to Look for in Pet Insurance
It is important to shop around and compare policies when choosing a pet insurance provider. Pet insurance is not a one-size-fits-all product, and a company and policy should be chosen based on the needs of the pet, the desires of the pet owner, and the budget available for the pet’s healthcare expenses.
Coverage with some companies can be limited. Accident-only coverage will cover things like fractures, but not illnesses like infections, diabetes, or allergies. In order to get broad coverage, you will need to choose a policy that covers both accidents and illness. The primary focus should be on coverage for items that the pet owner cannot afford to pay for out of pocket.
Customer Service & Reputation
When looking for pet insurance, it is helpful to scroll through reviews and gather a general consensus of the company. Just by reading reviews, you can see challenges other people may have experienced with the company. You can also tell where the company’s strong points are. You want to find an organization that has a great reputation with positive reviews so that you have peace of mind when it comes to claims and queries.
Some companies have a waiting period for claims, which you will need to consider before signing up. To ensure you’re getting a good deal, look at the excesses, co-payments, and premium costs and inquire whether the policy provides any discounts.
Price Of Policy
Pet insurance is generally affordable, but there can be a wide range of pricing. When comparing providers, you should consider the cost of the policy and keep in mind that the cheapest policy may not always be the best value for money.
Premiums are generally based on a pet’s age, breed, and location, and the cost of pet insurance will rise over time. Pet insurance companies, on the other hand, allow people to tailor their coverage to their specific needs. You can select from various annual maximums, deductibles, copayments, and optional add-ons.
Signing up when your pets are young allows you to save money on pet insurance because your monthly premiums are guaranteed to be lower. Some companies will also give you a discount on your bill if you agree to pay in annual installments rather than monthly payments, and others provide discounts if you insure multiple pets with the same company.
Find the best coverage you can afford when you sign up, with the knowledge that you can downgrade coverage to reduce premiums if you need to.
Some plans are straightforward, while others can be customized to suit your needs and budget. Policies can be customized with options for reimbursements, annual coverage limits, and annual deductibles. Some plans have add-ons to cover pre-existing conditions, breeding, and cosmetic procedures.
Is Pet Insurance Worth It?
Pet insurance protects your wallet from unexpected veterinary bills, and in a time of economic uncertainty, pet insurance is more important than ever. We adore our pets, and pet insurance allows us to care for them without incurring financial costs. It is always essential to research and compare providers to make the best decision for your needs.
Is It Worth Shopping Around for Pet Insurance?
Because pet insurance can be costly, it’s worth shopping around for the best deal. A good place to start is with comparison websites. Some companies offer sign up discounts and multi pet discounts which can be helpful.
Can I get pet insurance if my pet has a pre- existing condition?
This varies from policy to policy, and it’s critical to compare them before making a decision. Some policies will provide more coverage than others, so make sure you find one that meets your requirements.
Can you go to any vet with pet insurance?
Most pet insurance companies can pay your veterinarian directly, but not all veterinarians accept direct payments from all pet insurance companies. That is why it is best to choose a reputable and well-known insurance provider rather than the cheapest one.
What the Users Say
It is easy to find positive reviews on most pet insurance policies, and you can find many reviews on independent pet review sites. Common complaints typically involve the companies’ premiums increasing exponentially and an unreliable claims service.
It would help if you approached pet insurance reviews with caution, and it is critical to consider the accuracy of each pet insurance review before acting on it. People are far more likely to be vocal in their complaints than they are in their praise, and this happens to most insurance companies because some people do not take the time to read through the policy, including the fine print.
Which Pet Insurance Provider Is Best for You?
The best pet insurance provider for you will be determined by your unique circumstances, such as your budget, pet age and breed, and location. It is helpful to shop around and gather quotes. Research and analyze each provider’s offers, read reviews, and narrow down the pros and cons to get the best policy that suits your needs.
Choose a company that offers flexibility and offers a range of cover. If you are on a budget, look for a company that may offer discounts with a high reimbursement rate.
Pet Insurance helps protect you from financial stress due to unforeseen vet bills. You don’t want to be in a situation where you must make a tough decision about your pet’s health due to financial strain. Make sure you compare and read through the company’s policy thoroughly before signing up to ensure you have committed to the right one. Our best overall choice is Trupanion since its one of the most common pet insurance companies available and offers a range of coverage plans.
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