Pet Insurance | Ferntree Gully Vet Hospital - Knoxfield, Boronia, Upwey, Scoresby, Wantirna

Pet Insurance

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Is there value in pet insurance?

Our pets are a valued member of the family and thanks to advances in veterinary medicine we are helping them live longer and healthier. Today's veterinary medicine is extremely sophisticated; we are seeing a lot more specialised fields and many procedures and treatments have become available to treat our pets. Unfortunately, this advanced technology can be quite costly. We often get ask the question, is there value in pet insurance? In the same way we choose to buy car or house insurance to help alleviate some of the economic pressures in an unexpected event, buying pet insurance is similar.

We are very lucky in Australia where Medicare heavily subsidises our healthcare, government funding pays for all the equipment in our hospitals and the pharmaceutical benefits scheme (PBS) subsidises our medications. Unfortunately there is no such benefits for the veterinary industry. Veterinary clinics are equipped with hospital grade medical equipment which needs to be purchased outright and requires regular costly maintenace. The average clinic will be equiped with a X-ray machine, ultrasound, surgical equipments, endoscopy, dental machine as well as pathology equipment. Specialist clinics will also have MRIs,CT and lasers. The cost of drugs are expensive and unfortunately the PBS does not apply to our pets either. On top of that, there is the usual outgoing costs of staff, rent, utilities and liability insurance, all of which are not subsidised by the government.

Pet insurance can provide huge savings if your pet requires extensive treatment or major surgery. Some of the more costly procedures include emergency care after being hit by a car $500-$5000, orthopaedic surgery (knee, hip replacements, fractures etc) $2000-$15000, snake or tick bite $3000-$8000. Pet insurance is recommended for anyone who could not afford a major catastrophe if it occurred and especially for those who own high maintenance pure bred pets with known genetic predisposition or large breed pets (medications are calculated based on weight of the pet, therefore the bigger the pet, the more expensive treatment becomes).

There are many considerations to make when choosing an insurance company that is right for your pet. First and foremost, read the fine print of each and every policy that you research very carefully. If your pet has a hereditary issue, you need to make sure this isn't excluded in the policy. Different types of breeds may be charged higher premiums with certain insurance companies, and there may be age limits on coverage. Word of warning, unlike our own health insurance policies, many pet insurance companies will not cover for pre-exisiting medical conditions so choosing the right policy from the very start, before anything has happened to your pet is crucial. It's also very important to understand exactly what types of events and illnesses the policy will cover. You don't want to find yourself in a situation where your pet gets sick only to find out that your insurance company won't pay for it.

Over the years, we have had many client testimonials for pet insurance.  One of our clients wanted to share her story. Meet "Tages" is a 4 year old male Rottweiler who was diagnosed with a ruptured right cranial cruciate ligament in October 2013. He was referred to a specialist surgeon for arthroscopy and Surgery. Although he recovered uneventfully from the surgical procedure itself, he struggled for months to control the post operative infection complicated by his pre-existing allergic skin condition. The total bill ran close to $14000, but luckilyTages had pet insurance! The out of pocket expense to his owner was just under $2800. Tage's owner was very thankful she took out pet insurance.

There are currently many pet insurance companies operating in Australia. A quick google search will yield many results. To make things simpler, we created a comparison chart for a few companies which is available to you upon request. Ask our friendly staff for more information.


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