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Last updated: 23 March 2017

We've reviewed 76 pet insurance policies from 23 providers to help you find the best health cover for your dog or cat. CHOICE members can see the overall score for each policy, and see how they stack up on price compared to other policies. Unlike the for-profit comparison websites, we don't get paid by any of the insurers we're comparing.

To find out more about pet insurance and decide whether it's right for you, check out our pet insurance buying guide. Read more below to find out how we review and score each policy.

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We've reviewed pet insurance policies offered by Medibank, Woolworths, Petplan, RACQ and more. Policies range from basic accident-only cover to comprehensive policies offering cover for accident, illness and preventative healthcare.

Our comparison report will help you:

  • decide which insurance is right for you and your pet
  • check how much of the vet bill an insurer will pay
  • check what excess payment options each policy has
  • check which policies have the highest annual benefits and biggest range of features
  • match a policy's features against its "bang for buck" score.

Look at each policy's feature score alongside its value rating to make sure you're getting the best product for you at the best price.

How we score

We send surveys to insurers asking about the features and premiums of their products, and we use their responses to calculate each policy's score. The score is made up of the policy features score (70%), a customer satisfaction score (20%), and a price rating (10%). 

The policy score is calculated by comparing 50 different product features, such as the maximum benefit limit, what treatments are covered, and any included routine care items. The customer satisfaction score comes from a CHOICE survey of existing insurance customers' experiences with their insurer. The price rating is arrived at by collecting a range of quotes from the insurers for cats and dogs.

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Brand

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List of brands we tested in this review.

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Annual benefit limit

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The maximum amount you can claim in a year for accident and/or illness treatment (where relevant). This doesn't include any benefits under 'extras' like routine care.

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Policy Score

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This score considers the range of features offered by the policy, including annual benefit, what treatments are covered, and included routine care items.

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Type

Animals

Purchasing details

Maximum age for new cover

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Most policies won't offer new cover to animals over the age of 7 or 8. Older animals that first got cover when they were younger will continue to be covered.

Routine care

Routine care available

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Does this policy include routine care (also called wellness care or tender loving care)? This is additional cover that pays for things like vaccinations and teeth cleaning.

Benefits

Dental illness

Tick paralysis

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Paralysis ticks are common on the east coast of Australia and can require intensive emergency treatment.

Parasites

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Treatment for illness caused by internal or external parasites.

Alternative therapies

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Alternative therapies include things like acupuncture, hydrotherapy and remedial massage. Check with the insurer for specific inclusions.

Included in this review

Members-only access
  • Overall Score
  • Policy Score
  • Satisfaction Score
  • Price rating
  • Good Points
  • Bad Points
  • Chronic illness
  • Chronic illness lifetime benefit
  • Dental illness
  • Dental illness sublimit
  • Alternative therapies
  • Alternative therapies sublimit
  • Tick paralysis
  • Tick paralysis sublimit
  • Cruciate ligament injury sublimit
  • Skin condition sublimit
  • Vet consult sublimit
  • Holiday cancellation sublimit
  • Public liability cover
  • Emergency boarding limit
  • Theft or straying
  • Reward limit
  • Death as a result illness or injury
  • Hereditary conditions
  • Bilateral exclusions
  • Vehicle injury
  • Swallowing foreign objects
  • Swallowing foreign objects (recurring instances)
  • Burns
  • Electrocution
  • Snake bite
  • Allergies
  • Bone fractures
  • Lacerations, abrasions and wounds
  • Dogs injured while guarding the family home
  • Patella luxations and elbow dysplasia
  • Mistreatment
  • Parasites
  • Pandemics
  • Illnesses for which the pet is vaccinated
  • Prosthetics
  • Organ transplants
  • Pregnancy and whelping
  • Essential euthanasia (vet fees)
  • Essential euthanasia (pet value)
  • Non-essential euthanasia
  • Cover for pets overseas
  • Time limit for overseas cover (per year)
  • Excess options
  • Co-payment
  • Co-payment reduction
  • Waiting period for accident cover
  • Waiting period for illness cover
  • Waiting period for tick paralysis cover
  • Pre-existing conditions excluded
  • Policy holder apply for pre-existing condition cover
  • Pre-existing condition cover waiting period
  • Minimum age to get cover
  • Maximum age for new cover
  • Monthly payment charge
  • Multiple pet discounts
  • Other discounts available
  • Premiums more expensive in some locations?
  • Premium refunds if pet dies
  • Window to submit claims
  • Routine care cost
  • Maximum routine benefit
  • Treatments covered by routine care
  • Brand
  • Policy
  • Type
  • Animals
  • Annual benefit limit
  • Routine care available
  • Underwriter
  • Phone number
  • Website
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