Frequently Asked Questions
I already have a wonderful vet. Can my pet still visit them?
Absolutely! We help to cover eligible bills for your pet from any vet licensed to practice in Australia.
How much of my vet’s bill is covered?
Depending on the plan you choose, we cover up to 80% or 85% of your pet’s eligible treatment costs (excluding Pre-existing Conditions), up to your annual benefit limit. And there’s no excess to pay. There are a few treatments that aren’t covered; you can read all about them in the Product Disclosure Statement
What about everyday care – does my policy help pay for that?
With our Sovereign Plan, you can choose the Routine Care option, which covers up to $80 a year spent on a whole range of everyday treatments, from teeth cleaning and de-worming to prescription diets and alternative therapies. See the Product Disclosure Statement for details.
My pet has a hereditary problem. Is that covered?
As long as there were no signs or symptoms when your cover started, we happily cover treatments for hereditary and congenital defects (subject to our normal exclusions, which are set out in the Product Disclosure Statement).
Are ongoing conditions covered for the life of the pet?
Yes – as long as you continue to renew your policy with us each year with no break in cover, we will continue to provide cover for chronic, recurring or lifelong conditions such as cancer or arthritis. Benefits for these conditions, like any other, are subject to the annual policy limits and exclude Pre-existing Conditions.
Is there anything that isn’t covered?
We’ve tried to make Prime Pet Insurance as comprehensive as we possibly can – but like most insurance policies, it does exclude some treatments to make costs more manageable and keep premiums within reach. They include pregnancy, elective procedures, grooming, behavioural problems, and any conditions whose clinical signs were present before you took out the insurance, or during the Waiting Period. You can find the details in the Product Disclosure Statement.
There’s more than one special pet in my family. Can I insure them all?
Of course. You can insure all your special dogs and cats under the same policy (although naturally you’ll need to pay a separate premium for each pet). All additional pets insured will qualify for a 10% discount.
I’d prefer not to vaccinate my pet – will you cover them anyway?
Yes, we’ll happily cover your special pet, even if they’re not vaccinated. But if they catch any diseases that could have been prevented by vaccination, we unfortunately cannot cover the cost of their treatment for those diseases. You can find the details in the Product Disclosure Statement.
How old does my pet have to be?
You can insure your dog or cat as soon as they’re eight weeks old. For the Sovereign and Imperial Accident & Illness plans, they also need to apply before they turn nine. There is no upper age limit to apply for the Royal Accident Only plan.
Can we keep our insurance when my pet gets older?
Absolutely! Once your pet is insured with us, we offer lifetime cover, without any need for time-consuming and intrusive medical exams, as long there are no gaps in cover.
When will my policy start?
Your policy starts at one minute to midnight on the day we accept your application. Once it’s started, you can claim immediately for any accidents that happen after that date. Claims for illness have to wait a little longer; generally you can only claim for treatments relating to conditions that arise 30 days or more after the start of the policy.
There is also a six-month waiting period for cruciate ligament claims unless we receive a Cruciate Ligament waiver form from your vet within 14 days of the date of examination, certifying that your pet has no history of or latent cruciate ligament conditions.
How do you calculate my premium?
Your premium is calculated using a combination of factors about you and your pet. These factors can affect the premium amount up or down depending upon whether we believe it increases or decreases the risk to us, such as the cover you have chosen, the benefit percentage applicable to the cover you have chosen, the species, breed and age of your pet and other factors related to our cost of doing business.
Factors that are taken into consideration for renewal premium calculation include your pet’s age and breed, as well as data relating to the health of pets that are of a similar age and breed. Each year we review premiums based on these factors to ensure we can accommodate the costs of possible treatment up to your annual benefit limit, in the event that your pet becomes injured or ill.
Will my premium increase every year?
Yes, your premium will increase each year. This is for two main reasons:
Reason #1: Just like humans, the older our pets get, the more likely they are to have health hiccups. Cats and dogs age faster than we do, which means that their likely veterinary treatment costs go up rapidly each year too. As a result, the cost of insuring your pet will also increase as they get older.
Reason #2: Advancements in Veterinary Treatments
The overall cost of medical treatment for pets has increased in recent years due to the increased availability of medical treatments and technology-enabled services and ongoing demand for these services. The treatment options and advancements in technology are providing us with great opportunities to give our pets a great quality of life for longer.
While this is great news for the care of our pets, these treatments come at a significant cost. Year on year treatment costs increase, and this is factored into the cost of pet insurance.
Please see ‘How do you calculate my premium?’ for more information about calculation of premiums.
Will my premium increase even if I don’t submit claims?
Every year, we review the cost of everyone’s insurance with regards to a combination of factors as well as claims inflation across all our insured pets. Increases in our claims costs due to increases in the range of available veterinary procedures, or due to an increased take-up of those services, impacts everyone’s premiums.
Your premium takes into account the average cost of care for pets like yours. To provide an example of this, a pet parent with a three-year-old French Bulldog will be affected by the trends we see in our data from hundreds of three-year-old French Bulldogs that we insure.
Is my premium calculated the same way as my Private Health Insurance?
No. Pet insurance does not work like health insurance. Health insurance is ‘community rated’, which means that everyone pays the same premium for their health insurance regardless of their individual health status, age or claims history. This is not the case for pet insurance.
Health insurance providers are able to community rate health insurance because there are many other factors at play in the human health care system, such as Medicare and government rebates and subsidies, which is not the case with veterinary care and pet insurance.
Pet insurance claim reimbursements are paid for purely by the premiums received by those who insure their pets. In order for each person to pay a fair price for their pet insurance, premiums vary depending on your and your pet’s risk factors.
My pet’s been unwell! How do I make a claim?
We’re sorry to hear that. Be sure to get your claim to us within 90 days of your pet’s treatment. Please visit our claims section for detailed information on how to make a claim.
Why choose Prime Pet Insurance?
Breakthroughs in veterinary medicine over the last few decades mean that your pet can now enjoy a longer and more contented life than ever before. But that higher standard of care comes at a cost.
So, just as you take measures to ensure your family have the best medical care, it also makes sense to insure your pet. That way, you can always decide on the best treatment for them, without worrying about the cost.
* Source: Australian Companion Animal Council, 2010.