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5 scenarios where you may find pet insurance handy

The fact that animals really do ‘live in the moment’ is one of the best parts about being a pet owner. And while their happy-go-lucky attitudes make for great entertainment, sometimes the unexpected happens and they end up unwell and in need of a vet.

Because you can’t predict the health of your pet from one day to the next, pet insurance could be an option to help protect you from those unexpected (and potentially expensive) trips to the vet. If you’re still on the fence about whether it’s right for you, here are four common scenarios where pet insurance can come in handy. You should know that RSPCA Pet Insurance covers your pet for any specified accidental injury, and you should be across your Policy Booklet to know exactly what you are covered for.

1. Unexpected illness

It’s true that as our pets age they become more susceptible to illness, but sickness and disease don’t discriminate and, unfortunately, they can strike when we least expect it.

If your pet was to fall ill suddenly and require urgent care from a vet, the costs can quickly add up. This is especially true if the illness or disease requires surgery from a specialist. And if the unexpected illness occurs when your pet is young – but the illness isn’t terminal – you may have big vet expenses for the remainder of their life.

Pet insurance covers a range of illnesses that afflict pets at any age. However, do note that most policies exclude coverage for pre-existing conditions.. This means that if any symptoms or signs of a condition occur in any form prior to taking out your policy (or during the waiting period), then it’s considered to be a pre-existing condition. That’s why it can be important to get insurance before your pet falls ill.

To find out more, check your relevant Policy Booklet.

2. Unpredictable dog attacks

Picture this situation: you’re at a local dog park that you and your pet frequent regularly. You’re playing fetch across a large off-leash area. Suddenly, another dog appears from out of nowhere and starts fighting your dog, leaving him or her injured and requiring urgent medical attention.

Off-leash areas are extremely popular and that means there will always be the risk of incidents of random dog fights or injuries that could result in hefty vet bills. You should know that dog attacks are covered in some polices as specified accidental injuries. This means physical harm or injury arising from an accident that might happen because of a bite wound or fight wound, including abscesses or lacerations and abrasions of tissue, skin or mucous membrane. Pet insurance can help to give you peace of mind in this type of situation.

3. Your pet tries to escape

Most Australians can’t be home 24/7, which means we can’t be there to watch our pets around the clock.

If your pet tries to escape, they may not only be a threat to themselves but to others. And even if you get them back within a reasonable period, there’s the potential that they’ve injured themselves by jumping a fence, contracted an illness from ingesting something or have been stung or bitten.

Pet insurance may be able to financially protect you against specific injuries or illnesses contracted if your pet escaped. However, if your pet injures another animal or a human, your insurance won’t cover it, as pet insurance policies are only there to cover your pet.

4. Ticks, worms, and snake and spider bites while at home

Even if your pet has no problems staying put when you are away from home, there are still many dangers lurking around the house.

Ticks are rampant in parts of Australia, particularly along the Eastern seaboard and they come out in force during the tick season which starts in September. Ticks are a leading cause of paralysis and death in both dogs and cats, but pet insurance can help cover the vet costs for any treatment and ongoing medication.

Similarly, worms – whether it’s hookworms, roundworms, whipworms or otherwise – are common parasites that can make your pet sick from a range of sources inside your home and outside. While monthly worming treatments are recommended for both dogs and cats, any worm infestation will have to be treated with medication and usually vet visits.

Then there are snakes and spiders. Sadly, many dogs are bitten by snakes in Australia every year, this is especially true if your home has a below-ground area where animals and creepy crawlies can nest. Your Policy Booklet can tell you which effects of parasites and insects are covered by your policy. There might be some exclusions, so make sure you familiarise yourself with what is covered and what is not. If you need clarity, you can always contact your insurer and ask for them to help you understand your policy’s inclusions and exclusions.

5. Your pet is seriously injured

Sometimes our pets can accidentally fracture or break a bone during play. This is a particularly bigger risk for puppies as their bones don’t reach maximum density until after puberty.

Pet insurance can help cover you for a specified accidental injury that results in a bone fracture, or a traumatic ligament or tendon injury, meaning you won’t be out of pocket for hefty vet bills. Always check your Policy Booklet to make sure you know which scenarios are covered, and which are not.

These are only five common scenarios where pet insurance can come in handy. If you’re ready to cover your pet against unpredictable accidents and illnesses, get a quote online to find a policy that works for you.