Our four-legged friends are part of the family. Unfortunately, like any of us, they can unexpectedly become ill or suffer an accident. If that happens, the last thing you want is not to have sufficient funds to pay for their medical treatment – after all, this is when your pet needs your help the most.

Pet insurance works like our health insurance cover: we pay regular small amounts every month and the insurance then disburses large lump sums to cover medical bills that would otherwise be too expensive for us to pay all in one go. Just like you have health insurance to secure your family’s health and wellbeing you should consider extending the same level of care to your pet.

Having pet insurance has substantial benefits and you’ll be surprised at how easy and cheap it is to get your pet covered for a wide range of emergency and regular treatments.

Without a doubt, the most relevant benefit of pet insurance is peace of mind. In fact, with pet insurance you can be sure that, whatever happens, you’ll l always be able to choose and afford the best treatments and make sure that your pet gets top care.

Remember that pet insurance is much cheaper than health insurance and you will have a good level of cover for less than $1 a day: after a little browse you’ll get a fairly good idea of what the market has to offer and you’ll be able to compare and select the pet insurance policy that most suits your needs and budget.

You can customize your cover, from a basic accident-only cover to a complete accident, illness and routine care cover. You can select your excess level and also any “extras” you might want included. Some owners choose this option as even “routine” expenses for annual care like vaccinations, teeth cleaning and flea, tick and worm control can be quite a shock.
There are plenty of stories of healthy pets that fall suddenly ill or suffer an accident (more likely than not a road accident) and the owners have to pay thousands of dollars in diagnostic and vet services. In fact it’s been estimated that 40% of vet visits are caused by unforseen events.

Bristle, an otherwise healthy Sydney mixed-breed cat, was diagnosed with – and nearly died from – toxoplasmosis, probably as a result of eating a dead mouse or bird. Her life saving treatment cost over $1,200. Mrs Bradley, Bristle’s owner, said, “I was so glad I had taken out pet insurance. The service was excellent and the insurance paid the bill straight away.” The monthly premium to cover a much-loved cat like Bristle was really a small price to pay.

Another story comes from Cranbourne, where Toby the dog jumped high to catch a ball and landed with his leg twisted. “We heard a snap like a broomstick,” says Toby’s owner, Mrs Miller. “Toby had a spiral fracture and needed surgery to put a pin in his leg. An orthopaedist vet conducted the surgery and Toby is now back up to walking three miles a day and he doesn’t even have a limp.”

The cost of treatment was $2,200 and the pet insurance reimbursed 80% of the total amount. “We were able to pay a good specialist without worrying too much about the cost … it all would have been much more stressful without pet insurance. It’s insane not to have it.”

Arthur is a beautiful golden retriever from Melbourne who had enjoyed trouble-free cover for over 18 months. However, when he began to limp his owner took advantage of his cover straight away. A potentially cancerous lump was discovered and promptly removed. Treatment totalled almost $900. “The pet insurance company were on the ball and dealt with the claim very quickly. I was really pleased with the service as I would have had to postpone treatment otherwise,” said Bailey’s owner, Katy.

Pet insurance is a simple and inexpensive way to make sure that your pets are always healthy and looked after by the best specialists. Have a look around and you’ll soon realise that a pet insurance policy is the best present you can give to your four-legged friends!