What you need to know about Woolworths pet insurance

What you need to know about Woolworths pet insurance
Vets are essential for the health of your pet. Source: VadimGuzhva, Bigstock

Owning a pet can be extremely rewarding for most people because of the joy and companionship that comes along with it. But pets, just like humans, get sick from time to time and need to be cared for by professional vets. This can cost a lot of money if you’re not covered, which is why it’s important for all pet owners to consider pet insurance if they haven’t already. This guide investigates everything you need to know about Woolworths pet insurance.

Why get pet insurance at all?

As a responsible pet owner, you want to make sure your dogs and cats get access to the best possible medical care when needed. Nursing a sick pet back to health without any financial assistance can drain you of your resources very quickly because vet bills can add up when treating injuries and illnesses. Pet insurance is designed to cover most of the cost of the vet bill for a premium you pay – so your out of pocket expenses will be minimal when the time comes.

Benefits of taking pet insurance

Pet insurance is a fast-growing insurance type across Australia. But it is still not as advanced as it should be considering the number of pet owners and Australia having a higher rate of pet ownership than most other countries across the world. Just like humans, pets fall sick, have accidents and need general care. Here are some benefits of taking out pet insurance:

  • Pet insurance allows owners to get adequate treatment for their furry friends without having to worry about the burden of costs. This means that owners don’t have to put beloved pets to sleep simply because they cannot afford treatment.
  • Pet insurance gives owners peace of mind knowing that they can get good medical treatment for any issues without having to worry about expenses setting them back.
  • Pet insurance enables owners to focus on providing quality health when needed, while helping them save on costs like x-rays and vet clinic stays.
  • Pet insurance can also cover the cost of kennels and catteries in case you are hospitalised.

Put simply, pet owners don’t have to choose between their pet and money when treating their pets for costly procedures like surgery.

Woolworths pet insurance
Source: Manushot, Bigstock

Woolworths pet insurance: your look into everything it offers

With Woolworths pet insurance, you can take cover for your pet based on your specific needs. Some highlights of Woolworths pet insurance policy include:

  • Woolworths will match any quote if it is lower than what they provide.
  • Policyholders can claim up to 80% of their eligible pet bills.
  • Pets are covered from the time they turn 8 weeks old.

Woolworths even won the reader’s digest quality service award 2019 for their pet insurance offerings. Here are some steps to help you get started with your pet insurance policy from Woolworths:

  • Choose the kind of cover you want for your pet and make sure you evaluate all options before choosing.
  • Check your details to ensure your phone number and email is correct so you can get a copy of your insurance certificate.
  • Choose the way you want to pay without having to pay anything extra – you’ll be able to customise your premium payment plan to suit you.

Woolworths pet insurance policies have some limits and exclusions which are applied to ensure that premiums are of proper value. For example, exclusions may include elective procedures, pregnancy, pet foods, pre-existing conditions and grooming.

How does Woolworths dog insurance work?

Dogs are very popular in Australia but they can get injured or may fall ill or may need regular vaccinations – all of which can really add up in costs. Here are some things your dog insurance from Woolworths will cover:

  • Accidental injuries – this will cover the cost of treating unexpected physical injuries like broken bones, accident wounds, snakebites and insect bites.
  • Illness cover – this includes treatment costs for unexpected health issues that are not pre-existing in your dog.
  • Routine care – under comprehensive cover, you can claim an annual amount of up to $100 for routine care like teeth cleaning, de-sexing and vaccinations.

If your dog has a pre-existing condition, you will not be able to make a claim for that issue. This basically means that your pet may have had a particular sickness before you took the policy. Some common pre-existing conditions include skin issues, cruciate ligament conditions, and seasonal illnesses to name a few. If you decide to go with dog insurance from Woolworths, you’ll have the option of choosing between three types of cover:

Dog insurance Woolworths pet insurance
Source: Pexels, Pixabay

Basic cover

This policy offers accidental injury and illness cover, along with up to $5000 as your annual benefit limit. You’ll also be able to claim emergency boarding of up to $500 and paralysis tick up to $1000.

Standard cover

This policy offers accidental injury and illness cover, along with up to $10,000 as your annual benefit limit. You’ll also be able to claim emergency boarding of up to $1000 and paralysis tick up to $1000.

Comprehensive cover

This policy offers accidental injury, routine care and illness cover, along with up to $12,000 as your annual benefit limit. You’ll also be able to claim emergency boarding of up to $1200 and paralysis tick up to $1500. If you have comprehensive cover, you can claim $50 for either health checks or vaccinations. You have another $50 that you can use to claim for any of these treatments:

  • De-sexing
  • Micro-chipping
  • Heartworm preventative
  • Prescription diets
  • Obedience training at a recognised facility
  • Dental illness treatment
  • Council registration fees
  • Dew claw removal
  • Burial or cremation
  • Behavioural therapy
  • Teeth cleaning
  • Alternative therapy

You don’t need to do anything once your policy comes to an end. It renews automatically after the policy period, unless you decide to cancel or chance your pet insurance cover.

How does Woolworths cat insurance work?

Cats are also very popular pets, but like dogs they too can get injured, fall sick or need regular check-ups. These medical costs can hurt your pocket in the long run, which is why it’s prudent to cover your cat from as early as possible. Here are some things your cat insurance from Woolworths will cover:

  • Accidental injuries – this covers injuries like snakebites, wounds, broken bones and similar issues that are the result of a fall or accident.
  • Illness cover – this covers health issues like viruses and other illnesses that require a visit to the vet.
  • Routine care – this gives you the option to use an additional $100 for certain routine vaccinations and treatments.

Pre-existing conditions are not covered under the insurance. Similar to dog insurance, you have the choice of three cover types:

Woolworths Cat insurance
Source: Dimhou, Pixabay

Basic cover

Offers accidental injury and illness cover, along with a $5000 annual benefit limit. You’ll also be able to claim emergency boarding of up to $500 and paralysis tick up to $1000.

Standard cover

Offers accidental injury and illness cover, along with a $10,000 annual benefit limit. You’ll also be able to claim emergency boarding of up to $1000 and paralysis tick up to $1000.

Comprehensive cover

Offers accidental injury, routine care and illness cover, along with a $12,000 annual benefit limit. You’ll also be able to claim emergency boarding of up to $1200 and paralysis tick up to $1500. If you have comprehensive cover for your cat, you can claim $50 for either health checks or vaccinations. You have another $50 that you can use to claim for any of these treatments:

  • Micro-chipping
  • De-sexing
  • Heartworm preventative
  • Obedience training at a recognised facility
  • Prescription diets
  • Dental illness treatment
  • Dew claw removal
  • Council registration fees
  • Burial or cremation
  • Behavioural therapy
  • Alternative therapy
  • Teeth cleaning

Cats are eligible for polices from 8 weeks old. Standard and comprehensive policies are available for cats up to 9 years. If your cat is older, then you are still eligible for basic cover. Once you cover your cat with Woolworths, you will be covered for life – provided you renew your policy every year and pay your premiums on time.

When should you get pet insurance?

You can get standard or comprehensive pet insurance cover once your pet is between 8 weeks and 9 years. There is no upper limit for basic cover, which means that pets older than 9 years are also eligible. Once you cover your pet with Woolworths, you can get cover for life by simply renewing your policy and paying premiums regularly every year. You can start to use your policy once the company accepts your application. Some things to consider:

  • A 30-day waiting period applies for illness condition claims under comprehensive or standard cover.
  • A 6-month waiting period applies for certain conditions and cruciate ligament injuries – this is irrespective of the type of cover you’ve taken for your pet. If you complete a cruciate ligament form, you can apply for the company to waive off this waiting period.
  • Every pet must have its own policy with an individual choice of excess and cover. You cannot use the same policy to cover two different pets.

Once your pet is eligible, you may want to consider getting insurance because illnesses and accidents can be quite unexpected. You don’t want to end up heavily out of pocket because of an oversight.

How do you file a claim for pet insurance with Woolworths?

If you decide to make a pet insurance claim, you will need to fill out a claim form which you can get from the website. You can even contact the company to have the claim form emailed to you. You may also be able to make your claim via the mypet portal. Here are some things to consider when making a claim for your pet:

  • You have 90 days to submit your claim after your pet has undergone treatment.
  • Your vet will need to fill out and sign on part of the claim form, so you will need to take it to them once your application has started.
  • If you’re submitting your first claim, your pet’s complete history will need to be submitted. Once this information is provided to the company, you don’t need to re-submit it.
  • Once Woolworths receives your form and documentation, the company will process your claim and payment will be made to your nominated account or via cheque.

Your first claim requires vet history, but subsequent claims do not require them in most instances. However, in certain instances, vet records may be requested to help understand claim aspects. In some instances, this may result in claim payment delays but Woolworths tries to keep this as minimal as possible.

What is Woolworths pet insurance VetAssist?

Woolworths VetAssist
Source: Skeeze, Pixabay

Woolworths pet insurance customers now have access to a new service known as VetAssist where they can get connected easily to licensed vets in Australia while they are at home or on the move. This can prove to be a huge benefit because a pet illness can be extremely stressful. How does VetAssist help you? Here are some things to know:

  • Woolworths VetAssist is available every single day between 6am and 12am AEST where you are connected to licensed Australian vets through an online or video chat so you get access no matter where you are.
  • You will get advice on everything from treatments to emergency care requirements so you don’t have to look online and rely on inaccurate sources of information.
  • You’ll have the option to upload and send videos and photos through the chat function provided.
  • Once you’ve spoken to the vet, you will get a conversation transcript so you can access it whenever needed to be sure you’re following instructions.
  • The vet you’ve spoken to will follow-up with you within 24 hours via email to check in on your progress.
  • The vets can help you with a range of conditions. Some include:
  1. Vomiting or diarrhoea
  2. Coughing
  3. Sneezing
  4. Skin conditions like itchy skin and allergies
  5. Sore paws
  6. Infections and cuts
  7. Teeth and gums
  8. Behaviour problems
  9. Weight issues

Bear in mind that these vets will not be able to prescribe any specific medication, nor will they be able to offer you any advice on your insurance policy. VetAssist consultations also do not guarantee that your claim will be successfully processed.

What if you want to cancel your pet insurance policy?

Pet insurance Woolworths
Source: Skeeze, Pixabay

You will be able to cancel your policy at any time by notifying the insurance company in writing. Consider the following:

  • If you’ve not made any claim and have paid the full annual premium, you may get a refund for the remaining policy period after cancellation. Monthly or fortnightly payment options do not offer the same refund feature.
  • If you have made a claim and pay annual premiums, no refund will be provided. If you’re paying fortnightly or monthly, then you still have to pay the monthly premium for the remaining policy period.

Cancellation is quite straightforward with Woolworths, but you need to make sure you’re making the right decision if you choose to go down this route.

Woolworths pet insurance is only available for dogs and cats over the age of 8 weeks. If you have more than one pet, keep in mind that you need to take separate policies for each of them. The best part is that there are no restrictions on the vet you use if they are licensed to practice as Australian veterinarians. If you have a pet dog or cat, make sure you cover them to prevent any financial burdens on yourself in the future.

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