Should I buy Pet Insurance

Should I buy Pet Insurance

 sick dog with thermometer in mouth

Should I buy Pet Insurance

One of the most common topics we get asked about at Bentons Road Vet Clinic is should I buy Pet Insurance. Whether its worth it.  Whether the benefits are there. Many people appear apprehensive about buying pet insurance and are concerned about companies declining payments or not covering certain injuries.  So what should you do?  What do we recommend?  This blog examines pet insurance and provides information to those people who just aren’t sure what to do.

When talking about pet insurance, it is often the case that people tend to be wary of insurance companies. This often leads to people delaying taking out a policy for their pet. Many others wait for their pet to become older with the rationale that their pet is more likely to require veterinary treatment as an older pet and therefore they will get more value for their premiums by waiting a few years. In our opinion, this is the worst thing you can do.  Unfortunately taking out pet insurance on an older pet can be a huge cost with very little benefit.

The problem with waiting to long to buy pet insurance

If you wait a few years before taking out a policy, the insurance underwriters will request a full veterinary history before agreeing to cover the pet. This means that any lameness, skin condition, gastrointestinal disturbance that has been noted in the clinical history will now be considered a pre-existing condition and grounds for refusal of a claim in the future. Unfortunately at our Mt Martha vet clinic, we have often seen the surgery fee for a cruciate ligament repair be declined by the insurance company because the dog had lameness in the same leg as a puppy, before any insurance policy was taken out.

Dog with bandage on head next to sign saying Importance of Pet Insurance

Recommendations for Pet Insurance

We always recommend to pet owners on the Mornington Peninsula, that they obtain pet insurance at the time of purchasing a puppy or a kitten.  Before it has had a chance to suffer an injury or an illness. After first examining your puppy or kitten, we can sign pets up for a FREE, four week pet insurance policy via PetPlan.  This covers your new pet against those accidents that can (and do) happen. Puppies and kittens tend to be wrigglely and squirmy.  They often breaking free from childrens grasps and get up to all manner of hijinks.

Pet Plan Pet Insurance Orange Dot Brochure

The four week FREE puppy and kitten insurance gives you peace of mind and cover while you do the research into which insurance policy best fits your needs. Sometimes combining pet insurance with existing home, contents or health insurance can reduce your premiums. We are not qualified to advise on the most appropriate insurance policy to suit your financial situation.  But we can help you sift through the myriad of choices out there and know what to look for when comparing policies.

Bentons Road Veterinary Clinic does not recieve a commission or inducement by offering this insurance policy.  We provide this information to help ensure that our clients and their beloved pets have access to insurance before anything potentially serious happens to their new best friend.

Below is a story about Walter, the Hungarian Vizsla puppy belonging to our nurse Leanne.

Poor little Walter is a little accident prone…

What Happened To Walter?

Walter the vissler

Walter, the 11 week old Hungarian Vizsla joined Leanne’s family on Easter Saturday this year.  Dr Kelly examined Walter on the Tuesday to ensure that he was in good health.  He was and he was signed up to the 4 week FREE PetPlan puppy and kitten cover.

When Walter was about 14 weeks of age, Leanne returned home from work to find that little Walter was lame (not putting full weight) on his front left leg. Walter visited Dr Kelly and the decision was made to perform x-rays. Walter, because he is a wiggly puppy, required sedation for this to be done.

The x-pet insurancerays showed a possible fracture of the growth plate of his elbow. The x-rays were sent to a surgical specialist for review.  The specialist requested that a sample of joint fluid be checked to ensure that there was not an infection in his joint. This was performed the following day under anaesthesia and the results came back all clear. Walter was then referred to the specialist surgeon that Friday and admitted to hospital. He was put under a second general anaesthetic to perform a CT scan.  The scan confirmed an intercondylar fracture and a surgical screw was placed across the elbow.

Thankfully Walter had a fairly uneventful recovery other than some swelling that occurred as he did not ‘rest’ very well. Thank goodness Walter was insured from only 3 days after purchase. This meant that there were no pre-existing conditions on his insurance policy and everything was covered. Leanne also continued his cover beyond the 4 weeks free period.  This also ensured that he would be fully covered for anything to do with his elbow in the future.

Total Cost:  $3134.60

Excess: $150 (total cost to Leanne)


At 5 months of age, Walter attended a Vizsla fun day. During the fun, he was barged into by two larger dogs and became lame again on the same front leg.

Another trip back to the vets! Due to the degree of pain, another anaesthetic and x-rays were performed.  The X-rays did not show any fractures and an injury to the biceps tendon was suspected. Walter was prescribed analgesia and rest but did not respond well enough and so back to the referral hospital again.  This time for a specialist ultrasound and CT of his shoulder.  These tests confirmed a fracture of the shoulder blade, a very unusual injury to occur.

Thankfully no surgery was required for the fracture and it has healed very well with enforced rest and pain management.

Total Cost: $2900

Excess: $150 (total cost to Leanne)

So, by 6 months of age, poor little Walter has undergone 1 sedation, 1 joint tap, 4 general anaesthetics, 2 series of radiographs, 1 specialist ultrasound, two CT scans and one lot of specialist surgery. And all this before he is even old enough to have been neutered….

In total, Leanne has paid $300 in excess fees for over $6000 worth of veterinary treatment (in addition to the insurance premiums). Walter continues to romp around as a puppy should, completely oblivious to how good he has it!

If you have any further questions regarding pet insurance simply give us a call or drop into our Mt Martha vet clinic for a chat.


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