Pet insurance update Key features by plan

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					Pet insurance update                                                                                                                                                                                                       Key features by plan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                           AFS-PETMED                        MERIAL PERFECT                           PETSECURE                          RSPCA PET INSURANCE                    VETS OWN             INSURANCELINE

       he figures from overseas are enough to make                              “We have one policy for dogs and one policy for                                                     FEATURES
       a practice principal salivate. Pet owners with                         cats, so everything is black and white for the client,”                                               (as at August 1, 2006)                                                   PARTNERS PET                                                                                                                            PET HEALTH PLAN
       insured pets spend 42 per cent more than those                         Managing Director Renae Dickey said.                                                                                                                                           COVER
with uninsured pets. They visit the vet 30 per cent                             Petcover representatives attract clients online
more than those without insurance, spend 33 per                               as well as at lifestyle expos, charity events and fund-
cent more on routine and ancillary services per                               raisers. The average claim turnaround is two to 10 days.
visit and spent 51 per cent more on core veterinary                                                                                                                                 Benefit %
treatment every year, according to some UK insurers.                          Veterinary practice staff and the FSRA                                                                Accident or Illness                    80% of fees                       80% of fees                              80% of fees                        Either 70% or 80% of fees       80% of fees                 80% of fees
   Data suggests that when things go wrong, those                             Due care must be taking when discussing insurance
with insured pets visit the vet earlier in the course of                      policies with clients, as only individuals authorised                                                 Routine Health Care Option             Yes - stated benefit              Yes - $50 towards Frontline              No                                 Yes - stated benefit for        Yes - spend $200 and        Yes - ststed benefit for
illness than others – resulting in more treatment                             under the Financial Services Reform Act may sell or                                                                                          for defined treatment             $50 towards Heartgard                                                       defined treatment               receive $100 rebate         defined treatment.
options and better outcomes. And as every insurance                           advise clients on any insurance policy.                                                                                                      max $135                                                                                                      max $135                        on vet recommended          Max $135
provider will tell you, properly insured clients will                            However, Chris Blair said many vets had excessive                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       purchase or service.
never have to opt for economic euthanasia.                                    fears about the legislation.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               (Good Health Reward)
   While less than 1 per cent of Australia’s substantial                         “Vets and nurses are pleased to learn that they                                                    Limits Per Claim
companion animal population is insured, growth in                             can take an insurance brochure, go through that                                                       Accidental Injury                                                        $4,000                                   No Limit                           $5,500 (Acc only)               $5,000                      $6,000
the pet insurance industry is staggering.                                     brochure topic by topic with their clients, and not                                                                                          $5,500
                                                                                                                                                                                    Illness                                                                  $3,000                                   No Limit                           $6,000 (Acc + ill)              $5,000                      $6,000 (Only ill) $8,000 (Acc & ill)
   Knowledge and experience of pet insurance has                              be in breach of the financial services legislation,”                                                                                         $4,000
increased dramatically in the veterinary profession.                          Blair said.                                                                                           Overall per year                                                         $7,600                                   $5,500                             $8,135 (Acc + ill + routine)    $10,100                     $8,000 (Acc & ill)
Vet’s Own Pet Health Insurance proprietor                                        He said while vets and nurses stick to the written
                                                                                                                                                                                    Sub limits
Chris Blair said more vets understand the benefits                            material they aren’t breaching legislation.
of pet insurance to their patients, their clients and                            Furthermore, staff can share their own pet insur-                                                  Medicines & Drugs                      $1000/yr                          $1000/yr                                 No sub-limit                       $1000/yr                        $1000/yr
                                                                                                                                                                                    Hospitalisation                                                                                                                                      $1000/yr. $1200 when insuring                               $1000/yr
their practice.                                                               ance experiences with clients. Staff can also explain                                                                                        $1000yr                           $1000/yr                                 No sub-limit                                                       $1000/yr
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         on RSPCA PetCare Premium                                    $1000yr
   “The profession realises that pet insurance is not                         that pet insurance might have covered treatment
                                                                              given, as long as this is factually correct.                                                          Radiology                              $1000/yr                          $1000/yr                                 No sub-limit                       $1000/yr. $1200 when insuring   $1000/yr
Medicare for pets, but insurance that gives protection                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               $1000/yr
                                                                                 “The only thing you cannot do is make a recom-                                                                                                                                                                                                          on RSPCA PetCare Premium
against unexpected accident and illness,” he said.
   By pets of course, we’re talking dogs, cats and more                       mendation to the client that they should take out a                                                   Skin Conditions                        $1000/yr                          $1500/yr                                 No sub-limit                       $1000/yr                        $1500/yr                    $1000/yr
recently horses. Policies for pocket pets, exotics and                        particular policy. Pet insurance companies usually                                                    Cruciate Repair
                                                                                                                                                                                                                           No sub-limit                      No sub-limit                             $1200 per claim (per leg)          No sub-limit                    No sub-limit                No sub-limit
aquarium fish are not available. But market growth                            have a range of policies and only the client can
                                                                              decide what is right for them.”                                                                       Tick Paralysis                         No                                Yes subject to conditions                No                                 No                              $100                        No
and increased competition mean there are some
exciting changes on the horizon.                                                 Staff can inform a client that a particular company                                                Exclusions: Pre-existing conditions,   Yes                               Yes                                      Yes                                Yes                             Yes                         Yes
                                                                              provides pet insurance and may have a policy                                                          breeding specific excluded
                                                                              that suits their pet. This constitutes a referral.                                                                                           Note: Breed specific              Note: Breed specific                     Note: Breed specific               Note: Breed specific            Note: Breed specific        Note: Breed specific
More paws through more doors                                                                                                                                                        conditions, reproductive and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                           exclusions not applicable         exclusions not applicable                exclusions not applicable          exclusions not applicable       exclusions not applicable   exclusions not applicable
PetSure (Australia), which administers policies for six                       When a referral is made staff must disclose to the                                                    alternate therapies.                   wef September 06                                                                                                                              wef September 06
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             wef September 06                         wef September 06                   wef September 06                                            wef September 06
insurance brands (AFS-PetMed, Merial Perfect                                  client any benefit or kickback they receive for making
Partners Pet Cover, Petsecure, RSPCA Pet Insurance,                           the referral.                                                                                          Excess                                $50 annual                        No                                       $50 annual condition               No                              $50 annual                  No
Vet’s Own and Insuranceline Pet Health Plan), all                                To cover yourself and practice staff, ensure that any                                                                                     condition excess                                                           excess or S75 claim                                                condition excess            Can elect a $50 annual
underwritten by The Hollard Insurance Company,                                insurance provider to which you refer clients holds                                                                                                                                                                     excess depending on                                                                            condition excess to
now processes more than 3500 claims per month,                                an AFS licence. You can find this out by searching the                                                                                                                                                                  choice of cover                                                                                reduce premium
covering 0.65 per cent of Australia’s dog and cat                             ASIC website at
population.                                                                   I ANNE FAWCETT                                                                                        Premiums (monthly) incl. GST
   In the last 12 months, PetSure has seen a 135 per                                                                                                                                and Duties
cent growth in number of policies for the brands                                                                                                                                                                           From $17 to $41.65                $35                                      From $16.70 to $31.75              From $17.95 to $40.50           From $19.95 to $39.95       From $13.52 to $41.00
                                                                                                                                                                                    Includes routine options but
it administers, compared with 127 per cent for the                                                                                                                                  excludes multi pet discount
previous financial year.
   “Some of this growth can be attributed to more
awareness and acceptance of the need for pet insur-
                                                                                   Things to consider                                                                               Select/Special
                                                                                                                                                                                    Breed Loading
                                                                                                                                                                                                                           No                                No                                       Yes                                No                              Yes                         No

ance and the introduction of InsuranceLine Pet
Health Plan that markets directly to the pet owner,”
                                                                                   when evaluating                                                                                  Age Limit on joining                   8 wks-8 yrs                       Only applicable to puppies               8 wks-9 yrs                        8 wks-9 yrs                     8 wks-9 yrs                 8 wks-9 yrs
Managing Director Shaun Leveton said. And the
need for insurance is growing. According to data                                   a pet insurance                                                                                                                         No upper age limit for
                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Accident cover
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             and kittens between age of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             6-24 weeks who have joined               No upper age limit for
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Accident cover
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         No upper age limit for
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Accident cover
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         No upper age limit for
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Accident cover
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     No upper age limit for
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Accident cover
compiled by PetSure, claim costs have risen by 6.8 per
cent in that last financial year, with the price of an
average consultation increasing by 3.83 per cent
                                                                                   product                                                                                          Lifetime cover if joined by:           8 yrs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             free 6 week accident cover

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Yes automatic                            9 years                            8 years                         8 years                     9 years
across the country.                                                                Australia has seen a number of pet insurance
   Accidental injury accounts for 5.6 per cent of                                  providers burst onto the market – only to fail                                                   Waiting Period                         No waiting period for             30 days for Illness                      No waiting period for              No waiting period for           No waiting for              No waiting period for
claims, while illness accounts for 40.9 per cent. Most                                                                                                                                                                     Accidental Injury                 (no waiting for Accidental               Accidental Injury                  Accidental Injury               Accidental Injury or        Accidental Injury
                                                                                   and disappear months later. Dodgy products                                                                                              or Routine Care                                                                                               or Routine Care
claims (53.5 per cent) are for routine care.                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Injury if converting to paid                                                                                Good Health Reward          or Routine Care
                                                                                   and poor service can create a nightmare for                                                                                                                               policy with no gap)                                                                                         30 days for Illness.
   “This supports our strategy of supporting the                                                                                                                                                                           30 days for injury                                                         30 days for illness                30 days for injury                                          30 days for Illness.
veterinary industry by driving more paws through                                   clients and veterinarians.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Instant cover available
more doors," Leveton said. He said PetSure processes                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     from participating vets
                                                                                   I     Is the underwriter approved by the
78 per cent of claims within 48 hours.
                                                                                         Australian Prudential Regulation Authority?                                                Pet Tag and Lost and Found register    Petsafe tag                       Frontline/Heartgard                      Free Petsecure tag                 Available through RSPCA         Free Vets Own tag           No
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             tag available

     ater this year, exclusions for breed specific                                 I     How stable is the underwriter and what is
     conditions will be abolished from policies of                                       their history in underwriting pet insurance?
                                                                                                                                                                                    Extras                                 Emergency boarding                $15 Vaccination benefit                                                     Emergency boarding fees if      VIP club for vets/          Emergency boarding fees if
     all six brands administered by PetSure. Leveton                               I     Does the brand offer credibility?                                                                                                 fees if owner                     when transferring from                                                      owner hospitalised for more     nurses/staff 20%            owner hospitalised for more
said it was important to approach breed specific con-                                                                                                                                                                      hospitalised for                  free cover                                                                                                                              than 4 days.
                                                                                   I     What expertise do the promoters of the                                                                                                                                                                                                          than 4 days                     discount.
ditions cautiously at first, and the data supports a                                                                                                                                                                       more than 4 days
change in approach. “In keeping with our responsi-                                       product have in pet insurance, pet owner-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Between 5 - 20% of premium      Gift for Pet when           Free gift for pet and owner
ble approach to pet insurance it was important to                                        ship and the veterinary profession?                                                                                                                                                                                                             donated to RSPCA for as long                                on joining
ring fence the required data to look at the effect that                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  joining
                                                                                   I     Who is the administrator of the product?                                                                                                                                                                                                        as pet is insured
removing these exclusions from policies would have,”
he said. The changes will be supported by a slight                                 I     What is the average claim turnaround time?
increase in premiums that will enable providers to                                 I     Is the claim process complicated and is it                                                 Underwritten By                        The Hollard Insurance             The Hollard Insurance                    The Hollard Insurance              The Hollard Insurance           The Hollard Insurance       The Hollard Insurance
cover these costs.                                                                       easy for a client to understand how their                                                                                         Company Pty Ltd                   Company Pty Ltd                          Company Pty Ltd                    Company Pty Ltd                 Company Pty Ltd             Company Pty Ltd
                                                                                         claim has been processed?                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
New players                                                                        I     Does the provider/administrator employ
                                                                                                                                                                                    Web site: www                 au                      
18 months ago, made their debut.
Underwritten by Calliden Australia, the Petcover’s                                       staff with a veterinary or healthcare                                                      Contact Number:                        1300 732 172                      1300 668 100                             1300 855 160                       1300 855 150                    1300 668 890                13 88 68
strategy is to make pet insurance simple.                                                background?

Important Disclaimer This table provides an indicative comparison only. The distributors and underwriters of the insurance products shown in this table reserve the right to alter or vary the products at any             General Advice Warning The information on this table is of a general nature only and does not take into account your personal
time without notice. It is therefore important that you do not rely on the information provided in this table when making a purchasing decision. (Table compiled August 2006.) You should confirm the                      financial situation, needs or objectives. Therefore before you decide to buy one of these products it is important that you request
details of the products directly with the distributors by contacting them on the telephone numbers provided.                                                                                                               and read the Product Disclosure Statement available from the product distributors to make sure the product is appropriate for
                                                                                                                                                                                                                           your needs. This table is not to be reproduced without the written permission of Sydney Magazine Publishers Pty Ltd.
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Description: Pet insurance update Key features by plan