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Thread: Insurance question and an update :)

  1. #1

    Question Insurance question and an update :)

    Hi everyone! Haven't dropped by in awhile.
    We are going so well with Hooch. He is thriving, happy doggie!! He is still a little destruction on 4 but these days he keeps to things under $1000 a pop. Big improvement!

    My question is... We are with medibank pet insurance (80% no excess).
    Somewhere here a long time ago I read that if say Hooch is treated for a condition (cruciate ligament for example.. totally made up condition), next year when it is time to renew the policy, the condition will be considered pre-existing and not be covered by Medibank.
    I am worried as I want to make sure that as Hooch gets older and we find any chronic or recurring conditions - all will be covered no problems!

    I saw RSPCA has lifetime cover but you still have to renew every year.

    I am totally confused and would like to ask if someone could clear this up for me. What is a good (no excess) pet insurance policy? what are the pitfalls and should I look for another company?

    Thank you!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2009


    Medibank and RSPCA are backed by Hollards

    They have almost exactly the same PDS (Product Disclosure thingy)

    Which says if they pay out on an injury in one leg - they won't pay out on the same kind of injury on the other leg. It has to do with "bilateral conditions" eg cateract in one eye - cateract in other eye not covered. It's nuts.

    But you can get around that a bit, by ringing them up and asking them, and writing down the time and date and who you spoke to and what they say. Or - even better - getting an answer by email - tho I suspect they won't answer the email at all but it's worth a try.

    If you do get them to admit that further cover for that condition is not available - you could reasonably ask for a discount since they're providing less cover.

    Life time cover - means that as long as you start your insurance when the dog is young, and keep it paid up, that they won't stop the cover just because the dog turns 10 or 9 or what ever cut off age they have for that kind of dog. Some insurance will not insure a dog that is over a certain age - especially if there was no previous cover.

    Medibank probably has the same conditions or "lifetime cover" system as RSPCA because they're both really "Hollards".

    As far as I know - the only one that has a different backer is "Al I A" NZ - personally I've had bad experience with them so won't insure with them.

    You can download the PDS yourself and check for what it says about "bilateral conditions" and "lifetime" cover.

  3. #3


    Hyacinth - you are a gem!! thank you so much.
    One question.. if say Medibank treated his eye for infection this year, will they not treat it again next year because it is pre-existing condition? This is what worries me most... or will they not treat the other eye because it is bilateral?

    I really think there is a need for an overhaul of the pet insurance business as I read some horror/shocking reveiws about them... all of them!! scary stuff!!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2009


    Medibank treated his eye for infection this year, will they not treat it again next year because it is pre-existing condition?
    Well theoretically - you wouldn't bother claiming for some eye ointment.

    I'm not a lawyer or a vet but...

    Theoretically this is how I think it might go...
    If your dog got a grass seed in the left eye - and needed an op to get it out - and then the same eye flared up again and the vet said it was a continuation of the first event ie there was still some grass seed in there or something like that - then the insurance would theoretically pay up again for the second op.

    But they wouldn't pay up for an op to remove grass seed out of the other eye - even if it was done at the same time as the first op. Though that theoretically could be a lot cheaper cos you don't have to pay twice for the anaesthetic and recovery drugs - they would pay for that. But the procedure "remove grass seed from right eye" $200 - they wouldn't pay that. At least that's what they tried to do to my brother. First lump -they'd pay, other lumps they wouldn't. Except they'd already agreed 6 lumps 80% over the phone (email would be better - but you can always tell them you're recording when they say they're recording - you do have to tell them if you plan to record for the record).

    And if your dog - 2 years after you claim for the grass seed in the left eye - gets a cataract in the left eye - they may decide the cataract was caused by the grass seed - and not want to pay. Even tho there might be no scientific evidence to support decision of theirs.

    And so it goes.

    If your dog gets hip dysplasia - they will pay for the op for that and ongoing costs in the left leg - but not for the right leg. So basically - the insurance is worth half what they say... you will still have to stump up the other half. It is true that if a dog gets HD on one side, they're very likely to get it on the other side, and if the dog busts an ACL on one side, they often do it on the other side.

    What happens for humans is - you just pay extra to be covered. But not with dogs.

    And yet - as the insurance company starts reducing the cover because of this bilateral and pre-exisiting part of their exclusions - they don't reduce the cost of your cover. Which I feel is dishonest on their part. Less cover should be cheaper.

    Trouble is - we've got not much choice - insure with H and get reduced cover at the same cost any time you claim, or insure with A z and risk no payout at all. A z is much much bigger than H and much much better at maximising profit. I liked it better when insurance funds were not for profit mutuals ie a lot of people would pay in and they'd pay out if someone needed it. But now with insurance scams and lots of unprepared people enduring natural disasters, it's harder to do right by the honest customer.

    weather related natural disasters are on the increase at the moment. The hurricanes in the USA - before Katrina - nearly wiped out GIO and HIH. and one of the major car insurers did get wiped out and that's why (unbeknownst to me - my broker did it) I ended up with A-z.

  5. #5


    Thank you! this was very informative, truly appreciated!!
    Now what to do what to do.. this is choosing between bad and worst

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2009


    Hi Bunnygirl

    Have a chat with your vet about it. They will have the best idea on who pays out on what and how to word claims for best result.

    I'm seriously thinking of just self insuring next time my bill comes around. Or I can just keep paying and only claim on the big stuff like car accident or snake bite. And then not bother getting insurance.

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