Pet Insurance Q&A with HIF Sales Manager, Dawn Nicholls

This information is a discussion of the ‘HIF Pet’ insurance offering only.*

1. Are there any age limits?

With ‘HIF Pet’ the minimum age to start a pet policy is 8 weeks old. Our Basic policy will then cover your pooch for accidental injuries, ingesting foreign objects, poisoning, toxicity and treatment of paralysis tick and snake bites.

Our Middle cover however; insures your fur-kid from 8 weeks+ to those younger than 9 years of age (from their cover commencement date). This level of cover includes all services listed on our Basic Cover plus cancer treatments, joint luxations/dysplasia’s, intervertebral disk disease (IVDD) and some developmental problems.

Our Top policy is our comprehensive level of cover; which, just like our Middle Cover insures pooches from 8 weeks+ to those younger than 9 years of age (from their cover commencement date). It includes eligible vet expenses for your pet suffering any illness or accidental injury covered by the policy.

For example conditions occurred as a result of motor vehicle incidents, burns or electrocution, allergic reaction to insect bite (excluding flea bites), ingestion of foreign objects or a condition as a direct consequence of a bone fracture, snake bite toxicity, a traumatic ligament or tendon injury, a bite wound or fight wound abscesses, lacerations or abrasion of tissue, intervertebral disc disease, poisoning or cruciate ligament repair. For full policy inclusions and exclusions visit hif.com.au/pet.

With ‘HIF Pet’ we believe in covering your pooches for life, which is why we don’t stop insurance once they turn a particular age.

2.
Why are their age limits?

Age restrictions apply on our Middle and Top levels of cover due to a term of the policy called a pre-existing condition exclusion which applies to pet insurance products.

As our pets get older they may already have signs or symptoms of a condition that would be considered pre-existing. If any symptoms or signs of a condition occur, or the condition exists in any form prior to insurance or during the applicable waiting period, it will be considered a pre-existing condition; therefore all expenses incurred will not be covered.

That’s why we always encourage pet owners to purchase insurance as soon as possible for peace of mind for the entire family. For more information on pre-existing conditions, click here.

3. Why should I insure my puppy?

Pet insurance is important when it comes to the health and safety of our pets. It provides peace of mind if your pet is in an emergency situation, and offers financial support should you need to give your pet the very best medical care. Considering how mischievous puppies can be it makes sense to have cover given the sorts of trouble they can get themselves into!

By taking out ‘HIF Pet’ as early as possible, your pooch will be covered before he or she starts to show signs or symptoms of a condition. This means that should a condition present itself later in your pet’s life, it will not be considered a ‘pre-existing’ condition (see Q2 above).

4. Can I transfer my insurance?

Once you’ve purchased a pet insurance policy, it’s difficult to move from one insurer to the other as pre-existing conditions are excluded in any new pet policies. This means that if you switch from one pet plan to another, anything that you have claimed for with your current insurer would not be covered by HIF. That’s why we recommend you review your insurance, and compare the premiums and options available before making any decisions.

 5. Can I upgrade my insurance? 

Absolutely! You can change your level of cover at any time providing no claims have been paid in the policy period and your payments are up to date. You can also change your plan upon the renewal of a policy provided the plan is available to the age of that pet (e.g. A 10 years old pet cannot increase to top cover because the cut off age to start the top cover plan is 9 years old).

6. Are there breed-specific conditions that are excluded from cover?

No, we don’t exclude particular conditions for particular breeds. However if a pet displays symptoms of a condition occurring prior to taking out ‘HIF Pet’, it may not be covered due to the Pre-existing condition exclusion.

For example, Dachshund are prone to have Invertible disc disease (a spinal condition) because of their long backs. However we don’t exclude cover for Invertible disc disease under our top cover for Dachshunds unless the vet history indicates that the pet has had symptoms of the condition prior to taking out insurance. If there is no vet history or evidence that the pet had the condition before the insurance or within the waiting period, then a benefit would certainly be applicable.

Another example is coverage for soft palate surgery for breeds with squishy faces (e.g. Pugs, French or British bulldogs or Boston terriers). Again, if there is no vet history or evidence that the pet had the condition before the insurance or within the waiting period, then a benefit would be applicable.

Generally speaking a pet owner, would be (or should be) aware of the kinds of conditions a breed may be prone to, so we always recommend that you seek out the right level of cover for your pooch as early as possible. For full details, please visit hif.com.au/pet.

 7. What paperwork do I need to make a claim?

To make a claim we would require the full vet history from current and past vets along with an itemised tax invoice within 90 days on the treatment being provided. Then, to submit a claim, you’d simply visit our online pet pawtal or lodge by post with a HIF claim form. For full details on claiming, please visit hif.com.au/pet.

* For full details of terms and conditions, inclusions, exclusions, waiting periods and other important information, consider the HIF Combined PDS, Policy Terms & Conditions and FSG available at www.hif.com.au/pet to decide if this product is right for you HIF Pet is issued by The Hollard Insurance Company Pty Ltd AFSL No: 241436 arranged through Petsure (Australia) Pty Ltd AFSL 420183 and promoted by HIF Insurance Australia Pty Ltd AR No.25050