Are Pet Wellness Plans worth it?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question, “Are pet plans worth it?”, as the individual requirements of owner and pet, as well as the type of pet care plan under consideration, will all play a part in determining the best answer.
An important distinction is whether the pet wellness plan is a stand-alone plan, for example, those offered by vets, and those which are an optional addition to your pet insurance policy, such as Bow Wow Meow’s Routine Care Plan. The latter will ensure that you have comprehensive cover that includes unexpected expenses like accidents and illnesses, in addition to some degree of cover for routine veterinary expenses.
Important considerations when weighing up Wellness Plans
Where can you use it?
Stand-alone Vet Care Plans are typically offered by veterinary clinics, to be used only at their clinic or network of clinics. If you move away or wish to change to a different vet, you won’t be able to use any remaining benefit you have on the plan.
Routine Care cover added to your Pet Insurance policy can generally be used at any licenced veterinary practice in Australia.
Is a Wellness Plan cheaper than Pet Insurance?
The costs of both Pet Insurance and Vet Care Plans are typically based on many different factors, including the age and species of the pet, the location and the level of coverage chosen.
It is possible for the cost of a vet care plan to be greater than or equal to the amount you would pay without a plan, if you were to add up the cost of the routine visits you would be making during the course of the plan.
Depending on individual circumstances, it is also possible for the annual cost of a vet wellness plan to exceed the cost of pet insurance for the equivalent period.
What is covered by a Wellness Plan?
A pet wellness plan is intended to help cover expected or routine preventative veterinary care costs. Depending on the plan, a vet wellness plan generally covers a portion of claims for things such as:
- Wellness checks – annual physical examinations to look for anything out of the ordinary.
- Preventive procedures such as vaccinations, deworming, flea control and heartworm testing, which may or may not be required each year
- Spaying, neutering and microchipping, which are only required once.
These routine or wellness vet visits are not usually covered by standard pet insurance policies, although some pet insurance providers may offer this type of cover as an optional “add-on” to your policy. For example, Bow Wow Meow Pet Insurance offers the option of adding Routine Care cover to your policy, which helps cover some of the costs of your pet’s routine care needs.
What is excluded by pet Wellness Plans?
Vet wellness plans are not pet insurance and will not cover your pet for illnesses and accidents, including diagnostic tests, treatment and medications, all of which can really add up in dollar terms.
How often will I use a pet Wellness Plan?
- Puppies and kittens usually need several routine vet visits during their first year for things like vaccinations, deworming and desexing.
- Once they reach adulthood, most dogs and cats only need to visit the vet around once per year for routine care.
- When pets reach their senior years, twice yearly preventative care visits are generally recommended.
Is a pet Wellness Plan worth the extra cost?
Cost-wise, it’s always best to do your homework well. The important thing to realise is that these type of pet care plans are not pet insurance; pet Wellness Plans don’t cover emergency medical care or the costs of treating illnesses and injuries — that is what pet insurance is for.
While a vet care plan may seem more affordable than a Pet Insurance plan, the vet care plan is for preventative care only and won’t cover your pet for illnesses and accidents, including diagnostic tests, treatment and medications, all of which can really add up in dollar terms.
So, before jumping into a Vet Care Plan that may sound enticing when spruiked by the staff in the vet clinic, get a quote for Pet Insurance with the Routine Care option included, or if you already have Pet Insurance, find out how much it would cost to add routine care to your pet insurance policy. This is the best way to have peace of mind that your pet will be covered for both predicable and unpredictable expenses.
A pet insurance policy with Bow Wow Meow will help ensure you can always afford to give your pet the best treatment, whatever your budget.
Find out more about our pet insurance options for dogs
Find out more about our pet insurance options for cats