Questions and answers

We have provided answers to many commonly asked questions about our policies below. If you would like any more information, please download the Product Disclosure Statement for your policy or call us on 1800 668 502 (Mon-Fri 8.30am-5pm AEST).

 

Frequently asked questions about our policies

Our policies cover vet treatments and surgeries for accidental injury and illnesses ranging from minor problems such as ear infections and bee stings to major conditions such as broken bones, diabetes and cancer. Our Ultimate Care Plan goes one step further and also includes cover for Dental Illness (up to $1,000 per year) and optional Alternative Care cover of up to $1,000 per year.

Plus, if you choose the optional Routine Care cover you can use these benefits to provide your pet with cover towards routine preventative care such as vaccinations, health checks, flea, tick, worm control, teeth cleaning, microchipping, desexing and even council registration fees.

For further details, please refer to the relevant Product Disclosure Statement for your policy.

This is the stated percentage of each claim for eligible vet expenses for which we will reimburse you, subject to any applicable benefit limits or sub-limits.

For example: for a 70% benefit percentage, we will reimburse you for up to 70% of the eligible vet expenses, subject to benefit limits and sub-limits payable. Refer to the relevant Product Disclosure Statement for an example of how claim payments are calculated.

Note: The applicable benefit percentage will be shown on your Certificate of Insurance.

You can start your pet’s cover from 8 weeks of age and before its 9th birthday on our Peace of Mind Plan, Ultimate Care Plan and Indoor Cat Plan.

You can start your pet’s cover from 8 weeks of age and there is no upper age limit for our Accident Plus plan, so any pet can join no matter how old.

We offer lifetime cover, so once your pet is insured with us we will renew your pet’s policy for life, as long as you continue to renew your policy (subject to the terms and conditions of the policy).

Yes, you can visit any vet (other than yourself) that is licensed to legally practice as a veterinarian in Australia.

New policies
Your premium is calculated using a combination of factors to do with you and your pet. These factors can cause the premium to go amount up or down depending upon whether we believe it increases or decreases the risk to us. Factors include things like the cover you have chosen, the benefit percentage applicable to the cover you have chosen, where you and your pet permanently live, the species, breed, gender of your pet, the current age of your pet, the age you first insured your pet, and other factors related to our cost of doing business.

Renewing policies
Factors that are taken into consideration for renewal premium calculation include your pet’s age, breed, location, duration for which your pet has been insured, claims history, as well as data relating to the health of pets that are a similar age and breed.

Each year we review premiums based on these factors to ensure we can accommodate the costs of possible treatment up to your annual benefit limit, in the event that your pet becomes injured or ill.

Yes, if you insure more than one pet with us you will receive a 10% discount on the second and subsequent pets.

If you take out a new policy for a pet under 12 months of age, you will automatically receive 2 months free, which is applied as a discount over your 12-month policy period.2

If you take out a new policy for a pet between 1 and 4 years of age, you will automatically receive 10% off for the first year of your policy.2

Read more about our latest pet insurance deals

No. Pet insurance does not work like human health insurance. Human health insurance is ‘community rated’, which means that everyone pays the same premium for their health insurance regardless of their individual health status, age or claims history. This is not the case for pet insurance.

Health insurance providers are able to community rate health insurance because there are many other factors at play in the human health care system, such as Medicare and government rebates and subsidies, which is not the case with veterinary care and pet insurance.

Pet insurance claim reimbursements are paid for purely by the premiums received by those who insure their pets. In order for each person to pay a fair price for their pet insurance, premiums vary depending on your and your pet’s risk factors.

Every year, we review the cost of everyone’s insurance with regards to a combination of factors as well as claims inflation across all our insured pets. Increases in our claims costs due to increases in the range of available veterinary procedures, or due to an increased take-up of those services, impacts everyone’s premiums.

Your premium takes into account the average cost of care for pets like yours. To provide an example of this, a pet parent with a three-year-old French Bulldog will be affected by the trends we see in our data from hundreds of three-year-old French Bulldogs that we insure, as well as the specific claims history of their own pet.

You can upgrade to a higher cover at any time, as long as you haven’t made a claim on your current level of cover. If you have claimed in the current policy period, then you can change your cover on policy renewal. Where you upgrade to a higher cover level, then applicable waiting periods for the higher cover will apply.

If you are not happy with your policy, you may cancel the policy within the 21-day cooling off period as long as you have not made a claim, and any premium you have paid will be refunded in full, less any reasonable costs or taxes or duties we are unable to refund.

The excess (or per-condition excess) is the amount that you (the pet owner) pays towards a claim before pet insurance pays.

No excess on our new policies

We have listened to our customers, and know you prefer to get money back for each eligible vet bill. We have therefore removed the excess from our new range of policies. This translates into more rebates for you for even the smallest vet bills.

Bow Wow Meow will pay up to 80% of eligible vet fees (subject to any benefit limits or sub-limits) per annnum, up to a maximum of:

  • $5,000 on the Indoor Cat policy
  • $10,000 on the Accident Plus policy
  • $15,000 on the Peace of Mind policy
  • $20,000 on the Ultimate Care policy

Some sub-limits also apply within each policy.

No, you are covered for these items up to the annual overall benefit limit.

Yes, provided signs or symptoms of these defects were not present prior to commencing cover, or during the applicable waiting periods.

Hereditary and congenital conditions won’t be considered a pre-existing condition if they occur during the policy period. Refer to the Pre- Existing Condition review section in your Product Disclosure Statement for further information on cover eligibility.

  • Your Policy will commence at 11:59pm from the day selected in your proposal and when accepted by us.
  • Your Certificate of Insurance will state the commencement date of your policy, and your policy will be effective from 11:59pm on that date.
  • Depending on your level of cover, there may be different waiting periods that apply. For example, there is no waiting period for accidents and injuries, while most illness conditions have a 30 day waiting period.
  • The ‘What’s covered’ section of My pets in the pet portal and your Product Disclosure Statement will give a personalised overview of your waiting periods

Depending on the policy chosen, you will receive up to 60%, 70% or 80% of the eligible cost of treatment for your dog or cat, subject to the annual limits, benefit rates and conditions set out in your policy documentation.

You are not required to undertake a health check for your pet when you first get insurance. However, you may wish to apply to waive the six (6) month cruciate ligament waiting period (if covered by your policy) which will require a vet to examine your pet and complete this cruciate ligament exam form.

You also need to be aware that pre-existing conditions are excluded from illness cover, which includes conditions that pre-date the policy and conditions that arise during the waiting period.

As a Bow Wow Meow policy holder, you are entitled to a free personalised ID tag for your pet. A coupon for your tag will be emailed to you (as long as you continue to hold the policy after the 21-day cooling off period has ended) within 3-4 weeks after signup, along with instructions for ordering your tag online.

You can also order a new tag if you change your contact details or if your pet’s tag is lost (limit of one new tag per policy period).

Once you have ordered your tag, it will be sent out to you along with a handy pet health card to keep in your wallet. The card is a useful way to store information related to your pet insurance policy.

Yes, your premium will increase each year. This is for two main reasons:

Reason #1: More health issues

Just like humans, the older our pets get, the more likely they are to have health hiccups. Cats and dogs age faster than we do, which means that their veterinary treatment costs typically go up rapidly each year too. As a result, the cost of insuring your pet will also increase as they get older.

Reason #2: Advancements in veterinary treatments

The overall cost of medical treatment for pets has increased in recent years due to the increased availability of medical treatments and technology-enabled services and ongoing demand for these services. The treatment options and advancements in technology are providing us with great opportunities to give our pets a great quality of life for longer.

While this is great news for the care of our pets, these treatments come at a significant cost. Year on year treatment costs increase, and this is factored into the cost of pet insurance.

Please see ‘How do you calculate my premium’ for more information about calculation of premiums.

It’s a great idea to cover your puppy from the start, to make sure you are covered before any health issues are diagnosed and become pre-existing conditions. Most pet owners choose a policy that covers their puppy for accidental injury and illnesses, such as our Peace of Mind plan or Ultimate Care plan.

Our plans offer a choice of features and benefit levels. You can read more here:

Special offer: Take out a new policy for your puppy and you will automatically receive 2 months free, which is applied as a discount over your 12-month policy period.

Get a quote now

 

There are many reasons why it makes sense to take out pet insurance for your dog.

We know that, as caring parents, you value your dogs’ health and ensure they are always well looked after. Unfortunately, the fact is that no matter how well you look after them, most dogs will require veterinary treatment at some stage. Vet treatment nowadays is highly advanced, but that often comes with a hefty price tag. And unfortunately there is no Medicare for pets, so when anything happens to your dog, you will need to foot the entire bill.

Pet insurance is a way to protect both you and your pet from unexpected vet bills. There is no need for your dog to suffer if veterinary care is too pricey, and no difficult decisions for you to make other than getting them the care they deserve.

Above all, pet insurance will provide you with the security that you will never have to choose between money and the life of your beloved fur baby.

 

Some cat owners think that it may be unnecessary to insure a cat that stays indoors. However, most of the claims that we get for cats are related to illness conditions that can affect any cat. These include conditions like kidney disorders, diabetes and urinary tract disease.

Our Indoor Cat plan is designed specifically for the needs of indoor cats, who have a lower risk of getting injured, at an affordable price.

 

Get a quote now

If any Condition existed or occurred prior to the Commencement Date of the First Policy Period or within any applicable Waiting Period, and you or your Vet were aware of the Condition, or a reasonable person in your circumstances would have been aware of the Condition, then it may be considered to be a Pre-existing Condition and excluded from Cover. This is the case, irrespective of whether the underlying or causative Condition was diagnosed at the time.

Whether such a Condition is a Pre-existing Condition will depend on its nature and experience. If your pet has a Temporary Condition that has not existed, occurred or shown noticeable signs, symptoms or an abnormality in the 18-month period immediately prior to your claim Treatment date, it will no longer be excluded from Cover as a Pre-existing Condition. Chronic Conditions and several other specified Conditions cannot fall within this category.

Read more about this.

Hereditary Conditions and Congenital Conditions will also not be considered to be a Pre-existing Condition if they have not shown noticeable signs, symptoms or an abnormality at any time before the Commencement Date of the First Policy Period or during any applicable Waiting Period.

Refer to the FAQ and Definitions section in the Product Disclosure Statements for further information and pre-existing condition examples.

Watch our video explaining more about pre-existing conditions.

 

As with other types of insurance, anything that existed, or you were aware of, prior to your policy commencing is generally excluded from cover. Insurance policies are there to protect against the unexpected so for this reason, claims relating to pre-existing conditions are not covered. This helps keep coverage fair for all our customers.

However, we know that some conditions can genuinely be resolved or cured. So for that reason, pre-existing conditions are assessed differently depending on whether they are chronic conditions or temporary conditions for your pet.

Refer to the “Pre-existing condition review” section of the Product Disclosure Statements for further details.

Watch our video explaining more about pre-existing conditions.

If your pet has had a temporary condition that was subject to the pre-existing condition exclusion, you can apply to have it reviewed.

Your vet will need to certify and provide veterinary records verifying that the condition remains a temporary condition and has not existed, occurred or shown noticeable signs, symptoms or an abnormality for a period of 18 months. The pre-existing condition exclusion(s) will not be deemed to have been lifted unless agreed to by us in writing.

You can download a copy of the Pre-existing Condition Review form here.

If your pet has a chronic condition that existed or occurred before the commencement date of your first policy period or during any applicable waiting period, that condition will always be excluded from your policy.

Refer to the “Pre-existing condition review” section of the Product Disclosure Statements for further details.

As with most insurance products, there are certain situations in which you will not be covered (exclusions).

Our policies include some general exclusions, such as:

  • conditions which occurred prior to the commencement date of the first policy period or during any applicable waiting period
  • dental procedures and fractured teeth (unless you have the Ultimate Care Plan)
  • routine or preventative treatments (unless Routine Care cover is purchased, which provides a contribution up to the Routine Care limits)
  • some elective treatments and procedures
  • and breeding or obstetrics.

There may also be specific exclusions which may apply to specific levels of cover.

It is important that you read all of your policy documentation for full details (including ‘Section 2 – Your Cover’, ‘Section 3 – Additional Benefits’, ‘Section 4 – Optional Benefits’, your Certificate of Insurance and ‘Section 6 (respectively Section 5 for Indoor Cat Policy) – General Exclusions’ in the Product Disclosure Statements.

As with most insurance products, there are certain situations where you will not be covered.

Our policies include some general exclusions, such as:

  • conditions which occurred prior to the commencement date of the first policy period or during any applicable waiting period
  • dental procedures and fractured teeth (unless you have the Ultimate Care Plan)
  • routine or preventative treatments (unless Routine Care cover is purchased, which provides a contribution up to the Routine Care limits)
  • some elective treatments and procedures
  • and breeding or obstetrics.

There may also be specific exclusions which may apply to specific levels of cover.

It is important that you read all of your policy documentation for full details (including ‘Section 2 – Your Cover’, ‘Section 3 – Additional Benefits’, ‘Section 4 – Optional Benefits’, your Certificate of Insurance and ‘Section 6 (respectively Section 5 for Indoor Cat Policy) – General Exclusions’ in the Product Disclosure Statements.

Pet insurance costs vary depending on a number of factors including cover type, species, breed and age of the pet. To get a truly accurate idea, we suggest you get a pet insurance quote.

To get more idea of how premiums are calculated and average costs, please click here.

What should I do as soon as I have signed up?

When you first start your policy, there are a few things you should do to prepare you for future claims:

  • Read over your policy documents: Your policy documents are sent to you via post or email, depending on your communication preference. They can also be accessed at any time through the ‘My documents’ section in the Pet Portal. Check that all your personal details and pet details are correct. You should also make sure you understand your level of cover and any waiting periods, sub-limits and exclusions that may apply. Included in your welcome pack is your Product Disclosure Statement – this will give you information about what is and isn’t covered.
  • Add a reimbursement account: Adding a bank account for reimbursements means your claim payments reach you faster. If you already provided a bank account for premium payments this should be automatically set up for you. If you pay your premiums by credit card, you will need to add a reimbursement account. Banking preferences can be updated in the pet portal.
  • Understand claim requirements: At a minimum, we will need an itemised invoice for each claim, and usually for the first claim we will need vet consultation notes for the life of your pet. If you don’t provide these at the time of claiming, we may need to contact you or your vet and this may result in a delay in claim processing. Find out more in our Pet Portal
  • Add your vet details: Add in the details in the Pet Portal of your current and previous vets, so contacting them is easier and quicker for us.
  • Update your notification preferences: Email and SMS communication get to you faster than the post. If you wish to receive communication by email and SMS, ensure your notification preference is switched to ‘Digital’ in our pet portal for fast and easy notifications.
  • Review the cruciate ligament exam form: 
    • Dogs and cats have a cruciate ligament located in their knee that helps to stabilise the knee joint. Sometimes, the cruciate ligament can either partially or completely tear and it generally requires surgery to repair it.
    • Cruciate ligament conditions irrespective of cause or origin, are subject to a six (6) month waiting period unless we agree to waive it. To do this, we need to receive a completed and signed ‘Cruciate Ligament Exam Form*’ from your vet within 14 days of the cruciate examination date certifying that your pet has been examined, at your expense, on or after the policy commencement date. You can email, fax or mail the form, if we receive it within the 14-day timeframe. We will notify you of the outcome in writing. Refer to your PDS for further terms and conditions.
    • This form can be found in your welcome pack or you can download it here.

Policy management

It’s great you want to insure another pet with us. The good news is that you will get 10% off your premiums for a second or consecutive pets that you insure with us.

To add a new pet to your policy, please call us on 1800 668 502 (Mon – Fri 8.30am – 5pm AEST) or contact us and we can arrange this for you.

For your convenience and to ensure continuity of cover for your pet, we will automatically renew your policy each year unless you instruct us otherwise.

You will receive your renewal notice a few weeks before your renewal date – either by email or in the post depending on your notification preferences. This notice will specify any changes to your cover or your premium.

There’s no need to get in touch unless you would like to discuss making changes to your cover or any of your details or your pet’s details have changed. Contact us if you’d like to discuss your cover options.

Yes, all you need to do is call us with your request and we’ll let you know what’s required.

Bear in mind that your authorised person does not have the same rights as you, the policy holder. This is designed to protect your interests.

Authorised persons can make claims, enquire about claims, update payment details and change the premium collection date or frequency. They will not be able to cancel your policy, add a pet, make changes to the level of cover, register for the Pet Portal or change your contact details – these rights reside with the policy holder.

For privacy and legal reasons, we cannot release any policy information to those not authorised on your policy.

You are able to cancel your pet’s policy at any time. We understand circumstances can change and would like to see if we can help keep your cover active. Please call our customer service team on 1800 668 502 (Mon-Fri 8.30am-5pm AEST) or send us an email (including your policy number), so we can discuss your options.

If you do decide to cancel, we will issue a pro-rata refund for the uninsured period where premiums are paid annually, less any applicable government or statutory charges. If you pay by instalments, we will not deduct any further premiums after the date of cancellation.

Claims & pre-approvals

There are many quick and easy ways to make a claim.

Option 1:  Your Vet submits your claim

  • You can have your Bow Wow Meow claim processed on the spot if your Vet clinic is a GapOnly™ partner. GapOnly™ reviews and calculates your claims while you’re still in-clinic, so you only have to pay the gap between your pet insurance benefit and your vet invoice for eligible claims. Ask your vet or check here to see if they are signed up for GapOnly™ claiming yet.
  • Alternatively, many vets can submit your claims directly us on your behalf via our paperless eClaims service. Ask your vet if they can do this for you at the time of settling your invoice.

Option 2:  Submit your claim online

If your vet can’t submit your claim on your behalf, the easiest way to make a claim yourself is by through the Pet Portal. To make a claim, you will need the following documentation:

  • Itemised invoice (a paid invoice that includes individual treatment items and costs adding up to the total amount paid)
  • Vet consultation notes, if you have them (these are the veterinarian’s medical notes from examination findings)

For the first claim we also require vet consultation notes for the life of your pet. If you adopted your pet at a later age, we will need documentation showing the date you took ownership. To help assist us with obtaining this vet history, you can also add your vet details in the Pet Portal.

You can submit your claim without vet consultation notes but in some cases, we may not be able to process your claim without them. If this is the case, we may need to contact you or your vet/s which may result in a delay in processing your claim.

Option 3:  Send your claim in the mail

If you would prefer to lodge your claim in the mail, please follow these steps:

  • Step 1:  Download a claim form here and print it out.
  • Step 2:  Fill in your and your pet’s personal information in Part 1 of the claim form and sign the form.
  • Step 3:  Take the claim form to your Vet, and have him/her complete the applicable sections. Ensure your Vet includes his/her practice details on the attached invoice.
  • Step 4:  Attach detailed itemised invoices and payment receipts and a full veterinary history if this is your first accident or illness claim (no history is required for routine care claims) to the completed claim form and mail it to us at the address below:Bow Wow Meow Pet Insurance
    Claims Department
    Locked Bag 9021
    Castle Hill  NSW 1765

Once we receive your claim form, we will process your claim without delay.

When you visit the vet, you may have several different treatments that happen in one visit – such as a vaccination and treatment for an ear infection.

While you may submit these in one claim, we need to process them per pet condition type. This will make it easy for you to see which expenses have been covered and what documents we require to complete each individual claim.

You can also see your benefit amount for each condition and if any excess has been applied.

Claims are generally processed within 5-10 business days, if we have all the required documentation.

To ensure speedy processing of your claim, you will need the following documentation:

  • Itemised invoice (a paid invoice that includes individual treatment items and costs adding up to the total amount paid)
  • Vet consultation notes, if you have them (these are the veterinarian’s medical notes from examination findings)

For the first claim we also require vet consultation notes for the life of your pet. If you adopted your pet at a later age, we will need documentation showing the date you took ownership. To help assist us with obtaining this vet history, you can also add your vet details in the Pet Portal.

You can submit your claim without vet consultation notes but in some cases, we may not be able to process your claim without them. If this is the case, we may need to contact you or your vet/s which may result in a delay in processing your claim.

If the required documentation is not submitted with the claim, there may be a delay and we may need to contact you or your vet/s.

Generally, for the first claim we require vet consultation notes for the life of your pet.

If you can provide us with proof of adoption or transfer of ownership papers, we will only request vet documentation from that date onwards.

Yes. If your pet requires treatment and you wish to seek pre-approval of those costs, you can provide us with the itemised estimate of costs from your vet, along with the treatment required and relevant clinical records and/or veterinary history, and we will respond to you in writing with the outcome.

For more information refer the ‘Claim Pre-approval’ section in the Product Disclosure Statements.

Note: pre-approvals are not mandatory and not required in order to make a claim under your policy.

If you have a complaint

We hope that you never have reason to complain, but if you do we will do our best to work with you to resolve it. Our complaints resolution process has three steps. Please let us know if you require additional assistance to lodge a complaint.

1 – Immediate Response 

Usually when you have a concern, we can resolve it immediately on the phone. If we can’t immediately resolve your concern we will treat it as a complaint and take steps to resolve your complaint as soon as possible. We will acknowledge your complaint within one business day of receiving it.

Please contact us using one of the following means: 
Phone: 1800 668 502
Writing: Bow Wow Meow Pet Insurance, Customer Service Complaints, Locked Bag 9021 Castle Hill NSW 1765

Please supply your policy number, if applicable, to enable the complaint or enquiry to be dealt with promptly. Your complaint or enquiry will be dealt with by someone with appropriate authority.

2 – Internal Dispute Resolution 

If we haven’t resolved your complaint to your satisfaction, at your request (refer to contact details provided for ‘1 – Immediate Response’), we will escalate your complaint for review by our Internal Dispute Resolution team. All escalated complaints will be acknowledged within one business days of being escalated. The Internal Dispute Resolution team will review your matter and any supporting evidence. After full consideration of the complaint a written final response will be provided that will outline the decision reached and the reasons for the decision.

3 – External Dispute Resolution 

In the event that your complaint is not resolved to your satisfaction, or a final written response has not been provided within 30 days, you can refer your complaint to the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA), provided your complaint is within the scope of the AFCA Rules.

AFCA is an independent dispute resolution service provided free of charge.

You may contact AFCA at:
Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) 
Mail: GPO Box 3, Melbourne VIC 3001
Phone: 1800 931 678
Website: www.afca.org.au
Email: info@afca.org.au

Premiums and payments

New policies
Your premium is calculated using a combination of factors to do with you and your pet. These factors can cause the premium to go amount up or down depending upon whether we believe it increases or decreases the risk to us. Factors include things like the cover you have chosen, the benefit percentage applicable to the cover you have chosen, where you and your pet permanently live, the species, breed, gender of your pet, the current age of your pet, the age you first insured your pet, and other factors related to our cost of doing business.

Renewing policies
Factors that are taken into consideration for renewal premium calculation include your pet’s age, breed, location, duration for which your pet has been insured, claims history, as well as data relating to the health of pets that are a similar age and breed.

Each year we review premiums based on these factors to ensure we can accommodate the costs of possible treatment up to your annual benefit limit, in the event that your pet becomes injured or ill.

If you miss a payment you will be notified by SMS, email or letter.

A policy may be cancelled due to non-payment if a payment is unsuccessful on three separate occasions. If you receive communication from us regarding a missed payment, make sure your payment details are up to date. You can update your bank details through your Pet Portal or contact us to discuss your payments.

Bear in mind that if your premium cannot be paid (for example there is not enough money in your nominated account) your bank may dishonour that payment, and you may be charged a dishonour fee by your bank. Neither Hollard nor PetSure will be responsible for dishonour fees charged by your bank or financial institution should this occur.

If you pay your premiums by direct debit, a valid claim will be paid directly into your nominated bank account.

If you pay your premiums by credit card, a valid claim will be paid by cheque if you don’t provide us with reimbursement account details.

You can add a reimbursement account here.

You can pay by credit card or by direct debit from a bank account.

For your convenience, you can choose to pay your premiums fortnightly, monthly or annually.

The best way to request a change to your payment date or frequency is by contacting us to discuss your payment options.

We will do what we can to find a payment schedule that suits your needs.

Get a quote

Go

10% discount for multiple pets

Free engraved pet ID tag on sign up3

Customer Satisfaction

21 day cooling off
Life-long cover4
Streamlined claims

2 months free for puppies & kittens!

Congrats on your new bundle of joy!

To ensure your fur baby is covered from the start, we'd like to offer you 2 months free in your first year. This promo will be automatically applied on sign up for pets under 12 months old.2
Get a quick quote