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SA's No 1 Insurance Blog

Do you have a cat or dog? Is it costing you an arm and a leg in vet bills?

The way I see it, you have two choices:

  • Fund all the Vet bills yourself (cool if you have loads of spare cash lying around or a mate who is a Vet)
  • Pay a small monthly contribution towards a health insurance plan and sleep easy.

I decided on the latter and in this blog post, I’m going to tell you why I decided to go with the guys at One Pet Health Insurance.

First off, their contributions are affordable. Sure, I’m looking to minimise the risk of expensive Vet bills, but I’m also not looking at breaking the bank. Like you, I’ve got a stack of insurance policies which cost me a bundle every month, so before I insured the pooch, I needed to make sure I can see real value in the product.

For most pet owners out there, the first question they would be asking themselves is: How much does pet health insurance cost? Let’s have a closer look.

The One Pet Health Insurance product is available in 3 plans:

  • Hospital Plan
  • Classic Plan
  • Super Plan

* Premiums quoted are per pet added to your policy (and only cats and dogs are covered)

Plan Type Premium Per Month
Hospital PlanFrom R133 per month
Classic PlanFrom R260 per month
Super PlanFrom R365 per month

Let’s take a closer look at each option in a little more detail

  • The Hospital Plan – R133 per month

             Benefit    Annual Insured Amount
Visits To VetsR0
Accident CoverUp to R28,000
Illness CoverUp to R28,000
Kennel FeesUp to R125 per day

The important thing to note with the One Pet Health Insurance Hospital Plan is that it doesn’t cover visits to the Vet.
It is, as the name suggests a ‘hospital plan’ and covers all in-hospital benefits. If your pet needs to be admitted to hospital as a result of an accident or illness then the costs associated with that event will be covered, up to R28,000 (and an overall maximum cap of R40,000 applies across the plan for the year)

If your pooch needs to go for a routine check-up, that needs to come out of your own pocket.

So when would you opt for a plan like this?

When you are comfortable that you can self-fund routine Vet visits and you only need cover for major medical emergencies, resulting from accidents or illness.

  • The Classic Plan – R260 per month

   Benefit    Annual Insured Amount
Visits To Vets Up to R1050 per visit (4 times a year)
Routine Care R650 per annum
Accident Cover Up to R29,000
Illness Cover Up to R29,000
Kennel Fees Up to R125 per day

A quick glance at the diagram above shows you that if you opt for the Classic Plan, the following two benefits are included, that aren’t available on the Hospital Plan.

  • Visits to the Vet
  • Routine Care Benefit

Now here is something to consider – If you had one pet on the Classic Plan, your annual contributions would amount to R2,748 (R229 pm x 12 months). But you are entitled to 4 vet visits at R1050 per visit.

A quick calculation would confirm that if you took your pet to the Vet 3 times a year, at an average visit cost of R1,000 you would have been better off being on the Classic Plan than paying the money out of your own pocket.

So the question you need to ask is:

  • How often do I take my pet to the vet, and
  • is it not worth my while to opt for a health insurance plan that covers these visits and which includes R28,000 for accident & illness cover?

Run the numbers in your head and it’s pretty easy to work out if you need to be on the Classic Plan.

  • Super Plan – R365 per month

 Benefit    Annual Insured Amount
Visits To VetsUp to R1350 per visit (4 times a year)
Routine CareR770 per annum
Accident Cover Up to R44,000
Illness Cover Up to R44,000
Kennel FeesUp to R150 per day

The Super Plan is the premium plan on the One Pet Health Insurance product range. For R365 per month per pet, you receive:

  • 4 Vet visits at R1350 per visit – that’s R5, 400, as well as
  • R44,000 for accidental and illness cover. The overall maximum annual limit for this is R60,000.

Is there anything else you need to know?

Yes, there are a few things you should note:

Policy Exclusions

The following will not be covered:

  • The foreseeable or predicted medical event
  • Claims recoverable from third parties
  • Costs over and above the specified cover limits
  • Cosmetic, elective or non-justifiable events
  • Obesity and behavioural conditions
  • Working dogs – any participation in racing or sporting activities from which an income is earned
  • Any event outside of the borders of South Africa
  • Infertility, breeding, mating and pregnancy costs
  • Spaying/Neutering
  • Services rendered by persons not registered with the SA Veterinarian Council
  • Costs incurred due to the negligence of your pet’s medical needs or health
  • Failure to follow the advice/instructions of your vet
  • Conditions that arise due to non-vaccination as recommended by your vet
  • Non-disclosure (intentional or unintentional), misrepresentation, fraud or misinformation
  • Claims submitted during the waiting period
  • Costs relating to abuse to your pet by yourself, your family members or staff
  • Costs relating to any new pandemic disease
  • Immunotherapy or cell replacement therapy
  • Costs related treatment protocols applied to excluded conditions for the diagnosis of conditions that are inconclusive
  • Any event not specifically covered in your schedule
  • Complementary treatments for e.g. acupuncture, hydrotherapy etc.

Do Waiting Periods & Excesses Apply?

Under the Accident Benefit section of the policy:

  • An excess of 25% of the claim is applicable for the first 6 months
  • An excess of 10% of the claim is applicable from month 7 and thereafter
  • There is no waiting period for this cover. The cover is immediate from the Inception Date

Under the Illness Benefit section of the policy:

  • Three month waiting period will apply from the Inception Date.
  • An excess of 25% of the claim will apply from month 4 to month 6.
  • An excess of 10% of the claim will apply from month 7 and thereafter.

There are a few specific conditions that are excluded for the first twelve months from the date of inception under this policy section (speak to One Pet about those conditions)

Under the Kennel Cover benefit section of the policy:

Should you be unable to care for your pet due to a personal unexpected health event, you will get the daily benefit amount paid out up to an overall benefit amount (see details earlier in the post)

Special conditions (as per the policy wording)

  • We will not cover hospitalisation due to alcoholism, drug abuse, drug addiction, attempted suicide or self-inflicted injuries…Please tell your dog!
  • Your pet must be booked into a registered kennel/cattery and you will need to provide proof of receipts.
  • We will require proof of hospitalisation i.e. hospital account.
  • If your pet is being looked after by someone, not living with you, while you are incapacitated, we will pay an amount of R50.00 per day for a maximum of 14 days.
  • There is a three month waiting period from the inception date.

Under the Routine Care benefit section

One month waiting period from the date of inception.

Only medical expenses e.g. vaccinations, deworming drugs, etc. related to the medical treatment of your pet will be covered.  Costs for accessories e.g. food, beds, toys, leashes etc. will not be covered.  You will need to provide us with a detailed invoice in order to validate your claim.

This cover may not be used in conjunction with any other cover in this policy schedule and any claims related to this cover will be considered one event.

Under the Veterinarian Visit benefit section of the policy

Your pet will have an amount of Rx per visit for vet consultations, radiology, pathology and prescription food, dental procedures (limited to one event per year). Forms part of the overall annual limit.

Limited to 4 visits every twelve months

One month waiting period from the date of inception.

For prescription food claims, you will need to provide a motivational letter from your vet and your pet must have been diagnosed with a condition for an event that has been claimed for under this cover.

This cover may not be used in conjunction with any other cover in this policy schedule.

Can You Take Out An Excess Buster To Waive The Excesses?

Yes, for R35 per month per pet, you can take out the extender benefit which waives the excesses on policy.

Can we help you with anything? Leave your details below and we will be in touch.

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