Pet Insurance (eg Medibank) Vs Pet Membership (eg. Greencross Vets Healthy Pets Plus)

Hi OzB Community,

We are adopting our first puppy in two weeks time and are looking at insurance options. One of the fellow dog parents of the litter were looking at going with the Pet membership option where as we were originally looking at Pet Insurance.

Anyone have any opinions on which option they prefer and why?

Update: Thanks for all the responses, we have decided to go with the Pet Insurance option.

Poll Options expired

  • 6
    Pet Insurance
  • 1
    Pet Membership


  • +3

    Neither. They're all a rip off with lots of exclusions, lots of out if pocket expenses, etc.

    • Thanks I'll add no insurance to the poll

      • Actually nevermind can't edit poll choices

    • Priced just walking into a Vet lately? let alone taking your pet with you for an examination…

  • +1

    Two different things, healthy pets plus will get you vacs, 'free' consults but only a slight discount if puppy needs a big op or treatment (free blood work will lower the cost).
    Pet insurance will potentially cover up to 80% of the op.
    I'm with HCF pet insurance and they have paid out every-time without an issue, vet fills in the form for us and sends it off, we get the funds within a few weeks.

  • Healthy Pets Plus is something you can get after your pet already has an existing condition and you know for a fact you'll save money with it. We used it for one of our cats when he was old and needed regular vet visits due to kidney issues etc. For our young healthy cat, we don't insure because it's cheaper to self insure over the long term in most cases.

  • +2

    If you're getting a breed that is prone to health risks (Dachshund, bulldog etc), you really should buy the insurance and assure that the one you have covers the animal's risk on the PDS. Even non-risky breeds can be a handful as a pup (eating toxins, chewing electrical cables, hurting limbs, finding out about congenital issues).

    Orangetrain is right that exclusions can make it a total farce and I question the point of a middle-of-the-road package, let alone the basic emergency-only package. I think the insurance products are steered so that the top-shelf product is the only one that gives you the cover you really need.

    In any case, we went top package with Medibank pet and have saved thousands already. The premium isn't too bad either.

    Never had an issue on claiming and their service has been fantastic. Most vet clinics are well versed in pet insurance claims and some do it on your behalf.

  • +2

    Note that the price goes up and up as the dog ages. Starts at $600year, then once the dog hits 12 of a 16 year expected lifespan the price last year for us was $1800/year. Probably over $2K/year next year. Overall I think better to self insure.

  • +1

    Growing up my family dog developed a lot of health issues, and my partner the same - and in both our families, our dogs ended up with poorer quality of life because of the financial restraints. So when we decided to get a puppy (Yes a Covid Furbaby!) we were fully aware of how bad the financial impact can be.

    Healthy Pets Plus we're with - It's great that all appointments are free with the membership (especially with a puppy we didn't want to be in a sitation where we're unsure if the pup's okay or not, and feel discouraged to go to a vet just in case because of the out of pocket cost).

    Plus, things go wrong all the time, like accidents. I've heard stories of dogs falling off balconies (and we live in a 5th floor apartment), or other dogs getting too rough and getting injuries, plus breed-prone conditions like dislocating knees and cruciate ligament issues.) We ended up getting insurance with Pet Insurance Australia - because after some research a lot of pet insurance policies reduce the % covered after 9 years of age.

    TLDR: HPP is worth it when you'd like to go to the vet "just to be safe" and not worry about the cost of every appointment, Pet insurance - I think is better safe than sorry.

    • Just remember as the dog gets older PIA will raise the price until you financially give up and have to leave the dog uninsured, eg our fluffy baby was $1800/year for 80% coverage from PIA. The dog will die with a more predictable 3 year time-window than humans, and PIA doesn't want to have you as a customer when the dog is in its last years of life.

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