Woolworths Pet Insurance Review: Coverage, Costs and Claims

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  • Post published:February 12, 2024
  • Post category:Insurance

Getting pet insurance can provide great peace of mind for pet owners by helping cover the costs of veterinary care. But with so many providers available, it can be tricky to know which one to choose.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll be taking an in-depth look at Woolworths Pet Insurance review to see if it’s the right choice for your furry friend.

We’ll cover what’s included in their different policy options, how pricing works, what real customers have to say in reviews, how their claims process works, and more.

Woolworths Pet Insurance Review: Overview

Woolworths Pet Insurance was launched in 2014 as a partnership between supermarket giant Woolworths and underwriter Hollard Insurance. It’s become one of Australia’s larger pet insurers.

They offer comprehensive illness and accident cover for dogs and cats. One of their big selling points is fast claims processing – they report that 96% of completed claims are processed within 5 days.

Their coverage options are straightforward, with 3 main tiers:

  • Basic Cover – up to $5,000 per year
  • Standard Cover – up to $10,000 per year
  • Comprehensive Cover – up to $24,000 per year

On top of this, Woolworths Pet Insurance offers some other features and perks:

  • Multi-pet discounts – 10% discount for your 2nd and subsequent pets
  • Routine care – Optional extra covering desexing, microchipping, etc
  • Dental illness cover – Optional extra covering dental treatments
  • VetAssist – Free 24/7 phone/video vet consultations
  • Woolworths Rewards – 10% off your Woolworths shop once per month

We’ll take a deeper look at their coverage inclusions and exclusions later in the review.

What Do Customers Have to Say in Woolworths Pet Insurance Reviews?

Reviews of Woolworths Pet Insurance are very mixed. On ProductReview, they have an average of just 2.3 stars from over 120 reviews. Complaints range from policy exclusions and premium increases to poor claims experiences.

Here’s a sample of the negative feedback:

  • “I’m disgusted to see Woolworths Pet insurance has removed its 10% discount for online shopping. Another way for them to rip us off as more people with busy lives choose to shop online.”
  • “The policy is misleading. Whenever we made a claim for vet bills, we only get 5-10% of the eligible vet bills, instead of 80% as per policy.”
  • “Their website tells me to live chat. The Mandy bot tells me to call them. I call there’s Mandy again! She’s telling me to ring during business hours because all their humans have gone home.”

However, there are also many 5 star reviews praising Woolworths’ quick claims processing and general customer service:

  • “We have made two claims on our puppy’s vet bills since taking out our policy in May. Both claims were settled at the 80% rebate level without hassle.”
  • “My dog recently had an unexpected injury and I put the claim in on Sunday, Monday morning I received an outcome and Monday night the funds hit my account.”
  • “The insurer paid 80% of the costs and reimbursed my bank account within 24-48 hours of approving the claim.”

So it seems experiences can vary quite a bit. We’ll take a closer look at their claims process shortly.

What’s Covered By Woolworths Pet Insurance?

Woolworths Pet Insurance policies provide cover for vet expenses relating to accidents and illnesses.

Some of the key inclusions are:

  • Accidental injuries – Covers fractures, snake bites, motor vehicle accidents, and more
  • Illnesses – Covers cancer treatments, infections, diabetes, arthritis, and hundreds of other illnesses
  • Surgery – Both emergency and planned surgeries
  • Consultation fees – Up to $300 per year
  • Cancer treatment – Includes chemotherapy, radiation therapy, etc
  • Hospitalisation – If your pet stays overnight at the vet
  • Alternative therapies – Options like acupuncture and hydrotherapy

You can also add routine care cover and dental illness cover as optional extras.

Are pre-existing conditions covered?

No, like most insurers, Woolworths Pet Insurance does not cover pre-existing conditions.

These are defined as any symptoms or conditions your pet had prior to taking out the policy or during the waiting period. Crucially, they also include conditions that “should have been reasonably known” about.

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So unfortunately, any issues your pet has had in the past will be excluded from cover.

What’s not covered by Woolworths pet insurance?

Some key exclusions to be aware of:

  • Pre-existing conditions
  • Pregnancy/giving birth
  • Elective treatments – Including desexing, nail clipping, grooming
  • Experimental treatments
  • Breathing difficulties – Including Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS)

Pet insurance never covers absolutely everything, so it’s important that you read the PDS (Product Disclosure Statement) to see the full list of inclusions, exclusions and waiting periods.

Waiting periods for Woolworths pet insurance

Waiting periods apply before you can make a claim for certain conditions:

  • 2 months – Cruciate ligament conditions
  • 6 months – Hip dysplasia
  • 30 days – Illnesses like cancer, infections, etc
  • 0 days – Accidental injuries

So while your pet will have immediate accident cover, you’ll need to wait for illness coverage to kick in. Make sure you can cover any emergency vet bills during the initial waiting period.

How Much Does Woolworths Pet Insurance Cost?

The cost of Woolworths Pet Insurance can vary quite a bit based on your location, pet breed, pet age and the coverage tier you choose.

Some factors that increase your premiums include:

  • Older pets – Premiums go up as your pet ages
  • Pedigree dogs – Purebred dogs cost more than mixed breeds
  • Location – City dwellers pay more than regional areas
  • Higher coverage limits – Comprehensive cover costs more than basic

On average though, here’s an approximate guide to costs:

Woolworths PolicyAvg Monthly Premium
Basic Cover$30 – $50
Standard Cover$40 – $70
Comprehensive Cover$60 – $100

To get an accurate quote tailored to your pet, you’ll need to get a quote directly from the Woolworths website.

When getting a quote, you can choose to add on routine care and dental illness cover for an additional cost. You’ll also pick your annual coverage limit and excess level which affects premiums.

Excess options

Woolworths Pet Insurance has a choice of 3 excess levels:

  • $0 excess
  • $100 excess
  • $500 excess

Choosing a higher excess reduces your premiums but means you pay more upfront when you claim. Having no excess costs more but can make claiming simpler.

Discounts

  • Multi-pet discount – You’ll get 10% off the premium for your 2nd and subsequent pets insured under Woolworths Pet Insurance.
  • Woolworths Rewards – Customers also get 10% off one Woolworths grocery shop per month. But this perk has become less generous, now only applying to in-store purchases rather than all online shopping.

So while Woolworths Pet Insurance historically offered quite competitive rates, they have lost some of their price advantage in recent years based on customer feedback. Many review mention much higher premiums upon renewal.

How to Make a Claim with Woolworths Pet Insurance

Making a claim with Woolworths Pet Insurance can be done in 3 main ways:

  • Online – Through your Woolworths Pet Insurance portal
  • Post – Fill out a form and post with documentation
  • Vet Pay – Your vet submits your claim directly

To make the process as smooth as possible:

  • Keep detailed receipts and records for all treatments
  • Take photos of any injuries
  • Get itemised tax invoices from your vet
  • Call your underwriter for pre-approval of big treatments

Once submitted, Woolworths Pet Insurance prides itself on fast claims processing:

  • 96% processed within 5 days
  • 76% processed within 1 day

If your claim gets rejected, you can lodge an appeal by calling their disputes resolution team.

However, based on negative customer reviews, claims processing may not always be as seamless as advertised. Disputing rejections can be challenging too. So it’s important to understand any grey areas in your policy before submitting a claim.

Pros and Cons of Woolworths Pet Insurance

Let’s summarize some of the key positives and negatives of Woolworths Pet Insurance based on what we’ve covered in this review:

Pros

  • Fast claims processing – Most claims processed within 5 days
  • Vet Pay – Lets vets handle claims directly
  • Optional routine care – Dental, desexing and more available
  • Multi-pet discounts – 10% off for additional pets
  • Woolworths Rewards – 10% off groceries in-store
  • Instant accident cover – No waiting period for accidents
  • 24/7 vet access – Free phone/video consultations
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Cons

  • Premium increases – Reviews mention steep price hikes
  • Limited discounts – No options beyond multi-pet discount
  • Policy changes – Reviews mention regular removed benefits
  • Pre-approvals – Recommended for big claims
  • Mixed claims experiences – Some report rejections and delays

So in summary, they offer decent features like routine care cover and fast claims processing – but based on reviews, customer experiences appear to be hit or miss.

Is Woolworths Pet Insurance Right for You?

Here are a few quick questions to help decide if Woolworths Pet Insurance would be a good fit:

  • Is your pet young and healthy? The policy works best for pets with minimal prior issues. Older pets have limited coverage.
  • Do you want dental cover? Their dental illness add-on provides protection for dental treatments.
  • Will your pet’s breed impact premiums? Some breeds like French Bulldogs cost more to insure.
  • Does your pet have pre-existing conditions? Any prior illnesses or symptoms will be excluded.
  • Do you regularly shop at Woolworths? You can take advantage of their 10% grocery discount.
  • Are you comfortable managing the claims process? Rejection disputes can be difficult.
  • Can you afford premium rises at renewal? Many customers experienced steep price hikes.

If you have a young healthy pet and want options like dental illness cover, Woolworths Pet Insurance could be a good option – just be prepared to shop around at renewal time.

For older pets with health conditions, you may want to look at alternatives like PetSure or PetPlan to get better coverage.

Woolworths Pet Insurance Review: Competitors Comparison

It’s always smart to compare pet insurance companies before making your final choice. Here’s how Woolworths stacks up against some of the major competitors:

Woolworths Pet Insurance

  • Pros – Established provider, fast claims, grocery rewards
  • Cons – Mixed reviews, policy changes, premium hikes
  • Plans – Basic, Standard and Comprehensive
  • Annual limits – Up to $24,000
  • Price – $$ out of $$$

PetSure

  • Pros – Range of customisable plans, excellent reviews
  • Cons – Slightly slower claims process
  • Plans – Entry, Classic, Comprehensive, Ultimate
  • Annual limits – Up to $20,000
  • Price – $$$ out of $$$

RACQ Pet Insurance

  • Pros – Competitive pricing, fast claims processing
  • Cons – Website and portal frustrations
  • Plans – Basic, Plus
  • Annual limits – Up to $10,000
  • Price – $$ out of $$$

PetPlan

  • Pros – Leading provider, lifelong cover available
  • Cons – On the pricier side
  • Plans – Essential, Complete
  • Annual limits – From $10,000 – unlimited
  • Price – $$$ out of $$$

The Bottom Line: Who Should Consider Woolworths Pet Insurance?

Woolworths Pet Insurance offers solid core coverage options and has some nice extras like their routine care add-on.

Their fast claims processing is a major perk – just be aware that based on reviews, claims don’t always go smoothly for everyone.

Rising premiums also appear to be an issue over the long term. But frequent Woolworths shoppers can take advantage of their grocery discount rewards.

All in all, Woolworths Pet Insurance is a decent choice for healthy pets without previous medical history. Just be prepared to potentially switch providers down the road if prices increase too much at renewal time.

To start with the best plan for your pet’s needs, get an obligation-free quote direct from Woolworths Pet Insurance’s website.

Frequently Asked Questions about Woolworths Pet Insurance

Does Woolworths Pet Insurance cover cruciate ligament surgery?

Yes, Woolworths Pet Insurance policies do cover cruciate ligament conditions. But there is a 2 month waiting period before cruciate treatments are covered.

Once the waiting period passes, their Comprehensive cover option provides up to $4,000 per leg, per year towards cruciate surgery and treatment.

Is cataract surgery covered by Woolworths Pet Insurance?

Cataract surgery is covered under the illness coverage once waiting periods have passed, as long as the condition was not pre-existing.

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For example, cataracts stemming from diabetes would be covered as long as diabetes was not diagnosed before taking out the policy or during waiting periods.

Does Woolworths Pet Insurance cover hip dysplasia?

Yes, Woolworths Pet Insurance does provide cover for hip dysplasia, an inherited condition common in dogs.

However, there is a 6 month waiting period for hip dysplasia coverage. Any symptoms arising before the waiting period ends would be considered pre-existing.

Under their Comprehensive cover, you get up to $4,000 per leg, per year for treatments after the waiting period.

Does Woolworths Pet Insurance cover cancer treatment?

Yes, cancer treatments like chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery are all covered by Woolworths Pet Insurance once waiting periods have passed.

Cancer coverage falls under the illness protection of the policy. As long as your pet has no prior history of cancer, treatments will be covered up to your annual benefit limit.

Does Woolworths Pet Insurance cover vet consultations?

Routine vet consultations are partially covered as an included benefit.

Under the Comprehensive policy, you get up to $300 per year towards general consult fees for regular checkups and visits.

The full cost of illness or injury consultations contributes to your overall annual limit.

Does Woolworths Pet Insurance cover dental?

Standard Woolworths Pet Insurance policies do not cover routine dental treatments like teeth cleaning. You need to add Dental Illness Cover as an optional extra.

The dental cover provides up to $1000 per year towards treatments for dental illnesses and injuries – but regular dental checkups and cleans are not included.

What is excluded from Woolworths Pet Insurance cover?

Some key exclusions to be aware of with Woolworths Pet Insurance are:

  • Pre-existing conditions
  • Elective procedures like desexing
  • Pregnancy and giving birth
  • Experimental treatments
  • Some hereditary conditions
  • Conditions arising before waiting periods end

Be sure to read the full PDS for your policy to see all exclusions.

How to Get a Woolworths Pet Insurance Quote

If you want to get a tailored quote for Woolworths Pet Insurance, follow these steps:

  1. Go to woolworths.com.au/petinsurance
  2. Select your pet’s species (dog or cat).
  3. Choose your pet’s breed.
  4. Enter your pet’s name and age.
  5. Select your coverage type (Basic, Standard or Comprehensive).
  6. Choose any optional extras like dental or routine care.
  7. Enter your postcode and select an excess amount.
  8. A premium estimate will be provided based on the details entered.
  9. Click “Get My Quote” to provide full details and get an official quote.

Getting an obligation-free quote only takes a few minutes online and gives you an accurate premium tailored to your pet’s details and coverage preferences.

The Final Verdict: Is Woolworths Pet Insurance Worth It?

There are cheaper pet insurance options and providers with higher customer satisfaction like PetSure.

But Woolworths still offers solid bang for your buck, especially if you take advantage of the Woolworths Rewards program. Their fast claims processing is a big advantage for prompt reimbursement.

Just weigh up the pros and cons against your own needs. Look at the fine print for any breed or age exclusions. And get multiple quotes to compare pricing.

Woolworths Pet Insurance is a solid choice to consider for complete peace of mind from unexpected vet bills. Just be prepared to potentially switch at renewal time if your premium skyrockets.

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