Guide Dogs markets pet insurance for puppies and dogs and kittens and cats. They have three insurance plans for pets, the 12 Months Essential plan, the Covered for Life Classic plan and the Covered for Life Ultimate plan. They also offer an insurance plan for people with working guide and assistance dogs.
The three Guide Dogs pet insurance plans are virtually identical to those offered by Petplan (read our Petplan review). They have the same names, coverage, excesses, benefit limits and waiting periods. The most significant difference between the two is that a proportion of the Guide Dogs premium goes towards the breeding, training and placement of dogs with blind and vision impaired people.
Both the Guide Dogs and Petplan policies are underwritten by Allianz and administered by Petplan the only meaningful competitors to the wide range of brands underwritten and administered by Hollard and PetSure.
What we like
- Guide Dogs pet insurance, like Petplan, offers a number of unusual and valuable benefits, including $1 million to $5 million in third party liability coverage (depending upon the policy) for injuries or property damage caused by your dog. All plans include coverage for advertising and a reward if your pet is missing. A holiday cancellation benefit will reimburse you for up to $2,000 of costs if you need to change your travel plans because your dog or cat is seriously ill, injured or missing.
- Guide Dogs has a $150 fixed excess amount, meaning 100% of your approved claims beyond that amount will be reimbursed in full. However, you should note that an additional age excess will kick in once your pet reaches 8 years of age (20%) and 10 years of age (35%) that significantly reduces your benefits. It is the same with Petplan’s offering.
- Guide Dogs like Petplan, has a waiting period of just 21 days, which compares to 30 days for most other insurance plans. This means that your coverage for illnesses starts sooner on new policies.
A few things to consider
- Guide Dogs and Petplan have the same premiums, which are high compared to other plans. In our recent price survey of Australian pet insurance providers there was only one plan of the 20 listed that was more expensive.
- The bargain-priced 12 Months Essential plan is no bargain. Low premiums come at the cost of no long-term coverage for chronic or lingering illnesses or injuries. You are only entitled to benefits for the first 12 months after diagnosis, leaving you without coverage for any treatment costs that extend longer, which is common with arthritis, diabetes, skin conditions, and many other chronic ailments.
- There is a lot to consider with the Guide Dogs’ insurance plans. Summary information is provided on their website and it is presented more clearly than the same information on the Petplan’s site. Do be sure to review the product disclosure statement prior to purchasing, so that you fully understand the terms and restrictions on your benefits.
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