Guide Dogs Pet Insurance Review

Guide Dogs Pet InsuranceProviding cover for dogs, cats and registered Guide Dogs, Guide Dogs pet insurance offers an annual benefit limit up to $20,000, up to 85% back on eligible vet bills, and a choice of excess.

Who is Guide Dogs?

A Guide Dog can change the lives of Australians with low vision or those who have lost their sight, by helping them gain independence and mobility, and by giving them the freedom to participate more in their communities and live the life they want.

However, transforming a playful pup into the perfect Guide Dog takes time, dedication and money, with up to two years of training and more than $50,000 going into every Guide Dog – supported by minimal government funding.

Want to lend your support to the cause? With Guide Dogs pet insurance you can.

With a portion of your premiums going towards helping promising pups grow into life changing Guide Dogs, you can give back to a cause you believe in, as you help protect your own dog or cat with Guide Dogs pet insurance.

In terms of the admin and underwriting, Guide Dogs pet insurance is promoted by Royal Guide Dogs Australia, and distributed and promoted by Greenstone Financial Services. It is underwritten by The Hollard Insurance Company and administered by PetSure, two of the biggest names in pet insurance in Australia.

Guide Dogs Pet Cover

Guide Dogs pet insurance provides cover for cats, dogs and registered Guide Dogs, with three levels of cover to choose from.

Basic Care

  • Designed for pets 9 years old and over
  • Covers specified accidental injuries and illnesses
  • Annual benefit limit of $15,000
  • Get back up to 75% on eligible vet bills
  • Choose a $0 or $100 excess

Comprehensive Care

  • Designed for pets from 8 weeks to 8 years old
  • Covers specified accidental injuries and illnesses
  • Annual benefit limit of $15,000
  • Get back up to 80% on eligible vet bills
  • Choose a $0 or $50 excess

Premium Care

  • Designed for pets from 8 weeks to 8 years old
  • Covers specified accidental injuries and illnesses
  • Annual benefit limit of $20,000
  • Get back up to 85% on eligible vet bills
  • Choose a $0 or $50 excess
  • Optional Routine Care

What We Love

  • Well Rated: Want to know what to expect from your pet insurance provider? Checking out trusted online reviews can be a great place to start. Currently rated 4.1 out of 5 stars on online review site ProductReview.com.au, Guide Dogs pet insurance seems to have plenty of happy customers willing to sing its praises. Highlights include the fact that the provider offers helpful and efficient customer service, good communication, fast claims and a simple set-up process.
  • Support Guide Dogs: Surely one of the biggest drawcards that comes with choosing Guide Dogs pet insurance is the fact in doing so, you are supporting Guide Dogs Australia in its bid to provide vital services, training and placement of life changing Guide Dogs for Australians with sight loss or low vision.
  • Multi-Pet Discount: There’s no denying insuring pets can be expensive, especially when you have more than one pet to take care of. With that in mind, it’s nice to see that Guide Dogs pet insurance offers a 10% multi-pet discount, helping to lower the cost of insuring a multi-pet household.
  • Choice of Excess: One thing we like to see on pet cover plans is the option to tailor cover by choosing an excess amount. With Guide Dogs pet insurance, you can choose an excess of $0 or $50 on Premium and Comprehensive plans, or an excess of $0 or $100 on the Basic Care plan. Why does it matter? By choosing your excess you can adjust your cover to suit your budget, as you decide whether you want to pay less in premiums with a higher excess, or less at claim time with a lower excess.
  • Good Coverage for Older Pets: Many pet cover plans only provide cover for pets aged between 8 weeks and 8 years. Those that do offer cover to pets aged 9 and over typically only provide coverage on accidental injuries. Guide Dogs pet insurance, on the other hand, offers coverage to pets aged 9 and above on both accidents and illnesses within its Basic Care plan. Always read the PDS before you apply to be sure of what is and isn’t covered.
  • Covers Chronic Conditions: As long as you continue to renew your policy with Guide Dogs pet insurance each year, and pay your premiums with no break in cover, you can continue to benefit from cover for chronic, recurring or lifelong conditions such as cancer or arthritis. Bear in mind that benefits for these conditions, like any other, are subject to the annual policy limits and exclude some pre-existing conditions.
  • Covers Guide Dogs: While many policies do not cover ‘working’ dogs, Guide Dogs pet insurance does indeed provide cover for registered Guide Dogs in Australia. So, by choosing Guide Dogs pet insurance, not only are you supporting Guide Dogs the organisation, you are benefiting from the cover you need to protect your own Guide Dog.
  • Third-Party Liability: In addition to the same levels of cover offered on Guide Dogs pet insurance’s dog and cat cover, if you choose to apply for cover for your registered Guide Dog, you will also enjoy third party liability cover (up to $1 million) for injuries or property damage caused by your Guide Dog.
  • Higher Sub-Limits: Taking a look at the PDS, you will notice there are a number of sub-limits placed on certain treatments and procedures. While this is pretty much standard across the pet insurance industry, it’s worth noting that Guide Dogs pet insurance offers a somewhat higher sub-limit on some procedures than often found on other plans. While the $300 sub-limit on consultations is normal, Guide Dogs cover does provide a higher-than-usual sub-limit of $3,200 on cruciate ligament treatment (across all three plans), and a $2,000 sub-limit on paralysis tick treatment on its Premium and Comprehensive plans, and $1,500 on Basic Care.
  • Visit Any Vet: Like almost every other pet insurance plan in Australia, Guide Dogs pet insurance allows you to visit any registered vet in Australia.
  • Access GapOnly: When it comes to making a claim, it’s nice to see Guide Dogs pet insurance offers the GapOnly feature. This basically allows you access to real time claims when you visit the vet, so you only pay the gap.
  • Pre-Approval & Easy Claims: If you don’t want to use GapOnly, or your vet doesn’t offer access to the feature, you can still enjoy quick and easy claims with Guide Dogs pet insurance, with the option of making a claim online or by mail.
  • Access Extras: Other extras worth mentioning include emergency boarding, which covers the cost of boarding your pet if you are hospitalised or suffer family violence. There is a sub-limit for this cover that extends to $500 on Basic Care, $1,000 on Comprehensive, and $1,200 on Premium. In addition to that, you can access overseas pet cover if you are travelling with your pet in New Zealand or Norfolk Island, and need to visit a vet.
  • Lifetime Cover: Lastly, by choosing Guide Dogs pet insurance, your pet can benefit from lifetime cover, as long as you meet the plan’s age requirements upon applying, and then continue to renew your policy without any breaks in cover.

What To Consider

  • Cost: The price is a little on the higher end, but the value is there. In our recent price survey of Australian pet insurance providers, we found that Guide Dogs pet insurance offers a higher benefit limit, a higher percentage paid toward treatment and a lower excess than similarly priced plans. Want to find out if you can save before you apply? Check out our promo codes and discounts page to discover what deals are currently on offer.
  • Long Illness Waiting Period: In terms of waiting periods, Guide Dogs pet insurance has no waiting period on specified accidental injuries, with cover provided from 11:59pm on the day you purchase your policy. There are, however, waiting periods on illnesses and certain other procedures, so be sure to check the PDS for details before you apply. It’s worth noting that there is a 30-day waiting period on specified illnesses – longer than you find on some other plans – and a 6-month waiting period on cruciate ligament treatment.
  • Exclusions: As with any other pet insurance plan, Guide Dogs pet insurance excludes claims on certain treatments and procedures. Exclusions include dental procedures, behavioural problems, elective treatments and procedures, food and diets, grooming, pregnancy, pet accessories and pre-existing conditions. Bear in mind that temporary pre-existing conditions that have shown no symptoms in the previous 18 months may be claimable.
  • Low Value Routine Care: Opting for the Premium Care plan, you have the option to add Routine Care cover to your plan. Be aware that this add-on may not offer much in the way of value, as it is capped at $50 annually for routine treatments such as vaccinations, teeth cleaning and parasite prevention, plus $15 each for a heartworm test or blood screen and FeLV/FIV test or urinalysis.

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Mitch and Lu

I’m Mitch, and I’ve spent hundreds of hours researching pet insurance, meeting with pet insurance executives, and getting the opinions of vets and pet owners. I wanted to put out information on every pet insurance brand (that I know of), to provide a true overview of the many options available to pet owners.

All the information in this article was correct at the time of writing and may change over time. If you’re considering this product, be sure to review the Product Disclosure Statement so that you understand any terms, conditions and exclusions.

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