Frequently asked questions
What does pet insurance cover?
Cover for veterinary fees for injuries and illness. That includes veterinary consultations, specialist care, surgery, diagnostic and post operative treatment, imaging, prescription medicines and drugs. For full details on PetCare accident and illness cover, refer to the PetCare policy document and PetCare benefit sheet. For full details on AcciPet accident-only cover, refer to the AcciPet policy document and AcciPet benefit sheet. If you currently have one of our closed plans and would like details of what your plan covers, please contact us.
What types of pets can be covered?
Southern Cross Pet Insurance is available for cats and dogs. Dogs and cats must be aged between 8 weeks and 6 years inclusive (at the time of policy commencement) for our PetCare range of plans. There is no age restriction on the AcciPet plan.
How is my premium calculated?
Your premium is calculated when your policy begins, and at each policy anniversary (and if you alter your cover). The premium is calculated based on a number of factors, including the risks associated with your pet and the plan you’ve chosen.
For dogs, your premium is calculated using your pet’s age, breed and plan. There are a number of reasons why some breeds cost more than others, such as genetic pre-disposition, activity levels, even the size of the dog.
For cats, your premium is calculated using your pet’s age and plan not breed.
Are there things that are not covered?
Yes, there are some exclusions and limits to cover on all our policies. You should read the policy documents and benefit sheets for full details.
Is there cover for pre-existing conditions?
Pre-existing conditions are not covered, including conditions that develop during the stand down period.
Does Southern Cross Pet Insurance cover the costs of my pet’s vaccinations or desexing?
On the PetCare plans, you can claim back up to $25 worth of vaccinations. You also have the option to purchase the day-to-day care extra, which allows you to claim up to $75 per treatment (up to a total of $150 each year) for routine treatments, such as vaccinations and de-sexing.
How do I add a pet to my policy?
The easiest way is to apply online. You can also contact us on 0800 800 836 if you would like to arrange cover over the phone.
Do the plans cover inherited conditions?
Our PetCare plans provide cover for qualifying inherited conditions. These are genetic conditions passed down through the bloodlines from parents and grandparents to their offspring. Hip Dysplasia is a common example.
Can I downgrade / upgrade my policy cover?
Upgrades and downgrades should be done at renewal time, but you should contact us to discuss the implications for your cover. Any plan changes done at a time other than at your renewal require you to cancel your policy and start a fresh policy. This means that there will be no cover for any conditions existing at the date of your upgrade or downgrade.
Can I pay my premium by automatic payment?
There are two payment options, direct debit or credit card. Direct debit is our preferred payment method and attracts a 2.5% premium discount. If you'd like to switch your payment to direct debit, fill out our online direct debit authority form. You can also call us on 0800 800 836.
Can I pay weekly or fortnightly?
The minimum payment frequency we can set up is monthly.
Do you offer pre-approval?
The policy cover is on the basis of “pay and then claim”. We can make better cover assessments when the treatment or procedure has been performed and we have all the necessary information to hand. However, we recognise that there may be occasions when you need an indication of policy cover prior to going ahead with treatment. In these cases, if there is a clear diagnosis we will do our best to provide an indication of cover but will need a copy of the relevant clinical notes/history records beforehand. We are unable to provide an indication of cover for diagnostic treatment.
Do you insure older pets?
We insure new pets up to the age of 6 years inclusive on all our plans (that’s up to their 7th birthday). If your pet is 7 years or older you can get an AcciPet plan by calling us on 0800 800 836.Once they are insured with us we will continue to provide cover regardless of their age, provided premiums are kept up to date.
Is there a Southern Cross member discount?
Yes, there is a 2.5% discount for Southern Cross Health Society members. The discount will be applied when you get a quote or buy online.
How do I claim?
It’s very easy to make a claim. Find out how to make a claim in 3 easy steps. We aim to pay claims as quickly as possible.
What is a congenital condition?
Congenital anomalies or defects which are present at birth and for which your pet had either:
- signs or symptoms of the condition prior to your start date of insurance (or the end of the stand down period)
- signs or symptoms of the condition as determined by us.
Some clinical signs of congenital conditions won't necessarily be apparent until the pet is older.
Which congenital conditions or developmental defects aren't covered?
Patent ductus arteriosus; Pulmonic stenosis; Aortic stenosis (subaortic stenosis); Tetralogy of Fallot; Atrial septal defect; Ventricular septal defect; Persistent right aortic arch.
Congenital Portosystemic shunt- single shunt; Hepatic microvascular dysplasia (Portal vein hypoplasia); Atresia ani.
Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (collagen disorders); Excessive skin folds; Dermoid Sinus; Alopecia (since birth).
Brachycephalic airway syndrome: elongated soft palate, everted laryngeal saccules, stenotic nares, laryngeal collapse, hypoplastic trachea; Situs inversus; Pectus excavatum.
Renal aplasia; Ectopic ureter; Persistent penile frenulum; Hypospadia; Deformity of the os penis; Penile hypoplasia; Hermaphroditism; Vestibulovaginal stenosis; Persistent urachus; Pelvic bladder.
Persistent hyperplastic primary vitreous; Retinal dysplasia (retinal folds); Collie eye anomaly; Entropion; Trichiasis; Distichiasis; Ectropion; Persistent pupillary membrane.
Caudal occipital malformation syndrome (COMS); Congenital Cerebellar ataxia; Spina bifida; Spinal dysraphism; Congenital deafness.
Kinked or cork screw tail; Dwarfism; Umbilical Hernia; inguinal hernias; Pinnal malformations; Malocclusion (misalignment of teeth); Under/ over shot jaw; Cleft palate.
Under section 69(1)(a) of the Insurance Prudential (Supervision) Act 2010, Southern Cross Benefits Limited is giving policyholders public notice of the fact that its financial strength rating (provided by Standard & Poor's (Australia) Pty. Ltd) has been downgraded from A+ to A.