If your question isn’t here, just ask us!

What’s covered?

What does Southern Cross Pet Insurance cover?

We have a number of plans with extra cover options to choose from. You can choose to get cover for accidental injury and illness or just accidental injury. We also have a free 6 week option for puppies and kittens. Vet treatment covered includes surgery, hospitalisation, diagnostic tests, nursing, imaging, medication and physiotherapy.

Check the  PetCare policy document,  AcciPet policy document or FreeCover policy document  for full details.

What’s not covered by Southern Cross Pet Insurance?

There are exclusions and limits to cover on all our policies. There are also annual benefit limits, a sub-limit (for cruciate ligaments) and stand-down periods. You should read the   PetCare policy document,  AcciPet policy document or FreeCover policy document  for full details.

Is there cover for pre-existing conditions?

No, pre-existing conditions are not covered and this includes any condition/s that develops during the stand down period.

Do you only cover Cats and Dogs?


Do you insure infant or older pets?

Yes. For infant pets aged between 6 and 26 weeks, we have 6 weeks FreeCover. You can start your pet on PetCare from 8 weeks of age, but they will need to be signed up before they turn 7 years of age. For AcciPet your pet just needs to be over 8 weeks old, but there is no upper age limit for sign up. Once they’re insured with us, we’ll continue to provide cover until the policy is cancelled.

Does my plan cover vaccinations or desexing?

Not on our base plans. You can however add day-to-day care to your PetCare policy as extra cover. This allows you to claim up to $75 per treatment (up to a total of $300 each year) for qualifying treatments, such as vaccinations and desexing. 

What is a co-payment?

Your co-payment is the percentage of your vet bill that you agree to pay each time you claim, and we will reimburse you the rest. For example, if you choose a 20% co-payment, you will pay 20% of each claim and we will reimburse you 80%.

How is my excess applied?

Your excess is the amount you have chosen to pay each policy year before you will receive reimbursement from us. Your excess applies only to the base policy (not extra cover) and is applied prior to your co-payment. Once you have paid your excess, it will not apply again until the following policy period.

Does my policy cover vitamin and mineral supplements?

Yes, our PetCare plan covers those vitamin and mineral supplements that are listed in our Vitamin and Mineral Supplement Schedule as long as they are prescribed by your vet as part of a qualifying treatment.

Reimbursement is subject to any applicable benefit limit, excess and co-payment and the terms and conditions of your policy.

Does my policy cover inherited conditions?

Yes our PetCare plan covers inherited conditions, which are genetic conditions passed down through the bloodlines from parents and grandparents to their offspring. Hip Dysplasia is a common example. It doesn’t cover congenital conditions – see below.

What is a congenital condition, and are they covered?

A congenital condition is an anomaly or developmental defect that is present in your pet at birth, even though signs or symptoms may not appear until later in life.

Some clinical signs of a congenital condition won’t necessarily be apparent until the pet is older.

Congenital conditions are excluded under the Petcare policy.
Here are some of the congenital conditions we do not cover. This is not an exhaustive list, and other conditions may be considered congenital in your pet’s individual circumstances.

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); Skin folds (eg: nasal, vulval, lip); 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; Cryptorchidism.

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.

Do you cover working pets?

Only dogs used for pig hunting can’t be insured under PetCare or AcciPet.

We do insure other working pets, such as guide dogs, assistance dogs and breeding pets.


How is my premium calculated?

Your premium is calculated when your policy begins, at each policy anniversary, or if you change your cover.

For dogs, we calculate your premium using your pet’s age, breed and plan. There are a number of reasons why some breeds cost more than others, including genetic pre-disposition, activity levels, even the size of the dog.

For cats, your premium is calculated using your pet’s age and plan, but not breed.

Changing your annual benefit limit, excess and co-payment, and adding or removing any extra cover option will change the premium you are charged.

How do I pay?

You can pay your premium by direct debit or credit card. You’ll choose your preferred payment method when you apply.

If you pay by direct debit, you’ll get our direct debit discount. This is 2.5% off your premium.- You can read our discount terms and conditions  to learn more.

If you’re already with us and would like to switch to direct debit, fill out a  direct debit authority form. You can also call us on  0800 800 836. 

Is there a discount for Southern Cross Health Society members?

Yes, Southern Cross Health Society members can get a 2.5% discount when you tell us you’re a member when  buying online or  over the phone. If you’re not a Southern Cross Health Society member when you buy your pet policy but you become one later, you’ll need to tell us to make sure this member discount is applied from your next renewal (it won’t be applied automatically or immediately). You can read our  discount terms and conditions  to learn more and check if you’re eligible.

Can I get a discount if I insure more than one pet with you?

Yes, you can get a 5% discount for each additional pet you insure with us when you tell us you’ve already got a Southern Cross Pet Insurance policy. Your 5% additional pet discount is applied to any additional pet(s) you insure with us (or the policy or policies with the lower premium if you are applying to insure multiple pets at the same time). You can read our discount terms and conditions  to learn more and check if you’re eligible.

Do I receive a discount for paying by direct debit?

Yes, when you take out a Southern Cross Pet insurance policy and choose to pay by direct debit, the 2.5% discount will automatically be applied to your premium. You need to pay by direct debit for the whole policy period (12 months) to receive this discount. If you stop paying by direct debit partway through this period, you’ll need to repay the discount already applied, in your next premium. You can read our  discount terms and conditions  to learn more and check if you’re eligible.

When are discounts applied?

We offer discounts if you pay by direct debit, if you are insuring an additional pet with us or if you are a Southern Cross Health Society member. If you think you’re eligible for the additional pet and/or member discount(s) you need to tell us when you apply for a policy, or when your policy renews for those discounts to be applied at the start of that policy period. If you tell us partway through your policy period, the discount won’t be applied until your next renewal. The direct debit discount applies automatically. You can read our discount terms and conditions to learn more and check if you’re eligible.

How are the discounts applied to my premium?

You must qualify for each discount for it to be applied to your premium. If you qualify for more than one discount, we will apply each discount one at a time, starting with the first discount (calculated on your total premium), then calculate your second discount off that discounted premium and then apply your third discount off that further discounted premium.

Example Angela has a three-year-old Spoodle dog called Jack and a ten-year-old Burmese cat called Jill. Both are insured with Southern Cross Pet Insurance.

Angela pays her insurance premiums by direct debit. She’s also been a Southern Cross Health Society member for more than seven years, and has let Southern Cross Pet Insurance know that she’s a member.

When Angela decides to adopt Bella, a one-year-old Golden Retriever, she knows she’d like to insure her with Southern Cross Pet Insurance too. She applies online for a PetCare GoldRibbon policy with a 20% co-payment and a $250 excess, lets Southern Cross Pet Insurance know that she already has Jack and Jill insured with them, and opts to pay via direct debit again. Bella’s monthly pet insurance premium costs less than Jack and Jill’s, because of her age and breed.

Angela qualifies for three discounts on Bella’s Southern Cross Pet Insurance premiums:
  • 2.5% direct debit discount
  • 2.5% Southern Cross Health Society member discount
  • 5% additional pet discount
In this example, we would apply the discounts that Angela qualifies for on Bella’s premium like this:
Discount saving Monthly premium
Total GoldRibbon premium for Bella $84.25
First discount applied – 2.5% direct debit discount $2.11 $82.44
Second discount applied – 2.5% Southern Cross Health Society member discount $2.06 $80.38
Third discount applied – 5% additional pet discount $4.02 $76.36
Total savings from Angela’s discounts $8.19 $76.36

Read our full discount terms and conditions to learn more and check if you’re eligible.

Managing your policy

How do I add another pet?

You’ll need to apply for a new policy for your 2nd pet and the easiest way is to do this is to  apply online. Please use the same name & contact details that you used for your existing pet so we can identify you for the additional pet discount (and tick the box saying you already have a pet insured with us). You can also contact us on 0800 800 836 if you would like to arrange cover over the phone.

Can I increase or decrease my cover?

Yes you can increase or decrease your cover when your policy renews every year. It’s a good idea to call us beforehand to check what options you have and to ensure you fully understand how this will affect your cover.

For more information on increasing or decreasing your cover, read this article.

How do I update my direct debit bank account number?

Updating your bank account number for an existing policy is easy. Simply click here to complete a direct debit form with your new details. These changes will take up to 3 working days to take effect and we will email you to let you know that we have made the changes for you.

How do I update my credit card number?

Updating your credit card number for an existing policy is easy. Simply phone us on  0800 800 836  with your new number and we will make the changes for you.

What are the options for managing my policy if I need additional support?

It’s important to us that all our customers are treated with care and respect and have a fair and reasonable opportunity to access the services we provide. We offer options for our customers who face language barriers, mental or physical conditions which make it hard to access our services. For more information on these options head to our Vulnerable Customer support page.


How do I make a 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.

Do you offer pre-approval?

Our policies are set up on the basis of “you pay your vet and then we reimburse your claim”. We can assess your entitlements more accurately 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 cover prior to going ahead with treatment. In these cases, if there is a clear diagnosis and treatment plan (or quote) from your vet, 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 prior to diagnosis. 

What is a stand down period and what does it apply to?

A stand down period is the period of time from the policy start date when certain health conditions, signs, symptoms or events are excluded from cover. The following stand down periods (depending on the type of policy) apply from your policy start date:

- 21 days for illness
- 90 days for cruciate ligament health conditions and patella luxation health conditions
- 90 days for dental care extra.

Please note the stand down period applies to the date of treatment, not the date the claim is submitted.

Cat and dog conundrums

Do I need insurance for each of my nine lives?

No, you’re all good. Our Pet Insurance plans will cover all your lives.

Do you think I ever catch my own tail?

Probably not, but do keep at it – we love watching you try on the internet.

If someone throws a ball and I don’t fetch it, will it ever come back?

We don’t know, it’s never happened!

Am I good boy…am I, am I?

Oh yes, you are! Yes, you are! That’s why we want to look after you so much.

Need a hand?