Pet insurance FAQs

What’s HCF pet insurance?

HCF pet insurance can help to cover up to 80% of eligible vet expenses.

It’s important that you read the Combined Product Disclosure Statement and Financial Services Guide before you decide to buy or continue to hold this cover. You can also get a copy by calling 1800 631 681.

Are full medical records needed to apply?

No, you don’t need to submit veterinary records when you apply. We may ask you a few simple questions about any illnesses and injuries your pet may have had before you apply. This information is important and forms part of your legal duty of disclosure when you apply for cover. We do ask that full medical records are provided for your first claim, but we do not require full medical records for subsequent claims.

Can all types of pets be insured?

Only cats and dogs can be covered. 

How old does my pet need to be to get HCF pet insurance?

You can apply for Pet Premium and Pet Premium plus Routine Care Cover if your dog or cat is older than 8 weeks and younger than 9 years old. There's no upper age limit for Pet Essentials Cover. Once your pet is covered with HCF pet insurance you can cover them for life as long as there are no breaks or gaps in cover (with cover subject to the applicable terms and conditions of the renewing policy).

What if I have more than one pet?

Each eligible pet has its own policy with its own individual choice of cover and excess option.

How can I pay my premiums?

You can pay by credit card or direct debit, either fortnightly, monthly or annually.

Are there any restrictions on the vet that I use for my pet?

No, there are no restrictions. You can use any vet other than yourself who’s licensed to legally practice as a vet in Australia.

Are hereditary and congenital defects covered?

Yes, subject to the terms and conditions of the policy, and only for expenses related to hereditary and congenital conditions where those symptoms or signs first arise after you take out a policy or arise after the applicable waiting period, excluding pre-existing conditions. For more information refer to the Product Disclosure Statement.

Are there things that aren't covered by HCF pet insurance?

Yes, there are some exclusions and limits to cover, like other forms of general insurance. Examples of exclusions include but are not limited to: pregnancy, some elective procedures, pet foods, grooming and pre-existing conditions that showed symptoms or signs before you take out a policy.

Please read the Combined Product Disclosure Statement and Financial Services Guide for a comprehensive list and full explanation of policy exclusions and limits.

Can I change the level of cover for my pet after they're insured?

Yes, so long as you haven't made a claim. If you have claimed, you can change it when you renew your policy. Please note that you may not be able to change your level of cover if your pet is over the age of 9 years. 

How do I renew my HCF pet insurance policy?

We'll automatically renew your policy each year after sending you a renewal notice (unless you tell us otherwise). Your renewal notice will specify any changes to your cover and the premium.

Can I cancel my pet’s policy at any time?

Yes, you may cancel your policy by notifying the administrator of HCF Pet Insurance, PetSure (Australia) Pty Ltd (“PetSure”). You can do this by calling 1800 630 681, by email or in writing at: HCF Pet Insurance, Locked Bag 9021, Castle Hill, NSW 1765.

Cancellation during the cooling off period

If you cancel your policy during the 21 day cooling-off period, and haven’t claimed, we’ll refund any premiums you paid since you started or renewed your policy, less any amount we’re unable to refund.

Cancellation where you haven’t made a claim

If you cancel after the cooling off period having paid the annual premium in full, and haven’t claimed, we’ll refund your premium less:

  • the amount covering the period you were insured for
  • a cancellation fee of $30 (unless you’re cancelling because your pet has passed away)
  • any government or statutory charges we’re unable to recover. 

If you’ve been paying your premium by instalments, there’s no premium refund (including for any remaining days of a current instalment period). No further premium instalments will be deducted.

Cancellation if you’ve made a claim

If you cancel your policy after having made a claim, no premium refunds are payable and the remaining premium for that policy period must be paid if it hasn’t already (unless your pet has passed away, see above).

How soon can I use my pet’s policy?

You can use the policy as soon as your application has been accepted. The policy will start at 23h59 on the date of acceptance.

There's a 30 day waiting period for illness conditions. There's also a 6 month waiting period that applies for cruciate ligament injuries and conditions on every cover level.

By completing a Cruciate Ligament Exam Form you may apply to have this 6 month waiting period waived.

Where dental illness cover is selected, there is a 2 year waiting period for specified dental treatment.

How do I make a claim?

Complete and submit an HCF pet insurance Claim Form within 90 days of your pet's treatment. The vet must complete a small section of the claim form and sign it, so take along a printed claim form.

It’s important to note if you’re lodging your first claim you’ll need to attach a complete veterinary history for your pet. Once you’ve provided this information, there’s no need for you to submit it again.

Once we receive the documentation we need, your claim will be processed as soon as possible and any approved payment will be made to the policyholder by cheque or into a nominated account.

Aside from your first claim, in many cases your claim can be processed directly without veterinary records being required. However, in some cases veterinary records may be requested to assist in understanding aspects of your claim to ensure it’s processed correctly and fairly. Sometimes this can result in a delay in payment of claims.

Does HCF pet insurance provide cover for Third Party Liability?

No. HCF pet insurance doesn’t include cover for Third Party Liability. Domestic contents insurance may. We suggest you contact your contents insurer (if you have one) for details of the cover.

How do you calculate my premium?

New policies

Your premium is calculated using a combination of factors about you and your pet. These factors can affect the premium amount up or down depending upon whether we believe it increases or decreases the risk to us, such as the cover you have chosen, the excess selected, the benefit percentage applicable to the cover you have chosen, where you and your pet permanently live, your age and the species, breed, gender of your pet, the current age of your pet, the age you first insured your pet, and other factors related to our cost of doing business.

Renewing policies

Factors that are taken into consideration for renewal premium calculation include your pet’s age, breed, location, duration for which your pet has been insured, claims history, as well as data relating to the health of pets that are a similar age and breed. Each year we review premiums based on these factors to ensure we can accommodate the costs of possible treatment up to your annual benefit limit, in the event that your pet becomes injured or ill.

Will my premium increase every year?

Yes, your premium will increase each year. This is for two main reasons:

Reason #1: Just like humans, the older our pets get, the more likely they are to have health hiccups. Cats and dogs age faster than we do, which means that their likely veterinary treatment costs go up rapidly each year too. As a result, the cost of insuring your pet will also increase as they get older.

Reason #2: Advancements in Veterinary Treatments.

The overall cost of medical treatment for pets has increased in recent years due to the increased availability of medical treatments and technology-enabled services and ongoing demand for these services. The treatment options and advancements in technology are providing us with great opportunities to give our pets a great quality of life for longer.

While this is great news for the care of our pets, these treatments come at a significant cost. Year on year treatment costs increase, and this is factored into the cost of pet insurance.

Please see ‘How do you calculate my premium’ for more information about calculation of premiums.

Will my premium increase even if I don’t submit claims?

Every year, we review the cost of everyone’s insurance with regards to a combination of factors as well as claims inflation across all our insured pets. Increases in our claims costs due to increases in the range of available veterinary procedures, or due to an increased take-up of those services, impacts everyone’s premiums.

Your premium takes into account the average cost of care for pets like yours. To provide an example of this, a pet parent with a three-year-old French Bulldog will be affected by the trends we see in our data from hundreds of three-year-old French Bulldogs that we insure, as well as the specific claims history of their own pet.

Is my premium calculated the same way as my Private Health Insurance?

No. Pet insurance does not work like health insurance. Health insurance is ‘community rated’, which means that everyone pays the same premium for their health insurance regardless of their individual health status, age or claims history. This is not the case for pet insurance.

Health insurance providers are able to community rate health insurance because there are many other factors at play in the human health care system, such as Medicare and government rebates and subsidies, which is not the case with veterinary care and pet insurance.

Pet insurance claim reimbursements are paid for purely by the premiums received by those who insure their pets. In order for each person to pay a fair price for their pet insurance, premiums vary depending on your and your pet’s risk factors.