Stella Pet Insurance, Explained

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Did you know that 61% of Aussie households own pets and up to 90% of households have had pets at some point in time*? No doubt Australia is a pet-loving nation!

Pets are our companions, besties and family members. As dog & cat owners ourselves, we know that we naturally want to give them the best care and protection, but the costs of pet food, toys and other necessities can add up quickly. When it comes to unexpected illnesses and injuries, the associated vet bills can take many pet owners by surprise – that’s why we have launched Stella Pet Insurance to help pet owners manage those circumstances better and protect the ones they love. Get pet insurance online and get a quick quote today.

 

In this article, we’ll cover:

  • Why might you want a pet insurance?
  • What’s covered and what’s not covered, by Stella Pet Insurance?
  • Optional Extra Benefits
  • Vet Consultations
  • What is an exclusion period and how does it affect your cover?
  • Why do exclusion period exist?
  • Is it possible to apply to have the exclusion periods reduced?
  • What conditions does Stella Pet Insurance not cover? And are there any other exclusions?
  • How can I get a confirmation on whether a condition or treatment is going to be covered?

 

Why might you want a pet insurance?

No matter how good you are as a pet parent, pets may get themselves in tricky situations, such as eating things they shouldn’t eat, or simply falling ill. When these situations happen, it often leads to a vet bill that costs hundreds or thousands of dollars, depending on the extent of an injury or illness, treatment required, as well as where you live.

Not everyone is in a position to cover these unanticipated costs on their own and therefore you might want to consider having a pet insurance to help you manage the circumstances. Pet insurance doesn’t cover everything, and there are limits, conditions and exclusions, but knowing you have cover for the unexpected can be reassuring. Get pet insurance online today and get a quick quote today.

What’s covered and what’s not covered, when it comes to Stella Pet Insurance?

A Stella Pet Insurance policy is designed to provide cover for a portion (70%, 80% or 90%, subject to annual excess) of the cost of necessary treatment provided to your pet by, or under the supervision of, a vet to relieve or cure an unexpected illness or injury. This may include, but is not limited to, hospitalisation, surgery, x-rays, medication, diagnostic tests, nursing and other care and procedures.

Exclusion periods are applicable to different conditions and there are some things that are not included as standard, but you have an option of including them in your cover.

Stella Pet Insurance is designed to provide cover for the vet costs of treatment that is required to relieve or cure an unexpected illness or injury.

This means:

  • Preventative and routine items & treatments, such as general check-ups and vaccinations, things you would expect to do in order to keep your pet healthy, are not covered.
  • Treatment of conditions that have occurred, have shown signs or symptoms and/or you knew about the condition (or a reasonable person in the circumstances could be expected to have known) prior to purchasing your policy or during an applicable exclusion period are considered Pre-existing Conditions, and are not covered. You can read more about Pre-existing Conditions and how you can request for a Pre-existing Condition Assessment here.

  • Elective procedures, including desexing or additional vet costs, such as after-hours treatment and house calls when a vet doesn’t consider there was an emergency, are not covered.


There are other exclusions applicable. Below is the summary of the exclusions.

Get pet insurance online today and get a quick quote today. 

 

Optional Extra Benefits

There is no cover for alternative therapies, dental illness or behavioural problems, unless you choose to include them in your policy.

You will be provided with an option to include Optional Extra Benefits, as part of the process of getting your quote.

The Optional Extra Benefits available are:

  • Alternative Therapies
  • Dental Illness
  • Behavioural Problems

Vet Consultations

As part of your coverage, you will have cover for the cost of vet consultations related to required treatment of an unexpected injury or illness. There is no cover for the cost of vet consultations or other vet costs related to preventative and routine items, Pre-existing Conditions, elective procedures and/or other exclusions.

As some vets offer client membership plans that include a certain number of free or pre-paid consultations, we also offer an option to exclude costs of vet consultations from your policy, upon receiving a request. To remove the costs of vet consultations, please call us on 1300 633 811 or email pet@stellainsurance.com.au.

What is an exclusion period and how does it affect your cover?

A exclusion period is the amount of time during which no benefit is payable under the policy, and this means you cannot claim for vet costs for treatment your pet receives in relation to an illness or injury which occurs during an exclusion period.

So a condition that occurs, or your pet has shown signs or symptoms and/or you come to know about it during an exclusion period, will be considered as a Pre-existing Condition and will therefore be excluded from your cover. Such an exclusion may be reviewable or non-reviewable.

Exclusion periods can be applied from the time your policy starts, even if you have decided to switch to Stella Pet Insurance from another provider’s pet insurance policy, and also when you upgrade your level of cover with Stella.

If you upgrade your level of cover or decide to add Optional Extra Benefits after the initial purchase of your Stella policy, then exclusion periods will apply from the time of the upgrade or addition of Optional Extra Benefits. You will still be entitled to the benefits payable under your previous level of cover during the exclusion period.

The exclusion periods are:

Injury (except Specified Conditions): 1 day
Illness (except Specified Conditions): 14 days
Optional Dental Illness
• For pets under 1-year-old: 14 days
• For pets of 1-year-old and over: 6 months
Optional Behavioural Problems: 6 months
Specified Conditions: 6 months

Why do exclusion periods exist?

If exclusion periods didn’t exist, people could take out pet insurance or upgrade their cover only when they know or suspect that they might need cover, and then immediately make a claim. If these customers then cancelled (or downgraded) their cover after making a claim, it would not only be unfair to other customers, but it could also lead to increased premiums for all customers.

Is it possible to apply to have the exclusion periods reduced?

Yes! We offer customers an opportunity to submit an additional application to request the 6-month exclusion period for the Specified Conditions (and others, e.g. Dental Illness) to be reduced.

To consider whether a reduction of the exclusion period can be provided, we require:

  • a completed request form from you, which will require you to have your pet examined by a vet at your own expense; and
  • copies of your pet’s medical history & clinical notes. You will need to assist us in the process of obtaining these, for example, by providing details of any vets your pet has seen in the past.

During our assessment of the application, we will review the available information, and if sufficient, confirm whether there are any identified or suspected Specified Conditions (and others). Where we are comfortable that there aren’t any identified or suspected Specified Conditions (and others), we will reduce or waive the exclusion period for those conditions.

We will confirm the outcome of your application and if we decide to approve the reduction of the exclusion period, we will provide you with an updated Certificate of Insurance which lists the agreed Specified Conditions (and others) and the new reduced exclusion period applicable.

What conditions does Stella Pet Insurance not cover?

  • Pre-existing Conditions: There is no cover for vet costs associated with the treatment of conditions your pet had before your pet’s first date of cover under a Stella Pet Insurance policy or which arises during an applicable exclusion period.
    • A condition is considered a Pre-existing Condition, even if it’s not been officially diagnosed or identified.
    • We may confirm, in certain circumstances, that a condition is no longer considered a Pre-existing Condition. This will usually occur when we are satisfied that the condition has been successfully resolved. This is typically done after a specified time period has elapsed during which your pet was free of symptoms as confirmed by a vet.
  • Vaccinatable diseases: There is no cover for vet costs associated with the treatment of a disease which is vaccinatable if you have not maintained your pet’s vaccinations (preventative treatment).
  • Any conditions that are the result of intentional harm or neglect.
  • Any conditions that are the result of or requiring ongoing or repeat treatment due to you not following your vet’s advice.
  • Any conditions that are related to an epidemic, pandemic, or new influenza.
  • Vet costs for the treatment of Behavioural Problems (including any injury or illness which arises as a result of a Behavioural Problem) or Dental Illness, unless you have Optional Extra Benefits included in your cover. Other limits, exclusions and conditions still apply.
  • Even if you have included Optional Extra Benefits and have cover for Dental Illness, there is no cover for vet costs associated with the removal of deciduous teeth. Other limits, exclusions and conditions apply.

What treatments does Stella Pet Insurance not cover?

Stella Pet Insurance was designed to offer extensive cover, but even if an injury or illness is covered under your Policy, there are certain treatments which are not covered:

  • Treatment during an applicable exclusion period.
  • Any vet costs resulting from breeding, pregnancy, whelping or queening.
  • Any vet costs for desexing. We do, however, cover additional vet costs for treatment of complex cryptorchid (undescended testicles). If this is the case, we will reduce the vet costs by the amount a vet would have charged for neutering when calculating the payable benefit.
  • Non-customary and experimental treatments, such as prosthetic limbs and devices, and organ or valve transplants.
  • Medications that are not registered or approved in Australia.
  • Alternative Therapies, unless you have included Optional Extra Benefits included in your cover.
  • There is no cover for the cost of vet consultations or other vet costs related to preventative and routine items, Pre-existing Conditions, elective procedures and/or other exclusions. Also, if you have elected to remove vet consultations from your cover all together (can only be removed if specifically requested) then there would be no cover for vet consultations for any reason.
  • Expenses related to board or transport your pet, including by ambulance. However, we do cover boarding costs in specified circumstances.
  • Costs incurred after your pet’s death, including storing, transporting or disposing of your pet’s remains and autopsy, burial, cremation, funeral or other procedures.

Are there any other exclusions?

There are certain exceptional circumstances in which Stella Pet Insurance does not provide cover for required treatment. For example, there is no cover when an injury or illness is due to:

  • Nuclear or radioactive weapons, materials or radiation.
  • Utilisation of nuclear, chemical or biological weapons of mass destruction.
  • Acts of war or civil unrest.

How can I get a confirmation on whether a condition or treatment is going to be covered?

After consideration of what is covered and what is not covered, you may want to confirm whether a specific condition or treatment for your pet is covered.

If a condition or treatment is not excluded under your policy, then it is covered.

Please remember if it is a Pre-existing Condition, or it occurs during an applicable exclusion period or another exclusion applies, then there is no cover.

To help you better understand the coverage, we’ve created the following table to show the types of things we cover, subject to determining if there is an exclusion, as explained above.

Conditions & perils covered include:

Injuries
Injuries due to a motor vehicle accident
Heatstroke
Burns
Poisoning
Electrocution
Allergic reaction to insect, spiders etc.
Fractures
Snake bites
Lacerations or abrasion of skin, tissue or mucous membrane due to external violence
Bite wound or fight wound abscesses
Soft tissue injury
Traumatic spinal disc rupture
Illnesses
Embedded grass seeds
Ingestion of foreign objects
Cancer/neoplasia
Diabetes
Heart disease
Renal disease
Hyperthyroidism
Gastrointestinal problems (medical)
Gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV)
Vaccinatable diseases (only if you can provide sufficient information to confirm that your pet is up to date with their vaccinations.)
Hyperadrenocorticism (Cushing’s disease)
Hypoadrenocorticism (Addison’s disease)
Urolithiasis (Urinary stones)
Tick paralysis
Skin Conditions e.g. dermatitis
Mass lesions
Eye Conditions e.g. corneal ulcers
Ear Conditions e.g. otitis externa
Cruciate ligament Conditions
Luxating Patella
Elbow dysplasia
Hip dysplasia
Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD)
Arthritis
Hereditary and congenital Conditions (excluding Pre-existing Conditions)
Dental illness
Behavioural problems
Additional cover
Overseas Pet Travel Insurance (in New Zealand or Norfolk Islands on trips < 60 days)
Emergency boarding under certain circumstances[2]
Essential euthanasia (if recommended by your vet)
Necessary treatments and diagnostics for an Injury or Illness[3]
Emergency vet care (if necessary)
Treatment by veterinary specialists
Nursing Care
Hospitalisation
Surgery
Hip joint surgery
Lab and diagnostic tests
Radiology
X-rays
CT scans and MRIs
Medication and drugs
Chemotherapy
Alternative therapies
Optional cover available
Physiotherapy
Optional cover available
Does not cover preventative & elective health care
Vaccinations
Annual health check-ups
Desexing [4]
Deciduous teeth removal
Preventative dew claw removal
Parasite prevention
Specific exclusions
Pre-existing Conditions
Waiting Periods
Your actions or neglect resulting in vet costs
Vaccinatable diseases (if you are unable to sufficiently confirm that your pet is up to date with vaccinations.)
Experimental treatments
Breeding related treatments
Elective procedures or activities
Emergency costs when it was not an emergency
Medications not registered or approved in Australia
Epidemics, pandemics or new influenza
Nuclear or radioactive weapons/materials
Vaccinatable diseases
Dogs
Cats
Canine distemper virus (CDV)
Annual health check-Feline Parvovirus (FPV)
Canine adenovirus (CAV)
Feline calicivirus (FCV)
Canine parvovirus (CPV-2)
Feline herpesvirus (FHV-1)
Parainfluenza virus (PI)
Feline leukaemia virus (FeLV)
Bordetella bronchiseptica (Bb)
Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV)
Leptospira interrogans
Chlamydia felis

[1] Unless it is a Pre-existing Condition, or it arises during an applicable exclusion period. Refer to the PDS and Understanding Pre-Existing Conditions.

[2] If you are unexpectedly hospitalised for four or more consecutive days and it is necessary for your pet to board at a licensed kennel or cattery, for a period of up to 30 days. See PDS for details.

[3] Paid as part of treatment by or under supervision of, your vet if your pet suffers an injury due to an accident or suffers an illness during the period of insurance and after any applicable exclusion period. See PDS for details.

[4] The policy covers additional vet costs for the treatment of complex cryptorchid (undescended testicles) and we will reduce the vet costs by the amount a vet would have charged for neutering when calculating the benefit payable.

Contact us

Stella Pet Insurance has a range of cover options available to suit different needs and budget of pet owners and their furry friends. If you are looking for a way to manage your pet’s vet bills or have any question, don’t hesitate to call us on 1300 633 811 or email pet@stellainsurance.com.au. Get pet insurance online today and get a quick quote. 

 

 
 
 

*Source: Animal Medicines Australia, Pets in Australia: A national survey of pets and people

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