FAQs

General

What is pet insurance cover?

Specialised, affordable, genuine short-term insurance cover for dog & cat vet bills. We cover those unexpected, significant expenses you could not afford, giving you peace-of-mind that you will be able to give your pets the best vet care when they need it. We offer a full range of plans, from basic, limited cover to the most uniquely, comprehensive cover in South Africa.

What is MediPet?

MediPet is South Africa’s leading pet insurance broker. Our small Cape Town-based team of over 24 vet-trained specialists partner individually & directly with members daily, representing them & their pets’ needs directly to the underwriters. We really do care, & take our member happiness personally. Our team has stayed with us forever, & we keep growing, to better serve our increasing members. One of our unique benefits is our in-house vet team who are able to apply their extensive professional expertise to better motivate & understand your claims, partner with your vet, & ensure our cover continues to meet the needs of real pets – not houses or cars. As the only pet-specialised insurance broker, we intuitively understand & care about the health of your animals. Our team has been trusted by owners, & recommended by 98% of vets for more than 14 years.

What makes MediPet special?

There are several reasons vets & members choose us:

  • We welcome all breeds, & cover common-breed conditions, as well as hereditary & congenital conditions that others don’t, & even without adding waiting periods
  • Our cover of pre-existing conditions on Lite plan from the start is unique in SA
  • Ongoing add-on cover for pets that develop chronic medical conditions
  • Our Benefit Booster add-on assists with pre-existing conditions, & adds or increases benefits
  • Our plans cater to pets of all ages.
  • We don’t have sub-limits on any of our comprehensive plans
  • In-house vet expertise allows us to successfully refund over 96% of member claims
  • The MediPet team is genuinely compassionate, & our cover is transparent
  • 99% of our members choose to stay with us every month
  • There’s no such thing as different premiums for different breeds, sizes or “so-called” body scores

Are your premiums higher than other pet insurance companies?

MediPet offers 4 different plans to suit everyone’s budget. What you pay for is what you get – if you’re being offered lower premiums elsewhere it is always because the cover is less. If our premiums seem higher than others, it is not for the same cover elsewhere. It is sometimes hard to understand all the terms & conditions, & easy to miss hidden fine print. Call us to help you understand why our cover is the most comprehensive. Our Lite plan is the most comparable to alternative insurer’s plans in cover, premium & limits, but it’s cover (for example all ages & pre-existing conditions) is still unmatched! There is no cover also to match the comprehensive cover of our Essential & Ultimate360° plans.

What are underwriters?

These are the administrators behind your insurance – they take on the risk of your pet having a future accident or illness, upfront. This is the behind-the-scenes work necessary for all insurance, as they set your premiums, add any special exclusions or endorsements (if necessary based on your individual pet history & wellness), & they determine the fullness of cover. We work with them daily, represent you, & importantly, process your claims & motivate refunds.

Who underwrites your pet insurance cover?

What is MediPet’s role, as broker?

We represent your needs to the underwriter, & vice versa, using our unique vet expertise helping with assessing your pet’s history, & making recommendations. Our relationships with most vet practices in South Africa helps greatly as we are able to communicate & work directly with your vet when necessary on your behalf, ensuring pets come first.

Do you offer any discounts?

Can I cancel my cover at any time?

Covid-19

What does Covid-19, or the Corona Virus mean for MediPet?

We are still here to provide you with essential peace-of-mind. Our HQ team continues to work hard for all our members, remotely but safely from home, or from the office when possible, in compliance with SA’s Covid-19 regulations. Pets can still join the family online, and other pets can be added to existing family member cover online. At times, we may not be able to take phone calls, but we can call you back if you send us an email or message. We will still process your claims, and answer your curious questions. We’re sure you understand that things might be a little slower though, as we navigate these challenging times, so please bear with us.

Premiums & Discounts

Tell me more about the no-claim discount?

Pets on Essential & Ultimate360° plans are rewarded after 2 claim-free policy years with a 10% discounted premium. (Day-to-day routine care claims never affect claim status.) It’s important to note that this discount is applied to individual pets that qualify, not whole families on cover. We apply this discount to premiums at renewal time. Premiums will be adjusted back to a standard rate at any time during the year should you have been on a no-claim discount, & you then claim.

How can I pay my premiums?

We offer the convenience of both monthly debit order or annual EFT payment options to our members. Monthly payment members renew their cover every year. Annual payment members renew every year on the anniversary of their joining. All cover will automatically lapse after 15 days, in the event that your premium is not paid.

What is the vet fee?

This monthly fee is applied per family, not per pet. The fee allows us an in-house vet team to actively assist in providing the very best pet insurance cover, using their extensive animal health knowledge. Specifically, they partner with vet practices, using trained expertise to motivate your technical, medical claims, presenting on your behalf directly to our underwriters, assisting with approvals, & speeding up refunds. They also help develop new cover plans, as they know what is vital for your pets’ ongoing wellbeing. At MediPet we pride ourselves on our unmatched over 96% claim success rate, which we attribute mostly to the unique skills & resources of our in-house vet expertise.

What is a “policy year”?

If you are a monthly-paying member, your policy year will end at the same time every year, & your cover will be automatically renewed. You will receive an email with the details of any cover changes & adjustments to premiums at least 31 days prior. This is when all your annual benefits will also be refreshed.

Annual-paying members must renew their cover on the anniversary date of their joining, which is also the beginning/end of their individual policy year, & when their benefits will be refreshed. These members will also receive an email notifying them of any cover changes & premium adjustments at least 31 days prior. They must make the EFT payment for the next year to continue with cover by the date of their individual policy year-end.

Claims

Does a vet need to sign my claim form?

A unique benefit at MediPet is that your vet does not need to sign your claim form.

Are there waiting periods?

Underwriters take on the future financial risk of something significant and costly occurring down the road based on present, healthy circumstances. Waiting periods are important & standard across the insurance industry to protect against conditions that either already occurred prior to cover, or become known within the short, joining period. They assist in preventing fraud, reduce unfair risk, & thereby keep premiums fair & affordable for everyone. The good news is that there are no waiting periods for any claims related to an accident across all our plans.

What are the waiting periods?

  • Accident plan has no waiting periods
  • All claims related to accidents across all plans are, of course, covered immediately
  • There is a 30-day no-claims period on Lite, Essential & Ultimate360° plans
  • This is followed by a 30-day 50% shared co-payment period on Essential & Ultimate360° plans
  • There is a 6-month waiting period on Essential & Ultimate360° plans for knee & hip, elbow & shoulder, eye, respiratory system, & spinal treatments. If one of these conditions are diagnosed in this 6-month waiting period, the diagnostic cover will be limited to R5 000, & the condition will be excluded going forward. Pets under 4 months of age may be considered for part or full cover of the above treatments, on a case-by-case basis
  • Prescription food, dental care benefits & sterilisation on Ultimate360° plan have a 4-month waiting period
  • The cremation contribution on Ultimate360° plan has a 6-month waiting period, & will not be covered if it is a result of any excluded or pre-existing conditions.
  • All day-to-day routine care add-on claims have a 30-day waiting period.

What is a pre-existing condition, & how are they covered?

Anything that occurs before taking out cover, or during a waiting period is deemed “pre-existing” & excluded from general cover for all plans except Lite. The exclusion may be temporary with the addition of a waiting period, or permanently, by the addition of an endorsement. This is standard practice in insurance. Our Benefit Booster does offer additional cover, as well as for an excluded or pre-existing condition – this add-on is available on Lite, Essential & Ultimate360°plans.

How can my pet have a “pre-existing condition” if they only got sick or injured AFTER joining?

Even though it may be shortly after joining, if it is still during a waiting period, the same rules of “pre-existing conditions” will apply to Essential & Ultimate360° plans – as if it had happened before joining. We won’t refuse future cover to any pet should they get sick or develop symptoms during a waiting period, but, depending on the individual circumstances, it may be excluded, & even affect the rest of your cover. Full disclosure by you is essential, as this allows us to provide the most genuine cover for your pet. Not doing so could compromise your cover, & lead to cancellation later. (Pets requiring medical attention must immediately be seen by a vet, even if it is during a waiting period. This is a general term & condition of our cover.)

Do I need pre-approval for treatments?

Pre-approval is not required for our cover of treatments or claims, & we will never pre-approve over the phone. Should you wish to gain pre-approval, for your peace-of-mind, we will provide this at your request in writing.

Must I pay the vet upfront?

Most members prefer to pay the vet themselves first, to claim, & then to be refunded later, but you can always ask us to pay your vet directly for your claim. This will be the total amount less the relevant excess.

How do I claim?

How much can I claim in total per year?

With Essential your annual general maximum cover is R55 000 per pet per year, & Ultimate360° plans have an annual general maximum cover of R65 000 per pet per year. Lite plan has an annual maximum risk cover of R40 000 per pet per year, & Accident plan allows for accident claims of up to R25 000 per pet per year.

What is the difference between “sub-limits”, “benefit limit” & “limit per claim”?

A sub-limit is a common restriction placed on cover by some insurers to limit their risk. Unsuspecting pet-owners may think they have done the responsible thing, covering their pet with an alternative insurance-provider, only to find at the time of claiming, there are these sub-limits that means you can never claim the full benefit of your plan. MediPet, unlike others, does not apply sub-limits to general or mainstream treatments, such as consultation fees, hospitalisation, procedures (x-rays, surgery etc.), blood tests or medications. Others could apply a specific limit per medical expense, for example a line-item limit applied to your invoice claim. Lite is our only limited plan with a limit per claim & limit on number of claims – although it also does not limit specific sub-limits on treatments within these, & additional cover can always be gained if needed, by adding a chronic care wellness add-on.

How are claims refunded?

Refunds are paid directly to you using the bank account details that you provide to us. Alternatively, refunds can be paid directly to your vet, if pre-arranged with us.

When will I receive my refund?

What is a claim excess?

Claim excesses are standard in insurance. This is either a percent or a minimum small amount that you agree to contribute towards the cost of your full claim.

Why do I have to pay an excess?

Applying excesses, the first part of your claim that you are responsible for, is standard practice to help reduce fraudulent claiming, & to help keep monthly premiums fair & affordable for all.

What are the claim excesses?

  • Excess for Accident plan claims is 10%, minimum of R150 excess per claim
  • Excess for Lite plan claims is 15%, minimum of R250 excess per claim
  • General Excess for Essential & Ultimate360° plan claims is 18%, minimum of R350 excess per claim
  • Specific Excess for Essential & Ultimate360° plans is 25%, minimum of R500 excess per claim for claims related to gastro, lameness, skin conditions, ear & eye conditions, respiratory & spinal conditions
  • Dental claim excess on Ultimate360° plan is 25% minimum of R500 excess per claim
  • Our multi-claimant sliding scale excess for general & specific Essential & Ultimate360° claims means:
    • After your pet’s paid claims (of 3 or more) in a policy year totals more than R6 000, your future claim excesses will be 30% of the claim, minimum of R1 000 per claim
    • After your pet’s paid claims (of 3 or more) in a policy year totals more than R9 000, your future claim excesses will be 30% of the claim, minimum of R1 250 per claim
    • All excesses reset at the start of each policy year 
  • Chronic care support & Benefit Booster add-ons, holistic wellness claims, supplements, & emergency boarding fees have an excess of 18%
  • There is no excess on behavioural therapy & missing pet advertising claims, as well as cremation contribution & prescription food
  • There is no excess on day-to-day routine care claims

If further treatment is deemed necessary for the condition within 30 days of the diagnosis, the minmum falls away and the 30% excess applies. The excess will reset at the start of each policy year.

Does MediPet offer an “excess buster”?

“Excess busters” limit cover in that insurers then need to add sub-limits to account for the increased risk without member contribution to claims. For this reason, we do not offer so-called “busters” as we believe in genuine, comprehensive cover. We do now, however, offer our Lite, Essential & Ultimate360° plan members two Premium Saver options – lowered premiums with a structured excess helps members save. For more information, read here: www.medipet.co.za/premium-saver

Is there a cut-off period after which I cannot make a claim?

Yes, we must receive your completed claim form with all relevant invoices within 60 days of the treatment date.

Cover

Is routine care covered?

All members can add day-to-day routine, preventative care to their general cover, with either of our 3 options: Routine Supreme, Routine In-Between & Routine Lean. These value-added benefits contribute either R3 300, R2 200 or R1 100 per year towards routine, preventative care for R195, R130 or R65 per month (or R2 340, R1 560 or R780 per year). This can be used for vaccinations, any tick/flea & deworming treatment, microchipping, sterilisation, grooming, nail-clipping, training & puppy socialisation classes. The benefit can be added to your existing cover, or increased in value, at any time, no matter what plan you choose, with a 30-day waiting period.

Can I cancel my day-to-day routine care add-on at any time?

These routine care add-ons are annual benefits available to you upfront, although you only contribute towards this monthly. Therefore, if you decide to cancel this add-on during the policy year, after having claims paid out to you in advance of the year ending, you will be debited with your last premium for the the remainder of the premiums due for the benefit until the policy renewal date.

Why is dental care, a key, differentiating benefit of Ultimate360° plan, important for pets?

Poor dental hygiene can cause long-term pain & discomfort. Most owners are unaware because animals will not always cry out in pain – they just tolerate it. Dental disease in an older animal can cause illnesses which the owner may mistakenly attribute to “getting old”. If there are infections in the mouth it can allow bacteria into the body via the blood stream and cause illness elsewhere. Kidney, heart, lung, and liver infections can all be caused by poor oral health. Some experts agree, by the age of 2, as many as 80% of dogs, & 85% of cats 3 years & older already have some form of dental disease.

Who needs MediPet’s most basic cover plans, Accident & Lite?

MediPet Accident plan covers only the most basic of accident insurance – falls, car accidents, snake bites, accidental poisonings etc. It’s best to view Accident plan as your last resort, should your budget not afford the comprehensive cover of Essential & Ultimate360°. MediPet Lite is comparable to other insurer’s affordable, limited cover, although Lite is unique in the SA market in that it covers pre-existing conditions after the initial 30 days. Like other limited plans elsewhere, Lite limits number of claims & amount per claim. This cover is budget-friendly for limited cover of all ages, with pre-existing condition cover. No matter the plan you select, all members have the same teams partnering with them to provide the same best service, & trust in our transparency, vet-expertise, passion & compassionate care.

Do plans only cover in-hospital care?

Unlike with many insurers, we do not limit cover to in-hospital treatment. Not only do we cover your pet whilst they are in hospital, but we will also cover all follow-up visits, post-surgery tests etc. up to the annual maximum.

How is MediPet Lite cover “limited”?

Lite allows you up to 4 vet visits per year, & up to a maximum of R13 760 per claim, with an annual maximum cover of R40 000.

Can I choose claims for MediPet Lite?

You can choose your 4 claims per year including consultations, procedures, surgeries, medication or any illness treatment. Benefit Booster add-on can always supplement a pet’s needs, if necessary.

Can I claim 4 times for R13 760 each?

All 4 claims for Lite plan are subject to the per claim limit or R13 760 within annual maximum of R40 000. So for example, if you claimed twice already for the claim maximum of R13 760, you would have your remaining annual maximum of R12 480 to use in remaining 2 claims for the rest of the year.

Can a member choose when to claim & when not to claim on all plans?

Absolutely yes! This is how insurance works (vs medical aid), & is what we call “smart claiming.” Save your claims for the bigger unforeseen incidents that you cannot afford on your own, & keep your premiums low.

When is a medical history required?

History may be requested from vets that have treated your pet at any time, including before & after taking out cover.

What is an “endorsement”?

This is where underwriters adjust the general cover to account for your personal pre-existing condition when you are on Essential & Ultimate360° plans. Endorsements can take the form of a temporary or permanent exclusion, or the addition of a waiting period, specific to your pet & their condition. You will need to accept all endorsements for your cover to become, or to remain active. The only way to get cover outside of your general plan for an endorsement on Essential & Ultimate360° plans is to add the Benefit Booster to your cover.

What don’t you cover?

  • Pregnancy
  • Elective procedures
  • Unprescribed special foods & diets
  • On Essential & Ultimate360° plans, any pre-existing conditions (from before joining, or those that occurred during a waiting period) unless a Benefit Booster is added

Do you cover common-breed, hereditary & congenital conditions?

Unlike most other insurers, these conditions are uniquely covered on Lite, Essential & Ultimate360° plans, without the additional waiting periods.

Are rescue, re-homed or adopted pets welcome?

Of course! We actively support many shelters & pet rescue organisations in South Africa. Something to note for rescue pets on joining Essential or Ultimate360° plans: If you don’t have a vet history, your pet is over 6 months old, & you’ve had the pet for less than 6 months since adoption, you will be given a temporary limit of R3 000 for the first 6 months after joining. (This won’t apply to accident claims).

Does MediPet cover ongoing conditions?

Short-term insurance does not traditionally cover ongoing conditions. If you need ongoing cover for treatments 3 months (or longer) for the same condition, we will offer you the opportunity to add a chronic care support plan add-on. Should you accept this, it will be added to your general cover. If you don’t adjust your cover to include a chronic care support plan add-on (meaning you decline the addition of a chronic care support plan add-on), the ongoing chronic condition will be excluded from your cover on Essential & Ultimate360° plans.

Is there a maximum age limit for new applications?

Both Accident & Lite plans have no maximum age limit for joining. Essential & Ultimate360° plans do have a maximum age limit of under 9 years of age for dogs. If your dog is between the age of 8 & 9 years old, or your cat is 9 years or older, & you wish to apply for Essential or Ultimate360° cover, a complete vet history will be evaluated.

What does lifelong cover mean?

We will cover your pet for life, no matter how old they get, as long as you continue to pay your premiums. They will not be downgraded to lesser cover as they age.

Is euthanasia covered?

Euthanasia is covered on all plans so long as the claim meets your individual plan rules.

Can I still apply if my pet’s vaccinations are not up to date?

Yes, but all vaccinatable diseases & related complications will be excluded from cover if these are not kept up-to-date.

Can I see any vet?

You can go to any registered vet of your choice in South Africa.

Does my pet have to have a microchip or tattoo?

It is always a good idea to ensure your pet is identifiable to assist you if your pet gets lost & is taken to a vet, possibly with an injury. We do not require this for cover. Our contributions towards day-to-day routine care add-ons (should you add this preventative care benefit to your plan) can also be used to microchip your pet should you not have already done so.

What about “medical aid rates”?

We will pay the full price of your approved vet bills (after your excess) & do not attempt to limit refunds by applying a supposed “South African Guideline of Approved Tariffs,” because this was done away with in 2013!

Need a quote? Get in touch today.