Riddle: When is a door not a door? When it’s ajar! Today we’re asking the serious question, when is a vet not a vet? And the answer, apparently, is when they’re just a kennel hand, a neighbour, or even just an opportunistic scammer.
It’s with profound sadness that we learnt from yesterday’s news of the many pets that have died on the Cape Flats, after owners were lured by the promise of cheap treatment by fake vets posing as qualified professionals. These imposters caused the death of pets by administering incorrect treatments and vaccinations, and endangered many others.
Facing expensive vet bills can be a burden on the family’s finances, and you should never have to choose. Pets deserve proper treatment from a registered vet. According to Cape Town Etc, families interviewed after their losses are now imploring others not to be taken in by these fake operations in Cape Town’s suburbs. They are easy to spot, as they are generally someone recommended by a friend, they offer routine care treatment (vaccinations, deworming and tick & flea control) for as little as R150, they often do not look at pets’ health cards, and, the biggest attraction of all, some provide services in the comfort of your home, something that many on the Cape Flats are grateful for, as transport is not always readily available.
Investigations are proving that those who are perpetuating this insidious practice are not qualified in any area of animal health care, although some have proven to be involved in the industry, either as kennel hands, backyard breeders, and in one case, a security guard.
What then is the alternative? The obvious answer would be to seek professional veterinary advice and treatment only from a registered vet or welfare organization, but for many these costs are too steep.
Image Credit: Kaz/Pixabay
Pet insurance is one of the fastest growing industries in South Africa, and this is a good thing, because it is leading to healthier, happier pets. Owners can now afford the rising costs of looking after their furkids. Pet insurance provides peace of mind, knowing that when something goes wrong, like the deadly parvovirus (that was misdiagnosed by fake vets), their pets can receive the best vet treatment without worries of affordability, and families having to make devastating, difficult choices.
We cover the cost of treatments for accidents and illnesses, contribute towards routine care, and offer a host of other benefits that include dental care, rehabilitation, general and holistic wellness, supplements, and behaviour. We even offer chronic care for pets who develop illnesses that require lengthy or even lifelong treatment.
So the question then is no longer “Can I afford this?” but rather “How can I not? Where can I join?” The answer is simple: here
Welcome to 2019, and the Year of the Pig, according to the Chinese zodiac.
While we may not cover those cute, pink little snouts, we do cover dogs and cats, and while you’re busy making your New Year’s Resolutions, we’d like to slip another little one in there…
When we see the number of unwanted and shelter pets in South Africa today, we cannot endorse pet gift giving, but it does still happen. If you’ve been a recipient of a new furry friend for Christmas, or even if you’ve just adopted a shelter pet over the holiday season, there are many reasons as a responsible pet owner, to consider investing in pet insurance.
We all know things can happen, and they do, but just as we always assume “that’ll never happen to me” – until it does, the same applies with our pets.
We budget for their general wellbeing and things like sterilization, micro-chipping and annual vaccinations. We buy them the best food, and as many toys as they can play with, but we never really think of the big things that can happen. For example, a fun afternoon at the park or on the beach could result in an attack from another dog. Or running into the road to retrieve the favourite ball in a game of fetch, the unthinkable happens.
These are realities that we only acknowledge when they occur, and we are usually not prepared for them.
That’s why, just like human medical aid, pet insurance makes sense. It ensures that when something does happen (and it doesn’t have to be just an accident – treatments for illnesses can be expensive too), you’re prepared. Because being prepared means you only have to worry about what’s important, your pet’s health, and not what it costs.
MediPet offers the most comprehensive coverage across multiple policy options.
Our Option 1 offers classic, day-to-day, affordable cover for illness, accidents and holistic wellness.
Option 2 offers ultimate, worry-free coverage for illness, accidents, dental, prescription food and holistic wellness.
Accident Only offers basic unforeseen accident cover geared towards our golden oldies.
Top Pet is a revolutionary routine care add on that offers an annual benefit towards the general wellness of your pet, including sterilization, micro-chipping, vaccinations, de-worming and tick and flea control.
Our holistic wellness support contributes towards hydrotherapy, physiotherapy, supplements, rehabilitation care, behavior, homeopathy and acupuncture.
So what makes us different to other service providers? For a start, at MediPet, we’re all about pets, so we understand what you need from us. Our personal, individualized service means no call center agents or long holds. You’ll be given fast, direct access to a team member every step of the way.
MediPet policies are simple and our customers love that we fulfill our promises.
Our full-time vet and veterinary nurse deal directly with practices, ensuring faster and more successful claims.
We are proudly sub-limit free when it comes to claims on accidents, illnesses and injuries!
And all breeds are welcome with us. Isn’t that nice to hear?
Are there any catches?
We don’t hide anything in the fine print and if you read your policy you won’t find any nasty surprises. Insurance companies do, however, have to make tough decisions, so while we rarely deny anyone coverage, sometimes we’ll create a unique plan for those with special needs.
Image Credit: Daria Shevtsova
Pet owners choose us because our unmatched 93% claim success makes us your most popular choice. We process more than R4 million in claims every month!
On top of that, we give piece of mind, by processing claims within an average of 10 working days of receiving all the necessary supporting documentation, and refunds follow shortly after.
Pets choose us because we show we care passionately with our lost pet advertising & rewards, theft and consolation contributions. And don’t forget boarding fees allow them to go on their own little holiday when owners cannot care for them!
Image Credit: Gellinger / 3272 images
And vets choose us because we make their lives a little easier with our proven track record in paying out claims, and by keeping you and your furry family happy.
Tis the season, and we all love the howl-idays. It’s that time of year when Fido gets into the treats and Fluffy destroys the Christmas tree because, well, those baubles are so pretty and so shinnnnnny.
We sing carols, Fido howls in unison and Fluffy looks down her nose as if we’re all mad. You know it, how you rip open wrappings and ribbons to find the treasure inside, Fido chews the paper and Fluffy claims the box. But much as we all love this time of year, we often forget or forego the rules that apply to our pets. Thankfully MediPet is here to help you through those yelp and yowl moments with the 12 Do’s (and Don’ts) of Christmas, to ensure your furry family has as tail wagging a time as you do.
Do’s • Do be sure to include your pets in the joy of Christmas morning by having a wrapped or stockinged gift for them under the tree – but be sure to supervise the opening of any gifts so they don’t eat plastic, paper or any other bits that may look delicious but are really quite harmful. • Do allow them one healthy treat during the day. • Do ensure amidst all the excitement they remain as calm as possible. Maybe take Fido for a walk early in the morning to burn off excess energy for the rest of the day. • Do make sure you properly dispose of any wrappings, ribbons and plastic so they’re not tempted to enthusiastically chew on anything they shouldn’t. • Do make sure they’re safe from the clutching paws of great grandma Gertrude, and the sticky fingers of toddlers – someone could get hurt in the excitement. • Do make sure you have all the emergency contact numbers of your vet and vet hospital close on hand in the event of a cat-astrophe.
Don’ts • Don’t leave your pet unattended near your tree, any wrapped human treats – especially chocolates or nuts, will be enticing for them. • Don’t leave twinkling lights or candles burning near your pets, they may be a little too curious and a dog-saster could occur. • Don’t allow them to be fed from the table, meaty treats might be great, but too much rich fat or bones cause problems. • Don’t allow them to eat or consume any of the following human foods: mince pies, chocolate, avocado, garlic, nuts, onions, raisins or alcohol. • Don’t let them near any gifts containing small parts that could be easily swallowed, you’ll end up with an unhappy toddler and an unhappier vet bill. • If you have a new puppy or kitten in the home, don’t allow too much attention to be lavished on them to the exclusion of other family pets. While love is pawsome, jealousy could result in fights.
And remember, if you do find yourself in a pickle, South Africa’s favourite pet insurance paw-tner has you covered. You can now submit your claims via our online submission app.
Happy howl-idays to you all, and happy, healthy high paws all round.
We’re passionate about pets – that’s all we do. We won’t try to add-on car insurance when you claim for Fluffy’s vaccinations. We don’t have a splashy corporate marketing budget. What we will do is provide genuine, comprehensive cover. Using our veterinary qualifications, we motivate your claims with our underwriters, and review your policies on a knowledgeable case-by-case basis. Our pet-loving team faithfully and honestly partner with you every step of the way.
At MediPet we also work hard at balancing the challenge of keeping up with innovation while affording the rising international vet costs affected by the weak rand. We work hard to limit changes, because affordability is important, but weare also responsible about continuing to cover increasing vet bills. Keeping our word matters to us, and so does making sure we can continue to be there when you need us. When times get tough, we insist on not compromising your benefits, and we also don’t sneak in new T’s & C’s. We don’t suddenly try to tell you which vets you can visit, how much they can charge or what treatments they can do!
Interim adjustments are rare for us, and it’s important to us to keep our loyal members like you. Delaying adjustments to once or twice a year means you enjoy considerable savings, but we do need to rectify the situation every now and again. We can’t escape the reality when we face interim premium increases, which at first may seem disappointing. So let us take a moment to explain how MediPet works.
Image Credit: Stocksnap / 27601 Images
Starting at the beginning, MediPet isn’t medical aid, although it may sometimes seem so because many benefits don’t incur excesses and we contribute towards some day-to-day needs such as routine care. But we’re really here to insure against the bigger things that happen in life. Simply put, you pay a small amount every month, to save yourself a possibly devastating bill down the road that you can’t afford.
MediPet is short-term medical insurance cover. This is an agreement, based on the constantly changing risks of pets. The most important influence on your policy is your recent claim history. For this reason, we encourage “smart claiming,” where many wise furry families save their claims for the bigger unforeseen expenses that can’t be budgeted for.
If you aren’t a recent claimer, it can be tricky to justify an expense when you aren’t seeing the biggest benefits. But it’s especially vital now to keep your furry friends covered, because of rising vet costs you would otherwise face alone. At any moment a significant illness, accident or emergency could cost you R35 000 for an uninsured pet, which would take more than a decade to save in annual premiums. An average claim is R1 700 and we process 200 of these every day.
What are some ways to save? We offer a multi-pet discount for pet-loving families. Our healthiest pets are also rewarded after 2 claim-free years with ano claim discount. Our popular Top Dog & Top Catroutine care add-on provides considerable savings and assists with keeping those pesky fleas, ticks, and vaccinatable diseases at bay.
We are thankful 99% of our members choose to stay with us every month. We always want to hear feedback. As always, if you want to chat, or know more, South Africa’s favourite customer service team, your faithful and honest pet insurance partner is here for you.
And remember, if you’re new to the family and partner with us between now and the end of January, you’ll be automatically entered into the sweepstake to win an illustration of your pet by talented artist Syd Illustrations https://www.facebook.com/sydillustrations/
Become a MediPet member before the end of January 2019 and you will automatically be entered into the sweepstakes to win an illustration of your pet by talented artist Syd Illustrations. https://www.facebook.com/sydillustrations/
Terms and Conditions apply as below:
-This competition is open to new members until the 31st of January only. -New members are automatically entered and agree to the terms and conditions as set out by MediPet. -Only one entry will be allocated per new pet member. -The prize is valid until 31 March 2019 and requires a 7-14 day lead time. -The prize is not transferrable for cash or policy premiums. -The winner will be chosen in a random sweepstakes. -The winner will be notified by email. If the winner cannot be contacted or does not claim his/her prize within 14 days, MediPet reserves the right to withdraw the prize and pick a replacement winner at random. -The winner agrees to have their name and pet name published on MediPet social media platforms. -MediPet’s decision in respect of all matters of the sweepstakes will be final, and no correspondence will be entered into.
Last week the ASA (Advertising Standard Authority) made a landmark ruling after a customer lodged a complaint on misleading advertising, and a well-known national pet insurance provider was ordered to immediately withdraw their ad. This is a breakthrough for pet care, giving voice to what we have been fighting to come to light for some time.
MediPet has been the market leader in pet insurance coverage for more than a decade. Recently, we have seen small brands under the umbrella of large household/car/life insurance companies pop up, using their splashy corporate marketing budgets for national advertising campaigns, that make inaccurate claims and offer “too good to be true” benefits. Some have even gone so far as to post “anonymous” and “neutral” comparative reviews of pet medical aid options, that are inaccurate, biased and misleading. These unethical marketing tactics have until now gone unchallenged, but customers are wizening up and putting a stop to being taken advantage of in this way.
At MediPet we pride ourselves on providing authentic veterinary coverage, and we are committed to transparency, honesty and faithful partnership with our members. While we support competitors’ efforts to assist in providing pet care to the market, we applaud this move to halt dishonest promotion. We would like to take this opportunity to highlight why our members’ appreciation and loyalty has entrenched MediPet’s dominant position in the South African pet insurance market.
The most popular benefit of joining MediPet is our annual maximum of R35 000 towards all accidents, illnesses and emergency treatments for Option 1 and 2. Most other insurance companies set limits on the amount of coverage available for each line item on invoices. For example, the number of x-rays or doctor’s visits covered per year, or a financial limit on hospitalization are often regulated. We contribute up to R35 000 per year in claims for Option 1 & 2, and up to R20 000 on Accident Only, without question. Within these amounts we simply do not prescribe how much can be used for specific treatments.
We also pay the full price of your approved vet bills, and do not attempt to apply a supposed “South African Councils Guideline of Approved Tariffs”, because this was done away with in 2013!
An exciting new add-on benefit, Top Dog/Top Cat, has recently been introduced to contribute towards routine care, including vaccinations, any tick/flea treatment, de-worming, micro chipping and sterilization.
Most pet insurance providers flat out do not cover hereditary or congenital conditions, and some go so far as to exclude certain breeds. MediPet however, will always cover these, on the provision that they are not present prior to application of the policy, or during the applicable waiting periods.
Should your pet develop special needs while under our cover and require chronic care, we work with you, your vet and our underwriters to design a plan specific to your pet’s requirements. Again, this is an area that other providers often do not cover.
MediPet employs a full-time vet and a vet nurse, who assess each claim carefully, partnering with your vet, and dealing directly with the underwriting managers. It is for this reason we are “vet approved” and many of our referrals, in fact, come from satisfied vets. We introduced this special feature, which is covered by your R12 per month vet fee, because most underwriters’ area of expertise is medical aid, and not pet insurance. This has helped MediPet pay out over 93% of claims. We strive to do so within 5-7 working days, and we pay out on average R4m per month in claims. It is standard for all insurance policies across the board to carry a policy administration fee although this is not necessarily to assist with vets and their claims, and the cost of these are often hidden or “worked in” to your premium, so you never really know what that amount is. With MediPet, what you see is what you get. We don’t have any hidden ‘fine print.”
MediPet is the only provider that offers an annual benefit towards complementary, or alternative treatments. And we do so without charging you an excess each time you claim. While all other insurers will cover only mainstream veterinary treatment, MediPet pays out up to R5 000 annually for holistic treatment, R2 000 for supplements and R4 000 for behaviour (not training). We even assist with prescription food for up to 6 months.
There are a number of providers who will not accept your pet if their vaccinations are not up to date, or if they are not micro-chipped or tattooed. At MediPet, while we do not endorse a tardy vaccination record, we will not penalize your pet. We do, however, strongly recommend vaccinations be kept up to date, and that your pet is both sterilized and micro-chipped. If vaccinations are not up to date for your particular pet, and you submit a claim for a vaccinatable disease, we are unfortunately not able to cover it.
Our underwriters refund claims directly back to you, unless you make specific arrangements with us to pay your vet directly. All we require is a completed claim form and your invoices sent to us within 60 days of initial treatment date. Claims can be emailed, faxed, or hand delivered to us, so the process truly is seamless and easy.
Many people ask why we don’t work with a card-based system, and the answer is simple: It doesn’t work, we don’t need one, and we don’t wish to force our members to have to refund the cash after claims are denied.
MediPet offers both monthly and annual payment options for each policy, and members who select an annual policy save one month’s premium every year. While cheaper policies might be attractive in the short run, you get what you pay for, and often members are disappointed to find out what is NOT covered. We do not offer any misleading pricing schemes or use unethical marketing tactics to mislead potential members. Please keep in mind when selecting a policy, cheaper plans cover less and pay back less in claims.
MediPet can confidently claim to offer the most comprehensive cover available, and this can be backed up by our more than 10 years as the only dedicated pet insurance broker in the industry. Our claims history speaks for itself too. We are proud to report that our members have received over R105 million back.
When we ask our members what they appreciate about us most, after authentic policies, it’s our compassionate & caring support team who partner with you as members. We don’t have a big call centre with long waits. In fact, you will often be given the direct contact details of a team member to assist you with your policy and claims one-on-one.
We acknowledge the competition, and welcome it in fact. It helps us bring about more awareness of the need to protect your pet health, and it assists us all to continuously strive to move ahead, change, adapt, and keep offering the best care. This healthy competition, however, needs to be regulated and constantly monitored to ensure dirty tactics are kept at bay, protecting you and your pets from being taken advantage of, in what is often, your greatest hour of need.
As most of you know by now, Friday 29 June was International Mud Day, so we invited followers to send in their pics of their muddy pups. We had loads of entries and it was so difficult to choose the finalists.
Okay, we had no pics of muddy cats, but what cat in their right mind would behave like a dog and take a mud bath, one of the canine delights in this world?
Because picking the finalists was so difficult, we knew we’d never be able to pick a winner, so we approached our very sage mascot Kiki, and asked her to do the honours.
Actually, what really happened was that we couldn’t make up our minds, and Kiki was having none of that, so she exercised her official Medipet Mascot right, and took over the judging.
And once she’d put us all in our place, she went to work. We’re very grateful really, or else we’d all still be sitting in the office oohing and aahing over the photographs, and musing about the real reasons behind the absolute muddiness of our gorgeous entrants. So, she looked over all the muddy finalists, had a great think – and possibly a mud bath too – and gave us her selection.
Our winners were: Cooper
Kiki insisted that a special mention also go out to Oliver, who had the muddiest face she ever did see and who looked super proud of it too. So, Oliver, if you’re out there, a huge shout out from Medipet for your superior mudness, we hope you drove your hoomans crazy.
We’ve had so much fun this week, and we really want to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who sent in their pics. We salute your #loveofmud and hope you’ll follow our adventures next week with Disobedience Week. That ought to be fun!
Guess what’s the number one health issue facing pets? Obesity! Love your pets enough to take them for a weight assessment this October. Ask your vet for a free weight assessment, or find a participating #PetObesityMonth veterinary practice on www.PetSlimmer.co.za.
The Hill’s Slimmer programme, which is run by hundreds of veterinary clinics in South Africa and Namibia, combines the clinically proven weight loss food with regular weigh-ins and expert advice. It has proven to be successful formula for thousands of cats and dogs.
Medipet was invited to attend the recent “Meet Your Team” Kleinmond Animal Clinic Cocktail Party, held at the Diesel & Jam restaurant. The informal social get together was an opportunity for clients, new and long standing, to meet the team to whom they entrust the wellbeing of their pets.
Despite an enormous fire raging in the Western Cape’s Helderberg region, the turnout for the cocktail party was amazing, with staff, clients and guests having the opportunity to meet one another, to put faces to names, and to have their questions answered.
For Medipet this was a pivotal opportunity to raise awareness for the importance of pet insurance – or as many refer to it – pet medical aid.
This in itself is a misnomer – according to South African legislation, you cannot take out medical aid for your pets because they are seen as your ‘property’ as opposed to an entity in their own right. You can however insure your property, so pet insurance is growing proportionately to the increase in veterinary costs annually.
There is also a growing trend that sees us treating our pets more as members of our family, than as merely guard dogs, protectors or early warning alarm systems. Because of this, our domesticated friends are treated medically for more conditions than they were in the past, the quality of pet food has improved dramatically, as have their living conditions, and the emotional attachment they have with their human companions has strengthened.
Pet insurance has become a vital part of keeping your furry friend happy and healthy. Like all insurance, we refer to it as a “grudge payment” but welcome the security of it when Fido falls and tears a cruciate ligament, or Fluffy develops Feline HIV.
On Friday night Medipet joined Aid4Aid (Aid 4 Animals in Distress) at their Bark 4 Bingo evening at the Tokai Earth Fair Food Market.
This wonderful and dynamic group of people work tirelessly to rescue and re-home animals in distress. Working predominantly in the disadvantaged communities they bring hope to pets and owners who would otherwise not be able to afford to their furry companions the basic necessities of food, general good health, and adequate shelter. They do all this without their own premises, without subsidy, and without complaint. Relying solely on donations and goodwill, they somehow still manage to maintain a great adoption record, re-homing on average, upward of 12 cats and dogs each month.
Friday night’s event saw an almost full house of animal lovers coming out to support this charity, win amazing prizes, and have a good laugh and a couple of games of Bingo in the bargain.
A R100 ticket gets you a couple of bingo cards and dinner. Dinner comes in the form of a whopping cheese or veggie burger, complete with salads. The bar is open serving wine, craft beers and cider on tap, and there is a cooldrink bar available for those who prefer the non-alcoholic option. Desserts are also on sale, and the chocolate brownies are not to be missed. A fun evening out for the whole family, there is also a designated play area where your little ones can be entertained with sand art.
If you’d like to join in one of these fun evenings, then keep an eye open on their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/aid4animalsindistress/ for details of their next event, and come down to support this great cause. We guarantee you’ll have a doggone fine time, and all at great value for money.