What is MediPet?
MediPet provides specialised, affordable vet insurance for dogs and cats. We cover their medical expenses, giving you peace of mind that they will receive the best medical care when they need it.
What makes MediPet so special?
As South Africa’s leading pet insurance brokers, we have been trusted by owners and recommended by vets for over a decade, due to our compassion, transparency, and uniquely authentic, comprehensive policies. 99% of our members choose to stay with us every month because we don’t try to limit our cover by choosing your vets, and prescribing treatments. Our inhouse vet team actively utilise their vet expertise to support the insurance underwriter’s claim processes. In doing so, we successfully refund over 93% of our members claims. We are also unusual in that we provide cover for pets that develop chronic medical conditions (which is any condition requiring ongoing treatment for more than 3 months), and we welcome all breeds as well as pets of all ages. Every pet deserves MediPet. And so do you.
Who are your underwriters?
MediPet has been underwritten by Renasa Insurance Company Limited, www.renasa.co.za, for over a decade.
What are underwriters?
Underwriting is the behind-the-scenes work in all insurance. All underwriters are general insurance experts who assist with determining individual risk, set any special exclusions or endorsements (if necessary), and establish premiums. They also process all claims, and issue refunds to members. We are unique in that we are able to have a vet and vet nurse in our team who can work closely with the underwriters, to develop fair policies for you, limit increases, motivate and speed up all your claims using their extensive veterinary knowledge. This is how we have achieved an over 93% claim success rate and why 99% of our members choose to stay with us every month!
How do family policies work?
We do offer our loyal, multiple pet families discounted premiums on four or more pets. Our larger families of four or more pets are offered extra special premium discounts to assist in keeping insurance affordable. Also, the vet fee, for instance, is applied to families and not per pet.
Is routine care covered by MediPet?
In 2018, due to popular demand, we launched our new Top Dog/Top Cat Routine Care Add-On. Members love that we contribute up to R1 000 per year per pet towards any vaccinations, any tick/flea & deworming treatment, microchipping and sterilisation for an extra R60 per month per pet.
What is the main difference between Option 1 and Option 2?
The most significant difference between these 2 policy options is that Option 2 provides dental cover, a condolence benefit and also a prescription food benefit.
Why is dental cover important?
Poor dental hygiene can cause long term pain and discomfort for many pets. Most owners are unaware of this discomfort because most animals will not cry out in the presence of such pain – they just tolerate it. Dental disease in an older animal can cause illnesses which the owner may mistakenly attribute to the animal ‘getting old’. But if there is infection in the mouth it can allow bacteria into the body via the blood stream and cause infections 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, and 85% of cats 3 years and older already have some form of dental disease.
Who needs Accident Only cover?
Accident Only provides the most basic of insurance for falls, car accidents, snake bites, accidental poisonings etc. It’s best to view Accident Only as your last resort to gain some form of cover at least, if your pet is too old for traditional comprehensive cover under Option 1 & 2, and/or you cannot afford proper cover.
Does your Accident Only policy just cover in-hospital care?
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. (for a condition covered by the policy) up to the maximum of R20 000 per year.
Which conditions are excluded from cover?
To keep premiums fair and affordable for everyone, the following conditions are not covered:
Pre-existing conditions from before joining or those that occurred during an applicable waiting period
Special foods & diets (unless prescribed by your vet to assist in clearing up a medical condition, only under Option 2 benefits.)
Routine care (unless you have purchased the Top Dog/Top Cat add-on benefit.)
Do you cover hereditary / congenital conditions?
Yes, we do cover these conditions under Option 1 & 2.
Are rescue, re-homed or adopted pets welcome?
Of course! We actively support many shelters and pet rescue organisations in South Africa. If you have a newly adopted pet, and/or cannot provide a vet history (this includes details of all past visits and treatments) on application for Options 1 & 2, we will need to set a temporary limit on illness cover only of R3 000, just for the first 6 months. This won’t affect your coverage on accidents, of course, nor the rest of your policy.
How about chronic medical conditions?
Should your pet develop a chronic condition while covered by Option 1 & 2, (which is anything that requires treatment for 3 months or longer) we will offer you the opportunity to apply a portion of your policy towards this condition for a customised premium, as part of an individual care plan to assist with your pet’s special needs.
What more can I expect from MediPet?
Some of our policies have extra special benefits exclusive to the pet insurance industry, including boarding fees while you may be incapacitated, condolence and/or lost pet benefits, contributions towards advertising and/or rewards for lost pets, as well as a comprehensive range of complementary and holistic wellness benefits, such as physiotherapy and behaviour.
Is there a maximum age limit for new applications?
All ages and breeds are welcome. If your dog is 9 years or over, they will be offered an Accident Only policy on joining. If your dog is between the age of 8 and 9 years old at the time of joining, and you wish to apply for Option 1 or 2, a complete vet history will be required. Cats that are 9 years or over on joining will also need a complete vet history.
What does lifelong cover mean?
This means we’ll cover your pet up to your annual limit each and every year no matter how old they get, for as long as you renew their policy annually.
Can I still apply if my pet’s vaccinations are not up to date?
Yes, but all vaccinatable diseases and any related complications will be excluded from cover.
Can I see any vet?
You can go to any registered vet of your choice in South Africa.
What about “medical aid rates”?
We will pay the full price of your approved vet bills after your excess, and do not attempt to apply a supposed “South African Guideline of Approved Tariffs,” because this was done away with in 2013!
Does my pet have to have a microchip or tattoo?
No. It is always a good idea to ensure your pet is identifiable though, to assist in finding you quickly if your pet gets lost and is taken to a vet, possibly with an injury. Our contributions towards Top Dog/Top Cat Routine Care can also be used to microchip your pet should you not have already done so.
Why are there waiting periods?
These assist in preventing fraud to keep premiums fair and affordable for everyone. If a condition becomes known during this period, we may only exclude coverage on the one condition, either temporarily or permanently. There are no waiting periods for accidents, and/or coverage under our Accident Only policy.
What are the waiting periods?
We have a no-claims period for all pets on Option 1 & 2 for the first 30 days of new cover (accidents are, of course, covered immediately). This is followed by a 30 day 50% shared co-payment period. Prescription food and dental benefits in Option 2 have a 4 month waiting period. Top Pet Routine Care claims have a 3 month waiting period. There is a 6 month waiting period for Option 1 & 2 for knee, hip, elbow & shoulder, eye, respiratory system and spinal treatments, and a contribution limit for new pets of R5 000 for diagnostic costs on these areas. (Pets under 4 months of age may be considered for part or full cover of the above treatments, on a case-by-case basis). The death benefit on Option 2 has a 6 month waiting period for newly joined pets, and is not claimable should the death be a result of any excluded and/or pre-existing conditions.
How can my pet have a “pre-existing condition” if they only got sick or injured after joining?
There is a standard waiting period for all new pets upon joining to properly assist with assessing each pet’s current health. This also assists with preventing fraud, which negatively impacts costs, and everyone’s premiums. Pets that show signs or symptoms of any condition within this period will have what we, in insurance, call a “pre-existing condition,” even though it is shortly after joining. We won’t refuse any pets should they get sick or develop symptoms during this waiting period. Depending on the individual circumstances, this may not even affect the rest of your coverage, and we may only adjust coverage for a condition or this occurrence. Full disclosure by you is essential, as this allows us to provide the best coverage for your pet. Not doing so could compromise your cover, and lead to a cancellation of your policy at a later time. It is always best to disclose as much as possible and let us decide what is required. Every pet and policy is evaluated on an individual case-by-case basis. (All pets requiring medical attention must immediately be seen by a vet, even if it is during a waiting period, and doing so is a general condition of our policy.)
Do I need pre-approval for treatments?
Pre-approval is not required for non-chronic treatment, and we will not guarantee cover verbally over the phone. Should you wish to gain pre-approval, we will provide this information at your request, in writing.
How do I claim?
Online forms can be completed & submitted online, or downloaded here. You can also collect one from your vet, or request one by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Send your completed form, and a scanned, legible copy of all relevant invoices to email@example.com, or fax to (021)701 2027, as soon as possible after treatment.
How are claims refunded?
Refunded claims are paid directly back to you, using the bank account details you provided on your application, unless advised otherwise.
When will I receive my refund?
We usually refund claims within an average of 8 working days of receiving your complete submission. If your claim form is incomplete or illegible, and/or there are missing supporting documents, we will need to contact you, and this will cause delays. It’s important that all claim-related emails are sent directly to our claims team at firstname.lastname@example.org, and that you let us know immediately if your banking details have changed from those provided on your insurance application, before we refund your claim.
What is a claim excess?
This is a small amount of a claim that you agree to contribute towards the full cost of a claim. The excess for both Option 1 & 2 is 18%, with a minimum of R250. (All ongoing claims for the same condition within a 30 day period will have an 18% excess, once the initial R250 minimum has been met. Should a condition continue past 30 days, it will be treated as a new claim, with the R250 minimum again.) The excess you pay for dental claims on Option 2 is 20%, with a minimum of R500. The excess for Accident Only is 10%, with a minimum of R150. You will not have to pay an excess for any Top Dog/Top Cat Routine Care claims, nor any holistic wellness coverage benefit claims.
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 fraud, and to keep monthly premiums fair and affordable for all.
Is there a cut-off period after which I cannot make a claim?
It’s important to us that you get your claims paid. The most essential thing to remember with claims is that we must receive all the necessary documentation within 60 days of the treatment.
Can I earn a no-claim bonus?
Healthy pets on Option 1 & 2 are rewarded after 2 years with a no-claim discounted premium. Routine care claims will not affect your claim status.
How can I pay my premiums?
We offer both monthly and annual payment options to all our members. Our annual payment members pay one lump sum discounted premium via bank EFT once a year on the anniversary of their joining. Should you choose monthly payments, we deduct your premiums via an automatic debit order from the bank account you specify. All cover will automatically lapse after 15 days, in the event that your premium is not paid.
Will my premiums increase every year?
All premiums have to increase marginally every year to allow us to keep up with innovation and rising costs. This is important so we can continue to offer the best vet care available, without compromising cover and benefits. We work hard to limit increases, and not to compromise on our comprehensive policy offerings.
What is the Veterinary Fee?
This is a nominal amount, which affords us an inhouse vet and veterinary nurse to actively help with claims, member applications and everything else related to your policies. They work hard, partnering with vet practices to motivate claims, presenting on your behalf directly to our underwriters, assisting with approvals, speeding up refunds, and other processes. At MediPet we pride ourselves on our unmatched over 93% claim success rate.
What notice is required if I wish to cancel my policy?
If you choose to cancel your policy within the first 14 days (this is called “the cool-off period”), you will be given a full refund of premium(s) paid. After this period lapses, a 30 day calendar month notice period is sufficient. (Annual payment members will be refunded remaining premiums paid in advance at the beginning of the year.)
How do you communicate with members?
We use email as our primary method of communicating policy changes, as well as claims and payment advice. If our email is not returned undelivered, we deem it received by yourself. We will use the email address provided by you on application. Should your email address change, it is important that you update this information with us in writing. You cannot unsubscribe from policy, claims and payment email communications – only marketing communications.
What if my pet dies?
In the sad event that your pet passes away, their policy will be terminated as soon as you notify us, and once your vet practice has provided verification. Refunds for premiums paid annually in advance will be calculated pro-rata and refunded back to you. (Existing policies cannot be transferred to new pets added.) Option 2 has a condolence benefit, which must be claimed for, as per all normal claims.