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Bow Wow Meow Pet Insurance
4.1 from 1,637 reviews

So disappointing

Long story short - been with BWM for five years. At the beginning they were great and I often referred friends with new animals to them. However, recently I experienced a increase of $6 a fortnight ($144 a year extra). After emailing and requested either some information or a call back, I got nothing. I called a week later and got the same old babble of premium increases, vets are expensive, all the information people generally know already. Finally the phone operated informed me that my policy no longer existed as it was from many years ago and there are new policies. She offered me one that is identical to my current policy, but $2 a fortnight cheaper. I was livid! This should be automatically be altered, as they are punishing a customer for being with them for an extended period of time. And watch out for their $1 fee for taking payments either monthly or fortnightly! I gave two stars as I was looked after when my dog was attached when he was only a few months old. Overall, beyond disappointed and searching for a new insurance company.

Value for Money
Customer Service
Number of Pets1 pets
Pet Type(s) InsuredDog
Claim MadeNo
1 comment
Hi Stephanie, I am sorry to hear about this. Please can you email insurance@bowwow.com.au so we can investigate and get back to you. Many thanks

Undisclosed premium increase

$15 increase to our monthly premium and a policy that is $10 above a quote for new coverage. Worse still we didn’t get any correspondence advising of the premium increase. Really bloody poor way to treat an existing customer. Fail.

Claims process that is picky and quite frankly overly restrictive. Current policy costs more than home and contents to the tune of $500000. So yes, we will be cancelling our bow wow meow money sink policy in favour of better and cheaper coverage elsewhere. Will also be giving these guys a thumbs down on choice.

Insurance claim madeYes
1 comment
Hi Tman, in most cases premiums do increase each year as the pet ages. This occurs with all pet insurance companies. I am happy to investigate though. Please e-mail your review and policy number to insurance@bowwow.com.au so that I can check. Thanks.

Trying to get out of claim by comparing dermatitis to cancer

We have been insured with Bow Wow for about 8 years. Our dog was 1 year old when we took him to the vet with a rash on his nose. The vet diagnosed him with a dermatitis and gave us a cream, in about a week the dermatitis was gone . Now 7 years or so later our dog had to growths on his nose and we took him to the vet who diagnosed him with early SCC( squamous cell carcinoma) and decided to take action by removing it. Dermatitis and cancer are two different types of conditions but they refusing our claim by saying its hives/rash???? I just spoke to the vet and she agrees that its clearly not an preexisting condition. How can you treat your customers like this without even following up to make sure you understand the consultation notes which doesn't even mention dermatitis but clearly says SCC.
I am gonna change policy's if they dont sort this out. Very disappointed with bow wow meow.

Insurance claim madeYes
1 comment
Hi Alorac, this is very frustration. My apologies. Please can you e-mail insurance@bowwow.com.au so that our resolutions team can look into this for you. Many thanks.

Increase in fees

Just received our first annual renewal notice. We will be looking elsewhere unless we can come to some kind of an agreement with customer service on Monday. Our policy increased by $120 and requires that we pay a ‘fee’ for the privilege of paying our monthly premiums (let's say that again, we have to pay to pay....erm). Further, new customers would be receiving a better deal than our renewal notice if the quote we received on their website was anything to go by. As far as claims go, we did make a claim for our pup during the early days of our policy (poisoning), which was summarily denied as it was classified as being ‘illness’ (really?) that coincidentally had a waiting period. While we understand rising costs, it would appear from our perspective that the application of 'lazy tax' is perhaps a tad too liberal. Be sure to check your renewal notice.

Insurance claim madeYes
Two phone calls later and still no resolution. Apparently the Individuals at the call center do not have authority to cancel or make changes to policies. Were told that customer service would be in touch within 48 hours! Classy.Hi Kirsty, I am sorry to hear this. Please can you e-mail your policy number to insurance@bowwow.com.au so we can look into this for you. Many thanks.

Excessive policy increase after 1 year

Was with them for a year and didn't make a claim but the renewal came through and the price nearly doubled. Gone elsewhere.

Insurance claim madeNo
1 comment
Hi Tom, I am sorry to hear this. Often policyholders receive the annual puppy promo which is heavily discounted and when this ends, it looks like a major increase. However, I am happy to look into this for you. Please can you provide your policy number and e-mail it to insurance@bowwow.com.au.

Disappointing due to increases

Been with the company for four years. No major claims in this time and no accident or injury claims. All in all a very healthy dog but this year the comprehensive policy has increased from $67/month to $82/month due, I was told, to the fact that other kelpies insured by the company made claims!!!!. I would have liked to have remained with the company (as the service has been really good) but for a healthy dog, the increases are exorbitant!!

Insurance claim madeYes

Said No to tick claim! You can't prove it was!

I've been with this company since July 2017, first claim!
My Dog got what was suspected as a tick and her eye lid swelled, she was on tick prevention but we still took her to A & E with the confidence she was covered. The bill was lower than the excess so we weren't to receive any funds back but i was told by a Insurance company that it is always best to register the claim as if she was to fall ill due to the same condition you don't need to pay the excess second time round?
I'm so glad i found out this out after $170 claim and not a claim that ran into thousands!

Bow Wow turned down my policy because the vet at A&E couldn't confirm it was a tick at the time and as the tick finally dropped off and we couldn't find it to have it confirmed.

They stated they would review the case if we had more notes from our vets?We didn't have any more notes as she was treated at A&E for the swelling it went down within hours and showed no more symptoms so we didn't need to go back to A&E that night or our vets the following day. If you cant prove its a tick? Your claim gets turned down.
If it wasn't a tick and she had a foreign body stuck in her eye which dropped out? Shouldn't that be covered under accident anyway?

Ive lost total confidence with this company, what if this was to happen again and the bill ran into the $$$$$$$? I have 5 animals that need insurance, hence Bow Wow have lost my business! I'm shocked!

Insurance claim madeYes
Hi Binny, I am sorry to hear you have lost confidence in us. Please can you e-mail insurance@bowwow.com.au with your policy number and the above review and I will send through to our resolutions team to investigate and then get back top you. Many thanks.So it takes this to acknowledge my issues with your company? You should of investigated correctly in the first instance and not have your customers having to phone up asking “why” and then still be push aside ,train your team correctly and maybe your keep customers! The whole situation is a reflection on what sort of company/people are working for you! You ethics and conduct? There is none! Take the money and run! And the real kick in the rear!? I wasn’t to gain anything finically out of this! God forbid if this was a fatality? As they say no sentiment in business,shafted god and proper! Get stuffed!

Wow factor premium increase

We've just received our policy renewal after our first year to be hit with a 28% increase for our 1 year old Lagotto. Big increase in first year and I'm worried to think were it will be in year 5. Their claim process is good however.

Insurance claim madeYes
Hi K 4 Frankie, it is very likely that you received the puppy promo which is 2 months free discounted over the 12 month period (works out to be a 16% discount for the year). If this is the case, the actual increase is 12% as the discount was only for the first year. I am happy to double check this for you. Please e-mail your policy number to insurance@bowwow.com.au with the above review. Many thanks.Hi, I've emailed the requested information for you to check. Considering my family's private health insurance only went up nearly 5% (which is still excessive), I think for pet insurance to go up by twice this amount (if this discount is taken into account) is very excessive. Was this discount clearly stated in the initial policy document?Hi K 4 Frankie, your e-mail has been received and it has been sent to a team member in the resolutions team who will contact you shortly.

Incorrect policy information and pricing issues

I rang regarding price and condition matching for insurance. I have not done this since I took out my insurance.
The person I spoke with talked about pre-existing conditions not being covered if I moved insurers as a means of discouraging a move. While I appreciate that this is an issue to consider when moving, it was not applicable in my circumstance and when I explained this (as the conditions cited were one-off and not significant and having reviewed PDS from other companies) it was again told to me as a way of discouraging change. When I asked specifically about price matching again, I was offered some unclear explanation regarding pricing being generated by a computer and therefore no price matching or matching of conditions was unavailable. I find it unusual and uncommercial that it is the policy of BowWow not to price match (where all other characteristics are the same (i.e. age, condition, breed etc)). Separately, it is unfortunate that the point of contact for the company, firstly cannot explain the product, provides incorrect information regarding pre-existing conditions and coverage.

Insurance claim madeNo
1 comment
Hi Ann, it is disappointing to hear this - my sincere apologies. Ann, please can you e-mail your policy number referencing the above review to insurance@bowwow.com.au so we can assist. Many thanks.


4 months
I have put in two claims. First one was denied as Bow Wow Meow decided it was a pre existing condition despite the vet calling and writing a letter stating otherwise. I ask for a review and still upheld previous decision and again I asked for a review at highest level and knocked back again.
2nd claim was well handled, but spent the whole time worried they would somehow claim it was a pre existing condition. I now don’t feel like it is a safety net as i feel Bow Wow Meow has the power to label anything a pre existing condition and knock back any claim.

Insurance claim madeYes
1 comment
Hi Renee M, we can only label it pre-existing if their are vet notes on the file and if it occurred prior to taking a policy or if it was an illness condition that occurred during the waiting period. Please let me know if your second claim went through ok? If not, please send your policy number to insurance@bowwow.com.au and I will be happy to investigate. Thanks

A very disappointing experience

The policy is good value providing you adhere to what you promise and it was very easy to set up. I spoke with a delightful lady who was very helpful
However, the claims process in very different.

Insurance claim madeYes
1 comment
Hi Coralie, I am sorry to hear that it was a disappointing experience. Please e-mail your policy number to insurance@bowwow.com.au if you would like this to be investigated. Thank you.

Exhausting very first claim experience

You hear stories about the process being complicated, ours with BowWow certainly was.
My dog had an occurrence of cherry eye popping out, on ONE eye, as a puppy before starting with this insurance. That made it a pre-existing condition, fair enough, we never ignored that.
With the years she developed a –DIFFERENT- condition on BOTH eyes –UNRELATED to cherry eye- and more complicated (entropion).
We waited for the right moment to go ahead with a single surgery to fix both problems at once. This way, we would save money but most importantly save our baby of undergoing multiple operations and extended recovery time.
Claim time: We sent all the information required and more. The surgery reports and history were clear as water. You guess right.... BowWow replied with a $0 refund as they put EVERYTHING into the “Pre-existing bag”.
From there, it was a nightmare of calls, emails, further vet reports, attachments, false assumptions and stress to get them to recognise it was their mistake and finally being reimbursed what we were entitled.
My constant reflection is, if we hadn’t complained, kicked and screamed, sat hopelessly and endlessly hours in front of their lousy Excel worksheet we would have lost $2500 which were rightfully ours from the get go. We are not switching company, but we can't help feeling disappointed and not looked after as a customer.

Insurance claim madeYes
1 comment
Hi Lemon17, I am sorry you had a poor experience with us. We do access many claims and this one may have been an oversight. I am glad you were able to get it sorted out. I can see why this was exhausting though and I am confident that the next claim (if need be) will be much easier now that we have your pet's full vet history. We would also like to review the issues that occurred (can you e-mail your policy number to insurance@bowwow.com.au). Thanks and apologies once again for the run around.

Lengthy process, policy now cancelled

We started our policy when we got our dog 5yrs ago as a private rehome rescue. We have had no issues at all untiul February when she blew her ACL and required major surgery to correct this. The process took forever because we didn't have any kind of receipt from when we got her but no one told me that the statement I made about the date we got her wasn't enough until my 3rd phone call. Thankfully I was able to track down her previous owner who wrote a letter confirming the date we had taken ownership of her but what would have stopped me from writing the exact same thing? We then heard nothing for another few weeks before I called to follow up again as was asked the same questions again but then received some money in the bank only a couple of days later. I still haven't heard anything about why her initial appointment when the ACL damaged was discovered hasn't been cancelled but we are so done that we have cancelled anyway. Never had so many issues with an insurance company.

Insurance claim madeYes
1 comment
Hi Kel, I am sorry that you were given the run around. I would appreciate you e-mailing your policy number to insurance@bowwow.com.au so we can investigate this as it is not the level of service we aspire to. Many thanks

Confused on claim.

I put a claim in a couple of weeks ago regarding surgery my dog had. I took her into emergency as she had an abscess on her face. I thought she might of had a grass seed in her face. I put in a claim & all went well. Thank you. 3 days later I took her to my vet to check her out to see what was causing the abscess. My vet thought it might have been due to a fractured tooth so I had surgery done that day. I knew she wasn’t covered for this procedure so I didn’t put in a claim. Weeks later the abscess wasn’t going away, she was on antibiotics all that time. The abscess got bigger so I took her back to the vets. Another operation & Xrays & they found she had a bone stuck up her nose maybe from eating one I don’t know. I put a claim in for this & received an email claiming she wasn’t covered for the tooth fracture & nothing that was related to the tooth would be covered. I’m not sure whether they read my claim fully or not as the abscess was not related to the tooth as the vet first thought but the bone up her nose. The abscess has almost cleared now that the bone’s been removed. Will have to call them tomorrow now that they’re closed. Feeling annoyed this time around but they have been great with my previous claim.

Insurance claim madeYes
1 comment
Hi Bert, apologies for the confusion here. Please can you e-mail your policy number to insurance@bowwow.com.au and I can get our resolutions team to look at this ASAP. Many thanks

'dogdy' when it comes renewal time

called up for cancelling the renewal. after checking with all your details, they will ask you to hold and transfer you to the other correct department even though you listened to all the crap on the voice msgs and selected "cancelling policy".

first time the phone just got cut off after holding for more than 5 min
second time , same thing...hold for more than 5 min just to find out the other team is not available. and they need to make a call back.
(they did say they will give an extra week before they direct debit from my card. but i refused)

--- at the end i did successfully cancel my renewal. But wont be insuring with them again for now ---
--- running the same policy on their GET A QUOTE comes out $200 cheaper than my renewal......that's how they look after the existing customer--

--- i am never a fan of AUTOMATIC renewal direct debit method....they should change it ---

anyway, i didn't make any claims with this company.
But the hike in the second year renewal put me off renewing.

I would urge others to shop around before signing up to Bowwowmeow.

Lucky i dont have to go through any claims...wonder what trouble i would have to go through.

Insurance claim madeNo
Hi JLee, please can you send through your policy number to insurance@bowwow.com.au. This seems incorrect and we would like to investigate. Apologies for the inconvenience.BW06529661 is my policy. You can at least double check the call centre did put my request into action cancelling my policy.Thanks JLee, I have sent this through to the resolutions team (particularly due to the pricing on renewal). We will get back to you as soon as we have a update.


A note from the vet about my dog's collar causing him to scratch his neck is suddenly a "pre-existing condition" for dermodex mange on his tail. What a scam. I don't care if they are going to review it now. I had to waste 2 hours trying to sort this nonsense out over the phone.

Insurance claim madeYes
1 comment
Hi Steph, sorry to hear this. Please can you e-mail your policy number to insurance@bowwow.com.au and I will ensure that this is looked at ASAP. Many thanks.

Slow in responding to queries

I found their services slow, and tardy in response to queries via email. They seemed to look for opportunities to avoid providing an immediate rebate, and providing an adequate reason.

Insurance claim madeYes
1 comment
Hi Ian, thanks for the feedback. Apologies if you experienced delays. Normally the first claim does take longer as we require a full history or sometimes if there are missing documents , it also slows things down. We are upgrading our claims portal shortly and we believe that this will solve many delays and frustrations.

The end result was good but not before I had to unfortunately have an ombudsman intervene

The outcome was good but I would not have received a payout if I didn't employ an ombudsman to help.
I cannot believe that "swallowing a foreign object ' can be listed under illness, therefore not covered in my first 30days.
the people I spoke with were lovely and agreed with me that this was not an illness,'but' because it was written in the policy that was what they had to go with!!!
Just because something is written doesn't mean its true!! I could write that this writing is red, I've written that - but that doesn't mean its true or right!!! as everyone can see it is black...
it was an extremely stressful process to go through!

Insurance claim madeYes
Hi Unhappy53, thank you for the feedback. Normally illness conditions have a 30 day waiting period, however, accident conditions do not. This clause is a bit grey at the moment and is causing confusion. We are looking at amending our Accident policies to include other occurrences such as this one. I am glad this is now sorted for you and apologies about the stress caused.Thank you - as I don't want anyone else to have to fight this... as swallowing a foreign object is clearly not an illness

Don't communicate

They cancelled my policy without calling sent one letter very poor communication would not recommend to anyone. They never attempt to call if there are any problems with the policy

Insurance claim madeNo
1 comment
Hi Triton, I am sorry to hear this. This is what usually happens: If a payment is missed for whatever reason, we send a text message out to advise, if there is no mobile number on the policy, a letter is sent by your preferred method of conduct, either email or post, advising of the amount outstanding. If the next attempt to collect is missed, a letter is sent by your preferred method of contact, either email or post, advising of the amount outstanding. The second letter also includes the date the policy will cancel if the payment is not successfully collected. I am happy to investigate this: Please e-mail insurance@bowwow.com.au with you policy number that we can understand what occurred. Many thanks.

Disappointed with policy changes

We signed up 4 years ago with Bow Wow based on their cruciate policy, disappointing they have changed their policy payouts after signing up to a lesser payout value, when we received our annual payout for the cruciate surgery we weren't event paid out the full $2600 maximum amount. Not only did they change the limit of cruciate payouts (which are very common) they also lowered their annual consultation payouts to a maximum of $300. Knowing that once a pet has a condition you cannot change providers I think that Bow Wow changing their policy to existing customers who signed up based on original policy conditions is terrible customer service. When my husband called to discuss this, the operator was less than helpful as well.

Insurance claim madeYes
1 comment
Hi Amelia. Thanks for your feedback, I understand where you are coming from. Sub limits were put in place in order to keep premiums under control as vet costs for treating them were being put through at unacceptable levels (this was put in place for all the pet insurance companies that are Underwritten by Hollard Insurance). This would have been shown on your Certificate of Insurance. As discussed previoulsly in another review for Cruciate sub-limits, it is a fine balancing act (Premium vs Cover) to bring a product to the market that has adequate cover and is at a reasonable cost. If there is too much cover, then premiums can increase considerably. If there is too little cover (albeit low premiums), this won’t be suitable either. We do our best to balance the two so we are not in a position where we are suddenly raising premiums excessively. A sublimit on the vet consults were also put in place for the same reason. This was also put in place for other Pet Insurers in the market underwritten by Hollard. Although you incepted a policy 4 years ago, it is an annual policy and it is within the Underwriters rights to amend within reason (as per the PDS). Having said that, this is all that has been changed to cover in the last 4 years (in terms of containing costs). On the flip side, we have improved other terms in the policy over the course of the 4 years such as waiving the cost or balance of premiums owing if the pet died, even though a claim was made, and the annual premium on the policy was not fully paid.

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Questions & Answers

My dog has had Bow Wow Pet insurance for six years and I was told today he has diabetes will his treatment be covered by Bow Wow pet insurance?
1 answer
Hi Judith, please e-mail your policy number to insurance@bowwow.com.au with the above question and I will confirm with our claims team. Many thanks.

I have 2 dogs aged 6.I have been researching pet insurance. My elderly parents( both in 90's) have asked me to take their dog ( aged 7)when they passover. Non of the dogs have any pre existing conditions and are healthy.No hesitation here but can I get a policy to cover my dogs and theirs under MY name as they are pensioners. If no, then when I do take on their dog it maybe over the age of 9. What then?
1 answer
You will need a full vet history from birth for the dog or the pet insurance will be a waste of time. So if the dog has only been to the one vet should be easy enough but if not, any pet insurance will not allow you to claim and it would be a waste of money. Generally you cannot insure a pet for first time over 9 years of age but check insurance PDS.

I am considering starting a policy for our 2 dogs. I'm concerned that the premiums will skyrocket each time the policy is renewed. My dogs are 7 and 8. What annual % increase can I expect? If I make a claim, does that result in premium increasing? If so, by how much? Also, with the 10% for second dog, do I get that discount each time the policy is renewed? Thanks.
4 answers
Hi Jenny, these are all great questions. It is difficult to answer though as premiums are also dependent on variables that are not known such as vet inflation and the claim frequency of our book. Your claim history does have a small impact on premium. The 10% multi pet discount, is a discount that is applied through the life of the policy so you do retain it on renewal. With older pets, premiums do increase. We try limit this to a cap of 15% as we like to avoid raising prices by huge amounts (it is important to note that there is no pricing guarantee and we reserve the right to increase if need be though). Hope this helps answer your questions.I can guarantee that your premiums will skyrocket with this company which is why I cancelled the 3 policies I had with them many years ago which cost me far more than I ever got back. Also 2 policies increased with no claims as much as one policy with claims so don't believe them when they say claim history impacts premiums. Your premiums will increase to cover the cost of the many morons having expensive, unnecessary treatment just because they have insurance not because their pets need it. Take out accident only insurance elsewhere, find a great homeopathic vet who will keep your dogs healthy & you will find that costs far less.Hello I have to agree with this policy holder .. I too have just received my policy renewal for our dog who is just over one year old. Only made one small claim and my policy has increased $276 I could not believe that my policy increased by so much I have only had the policy for 1 year so I can only imagine how much it will increase next year and so on . I am now in the process of looking elsewhere for my pet insurance and cancelling this policy ( hence how I have stumbled across these reviews ) I called bow wow meow and got someone who gave me the same ridiculous response as above... excuses My opinion read all the reviews and carefully read the insurance covers and exclusions too And I agree I too have found a great homeopathic vet

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