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Bow Wow Meow Pet Insurance
4.1 from 1,637 reviews

was ok until

got $50 back out of $600 it cost for cremation as I'd reached my annual benefit level. I guess when you cremate your dog you can only do it once a year. annual benefit limits are way too low for a dog with ongoing issues, you can't get treatment without getting a consult, I maxed out consults in the first two months. won't go back to bowwow. payment system needs to be updated to take manual payments as well.

Value for Money
Customer Service
Number of Pets1 pets
Claim MadeYes
Claim Resolution Time1-2 weeks
Claim DateMarch 2019
Claim ApprovedNo
1 comment
Hi Jessica, thank you for the review. Our policies are definitely more geared to cover accident and illness conditions. The cremation costs are covered by the added routine care cover which does have a lower benefit limit.

Beware premiums rise with pets age.

I have had no issues with Bow Wow Meow until now. I have 3 dogs and a cat with their insurance. I have received renewals for two of our dogs the two policies have risen by $389 total for both policies this year. I was expecting a rise of maybe $200 but $389??? Really! I have made no claim for the 7 year old and maybe a couple for the 6 year old. This year I will be paying $1012.23 for 7 yr old & $687.40 for 6 year old. I was very happy with Bow Wow until now but as they say they have me over a barrel as I find their pet portal really easy to use for claims and sometimes better the devil you know than the one you don’t. DO your research people.

Value for Money
Customer Service
Number of Pets4 pets
Pet Type(s) InsuredCat and Dog
Claim MadeYes
Claim Resolution Time1-2 weeks
Claim DateDecember 2018
Claim ApprovedYes
1 comment
Hi Shazza, thank you for you review. You are correct, premiums are risk rated as the older your pet gets the more chance of illness occurring (this is the same with human healthcare). Pricing also depends on the breed you have and other rating factors do come in to it. Having said that, there are ways to decrease your premiums by taking on a higher excess or lower benefit rates (depending on the policy you have). Please e-mail insurance@bowwow.com.au with the above review so that we can investigate options for you. Many thanks

Easy claims process but puppy exclusion makes no sense

We purchased accidental & sickness cover for our new puppy when he was 8 weeks old (the day we picked him up). Since then, we have lodged a few claims. Most of these have just been absorbed by the per-condition excess. My bad, I should've been aware that this is per condition. One or two claims resulted in a few $ being paid out. As far as that goes, my experience has been good.

However, early on, our puppy showed some diarrhoea issues that were treated by the vet. Bow wow did not accept our claim due to the waiting period. Fair enough. Turns out he was allergic to his food so now everything is good, but it took us a while to figure this out. Bow wow rejected all subsequent claims, stating that his dietary issues are now a pre-existing condition. Under the T&Cs this makes perfect sense.

On the other hand, I was not able to purchase insurance earlier (given that puppy insurance is only sold from 8 weeks on). In my opinion you can't really have a pre-existing condition on an animal that wasn't pre-existing in the first place. I bought the insurance as soon as I could and yet we are still excluded under this process. Exclusions make sense to protect the insurance from someone purchasing insurance after an issue becomes apparent, so I get it for older dogs and such.

I contacted Bow Wow, quoting that I understand their T&Cs but expressing that I feel they shouldn't apply. I received a response saying that this is in line with their T&Cs... So I went through the formal review process and explicitly expressed that I feel the T&Cs shouldn't apply in this case. Yes, I get that I entered a contract under these conditions, I'm asking you to consider this case for an exception given that it's reasonable to ask for it. Their reply:

"The Committee notes that the diarrhoea Condition did not qualify for Cover during the 30-
day Waiting Period as during this time the policy is an Accidental Injury only policy. [...] Your policy
also does not provide cover for Pre-existing Conditions or their Related Conditions that arise prior to
the policy Commencement Date or within the applicable Waiting Periods."

In summary: "Under your contract, we did everything right." - I know. Which is why I asked for a review under special conditions (he is a new puppy) which was never addressed in the response. They also tried to call me once, but I was busy. No further attempt to contact me was made (I did get an e-mail saying they tried to call me). Next, I received the statement from the committee.

(+) Prompt processing of claims
(+) Detailed letters stating where you are at in terms of excess and refund
(+) Detailed, thorough complaint process
(-) Ignored the specific concerns I expressed repeatedly

As such, I can only give a mediocre review. I'm not against recommending them and I will stay a customer for now, but I did not feel as if I was treated as an individual but rather just piped through a process so the insurance has covered all bases. And in that regard, I would have hoped this company would be different.

Insurance claim madeYes
1 comment
Hi Flozza, thank you for your thorough feedback. I understand where you are coming from and I am sorry you did not feel like you were treated as an individual. The reason we do not allow pet insurance prior to 8 weeks is because it is a 'high risk' time for the Underwriter. During this period a plethora of conditions can occur and if this is the case and we covered the risk, premiums will be pushed up considerably making it difficult to be an acceptable price for the market. Following this, is the 30 day waiting period and we do this for obvious reasons such as people claiming for things going wrong prior to getting pet insurance (as you have mentioned). Even though your pet is a puppy, the Underwriter is particularly strict with these policies as it would pose a considerable underwriting risk if it became lenient, since most people take out pet insurance when they have purchased a puppy (or when an accident or illness condition occurs). I hope this helps clarify why these policies have been put in place (which apply to all the pet insurance companies in the market today).

Mostly good, some issues with their claims processing

Had my first claims processed in recent months and found the process a bit tedious.

After requesting a vet history, I sent it through but forgot a couple of one off vet visits. They asked me to send through a full vet history and I remembered the couple of clinics I forgot.

After that, they requested a full vet history again (with no details as to what was missing). I sent an email and asked for what was missing, with no response. This happened multiple times, I emailed multiple times to ask for more information and was ignored. It was only after I threatened to contact the ACCC that I heard back and they processed the claim without any further information. In total those first claims took a couple of months to be paid.

I’ve now sent another claim for medication for the condition already claimed and they’ve deducted the excess again. So I’ve had to email to get it fixed as they have already charged the annual condition excess.

Overall, I’m half half about using Bow Wow Meow. Some things they do well (their portal and submitting new claims is great), they just seem to have some internal processing issues that mean you need to watch what they’re doing closely and correct them all the time via back and forth emails, which they may or may not respond to.

Insurance claim madeYes
2 comments
Hi Jade R, thank you so much for this valuable feedback. You are not the only one who sometimes experiences this. As a result, we have very recently updated our process and hired more resources; Now, when the claim assessment person sees something is missing, we have a team that contacts the vet on your behalf. Apologies for the inconvenience you experienced already, however, I am confident that these delays won't occur again.Jade, please can you also e-mail your policy number to insurance@bowwow.com.au so that we can see how your existing claim is going. Many thanks.

Could be Better

I have been with this Insurance Co for a couple of years now. My daughter researched companies and found Bowwow.

Insurance claim madeYes
1 comment
Thanks for the feedback Irene. However, we would love to hear where we went wrong and how you think we could improve. Please can you send further details to insurance@bowwow.com.au. If there was a claim that went wrong or was delayed, please also include your policy number in the email. Thanks

Portals

13 months
Thelr Needs to be more vet portals to take the drama out of getting vet bills fowarded to petsure.
A portal at Perth Veterinary Specialist would make life a lot better for pets and owners.

Insurance claim madeYes
1 comment
Hi Hollie, I am glad to advise that our pet portal has gone through a complete overhaul. Claims are now very streamlined and should go through smoothly with no need to follow up.

Good outcome but process could be streamlined

My dog was bitten and needed emergency surgery which I paid for in full at the time. Having been insured for approx 8 months I then completed a claim on-line after the follow up consultations (in order to submit a complete claim). That process was straightforward but when nothing had happened after 10 days I followed up. One of my receipts didn't fully show I had paid so Bow Wow "had sent me a letter" saying I needed to resubmit! As the process was fully on-line this seems simply a delay that didn't need to be included in the process - an email with receipt sorted it but better communication from Bow Wow would improve the process especially in todays world!

Insurance claim madeYes
1 comment
Hi Gary B, thank you for the review and feedback. We completely agree with you and we are currently working on this.

Hasn't been a good experience

I feel the delay tactics used to hold back making the payments is inexcusable. It was only because I rang to ask how long before my claim would be finalised I heard there was a delay in paying me my claim. I was told I had not included enough background history for this claim when in fact I had provided it on 2 previous occasions for the dates in question. This has happened each time I make a claim and I find it very frustrating especially when one of the dates asked you had previously paid a claim in that period so you would have had all the vet history. 4 weeks is too long for a claim to be processed and paid when all documents are sent within 2 days of an operation.

Insurance claim madeYes
2 comments
Hi Tracie, I am sorry to hear about this. I agree that this is too long. We do pay 85% to 95% of claims within 5-10 days of receipt of all documents . However, I am not sure why we could not find yours (sincere apologies once again). May I suggest claiming through our online portal in future (https://portal.petsure.com.au/bowwow/Login). I am glad to say that we are upgrading the portal this month, which will make claims even more streamlined.Thanks for your reply Bow Wow Meow I will try that next time...hopefully not for a while! :)

Improved service

Fastest response and repayment I've had with Bow Wow Meow. And for the first time, no hassles re my claim

Insurance claim madeYes
1 comment
Appreciate the review. Thanks Cheryle.

Good but missleading

I wouldn't be without pet insurance, however recently I have had to claim for my dog having a cruciate ligament surgery. What they don't tell you is there is limits to certain procedures per year. I was also not covered for animal physio when my dog needed extra rehab because she wasn't recovering as well as she should. Rehab is part of the operation and should be covered. Other than that I am very happy, the claim process is easy and they pay quickly.

Insurance claim madeYes
1 comment
Thank you for the feedback Sue. I do understand where you are coming from, however, the above limits are documented on your certificate of insurance and the physio exclusion is covered under Section 6, 3 e of the current available PDS. We are going to bring out another product shortly which has a $1,000 optional limit for Alternative therapy which will include treatment for physio. Regarding the claim, we are glad it went smoothly for you Sue.

Be careful of the 23.59pm start time

Be aware that whatever date your policy starts, it actually doesn't start until 23.59pm of that day. I waited 30 days and then my lab had a small op. I thought it was day 31, but because the policy doesn't start until 23.59pm it wasn't day 31 until 23.59pm and of course he had his op in the day not at midnight, so I couldn't claim. Now if he ever gets a histiocytoma again it won't be covered. I WISHED I'd waited another day or two.

Insurance claim madeYes
2 comments
Hi Nicky, I am sorry to hear this. Please can you e-mail your policy number to insurance@bowwow.com.au so that we can see investigate. Many thanksAs a response to my review you can see that Bow Wow asked me to re-email them so they could investigate. So I did. Their response is that my pup had his operation before 23.59pm that day - exactly as I stated above - and so is not insured - exactly as I stated above. So I stand by my review, be careful of the 23.59pm start time.

Okay company

Relatively easy to set up . Customer service often difficult due to language barrier . Claims often take a long time to be processed . I would like to see a system where claims are made at the vet clinic like the Hicaps system used in human health care insurance .

Insurance claim madeYes
1 comment
Hi Peter, thanks for the feedback. As discussed in the previous review, we are upgrading the portal in the second half of the year which should improve the claim experience further and speed up processing times.

Good outcome but could have been easier

Found the process of making a claim slightly tedious, was asked for vet history multiple times but not specifically what was needed. Email communication instead of letters would be easier. Staff were friendly but could not answer questions. I was told 2 different things on the same day. Overall happy with the experience it was just dragged out. Policy is great value and very easy to set up. Would recommend to others.

Insurance claim madeYes
1 comment
Thanks Ceeks. We are working on making it easier. The claim portal is going to be upgraded in the second half of the year so I am sure this will make a big difference.

So glad we chose pet insurance

Satisfied with everything other than not being able too see the process my claim is in, online and being able to see the ‘invoices which can take a while to come in the post.

Insurance claim madeYes
1 comment
Thanks for the feedback Natasha. We are actually in the process of upgrading our claim portal in the second half of the year. It will be much easier to track once launched.

Claim rejected

My policy etc was not emailed or mailed to me, so had to chase it up. My first claim was slightly problematic as I needed to supply a medical assessment of my pup, which wasn’t explained. My last claim was rejected as your assessment team stated that it was due to a pre existing condition, which was incorrect. It was accidental ingestion of water causing fluid in the lungs. Their assessment was way off and necessitated phone calls, additional information from the emergency vet to support my claim. There were also errors in your letter. On revision the claim was accepted however I wasn’t happy with the letter from your assessment team stating that I should have provided the additional information. You were given all documents from the emergency vet that I was given and the error was yours. I shouldn’t have to argue my case when your staff didn’t assess correctly. All sorted now though.

Insurance claim madeYes
1 comment
Hi Karen, this sounds like it was a very frustrating process for you. My sincere apologies for this. It is not the level of service we strive for. Please can you e-mail insurance@bowwow.com.au with your policy number so that I can investigate and understand exactly what occurred on our side. Thanks

Slow but steady.

We decided to go with Bow Wow Meow based on a relatives review that they were very easy to deal with and very fast to process claims. The policy itself was very easy to setup. We have processed one claim and were disappointed with how long it took to process. The delay was due to a particular pathology result missing from the documentation, but no one bothered to contact me to tell me this was missing or required, I only found out when I used my lunch break to call and chase up the claim myself. This is the only complaint we have, if the customer service and contact improved then there really would be no complaints. It would also be handy if we received something to say why we got back what portion we got back, as we weren't sure how they came to the figure we had refunded.

Insurance claim madeYes
1 comment
Hi Sharni, I am sorry to hear about these delays and appreciate the feedback. We are working on improving our systems so that these delays will not happen and communication will be more seamless. I am happy to get a rep to look at why you got back what you did.In order to do this, please e-mail insurance@bowwow.com.au with your policy number. Thanks

Communication

We have never used Pet insurance before however decided to take it out due to an incident that cost us a lot of money.
The policy was easy to setup online & the cost seemed quite good compared to other policies. However, enquiry via email on how to add another pet recently & no response so will need to contact them again.
We had to make a claim a few months after we took out the policy & there seemed to be quite a slow process. Receiving multiple letters in the mail requesting the same info I’d already had my vet send. I felt this could have been done earlier & quicker via phone.
I eventually rang the helpline to find out when this would decline to which I strongly disagreed with decision so it to take it review. Our claim was eventually paid out to our satisfaction however this first claim experience left a rather unsavory taste in our mouths.
I must admit though once the claim was reviewed the payment went through very quickly. However if I had just accepted their first assessment & not taken it upon myself to question their conclusion then the claim would not have been paid.
I feel the communication lines could be better once you make a claim, that said it was over the Christmas period so I understand that could have contributed to time frame.

Insurance claim madeYes
2 comments
Hi Louanne4, thanks for the feedback. I am sorry about the poor communication and resultant delays. The first claim is always the hardest as we need to gather the full vet history. Having said that, it shouldn't have been this difficult - my apologies. Yes, we were overly busy over the festive season, however, this is no excuse. We are in the process of upgrading our system which will result in improved communication channels. This will most likely go live towards the end of 2018.Thank you for your response, appreciate it

its a great fund have had two dogs now with bow wow (however)

good value easy to set up, wanted to insure older dog however he was too old making it costly to change to Bow wow. The customer service has been very supportive. First claim for previous dog had no problems very quick to settle, slight problem with the second claim (different dog) when provided with further information the rebate took approx. 6 weeks.

Insurance claim madeYes

Bundy cat

This time was better than a previous claim. I would like to be able to claim for his annual injections and routine check each year. I am happy to know that he is insured as then he can have the best of care

Insurance claim madeYes
1 comment
Thanks for sharing Bundy. We are happy this went better than your last claim.

Disappointed with staff not listening to the issue, but a successful claim in the end.

After submitting a claim for my dog, who was hit by a car, I was told this was a "pre-existing condition" and not eligible for a claim. When I called to query why the claim was rejected, the person assisting couldn't understand that being hit bit a car couldn't possibly be a pre-existing condition. It became apparent that part of the vet history had not come through. Once this was sent by the vet, the claim did go through. Disappointing that the person in the call centre couldn't understand the issue.

Insurance claim madeYes
2 comments
Hi N Williams, this is disappointing.... Please e-mail your policy number to insurance@bowwow.com.au so that this can be investigated. We are committed to training all staff and it looks like we fell short in this example. My apologies.Hi N Williams, this is disappointing.... Please e-mail your policy number to insurance@bowwow.com.au so that this can be investigated. We are committed to training all staff and it looks like we fell short in this example. My apologies.

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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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