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Bow Wow Meow Pet Insurance
4.1 from 1,637 reviews

A crap company

Just like many people here, I have had a terrible experience with this company. It took 4 weeks for them to get back to me with a completely confusing letter stating that my dog had a precondition for her accident. What didn’t make any sense is that her precondition was for her left hind leg – she needed surgery on her right hind leg. Apparently these two legs are considered part of the same anatomy. Who knew that two legs are considered one! Well now I do, when I was rudely informed on the phone that it was in the PDS. Customer service is lacking but I guess I would be pretty apathetic working for a company who couldn’t give two s**ts about the well being of your pet.

I should have gone with Petsecure. My mum’s dog is with them and the amount of money they pay is astonishing and she usually gets payment within the week. Not like Bow Wow. It’s my own fault really for going with a company that is cheap. Clearly you get what you pay for.

Don’t risk going with this company! I’m now out of pocket $2k after paying hundreds over the years for peace of mind. Thanks Bow Wow!

Bad customer service, long and convoluted terms and conditions which will basically mean you giving them money for nothing, bad customer service, very slow turn around. These people will basically do everything possible to not cover your pet.

Every pet owner needs to get insured with Bow Wow Meow!

Our Cavoodle, Milo, was diagnosed with a shoulder luxation and required two operations. It was first picked up when Milo dislocated his shoulder at four months of age. Following the initial surgery Milo continued to be in pain and was at risk of further dislocation. We took Milo to an orthopaedic surgeon who performed a shoulder arthroplasty, which essentially involved creating a false shoulder joint. Milo is now seven months old and starting to use his leg again. He is expected to make a full recovery.

We were ectastic that we made the decision to take out pet insurance. Milo’s operations cost approximately $6,500 and we received almost all of this back. Without Bow Wow Meow we most likely would not have been able to have Milo’s operations performed.
efficient, quick, service, no fuss

1 comment
Hi Susan - I can absolutely 100% confirm the validity of this claim. I have seen the claim records.

Fast claims service, peace of mind

I have two dogs so only could afford the major medical, with $500 excess. I took it out "just in case" something major happened. Then it did. My Shih Tzu "Monty" was bitten by a large black snake and luckily I was home and could take him to the vet straight away. The treatment was very expensive (high cost of anti-venom and he needed two vials over two days), and apparently a lot of people just put their dogs down because of it. In the end all up it was $2,200 - claim submitted and cheque received the following week with no hassles. Having a dog so sick is stressful enough, and it was great not to have the added stress of wondering where the money was going to come from. I previously had a claim for a small amount for my other dog after complications from a standard operation put up the treatment costs - once again no problems with the claim. Yes my premiums have gone up each year but all premiums do no matter what you insure.
Quick and fuss free claim payment

1 comment
Why is it that positive reviews are fake and all negative ones are true? Just a thought...


I had been warned about bowwow meow by other members of my dog club, but because I was a student adn felt this was the best way I could take finances out of the equation if anything went wrong with my dogs, that I would take my chances with this company.

In 2008 my dog injured her knee and underwent various tests to see if they could find the cause of her pain. When I put in a claim it was rejected. Previously my dog had for a few hours a limp, but when I took her to the vet, she was so excited to see the vet that she forgot about the pain and the problem was solved. It was because of this vet visit that my claim was denied.

Recently I recieved a renewal notice. My annual premium has more than doubled in spite of no claims being accepted. I find this hard to believe and so am now looking for an alternative insurance company.
was cheap
uses every excuse not to pay claims, puts up the prices unreasonably.


We are with Bow Wow Meow and have just received our bill for cover in the next yyear. We have been with them for two years. For the last two years our insurance was $280. We did not claim in the first year but did claim in the second year. The claim was for around $450 with a $100 excess and we received $350 back. Our new premium price is $460. With a nice generic letter explaining the cost increase, how they encouraged policy holders to use their insurance wisely and work with their vets towards cost effective treatments. And in a separate letter "to ensure fairness we have consultated the Imbudsman......who have confirmed ....setting premiums falls outside their Terms of Reference". Kind of like HAHAHAHAHa sucker. If we had made a number of claims I could understand this massive increase, but we made one claim in two years and in vet costs it was relativley small.

I am pretty much trapped as my cat is over 9 years old I cannot get comprehensive policy with other insures, only one for accidents.

I reveiwed alot of insurance companies and I would have gone with Petplan but my cat was over the seven year mark. They are underwritten by Allianz who have also received good reviews......Go and look at them.
Would insure my cat at aged 9 when most other insurance companies would not. For our one claim it was a quick response and did cover the costs
The HUGE $190 increase in premium after our one and only claim over 2 years.


Seems good on the surface but the bilateral condition clause really restricts your future claims seeing there are lots of bilateral body parts!
Read the PDS closely regarding bilateral conditions. My dog had cruciate ligament surgery on one leg previously. All other legs are fine. However, this clause means that the opposite (health and injury free) leg is automatically excluded in relation to any future cruciate ligament claim. I rang and Bow Wow confirmed this is how the clause works.

Great customer service, fast processing

I just wanted to write to say how pleased I am with Bow Wow Meow, your service, staff and little extras (like text messages so I know you received my claim) are just TOP NOTCH!

I switched to Bow Wow Meow from Pet Plan about 5 months ago because I could not take the horrible service and loops I had to jump through over at Pet Plan. No one ever knew what they were talking about, claims took ages, no one ever called me back when I would follow up on a claim that took ages to complete. I had enough but was reluctant to switch...will I have to deal with the same thing? So I called your customer service line and spoke to a wonderful woman (I wish I remembered her name) who talked and walked me through everything. I told her my concerns, and she talked me through those as well. She single handedly switched me over...the service was light years beyond my old insurance. It is always a pain to switch insurance companies, but you guys made it so easy.

Then, following that, any time I have called I have received the same wonderful, happy, kind service. Like your employees are actually happy doing their job and that makes me feel good. They are friendly, upbeat and explain everything in detail.

I also love the text message notifications and how easy to read and fill out your claim forms are as well as how easy to understand your remittance advice forms are. Clear as a bell, no confusion here!

Thank you so much, my dog Brooklyn and I are so grateful we switched!
Customer service, easy claim forms, quick service, friendly

Get out of paying claims

They were great to start with. My dog had an accident whereby he cut his paw open. the first op done by the Vet was not done properly and therefore needed a second op. Through no fault of our own. They have claimed its a reoccuring condition. So ive paid out premiums for the year and managed to get back $ 350 for a $1200 incident. Not worthwhile once excesses are taken out. An no communication that it would be declined. Will be shopping elsewhere
Convenience with payments
expensive and denied claims anyway

Don't go there.

Firstly i rang them to see if i could claim, they couldnt tell me, said to send in claim for. after going through a lengthly process I posted it, rang them weeks later to see where my claim was at, they said they had not received it, now i have to go through it again, as now they can say my claim was over the 60 days. I will now record post it and if i do not get a refund i am cancelling my policy....too much like hard work..


I feel I had incredibly bad service with this organisation. I put in a claim for one of my dogs - it was a general check up during which the vet checked the progress of his cataracts. Checking the cataracts took all of a minute. The company refused the claim saying the cataracts were a pre-existing condition - they were but checking them was a very small component of the general checkup. I feel they should've paid out at least some of the claim. The refusal was only after repeated letters from them saying I had not submitted all history for the dogs. I had submitted the documentation; I submitted it a second time and still received the letters. I even received a letter AFTER they told me they'd fixed their system to show they had the full history. I decided to not even try to get the claim for my second dog paid as it would mean I would've been stuck with them for a year until policy renewal. The letter I received upon cancelling the policies made me feel disgusted - a few people read it and we all felt that it was designed to make the recipient feel guilty (responsible pet owners have insurance) and afraid (if you leave the organisation any conditions contracted since taking out the policy would become pre-existing conditions with a new company. We were also horrified to learn that if your pet dies prior to policy renewal & they've paid a claim, you have to continue to pay that policy until it is due for renewal; you are paying insurance for a dead pet. Other people I know have had the same issues - having to fight for every claim to be paid and arguing over whether all vet history had been submitted.

reluctance to pay claims, inefficient


I have now not seen any money coming out of my credit card for 4 months. I have tried on numerous occasions to call only to be left on hold. I have no also sent them 5 emails and no one has given me the respect of a response. will be terminating my policy as soon as i get hold of someone and telling them exactly what i think of their pathetic excuse for a company!

The "No Stress" pet insurance company.

Archie our Foxy has taken on 3 snakes in the past 6 months. The first one we weren't insured for and cost us a fortune in treatment but he was saved and we immediately rang up and got insured with BowWowMeow. The second snake bite we were "just" covered. Hadn't even received the policy papers but BowWowMeow thankfully paid out exactly what they promised. Six months on and Archie took on another snake and BowWowMeow came to the rescue again covering what was promised with the vet bill. I can highly recommend the service from BowWowMeow to anyone who needs pet insurance. BowWowMeow has taken away a lot of our stress by making his treatments affordable.
Inexpensive and reliable

1 comment
I personally think people are quicker and more likely to complain about a bad experience than they are to give a positive comment, so its a hard to get stats on. I'm just reporting on what they did for me that was exactly according to the policy and fine print. I would also have put in a bad review if that had happened to me.

Dont insure with Bow Wow

Total waste of time and money, tried to claim on a simple matter and they rejected it and asked for more information, when we tried to contact them they just put us on hold, tried to e-mail them twice with no answer, tried to contact their administrators with the same result, total waste of time and money.

Severely lacking in customer service!

Appaling, wished I had read reviews earlier.

After getting the cruciate ligament form filled out for my 14wk old PUP (vet said it was a joke) he injured himself & after spending $500 @ the vet I rang & asked if it was ok to claim, after being told yes I sent in the claim form. I got rejected as my pups condition was classed as lameness & that is not covered because I claimed within the first 60 days of taking out the policy therefore lameness is excluded.
There was never any paperwork to say that lameness was not covered & now I am stuck paying for specalist care which should of been covered. I will never recommend bow wow they are a joke

Don't pay & you have to track them down as to why & they are misleading.

1 comment
Hi "pixee" I have just seen your post and I am happy to investigate for you. We do pay legitimate claims if there is a genuine mistake, I would like to resolve it. Please can you e-mail your policy number and claim number to insurance@bowwow.com.au. Thanks

They never pay

They never pay a cent and keep asking for a complete medical history when they have one, or not every responding to claims at all. Don't use them! That is their stalling technique for never paying you. They claim they don;t have all the information. I have made five claims for simple acidents and nada!

Hi Steve, this is not typical of our service. I am happy to assist. Please can you provide a policy number and I will get someone to ring you ASAP? Thanks Bow Wow MeowSteve, please e-mail me at greg@bowwow.com.au with your details. ThanksHi Simone - I am not sure what policy you took or what you claimed. Again, if you would like clarity on your policy and for me to check your claim, please let me know? We are happy to pay eligible vet bills. If we didn't we would not be in business. Please e-mail details to insurance@bowwow.com.au so that I can get back you. Many thanks

will not recommend

Will not recommend to anyone, everytime we put in a claim they say it is a pre-existing condition. I am contacting Ombudsman as my regular vet says the condition of my pet is not pre-existing! good at taking all the money but when it comes to pay (not that they pay) they make you run arround

Hi there, please give me your policy number so that we can look into this for you. If this was not a deemed a pre-existing condition and is eligible for cover, there should not be any issues. Please e-mail insurance@bowwow.com.au. I look forward to hearing from you and assisting you further.I have already given all these details multiple times and have been told that it is a pre-existing condition and you people are sorry that you cannot do anything further. Where as i have consulted my vet he repeatedly has said that the two conditions you ae referring to are not related. As many have mentioned you need to checkout the clause 'pre-existing' just cancel my policy as i have requested and i do understand if i go to another insurer they will take all this into consideration and it would be my problem and not yours.Please note that every single insurer will not cover a pre-existing condition. Nothappysyd, there seems to be confusion around pre-existing conditions and related and unrelated conditions? If you would like more clarity on this, please e-mail insurance@bowwow.com.au.

Waste of money !! Don't trust

I have insured both of my dogs for over two years and never made a claim . Recently one of my dogs has a luxating patella and may need surgery. I called and asked and was told it wasn't covered. A week later I called to cancel my policy as it up for renewal the next day and I was told unless my dog had the surgery today it was classed as a
Pre existing condition !!! I am so angry this place is rubbish how can it be pre existing when I have had the same insurance for years ?? Also why can't the customer service people get their Information correct !! I cancelled but will be contacting the ombidsman !

Everything never pays and wrong advice

Hi Simone, please e-mail insurance@bowwow.com.au with your policy number so that I can investigate this for you. Hi nothappysyd I am happy if you contact me as maybe we can approach the ombudsman together and get something done about this terrible service provider ? My email is ashleighhayden@hotmail.com Hi Ashleigh, we are certainly concerned when we get reviews like this and will do our utmost to investigate and resolve. We constantly monitor the service and products we offer, which we have done since introducing Bow Wow Pet insurance in March 2008. We are very customer focused and aim to provide the best service to our customer base of over 24,000 policies, of which we have paid many thousands of claims. Nevertheless, occasionally we may get something wrong, but endeavour to resolve in a timely manner. In saying this we do offer both an internal and external complaints resolution process and if a complaint is not resolved to your satisfaction you can contact the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), which is an external review scheme to which we belong and provides our customers with additional protection. With regard to your post about cancellation and pre-existing conditions, our common practice when a person cancels is to provide them with information regarding the effects of cancellation, and one of these is as follows: ” if you choose to cancel this policy and then commence a new policy, any conditions present may not be covered by a future insurer”. I would like to think that this information would be beneficial to you especially as you have indicated that your pet may require surgery. In respect to the cover for a an luxating patella Bow Wow certainly does provide cover for this condition as long as it was not pre-existing and you chose our comprehensive cover option. We have tried to locate you on our policy database using the email you have provided in your last post but are unable to identify any client insured with us under that name, please could you contact us on inurance@bowwow.com.au so that we can assist you as well as identify any problems in our service.

quick to take your money, no service when you try to claim

it seems that when you post a review on this website you get a response from the insurance company so I am trying this out! I put in a claim at the beginning of September and after a very distressing conversation with one of their operators on the phone where I had to repeatedly tell them that one of my dogs had died (not a dog they insured or a part of the claim as it happened 2 years ago so don't know what it had to do with them!) and getting nowhere I received a letter from the company asking me to fax in details for the claim (which I had already supplied). So I sent the details on 5th October and after not hearing anything I emailed on 22/10/12 and 24/10/12 and still have heard nothing. Maybe this will get someone to respond to my email?

quick to take your money - not so quick to respond if you make a claim

HI Karen, we do try and respond as soon as we possibly can. As previously mentioned, our service levels are not at its normal level at the moment due to the migration to new systems. We are slowly working through the back log and apologise for the inconvenience. Please e-mail insurance@bowwow.com.au with your policy details and we will get back to you ASAP.I have emailed today - hopefully I will hear from you soon. Might I suggest that if you are having trouble with a back log that this should be communicated either on your website or by reply email and not have to resort to writing on reveiw sites like this one to get any information.Thought I should send a belated update. Eventually my claim was accepted and paid. Since then I have had to make a further claim for the same dog and another claim for my other dog and there has been no problem and all claims have been settled. So after a bad start this company has ended up ok, except their premiums are a lot higher than many others. Make sure you choose wisely as you really do get locked into whoever you choose first to insure your pet due to the existing condition clause.

Love Bow Wow Meow Pet Insurance

I have had to make 3 major claims for one of my dogs, 2 major cruciate surgeries and surgical removal of a foreign body. Every time I have had to phone BowWow the telephone operators have been more than helpful. The last claim I made earlier this year the payment, from posting the claim forms to receiving the money in my bank account was 10 days. I work in a Veterinary Clinic and am only to happy to recommend Bow Wow Meow Insurance to our clients based on my personal experience with this company.

Recently my horse stood on my little dogs leg and broke it quite badly. She spent the weekend in the emergency centre then had specialist surgery. From me mailing my claim to receiving the money back into my bank was a week. I was amazed at how quickly my claims were processed. During the 6 weeks of bandage changes and more X-rays with my small dog, my other dog was involved in a dog fight and had to have several gashes in his leg sutured up. I thought BowWow Meow are going to hate me but no, every single claim i put into them was processed and paid back into my bank within a week. I can't recommend Pet Insurance highly enough and especially Bowwow meow Insurance.
Takes the financial stress out of veterinary emergencies

Bad service and no response to emails or telephone calls

We've had two dogs insured with Bow Wow Meow insurance for 1 year without claim. We submitted a claim for treatment for a paralysis tick on one of the dogs in August, and despite a delay in getting the full clinical history, (because they sent the request to the wrong address) we still have not received any advice on whether this claim will be paid. Since that time the other dog has also received treatment for a paralysis tick (despite being meticulous with preventative measures) A claim has been submitted for this treatment without advice as to whether it will be paid either. I have left multiple requests for telephone call-back every day for over a week with no response and have also sent emails with no response. I am now considering my options as to whether this process is really worth it. My family and pets deserve better.

No response to telephone calls or emails

1 comment
You are right! I can only apologise and sympathise with you as we are just as frustrated. As advised in previous posts, the migration to this new system has caused an array of issues which has effected call back times and delays in claim administration. This is not the norm. Please can you e-mail insurance@bowwow.com.au with your policy number so I can fast track your query ASAP.

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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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