ExtrasJar versus RSPCA: Sub-limits and Pet Insurance

As a general insurance actuary with 20 years in the industry, I want customers to know what to look for with pet insurance, starting with sub-limits.
Dog looking confused

As an experienced general insurance actuary, I am still baffled how confusing pet insurance can be. I am guessing most of us feel the same? To give you a helping paw and to make sure you make an informed decision about your pet insurance policy, I am writing a series of articles, each looking at a common feature of pet insurance. This time, it’s the sub-limit.

I want you to keep more of your hard-earned money so you can spoil your furry family member, so listen up! 

Sub-limits: What are they?

Firstly, what is a sub-limit? A sub-limit is a limitation in an insurance policy on the amount of coverage available to cover a specific loss. It is a really important feature to consider and understand when selecting your pet insurance policy. Sub-limits have been known to catch pet owners out when it comes to making a claim. 

Digging deeper into the policy wording and Product Disclosure Statements can be a useful exercise before you buy or change your pet insurance. This way you will be able to find the sub-limits. Sub-limits are often associated with common illnesses (which seems unfair to me) like tick paralysis and cruciate ligament conditions. 

I have had first-hand experience being caught out by a sub-limit myself with my Pomeranian, Barney, when he fell and needed surgery.  “Sorry, only $2,000 of your $10,000 claim for the cruciate ligament condition treatment is covered by us.”  This is what I was told! 

The initial reaction is anger, as you thought you were covered, and then when you dig deeper, you start to see some insurers have lots of sub-limits. In this article we compare ExtrasJar sub-limits to the RPSCA. Always look around and decide whether a sub-limit is a concern for you and your puppy, kitten, cat or dog! 

ExtrasJar versus RSPCA sub-limits


ExtrasJar Pet Insurance – No sub-limits

ExtrasJar Pet Insurance has no sub-limits, period! 
My verdict: As the proud owner of 2 Pomeranians, we have designed ExtrasJar pet insurance with no confusing or hidden sub-limits. Sub-limits seem unfair!!! I never want a pet owner to have to consider the worst, due to financial reasons caused by a sub-limit. That is why we have no sub-limits! It’s time to celebrate!! 

RSPCA Pet Insurance – Lots***

RSPCA has 4 product offerings ranging from the RSPCA General Accident and Illness cover to the RSPCA ultimate Plus Accident and Illness Cover. There are sub-limits for certain conditions and fees. 
General Accident and Illness Cover
– Annual condition limit: $2,000.
– Tick Paralysis: $2,000
– Cruciate ligament: $2,000
– Emergency boarding: $500 
– Consultation vet visits:  $300
My verdict:  A single condition limit capped at $2,000 hardly seems fair for a policy with $11,000 limit, yikes! 
Economy Accident and Illness Cover
– Tick Paralysis: $1,000 (50% less than the general accident and illness cover)
– Cruciate ligament: $2,600 (higher if it’s specified on your Certificate of Insurance so worth a check)
– Emergency boarding: $300
– Consultation vet visits:  $300
My verdict: Tick paralysis is more common than you think, especially in some states and cruciate ligament can be common in some breeds, worth considering! 
Ultimate Accident and Illness Cover
– Tick Paralysis: $1,200 
– Cruciate ligament: $2,600 (higher if it’s specified on your Certificate of Insurance so worth a check)
– Emergency boarding: $1,000
– Consultation vet visits:  $300
 My verdict: The sub-limits are still there, so watch out and make sure the policy is right for you. 
 Ultimate Plus Accident and Illness Cover
– Tick Paralysis: $20,000 (Subject to overall annual limit) 
– Cruciate ligament: $20,000 (Subject to overall annual limit) 
– Emergency boarding: $20,000 (Subject to overall annual limit) 
– Consultation vet visits:  $300
  My verdict: The sub-limits is still there for vet consultation but removed for tick paralysis, cruciate ligament and emergency boarding. The annual limit is $20,000.  With ExtrasJar you can select an annual limit up to $25,000. 

ExtrasJar versus RSPCA - Who wins on sub-limits?

Hands down, ExtrasJar wins with no sub-limits. You have to take out the ultimate plus accident and illness cover for RSPCA in order to get to a point where most sub-limits are removed (still some remain). Moreover, ExtrasJar has annual limits up to $25,000 versus RSPCA’s maximum limit of $20,000. 

At ExtrasJar, we have carefully designed our products to give value to your pet’s health and empower you with options to suit your lifestyle. ExtrasJar Pet Insurance is vet-designed offering friendly extensive pet insurance and of course, there are no sub-limits. 

You can choose an annual excess that works for your budget and lifestyle with the option to select up to $1,000 to keep premiums low. And for even more peace of mind, you can select an annual limit of up to $25,000. Our benefit percentages range from 80% to 90% and we are excited that there are no confusing sub-limits. We have also included cover for dental illnesses, behavioural problems, and specialised therapies as standard*. 

Good luck in researching what sub-limits are right for you!

The information in this article is general in nature as it has been prepared without taking account of your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) & Target Market Determination, and obtain appropriate financial and taxation advice, before making a decision about whether ExtrasJar are right for you.

*ExtrasJar Pet Insurance is subject to exclusions, such as Pre-existing Conditions. Please see our (PDS) for more details

***Analysis was conducted on active policies on 2nd June 2023.

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