Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is pet health insurance?

A: Pet health insurance helps to pay for veterinary care when a pet dog or cat becomes ill or is injured. This provides you with peace of mind and helps you avoid having to make tough financial decisions about your pets health.

Q: Why do I need pet health insurance?

A: While your pet might be healthy today, there is no way to predict what might happen in the future. With PawPaw Pet Health Insurance, you’ll be able to make sure that your pet has access to the best care possible in the event of an illness or accident, without having to make heart-breaking choices based on finances.

Q: What does PawPaw Pet Health Insurance cover?

A: PawPaw Pet Health Insurance covers up to 90% of the veterinary bills for any unexpected illness or injury that your pet may suffer. As with any insurance, it is very important that you take the time to read the PawPaw policy terms and conditions before signing on and we encourage every prospective client to do so. The PawPaw policy document is a short, one page document written in clear concise language with no fine print or complicated clauses. If you have any questions please feel free to ask your broker: 

Q: How much does it cost?

A: The 2014 premium for PawPaw Pet Health Insurance is R 165.00 for dogs and R 121.00 for cats. Unlike many other per insurers, PawPaw Pet Health Insurance does not rate premiums based on breed or age. 

Q: At what age can my pet join?

A: Any dog or cat over the age of 8 weeks and under the age of 8 years may join PawPaw.

Q: Does my pet have to be micro-chipped or tattooed for cover?

A: No. We do not require that pets be micro-chipped or tattooed.

Q: Does my pet have to be spayed for cover?

A: No. Spaying is recommended for all dog and cat owners, however we do not exclude unspayed pets from cover nor do we charge any extra premium for unspayed pets.

Q: What are pre-existing conditions?

A: Pre-existing conditions are any illness or condition that showed symptoms prior to joining the insurance or which show symptoms during the first month policy waiting period.  A pre-existing condition can also be an injury or recurrence of an injury that occurred before signing onto the insurance. Some pre-existing conditions may be subject to specific waiting period or be excluded from cover. When signing up, you will see that the application form has a few questions regarding your pets medical history. You should be completely honest when answering these questions. Knowingly misleading the insurance company about your pet's previous problems is considered fraud and could result in your policy being cancelled and claims not being paid. After receiving your application, PawPaw Pet Health Insurance will inform you of any exclusion your pet may have in writing allowing you to make an informed decision regarding your pets insurance.

Q: How do you know if a condition is pre-existing for a recently adopted pet?

A: In the case where the pets history is unknown, we may ask for a veterinary check-up prior to acceptance. In this case the veterinary consultation will be for your account. 

Q: When does my cover begin? Are there waiting periods?

A: Cover begins on the first calendar month after sign-up. Cover for emergencies is immediate. There is a one month waiting period for all illnesses. This waiting period does not apply to treatments required due to emergencies.

Q: Do you offer lifelong cover after a pet has been accepted and the pet goes over the covered age limit?

A: Yes. As long as your premiums are paid every month your pet will continue to enjoy full cover for its entire life. 

Q: Are there limits to how much is paid for treatments?

A: PawPaw has no limits or sublimits on specific conditions. All non-emergency treatments need to be preauthorised by PawPaw. 

Q: Will a condition ever be considered pre-existing due to policy renewals

A: No. Your pets’ policy will continue to renew each month so long as your premiums are paid. We consider this to be continuous cover and we do not exclude conditions from year to year.

Q: Do you offer a multiple pet discount?

A: No. Rather than raising our premium and offering various discounts, PawPaw Pet Health Insurance offers all it’s customers the same affordable premium.

Q: Does my pets age or breed affect the premium I will have to pay?

A: No. We do not feel it is fair to penalise people for their particular choice of dog or cat. 

Q: What are hereditary conditions?

A: Hereditary and congenital conditions are diseases or disorders that are inherited genetically. Certain breeds of dogs and cats are prone to specific conditions. 

Q: Are hereditary and breed related conditions covered?

A: PawPaw Pet Health Insurance covers hereditary conditions.  As long as your pet hasn’t been diagnosed with the condition, or isn't showing symptoms of the condition before sign-on or within the 30 day illness waiting period, cover will be available.

Q: Are age related illnesses and medications covered?

Yes. As long as you pay your premiums, your pet will continue to be covered.

Q: Do you cover prescription medications?

A: Yes. Coverage for prescriptions is included, provided that they have been prescribed by the treating veterinarian as treatment for an illness or accident and the illness or accident is not a pre-existing condition. Vitamins and heartworm/flea and tick preventives and other medication related to routine care is not covered . If your pet requires on-going medication for more three months, the medication may be deemed to be chronic and subject to clinical treatment protocols.

Q: Does your insurance offer procedures such as wellness exams, vaccinations and deworming, grooming and tic and flea preventions?

A: PawPaw Pet Health Insurance does not cover routine care. Our policy is designed to give you protection against unexpected vet bills for the best possible price. Because routine care, such as wellness check-ups, vaccinations and deworming, are all costs that all pet owners can plan and budget for, PawPaw does not offer coverage for routine care. Our data shows us that scheduled treatments can inflate premiums and represent poor value for money. Coverage for routine care can often come at the expense of coverage for hereditary conditions, or even unexpected accidents. At PawPaw we are committed to providing the best possible care for your pet when it matters most.

Q: Do you cover dental care?

A: We do cover the cost of extractions of damaged teeth and of reconstruction of upper and lower canine teeth if the result of an accident. However we are unable to cover other dental treatment. If we were to cover every insured pets dental care we would have to charge a lot more for premium. Dental hygiene treatments are part of the routine care that every pet requires. 

Q: Do you cover cruciate surgeries?

A: Yes, as long as it was not a pre-existing condition. Please note, that in the case where the pre-existing condition was excluded on one knee, the exclusion may also apply to the other knee as well. You will be informed of this exclusion in writing if it is applicable to your pet.

Q: What are alternative therapies and are they covered?

A: Alternative therapies are any treatments not forming part of mainstream veterinary science such as acupuncture, chiropractic, homeopathy, hydrotherapy, gold bead implants, herbal therapy and a host of others. Due to the lack of scientific evidence supporting these treatments, PawPaw Pet Health Insurance is unable to offer cover for any of these treatments.  

Q: What are chronic conditions and are they covered?

A: Chronic conditions are any condition which is incurable but can be managed through long term medication. We currently consider any treatment that lasts longer than 3 months is a chronic treatment. Chronic treatments may be subject to clinical protocols. 

Q: Is my pet covered while travelling?

A: Yes. As long as your pet is within the borders of the Republic of South Africa, your pet will be covered. We are not currently able to offer cover to areas outside of the R.S.A.

Q: Do you pay out any money in the case of a pet’s death?

A:No. PawPaw Pet Health Insurance does not pay out money upon a pets death. 

Q:How do you place a value on an animal?

A: We don’t, which is one of the reasons why we do not offer any payment upon a pets death. PawPaw pet health insurance only pays for unexpected veterinary bills.

Q: Do you cover cremation or burial?

A: No. Cremation and burial fall outside of the scope of PawPaw Pet Health Insurance.

Q: Do you cover euthanasia?

A:We only cover euthanasia if it is recommended by a vet.