In Australia and New Zealand, we absolutely love our pets. There are more than 33 million pets across Australia, with 38% of Aussie households owning dogs, 23% owning a cat, and 12% with both. In New Zealand those numbers are even greater, with 58% of Kiwis owning at least one cat and/or dog! And because we’re so attached to our furry family members we’re not shy about spending big on them.
Pet ownership in Australia contributes $4.74 billion to the economy annually. A hefty portion of that is spent when they need specialist care.
Each year more than $2 billion is spent on trips to the vet, including $224 million on surgical procedures and $75 million on in-patient hospital care.
When a pet gets sick it’s an emotional time and we want them to receive the best care, but it’s a fast way to empty a bank account. To ensure you’re not left with an eye-watering bill, it’s worth considering pet insurance for when your animal needs emergency care.
Types of cover
There are four main pet insurance policy types ranging from accident cover only, through illness, routine care and third party liability.
To select the best option for your pet, consider your income, the risk to your pet in your area, such as when paralysis ticks are present, and always compare several quotes from different companies.
Also, be sure to check the small print, as there are many situations an insurance company will not cover.
It’s unlikely an insurance company will cover any of the following.
ANIMALS other than cats or dogs.
ILLNESS OF INJURY from pre-existing conditions.
VET COSTS for elective treatments such as orthodontics or desexing unless specified.
TREATMENT OF ILLNESSES during the waiting period of a policy. Treatment for diseases for which there is a known vaccine such as kennel cough.
ANYTHING to do with both pregnancy and birth.
DANGEROUS BREEDS that are considered uninsurable.
TICK PARALYSIS treatment usually has a $500 limit.
LIFETIME TREATMENT as many insurers will only cover for 12 months from the time of diagnosis.
PRESCRIPTION FOOD and nutraceuticals cover.
DENTISTRY including dental trauma from a car accident.
OLD AGE since most policies require you to have your pet insured before the age of seven before they will cover them in their later years. But some will not insure elderly pets at all.