What vets really think about pet insurance

Is it worth taking out pet insurance? Some vets certainly think so – here’s why.

Most people are well aware of the importance of insuring our homes, our cars and our own health. But despite the very high rate of pet ownership in Australia, only a tiny number of our beloved dogs and cats – less than 5% – are covered by pet insurance.

But having pet insurance can mean the difference between being able to pay for a life-saving operation for your four-legged friend and making the heart-breaking choice to put them down because you just don’t have the money to cover the vet bills.

What the experts think

The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) is a strong supporter of pet insurance. Recommending that owners consider pet insurance to make sure treatment is available in an emergency and reduce the impact of unexpected costs if a pet becomes sick or injured.

Also, in the article Pet Insurance and the Veterinary Profession published in the Australian Veterinary Journal in August 2013, a long-time New South Wales vet, Dr Chris Blair, discussed the many benefits that pet insurance has for Australian pet owners, their pets and vets alike.

“It takes the worry and stress out of treating pets, with pets receiving thorough treatment, the clients very content with the process, and the practice receiving payment”, said Dr Blair.

The price of quality care

Veterinary treatment is always improving. This is great news for you, as it means a better quality of life for your pet. It also means that your vet has more ways to save or prolong your precious pet’s life if they get sick or hurt in an accident. The flipside is that better treatment and care can cost more. And unfortunately, there’s no Medicare for pets – which means that without pet insurance, these higher costs fall on you.

Pet insurance offers the peace of mind of knowing you can afford to give your dog or cat the best possible care. In fact, a quick comparison of pet insurance plans in Australia shows there are policies that provide up to 80% cover for eligible treatments, which makes vet treatment far more affordable.

Working with your vet

If you have pet insurance and need to make a claim, your vet will have to give your insurance company information about your pet’s treatment. So it’s important to choose a vet who can provide this information in a way that works with your insurer’s systems. And once your vet has a created your pet’s health profile, it will stay on your insurer’s electronic records so they can use it again for future claims.

“Modern computer record keeping will automatically produce a thorough and comprehensive history at the press of a button, so providing a very comprehensive history with every claim is not a burden”, Dr Blair explained.

Protecting your pet

Your pet is a vital part of your family, giving you unconditional love, companionship and hours of pure joy. So it could be well worth the few dollars a week it costs to purchase pet insurance so that your pet can get the health treatment they deserve. That’s why vets and the AVA recommend you take out pet insurance.
There are a number of different pet insurance plans available – just do some research to see what best that suits your budget and your pet’s needs.

  1. Contribution of the Pet Care Industry to the Australian Economy, 7th Edition 2010 [PDF 3.4 MB, 84 pages], Australian Companion Animal Council.
  2. Vets are here to care for pets, 15th July 2010, Australian Veterinary Association.

These articles are provided as reference material to allow more informed decision making, but are not intended as being a complete source of information on any topic. All readers should make their own independent analysis on the topic to make sure they have considered the aspects that are important to them.