Does it pay to have pet insurance?

 
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What does pet insurance cover?

Pet insurance does not have to be expensive, but it could help you afford life-saving care when your pet needs it most. Choosi will weigh up the costs to help you decide if it pays to insure your pet. 

We have all heard stories of small fortunes being lost at the vet: surgery bills creeping into the five digits, hundreds and even thousands. One newspaper reported two separate vet bills for dogs that were hit by cars which were between $18,000 and $20,000. Another claimed that one owner spent $6,000 on a 13-year old cat's jaw injury.1

You can't really put a price on your pet's life or love.
 

 

 
Insuring our pets can ensure you can give them the best treatment if they’re sick or injured
Pet insurance provides a financial safety net for you if your cat falls ill or suffers an injury.

Vets can be unpredictably expensive

For an emergency, there is an element of the unknown.2 Your pet might have a common complaint that you can afford. Alternatively, it could be something serious requiring expensive procedures and long-term care. You might also face additional costs for out-of-hours attention.

Whatever the situation, bills for animal care come directly out of your pocket. For anything urgent, serious or ongoing, you may be forced to make the difficult choice between the cost of care and the treatment of your dog or cat.3 With pet insurance, you may be able to claim up to 85% back on eligible vet bills. 

By numbers: common costs & claims

Over 83% of dog owners and 62% of cat owners take their pet to the vet in a year.


From eating chocolate5 to string6 to dreaded chicken bones that splinter, our inquisitive pets can do some serious damage to themselves. Their inability to tell us when they are unwell can lead to some scary, emergency situations.


Top 10 Most Common Pet Medical Conditions & Total Cost of Claims, ranked by number of claims by the RSPCA, 2014-20157

Diagnoses

Number of Claims

Total Claim Amount

Otitis Externa (Outer ear infection) 3,189 $441,049
Skin Conditions 2,438 $312,249
Arthritis 2,417 $237,141
Cruciate Leg Rupture 1,874 $1,415,869
Conjunctivitis 1,633 $163,783
Ear infection 1,560 $207,548
Lumps (inc. tumours) 1,390 $430,090
Dermatitis 1,373 $187,406
Gastroenteritis 1,291 $392,254
Ear Conditions 1,205 $151,215

Top 10 Expensive Pet Operations & Average Claim Amount, ranked by cost - RSPCA, 2014-20157

Diagnoses

Average Claim Amount

Oesophageal Perforation $7,764
Sepsis $5,766
Cerebellar Herniation $5,674
Neoplasm - Parathyroid $5,590
Urolithiasis - Ureteric $4,574
Intervertebral Disc Extrusion/Herniation/Prolapse - Cervical $4,405
Abdominal Injury - Presenting Complaint $4,364
Pericardial Effusion - Idiopathic $4,294
Physeal Disorder - Premature Physeal Closure $3,939
Intestinal Obstruction $3,932

As our animals age, just like us, medical care becomes more likely and complicated. For example, an average claim for a snake bite is $1,619, $1,626 for diabetes and $2,178 for cataracts.7 Pet insurance could be the answer if you worry about being able to afford the treatment your dog or cat may need. 


Where pet insurance comes in handy

With pet insurance, you can claim up to 85% of eligible vet bills in the event of an accident or sickness that is covered. For an insured dog or cat, an owner:

  1. Can claim up to 85% of eligible vet bills*
  2. Up to $14,000 per year
  3. Has no excess to pay
  4. Can cover their pets from as young as 8 weeks
  5. Can choose their own registered vet

Some policies offer extra benefits on top of the standard policy, including Routine Care, Emergency Boarding, Essential Euthanasia and Paralysis Ticks.

 

Type of Cover Benefit  
Accident Only

Covers your dog or cat for injury that occurs from an accident in certain circumstances. This can include injuries from fights, snake bites, and broken bones.

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Accident & Illness (combined)

Cover for accidents in certain circumstances, as well as for specified covered illnesses except for pre-existing conditions.

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Optional Extras
Routine Care

Including this in your policy can provide a benefit towards to cost of some routine health checks or procedures that are otherwise not covered, such as vaccinations, de-sexing and worming. Be sure to check the PDS and your policy schedule for specifics regarding Routine Care.

 
Emergency Boarding

Cover to help with the cost of boarding at a registered kennel/cattery up to an agreed amount, if you, the sole carer, are unexpectedly hospitalised for a specified period and unable to care for your dog/cat.

 
Essential Euthanasia

If a vet deems euthanasia essential and humane for your pet, the benefit percentage will be covered up to your chosen benefit limit.

 
Paralysis Ticks

Tick bites are very serious and can cause paralysis in pets that can be fatal if untreated.8 The benefit percentage will be covered up to the specified sub-limit.

 

* Pre-existing Conditions and certain illnesses are excluded, sub-limits may apply. Claim for reimbursement.

This is general information only and does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider the relevant PDS available on this website prior to purchasing any product. Choosi offers insurance products from a range of brands but does not compare all products available in the market.

References  

1. Hamer, M. 2014, How much is too much to spend on your pet?, The New Daily, http://thenewdaily.com.au/life/relationships/2014/08/12/animal-instinct-much-much-spend-pet/
2. Kollmorgan, A. 2014, Veterinarian costs, CHOICE, https://www.choice.com.au/outdoor/pets/health/articles/veterinarian-costs
3. Donaghue, P. 2012, Monster veterinary bills bite families, The Sunday Mail, http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/monster-vet-bills-bite-families-hard/story-e6freoof-1226321133516
4. Animal Health Alliance 2013, Pet Ownership in Australia Report, p.73 http://animalmedicinesaustralia.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/AMA-Pet-Ownership-in-Australia-5-AUGUST-2013.pdf#page=73
5. American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals 2016, People Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pets, http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/people-foods-avoid-feeding-your-pets
6. Huston Dr. L. 2013, Cats and Linear Foreign Bodies - String, Thread, Ribbon, and the Like, Pet MD, http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/lhuston/2013/jan/linear-foreign-bodies-when-your-cat-swallows-string-29774
7. RSPCA, Australian Pet Insurance Claim Statistics, 2014-2015, https://www.rspcapetinsurance.org.au/pet-care/health/claim-stats-2015
8. Animal Welfare League NSW, Ticks, http://www.awlnsw.com.au/ticks.html



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