Does it pay to have Pet Insurance?

When the subject of pet insurance comes up in conversation, a commonly heard comment is “Is it really worth it?” or “Does it pay to insure a pet?”

If you can guarantee that your pet will remain healthy and never get injured, then you don’t need to worry. But do you know any pet owner who hasn’t had to rush up to the vet with a cat or dog that’s sick, or has come to grief in some other way?

Just like humans, pets are vulnerable to unforeseen situations.

The table below depicts the average cost of vet fee claims 2012/2013.

Illness Avg. Cost of Claim $
Cancer 2,245
Gastroenteritis 541
Cataracts 2,151
Ear Infection 426
Dermatitis 221
Accident Avg. Cost of Claim $
Multiple Fractures 2,444
Snake Bite 1,673
Source: PetSure, Average Claim 2012–2013.

The costs include medicines, vet fees and associated expenses. As you will appreciate, these are conditions commonly experienced by dogs and cats, as well as humans and can be serious, some even fatal if left untreated.

Cheaper than you think

There are two types of cover – Accident Only, and Accident and Illness.

Accident Only Cover is the most basic and affordable type of pet insurance. You are usually eligible to claim from the day after cover commences, and you can take out this type of cover from the time your pet is eight weeks old.

For example, premiums for Accident Only may cost:

  • Cats – around $200 pa
  • Dogs – around $230 pa

Accident and Illness Cover provides more protection for your pet by including treatment for illnesses and injuries caused by accidents. Similar to Accident Only Cover, your pet must be at least eight weeks old to be covered, but with an upper age limit of nine years. There is also usually a 30 day waiting period for benefits covering illnesses.

For example, premiums for Accident and Illness may cost:

  • Cats – around $410 pa
  • Dogs – around $570 pa

Most policies pay out 80% of eligible vet bills; obviously there are terms, conditions, exclusions and age constraints. You should get full information and compare policies before deciding upon an insurer.

Cover your pets in their time of need

The decision to get pet insurance is up to individual owners, but it can be a great idea and could save you money in the long run.

Pet insurance gives owners peace of mind. It also helps you minimise unplanned expenses and helps with your family budgeting.

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.