Why avoiding Pet Insurance could drain your finances.

With two thirds of Australian households owning a pet, it’s fair to say that Aussies are pet-loving people. We treat our pets, particularly dogs and cats, like members of the family.

In fact, according to Animal Medicines Australia’s 2019 national survey, it’s not uncommon for pet owners to take on ‘pet parenting’ behaviours that mimic conventional parent-child relationships.

Many pet parents talk to their animals as though they are mini humans. It’s also quite widespread for our four-legged friends to be given human names such as Bella, Max, Archie and Frank, for example.

Certainly, there’s no denying that we love to pamper our pets; the amount of money we spend on them has soared over the last decade. It’s now estimated that Aussie pet owners spend more than $13 billion a year on our pets. This covers the cost of food, health services, accessories and grooming.

Indeed, even the amount we spend on acquiring our pets has significantly increased. Animal Medicines Australia reports that since the 2016 national pets and people survey, the number of dog owners who coughed up in excess of $1000 for their fur friend has risen from 9% to 15%.

Similarly, the number of cats purchased for more than $500 has grown from 5% to 9%.

On-going pet expenses

With regards to ongoing pet expenditure, food remains top of the list. However, since 2016 there has been a noticeable spike in the amount pet owners spend on vet services and pet insurance.

Indeed, in the last few years the amount we spend on pet insurance has jumped ahead of the figure spent on pet sitting and grooming services. This might well be good indication of the increased attention we are giving to the health and welfare of our fur babies.

Of course, when you think about it, we protect ourselves with health insurance. We also protect our cars, our home and its contents. So, if we see the value of insurance when it comes to our health, home and our belongings, why should we think any differently when it comes to protecting our pets?

Pet protection & peace of mind

Pet insurance protects our best fur friend against unforeseen illnesses, accidents and mishaps.

You’ve seen the episode of Bondi Pet, where a Cavalier King Charles swallows its owner’s g-string, right? Well, even if you missed that particular episode, you can bet your bottom dollar the result was a hefty vet bill! (Thankfully the cute King Charles survived and hopefully now has an aversion to eating underwear).

Yet, without a doubt, even the toughest Terrier or a burly Boxer dog needs protection. Yes, we’re told a cat has nine lives, but that doesn’t mean your purring pal won’t ever miscalculate a big jump and end up sprawled on the floor with a broken leg.

Cats often eat objects that are not intended for kitty’s little tummy—like random pieces of string, toys and strange objects. Dogs on the other hand might get bitten by a snake, mauled by another dog or struck down with illness.

These are all things we hope will never happen to our fur baby, but they do occur. We all know someone with a horror story relating to their pet and while we think it’ll never happen to us, it’s pays to be protected.

Pet insurance offers pet owners peace of mind; especially considering vet fees are unlikely to be pocket change.  In fact, average pet insurance claims in Australia can range from $200-$2,500, but it’s possible the cost of your pet’s health could reach as much as $12,000. Who has that sort of money lying around?

Pet insurance

Taking out an insurance policy for your pet is like any other insurance policy —it is paying for a future need; which in the case of your dog or cat is veterinary care in the event of an unexpected accident or illness. Pet insurance allows you to ensure that your pet will be taken care of in the event of illness or injury, without blowing your budget.

A pet insurance policy means that your pet will receive the best kind of veterinary care possible. Plus, more and more advanced treatments are becoming available for animals, which means that fatal illnesses (such as cancer) in your pets can be managed, extending the lives of our beloved furry friends.

Taking out an insurance policy for your pet might seem like an unwanted extra expense, but really it’s a proactive way to avoid the financial burden that can be associated with unexpected or high vet bills.

What’s more, there are plenty of affordable plans available that will cover what could be very expensive treatments in the future. Insurance premiums depend on different factors, including the level of coverage, the area you live, and the age and breed of your dog or cat.

Essentially, the reason we take out pet insurance is the same as any other insurance policy; you never know if something may go wrong, but as your pet ages, the chances of something going wrong increases.

As pet owners, we have a duty to care for our fur babies and the last thing any of us want is to be caught out of pocket and unable to provide the best care possible when it’s most needed.  Without the cash on hand many people are faced with very difficult and emotional decisions.

Given that many pet insurance premiums are less than the average cost of car insurance, it begs the question — is your car more important than your furry friend?

Comparing pet insurance policies is probably easier than you think

We know that many people believe that pet insurance is complicated and they are daunted by making the choice – and for that reason will err on the side of getting the cheapest policy around.  But to avoid disappointment it’s important that you get just what you are looking for check out this guide on comparing pet insurance to see how easy it can be!

Sources:  Animal Medicines Australia: Pets in Australia: A national survey of pets and people. October 2019. Accessed via: https://animalmedicinesaustralia.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/ANIM001-Pet-Survey-Report19_v1.7_WEB_high-res.pdf

The following two tabs change content below.

Liz Walden

Liz has a passion for all things cat and dog, and was one of the first in Australia to bring Pet Insurance to the market. She has headed up Petsecure marketing for the past 10 years, and is committed to promoting and supporting the amazing work done by rescue groups around Australia, and those who work to promote a better life for all animals

Latest posts by Liz Walden (see all)