A recent study* found there are about 24 million pets owned in Australia. But surprisingly only 26 % of dog owners and 19 % of feline owners had pet insurance.*
So why is there such a relatively small percentage of pet owners with an insurance policy?
According to Animal Medicines Australia, the 2016 Pet Ownership in Australia report revealed the biggest reasons why pet owners opted out of buying pet insurance was because:
- They did not see the value.
- The cost.
- They hadn’t thought about it.
Although some pet insurance policies can cost less than $600 a year (which amounts to a couple of dollars a day), often policies for dogs can cost more based on breed, age and location of the pet’s home.
Another reason that impacts many pet owners decisions are concerns over having a claim rejected and the complicated policy inclusions and exclusions (because these need to be read and understood carefully, and there is general mistrust in the community about insurance).
But there is a reason why many vets and pet experts recommend pet insurance policies, particularly for susceptible breeds – because if there are any health implications in the future, pet owners could end up with thousands of dollars worth of bills.
Data from PetSecure during the 2016 to 2017 period have provided some insight into just how much pet treatments can cost, depending on certain illnesses or injuries.
Gastro was amongst one the highest volume of claims made with the average total claim amount per pet for gastro sitting at $773. But whilst the average is not too high, the highest individual claim amount was $13,840 – which can certainly put a dent in most people’s finances!
And the average total claim amount per pet for fractures was $2,715 with the highest individual claim amount as $25,496.
Therefore, these big figures bring to light an issue pet owners should hope to never encounter – when pet owners can’t afford veterinary bills, they face making the difficult decision of putting their pet down or surrendering them to organisations such as the RSPCA or Animal Welfare League.
So instead of asking ourselves why we shouldn’t opt for pet insurance, perhaps we should be consider the reasons why we should. At Petsecure we believe it is simply part of being a responsible pet owner and taking account of the long term costs of bringing a pet into the family.
For many of us who love our furry friends – all we need to do is take one longing look into their eyes to realise the small cost for something that brings so much unconditional love into our lives!
*Animal Medicines Australia, Pet Ownership in Australia: report 2016.