According to the 2017 Pet Insurance Star Ratings research conducted by Canstar, pet owners need to be prepared for higher premiums as their pets mature. These statistics are unsurprising considering the health risks that come with old age. More health risks = more vet fees = higher insurance premiums.
When comparing an average comprehensive policy on our database for a large dog that is three years old with the average comprehensive policy for a large dog that is seven years old, there is a $337 difference annually for premiums. If you’re considering getting pet insurance for the first time or reviewing your cover, make sure to factor in the rising cost that comes with an ageing animal.
Cats vs Dogs
Canstar’s research confirmed that cats attract lower health premiums on average than dogs, with no pricing difference between small and large cats.
However, it pointed out that cats tend to live longer than dogs, so total pet insurance costs may even out by the end of a pet’s life.
It’s also important to keep in mind that some insurers aren’t willing to accept new applications for pets past a certain age, so it’s worth considering getting cover when they’re younger.
|Average annual pet insurance premiums for cats, small dogs and large dogs|
|Type of Cover||Age||Accident, Illness
and Routine Care
|Cat||Less than 1 year||$658|
|Small dog||Less than 1 year||$931|
|Large dog||Less than 1 year||$931|
|Source: Canstar Pet Insurance Star Ratings, 2017. Average annual premiums (rounded to the nearest dollar) are for NSW, based on all cat and small and large dog breeds considered within the Canstar Pet Insurance Star Ratings in 2017.|
Older Dogs – 6-7 years old
The table below displays a snapshot of accident and illness pet insurance policies on Canstar’s database with links to providers’ websites, sorted by Star Rating (highest to lowest). The results are based on a six to seven year-old medium-sized dog.
Older Cats – 6-7 years old
The table below displays a snapshot of accident and illness pet insurance policies on Canstar’s database with links to providers’ websites, sorted by Star Rating (highest to lowest). The results are based on a six to seven year-old medium-sized cat.
Calculating the benefits
Like many insurance policies, pet insurance exists to offer peace of mind and like humans, pets are more likely to get ill or injured as they grow older.
The average claim for an intestinal obstruction can be anywhere from $3,932 upward, and a comprehensive policy usually returns about 80% of your claim.
Compare the out-of-pocket expense of $786 to $3,932 and you can see why some pet owners see the value in it.
Ultimately, this decision is up to you and your current financial situation. It’s important to always read the product disclosure statement (PDS) and terms and conditions before making a purchase decision, and compare policies to see which one is best for you.
Fortunately, Canstar compares over 130+ pet insurance policies. Start comparing today!