What Is Pet Insurance?

10 October 2016
Co-author: Regina Collins
If you’re looking at buying a furry (or not-so-furry) friend, pet insurance is definitely something to consider. CANSTAR breaks down exactly what pet insurance is, and the different policies involved. 

It’s official: Australia has more pets than humans! In this sunburnt country in 2016, we have 24.2 million people according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics and 37.1 million pets. The Australian Companion Animal Council reports that 36% of households own a dog and 23% of households own a cat, giving us a proud tradition as one of the highest pet-owning countries in the world.



What is pet insurance?

Pet insurance is insurance designed to pay either in part, or in full, for the cost of medical treatment for your dog or cat (or horse, or bird, or any other pets you may have!). The range of illnesses or injuries covered under the insurance depends on your choice regarding the level of cover needed.

Different types of pet insurance

There are three main policies to choose from when it comes to deciding on pet insurance, and they are:

  1. Accident Only Policies: will cover the cost to visit a vet after accidental harm or injury such as car accidents, scratches from fighting with other animals, and snake bites.
  2. Accident and Illness Policies: will cover accidents as mentioned above, plus the cost of seeing the vet for illnesses such as cancer, infection, hereditary conditions, and more.
  3. Comprehensive Policies: should include all of the above plus cover for the cost of routine care treatments such as vaccinations, worming treatments, de-sexing, dental care, and behavioural training. Some policies even provide compensation should your pet die, or be lost or stolen.

Find out more about the different types of pet insurance.

About pet insurance

The psychological and emotional benefits we get from owning a pet are well-documented. Pets provide unconditional love, and stress reduction when played with, walked, or patted. There are also many health benefits to gain from walking your dog (or climbing a tree to retrieve your cat). And we can’t forget the social benefits of having a pet play the role of an ‘icebreaker’ when you’re meeting new people. There’s also the bonus fact that dogs especially, are a good deterrent for would-be thieves. Apparently, the household dog has an even greater impact on break and enters than an alarm system! Still don’t think pets are a good financial investment?

How much does it cost?

Even though pets do come with a lot of benefits, owning one can cost you a lot; from feeding and housing them, to giving them medical treatment when they need it. In 2014, roughly 2 in 5 pet store customers told CANSTAR Blue that vet bills, other healthcare costs, and pet minding were the worst things about owning a pet. And apparently the Australia pet industry is worth around $8 billion each year. When it comes to your pet’s health, veterinary care is not cheap, and there’s no Medicare for pets to cover basics like a yearly checkup, or teeth cleaning.

Thankfully, due to the introduction of pet insurance policies available these days, it is possible to cut down all of those costs. Surveys show we care enough to choose our pets’ food carefully or even cook them special meals ourselves, so why not insure our pets’ health?

Find out more about how much cat pet insurance cost & dog pet insurance cost.


Compare insurance policies with CANSTAR

Owning a pet is a wonderful time in your life. In order to ensure you’re getting the best deal in regards to pet insurance, it’s important to do your research. Fortunately for you, CANSTAR compares over a number of pet insurance policies and has done the hard work for you. Compare pet insurance policies today!



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