Pet Insurance Myths

Busting The Top 5 Pet Insurance Myths


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New Zealand has the second highest rate of pet ownership in the world, with around two thirds of us counting them as family. Yet the rate of people with pet insurance is much lower than several other developed countries.

It’s obvious there are misconceptions floating around, deterring people from taking the leap. This article will hopefully assist in knocking those on the head.

Pet insurance is easy to understand. It’s health insurance that helps protect you financially and your furry/hairy/feathery/scaly friend physically when they’re sick or injured. But often that’s not all; some pet insurance (like ours) cover a wide range of vet visits, third party liability and dental treatments.

One important fact: a pet plan doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions – one major reason why it’s a great idea to get insurance early!

Below we bust some common pet insurance myths. Whether you’re thinking with your heart or your head you’ll find it simply makes sense.

Myth 1 – You spend more than you save

Yes, this can sometimes be the case. But what if it isn’t?

Monthly fees might add up in the short term and Felix remains healthy, but in the long run you’re much more likely to need coverage.

When a pet falls ill or has an injury, some treatments run into tens of thousands of dollars (seriously!), even for seemingly uncomplicated fixes. Pet owners are often left shocked and alarmed at the cost, and unsure whether they can afford to provide their pet the required care.

Regardless, think of it like this – you might pay $X/month for Netflix or Spotify, so why not pay similarly to protect a member of your family?

dog breed health problems are more common in certain breeds

Myth 2 – Only purebreds need it

It’s true that purebred cats and purebred dogs are more likely to have health issues, but that doesn’t mean a crossbred pet will sail through life sickness-free and accident-free.

Pretty much all pets get sick… skin conditions, tummy issues, eye problems, cancer, colds… and all are at risk of an accident. Often a vet doesn’t need to be involved (great!) but sometimes you need to pay a significant amount to have your furry friend treated.

Whether you’re paying thousands for a purebred or taking home an animal shelter freebie, they’re still at risk of a health hardship.

Myth 3 – Pet insurance is purely an emotional decision

Did you know many vets encourage pet owners to have insurance, as something a responsible owner should? It not only help you support your pet’s best health, it actually helps support vet mental health too.

Sounds logical. And financial decisions should be logical. You’re spending your hard-earned money after all. Deciding about pet insurance should be just as sensible as taking up health insurance for your family or car insurance for your car.

Want to know the main reasons pet owners take out insurance, from the horse’s mouth? Our recent research found the top five reasons New Zealanders had pet insurance were:

  1. It’s a part of being a responsible pet owner – 56%
  2. I want to protect my pet however I can – 55%
  3. I don’t want to make a decision between money and my pet’s life – 42%
  4. I couldn’t afford a vet bill if my animal was seriously ill or injured – 39%
  5. Everyone/most people around me do so I do too – 14%

There’s some emotion to the decision of course, but there’s so much more to it than that. Pet insurance myth busted.

Myth 4 – I don’t need insurance to protect others

If you’re a member of the pet loving community then you and your loved one likely encounter other such families from time to time. Especially dog owners.

If you’re with a comprehensive insurer, pet insurance will cover your eager beaver if they accidentally (or intentionally, eek) cause injury or damage to another pet or someone else’s property.

In an increasingly litigious society, it pays to have a contingency plan should your pet have a bad behaviour day. And on that note, take time to read about how positive reinforcement for dog training is the way to go.

Myth 5 – All pet insurance is the same

Wrong. So wrong. There are many variables – cover limits, waiting periods, cost of cover, exclusions, sub-limits (eg. accidents have a limit of $X), caps, wellness add-ons and more.

Research carefully so you understand what you’d be covered for. Weigh up the cost of cover vs coverage provided. Maybe it’s worth one less coffee a week to provide fuller cover for your furry BFF and greater peace of mind for you. Maybe not.

This table outlining the cost of common pet surgeries (in AUD, but still) might help you decide.

Pet insurance myths demystified

Taking out pet insurance is both a logical and an emotional decision. Of course it is – we’re talking about family here (even if they can’t sit at the dinner table). Either way, it protects your nest egg by being available to cover bills that could break the bank. It’s your contingency plan.

You’re also protecting yourself from the potential distress of having to decide how much your pet’s life is worth.

Do your research to find the cover that works best for you and your pet’s individual needs. Speaking of which, here’s a list of top pet insurance trends worth knowing.

Plan in advance, especially if bringing home an adopted dog or cat is imminent. You can’t take out insurance to pay vet costs for an accident that happened yesterday or an existing illness. Yep – pre-existing conditions won’t be covered. Also, there are waiting periods to consider.

Once you’ve got yourself organised you can rest easy, knowing your wet-nosed wonder is covered.

small white cat in brown box

Still undecided?

We’ll leave you with this quote from the NZ Veterinary Association: “Kiwis love their pets and want them to have a good quality of life. There’s nothing worse for an owner and their veterinarian than having to choose treatment options based on finances rather than having access to the preferred treatment.”

“In some instances, that may mean having to choose euthanasia for a loved family pet when treatment was an option if the cost could be covered. That’s a terrible decision to have to make for the pet, the owner, and the veterinarian and their support staff.”

On this website you can find all you need to know about PD Insurance dog insurance plans and cat insurance plans. And all it takes is two minutes to get a quote by clicking below.

* Price will depend on cat or dog breed and other relevant information.

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