Is dog insurance worth it? What about cat insurance? And if so, when should you take it out? These are high value questions for pet parents, all of whom want the best for their fur kid.
The real underlying question is ‘do you ever want to put a price on your pet’s wellbeing?’ At its essence, pet insurance enables you to make care-based rather than financially-based decisions about your dog’s or cat’s health.
We know their wellbeing is priceless but sometimes medical treatment runs into the thousands of dollars – difficult for many to afford without insurance.
This happens way more often than you’d think. It’s one of the reasons why vet mental health is such a big issue. The good news is, quality vet care doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg (or a paw and a tail).
IMPORTANTLY, did you know the benefits are the greatest the younger they are when you first insure them? The sooner you get your pet insured, the better.
Benefits of ‘the sooner the better’
Some of the top benefits of pushing the pet insurance button early are:
- Being covered when pre-existing conditions develop. You’ll enjoy a wider range of healthcare coverage because no pre-existing conditions have emerged (yet). When they do, you’ll be covered.
- Passing waiting periods. Waiting periods for hereditary conditions and other ailments are usually well in the past by the time you need to claim on them.
- Claiming back costs earlier. You start to pay much less for vet bills and other medical treatment, right from the beginning of pet ownership.
- Safeguarding accident and illness prone pets. If something happens with your mischievous, curious, clumsy pup or kitty, you have the peace of mind of being covered.
- Enjoying free insurance. Free pet insurance for your puppy or kitten with no waiting periods or excess to pay. With PD Insurance, anyway (for 8 weeks from the ages of 6 to 30 weeks old). And if your pet is older if you buy online with us you get one month free!
Getting your fur kid a pet plan while they’re still little is easy, economical and rewarding. And with us it’s an even easier decision because there are no lock-in contracts with our month-to-month premiums.
So, is dog insurance worth it? Is cat insurance worth it? Definitely. Starting with puppy and kitten insurance right up front. Then go from there, reassured you’re well covered…
Why is cat and dog insurance worth it?
Is pet insurance worth it? We 100% think so and it’s not because we’re biased. There are so many ways it can benefit your pet and your pocket. A good dog insurance or cat insurance plan will cover treatments for these situations:
- Accidents – like falling, ingesting something toxic, or being hurt by a car or another animal
- Illnesses – from mild to severe, including hereditary conditions
- Third party liability – for the damages cost if your pet injures another person or their property
- Dental – infections and medically required tooth operations
- Wellness – vaccinations, desexing, microchipping, kennelling costs, etc etc
We’re talking insurance coverage for vet costs, pathology, hospitalisation, surgery, medication and more. Claim back on all of them with only a small excess to pay. Like human private health insurance, some situations involve waiting periods ranging from 0 days to 90 days, some don’t.
Understanding cat and dog insurance worth (value)
Now, let’s go back to the ‘sooner rather than later’ suggestion and look at those top five benefits of taking out cover early.
1. Get a plan before pre-existing conditions develop
Pre-existing conditions are not covered by pet insurance providers. Full stop.
So how do you work around that? When they’re still very young, the chances of having pre-existing health conditions are nominal. Any new health issue that arises can be treated as such – ‘new’… You can see where we’re going with this, right?
If you get a comprehensive pet plan while your pet is small, before they develop any health conditions, those that arise during your plan will be covered (though note sometimes insurers exclude congenital conditions like congenital heart disease and brachycephalic airway obstruction syndrome).
- Accident plan (most affordable)
- Classic plan (most value)
- Deluxe plan (most comprehensive)
In summary, baby pets are still fresh and new, so they generally have a clean slate with their bill of health. Getting pet insurance while they’re still kiddos gets you wider coverage – it’ll cover new health issues that arise over time.
So, the policy you purchase early can better support your dog or cat over their lifetime. It extends across more of their possible future needs.
2. Pass waiting periods for hereditary conditions and more
According to the Institute of Canine Biology, dogs have a total of 619 hereditary disorders. That’s twice as many as cats (which is still a lot)! Common hereditary disorders in dogs include epilepsy, heart disease and hip dysplasia.
Cats can be prone to hip dysplasia too (where the hip joint develops incorrectly, often requiring surgery) and diabetes in dogs and cats can be inherited as well.
Then of course there are all kinds of conditions that aren’t necessarily hereditary but are common… Like cancer and feline immunodeficiency virus on the more severe end, through to less severe (but often costly) ailments like ear/eye infections and skin allergies.
With our plans there isn’t a waiting period for treatment for accidents or third party liability damage claims, though there is for some illnesses (our Classic and Deluxe plans cover illnesses). The longest waiting period is for hereditary conditions, at 90 days.
The earlier you take out pet insurance the more likely any waiting periods will be long gone by the time you need to claim. That’s why most vets, if asked ‘Is dog insurance worth it? What about cat insurance?’ will tell you ‘yes’. Pet insurance often means they’re more empowered to do proper diagnoses and treatments.
Also, when you get our eight-week puppy insurance and kitten insurance there are no waiting periods for claims! This applies to both accident and illness cover, up to a benefit limit of $1,000. Plus, no excess to pay. That’s valuable instant protection at no cost.
Find out about different waiting periods and more under our FAQ section.
3. Claim back costs earlier
What would you say if you knew we have pet insurance members who’ve claimed several times in their first year of pet ownership? For many, the costs they’ve recouped from us runs into the thousands of dollars!
Take the cat owner who’s made six claims worth more than $3,500 over one month for his sick cat with unexplained lethargy and lack of appetite. Or the dog owner who made two claims over four months totalling almost $6,000 for ingestion of a foreign object then gastroenteritis. Then there’s the pet owner who claimed for both her two dogs within two months, recouping almost $3,500.
As you can imagine, if you asked these pet owners ‘is dog insurance worth it, and cat insurance?’ they’ll tell you it’s a resounding yes. They’d be well out of pocket and feeling much more stressed if they hadn’t had the peace of mind of pet insurance.
We have tons of these stories…
4. Safeguard accident and illness prone pets
According to our recent pet parent survey, illnesses and accidents are the top two reasons Kiwi pet parents claim on pet insurance. Not to mention for some the largest vet bill they’ve paid is $20,000 or more. Imagine if they’d been without cover and had to foot the entire bill?
We also found pet parents’ biggest concerns for pets are intestinal obstructions and breaking bones. This may seem unlikely, but cats and dogs frequently experience these dangers. Read about Harvey, a miniature Schnauzer who had three experiences like this back-to-back!
Testing, diagnoses, overnight stays at the vet hospital, surgery, medication etc etc mean your pet’s medical bills can escalate to the thousands in a matter of hours.
It happens when they’re older and it can happen when they’re younger – age isn’t the deciding factor. Watch this cute puppy and kitten compilation to find out just how dexterous kittens and puppies can be:
5. Free insurance, no contract lock-ins and more
In life, most contracts lock you in, preventing you from changing your options – sometimes for years at a time. We don’t. Because we’re as flexible as a cat’s whiskers or a dog’s tail!
With PD Insurance you’re free to opt for a month-to-month plan and you’re under no obligation to stay. There’s no lock-in contract.
Still wondering is dog insurance worth it? And cat insurance? Perhaps take out the most basic of accident cover to start with, so at the very least you’ll be immediately covering pets in case of breaks, scrapes, ingestion of foreign objects and other accidents. And at any time you can upgrade or cancel your pet’s plan.
Remember our puppy and kitten insurance is free for 8 weeks (with no excess or waiting periods) and we give you 1 month off your cat or dog insurance if you buy online. Why wouldn’t you take it up while you’re researching longer term pet insurance?
Is dog insurance worth it? Cat insurance? No brainer
If they break a bone, eat something toxic or there’s something going on and they need a bunch of tests, you can claim back on many or all of the costs. Depending on the plan you choose, obviously.
Without pet insurance, it’s easy to hesitate as you weigh potential bills against possible outcomes. And that hesitation can be a make-or-break event. There’s no need to put yourself under that pressure when you have pet insurance.
At the time of writing, we’re offering 8 weeks free puppy insurance for dogs aged 6-30 weeks, with $1,000 in cover. No waiting periods, no excess payments and no lock-in contract. Just a free, no-obligation offer.
And for parents of older dogs, you’ll get one month free dog insurance if you buy a member pawlicy online. Again, with no lock-in contracts. Is it time to secure financial protection around your pet’s health?