pet plan shopping for cats and dogs is important

Pet Plan Shopping In NZ: What You Need to Know

A pet plan is a wonderful way to protect your beloved fur baby and your finances. With the right insurance provider, it needn’t break the bank. Here’s how to find the best deal on pet insurance.

There’s no denying it, Kiwis love their pets. We share our homes with over 1.2 million cats and 851,000 dogs, according to the Companion Animals in New Zealand Report, 2020. That’s a whole lot of four-legged family members!

Yet despite our affection for furry friends, most pets in NZ are not covered by pet insurance. As few as one in six pet parents have a pet plan in place, according to our own research here at PD Insurance.

So, why is that number so low? The research shows the main reasons people avoid pet insurance because they think it’s too expensive, and because they’re confused about what’s covered. In short, what has been lacking on the market is affordability and simplicity.

But that’s not the case if you go with the right insurance provider (hint hint). We bust these, and more, pet insurance myths here.

Kiwis worry about the health of their pets

Despite how few pet owners are covered with a pet plan, Kiwis do worry about the health of their pets. Our research discovered the main pet health concerns that cause Kiwis to lose sleep.

Top 5 pet health concerns for New Zealanders

  1. Eating something they shouldn’t and getting sick
  2. Bite injury from another animal
  3. Arthritis
  4. Skin infections
  5. Being poisoned by another human 😞

Each of these concerns can be treated by a vet, and that treatment can be covered by a pet plan. With pet insurance available for less than a $1 a day, why aren’t more people getting insured?

Do I need pet insurance?

As anyone who has ever owned a pet that’s needed medical attention will attest, vet bills can be expensive. Sometimes eye wateringly so. Having to say goodbye to your pet because you can’t afford the vet bill is a heartbreaking position too many pet owners find themselves in.

So just how much can vet bills be? According to Money Hub, you can expect to pay somewhere in the vicinity of the following:

  • CT scan: $1,750
  • Surgery to remove intestinal blockage: $1,950
  • Repairing a broken bone: $2,800
  • Emergency surgery after being hit by a car: $4,000
  • Kidney condition treatment: $5,500

We see these kinds of costs every week at PD Insurance, and sometimes a pet has several big claims in a year. Imagine!

For many people, such medical bills are simply unaffordable. Yet if they’ve been paying for a pet plan all they’ll likely need to pay is an excess, just like you would if you had comprehensive car insurance and needed your car fixed after an accident. When you’re insured, there’s no need to go back and forth over a decision on medical care for your mate.

Still wondering if you need pet insurance? We give you the full lowdown here.

pet plan love comes from due diligence

What makes a great pet plan?

So, you’ve decided it’s time to take out a pet insurance policy to protect your four-legged friend. But where on earth do you start, and who offers the best pet insurance?

Here are five things to look for in a top-notch pet plan.

1.Simplicity

One of the main reasons people avoid pet insurance is because they’re confused about what’s covered, and what isn’t. Policies are often long and full of frustrating insurance jargon that puts people off – or puts them to sleep!

PD Insurance is different. Our customer service philosophy is ‘Simplicity’. We spell out our pet plans in plain English, minus the jargon. Our dog insurance and cat insurance pages are super clear about what’s in and what’s out then our FAQs give even more info. That means you know exactly what you’re paying for: no-nonsense, high-quality insurance that cuts the confusion.

And if it comes time to make a claim on your pet plan, our process is simple. Our 24/7 claims portal is fuss-free and quick, so you can concentrate on what matters – caring for your pet.

Plus, we aim to reimburse you within two business days of you making a claim and sending us your documentation. We understand that no one wants to wait weeks to get their vet treatment payment back!

2.Affordability

The main concern cited by Kiwis who don’t have pet insurance is affordability. And it’s true, historically pet insurance has been unaffordable for many pet parents.

But PD Insurance aims to disrupt that idea. We think it’s unacceptable that such a large number of New Zealanders have previously been unable to afford pet insurance nor vet bills.

That’s why we offer pet plans starting from as little as a coffee a week – depending on the type and age of your animal, of course.

To top it off, at the time of writing, PD Insurance is currently offering one month’s premium free to anyone who buys online. And for parents of pets aged 6-30 weeks old we’re currently offering 8 weeks of free puppy insurance or kitten insurance cover with a $1,000 defined benefit limit plus no excesses or lock-in contracts.

We’re just that kind of pet lover! We see the importance of insurance and want you to also understand it’s so crucial too.

3.Flexibility

Let’s be honest, no one likes being locked into a contract where they have to hand over cash each month whether they like it or not. What is this, 2002?

PD Insurance does things differently. We know your circumstances can change, and that what was affordable last month mightn’t be this month. Our month-to-month payment model provides our members with the ultimate in flexibility. You can upgrade or downgrade your PD Insurance member policy whenever you like, or even cancel it without penalty. It helps you put you, your family and your super cute pet first.

Just remember that waiting periods do apply, as they do for any pet insurance provider.

The Ragdoll is one of the friendliest cat breeds with a pet plan

4.Clear pet plan options

When it comes to taking out a pet plan, your options for cover should be clearly laid out from the get-go.

At PD Insurance, we keep it simple with three tiers of coverage for both our cat insurance and dog insurance plans:

  • Accident Plan: Covering the basics, including accidents and third-party liability benefits. Defined annual benefit limit of $5,000.
  • Classic Plan: Covering the basics as well as illnesses. Defined annual benefit limit of $10,000.
  • Deluxe Plan: Covering the basics as well as illnesses and dental. Defined annual benefit limit of $15,000.

And if you go with either of the latter two, for a little more cost you can add-on our Wellness Benefits Package too. That covers some vet visits that occur when your pet’s well – things like vaccinations and desexing. It also covers pet-related care costs like boarding fees and advertising costs for a lost pet.

5.Speed of claim repayments

Because pet insurance works by reimbursing customers, the speed at which that happens when you make a claim is vital.

PD Insurance is its own underwriter, which means we turn pet insurance claims around fast. Within two business days, in fact. It’s all part of our philosophy to provide a ‘Soft Landing’ for our members when things get tough.

We process claims, make fair decisions and reimburse quickly, making the process as pain-free as possible. 

Time to take out a pet plan for your fur baby?

Now you know the benefits of pet insurance and what to look for in a pet plan, let us get you started with a quote – click here now!

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