News

Why pet owners should prepare for rising insurance premiums

Koopah Gaudry, 2, with her pug Stella. Picture: Toby Zerna
Koopah Gaudry, 2, with her pug Stella. Picture: Toby Zerna

Pet owners are being urged to check how their ageing animals affect premiums as pet insurance grows in popularity.

Health insurance giants Bupa and Medibank are among the 20-plus pet insurers now operating in Australia, but there are big differences between insuring your own health and that of your furry friends.

Research by Canstar has found that pet owners need to be prepared for premiums to rise as the animals get older.

Private health cover for older people is cheaper because they get bigger tax rebates.

It found comprehensive cover for a large dog could cost more than 40% extra for a seven- year-old than a four-year-old - $1123 versus $786 a year.

"Most insurance is risk-rated, whether it's your house or your life insurance or your pet insurance," said Canstar group executive financial services Steve Mickenbecker.

"This is one of the biggest growing product lines (in financial services). People always say is it worthwhile? We think it's worthwhile. It's a classic insurance policy - if you don't claim you have wasted your money but you have a fit and healthy animal so you are a winner each way," Mr Mickenbecker said.

Vet bills today run into thousands of dollars, and Mr Mickenbecker said RSPCA data showed the average claim for an intestinal obstruction - a common ailment - was $3932.

He said pet insurers reimbursed about 80%of the cost of treatments, with average annual benefit limits around $11,500.

Courtney Stephenson's family - including daughter Koopah Gaudry, 2 - is surrounded by pugs and collies. She said pet insurance was worth it.

"You want that peace of mind - you can't just pull money out of nowhere," Ms Stephenson said.

"You get car insurance and home insurance, and pets are part of the family."

Canstar's Mr Mickenbecker said puppies and kittens usually attracted higher premiums, and some insurers would not start a policy for pets aged over about seven.

Statistics from RSPCA Pet Insurance show that the most common dog breeds for claims are Maltese cross, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Labrador and Golden Retriever - although this may be a result of their popularity.

Consumer group Choice said the pet insurance industry was only about 15 years old and was changing regularly "as insurers get a feel for what works and what doesn't".

It said pet owners should examine policies and check that the features matched the likely problems their pet might face, such as common hereditary conditions.

News Corp Australia

Topics:  pet insurance pets


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Opening the doors to 150 years of history

Clermont State High School hospitality students Tahnee Nunan, Emma Harvey, Courtney Eckhardt and Chloe Coghill. The school will be running a coffee shop today which will be staffed by the hospitality students.

Clermont to celebrate 150 years of schooling history this weekend.

Planting early success

GOOD YEAR: John Hegeman at Lochiel property, Emerald, plants early season cotton.

Growers happy with new results

Snack up on healthy choices

POOR CHOICE: In today's 24/7 society we tend to turn to more energy-dense convenient snack items, rather than following a structured meal pattern.

Choose the right snacks to fill the gaps between your meals.

Local Partners

What's on the small screen this week

JESSICA Marais returns in The Wrong Girl and The Block's kids bedrooms are sure to inspire.

Playing Tom Cruise's wife was a dream for Sarah Wright

Tom Cruise and Sarah Wright in American Made.

The actress stars opposite Cruise in the action comedy

Taylor Swift wipes presence off social media

Singer Taylor Swift has deleted her social media accounts

Social media wipeout prompts rumours of a new album

Swedish TV drama turns up heat

Louise Nyvall stars in the Swedish TV series Farang.

Scandinavian crime thriller goes troppo

Aboriginal artists' call to action

Anwar Young, winner of this year's overall prize and last year's young artist prize.

Important messages of survival and healing

Radio host Matt Okine leaps to small screen

Valene Kane, Matt Okine and Harriet Dyer star in the TV series The Other Guy.

First foray into acting a long time in the making

Hollywood’s new highest paid actress

Jennifer Lawrence had to settle for third this year behind Emma Stone and Jennifer Aniston.

CAN you guess who has dethroned Jennifer Lawrence?

EXPLAINED: What the 'Costco effect' means for Ipswich

PRICE WARS: A Costco store similar to this one in Canberra, is planned for Ipswich.

Exclusive 'cult' about to change how families do grocery shopping

4800 homes to be built in massive new Coast estate

Masterplanned community full steam ahead - it's not Caloundra South

Open for inspection homes August 17 - 23

Check out this weekend's homes open for inspection.

Airbnb, Stayz and co tipped to squeeze Coast housing market

HOLIDAY BOOM: Airbnb letting is putting a further squeeze on long-term rentals.

Councils exploring options to manage the industry

How we got a rental straight away on the Coast

Rita and David Allara, moved down from Townsville, paid three months up front rent to secure the place at flash new unit block in Kings Beach.

Genius move helps secure rental property

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!