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.

Monto woman pleads guilty to stealing

SENTENCED: A 38-year-old Monto woman pleaded guilty for stealing.

A 38 year old Monto woman pleaded guilty to two charges of stealing.

Travellers and backpackers enjoying soup night

Backpackers at the Mundubbera soup kitchen every Wednesday night.

IT'S been a successful program for seasonal workers and backpackers.

Animal activists protest at Swickers

Animal rights activists descended on Swickers in Kingaroy on Wednesday to protest against the slaughter of animals.

The protest happened on Wednesday afternoon.

Local Partners

Crash on the Boyne bridge

THE North Burnett Regional Council deputy mayor Faye Whelan believes the Boyne River bridge should be replaced.

Jemma's bewitching voice

STAGE PRESENCE: Suzie Mathers and Jemma Rix in a scene from Wicked The Musical.

Wicked musical theatre star Jemma Rix has released her debut album.

This laughter yoga video will have you in fits of giggles

BEST MEDICINE: Karen Flannery is spreading happiness through laughter throughout Hervey Bay.

New members needed for a laughing good time

Amber Heard, Elon Musk among Splendour celebs

Bernard Fanning plays the main stage at Splendour in the Grass 2017 on day 2.

DAY TWO of Splendour in the Grass was the day of celebrities.

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?