When faced with these high vet bills, many respondents said they’d be willing to fork out thousands of dollars for a pet emergency. But when it comes down to it, how many of them would actually have the money on hand? When faced with having to part with several thousand, there’s plenty of research to suggest that many would not actually be able to afford to do so.
In America for example, just 39% could afford an unexpected $1,000 expense,2 while one in five Australians couldn’t raise $1,000 within a week for something important.3 Shockingly, in Canada that number rises to 51%!4
With this in mind, Compare the Market thought it was necessary to ask if people would be willing to go into debt to save their beloved pet, whether that be through a credit card, a payment plan, a personal loan, buy now pay later, or another method.
Once again, it was Americans who were the most likely to sacrifice their own finances for their pet, with nearly half (47.2%) saying they would go into debt for them. Comparatively, 43% of Canadians and 39.5% of Australians would do the same.
We already know how many people have an existing pet insurance policy. However, when we asked those without one if they would consider it, at least half said yes in each country. Americans were the most likely to consider a pet insurance policy at 59.9%; next were Canadians at 57.7%, with Australians bringing up the rear at 50.1%.
These results are interesting given a higher portion of Australian pet owners currently have insurance than the other two, but why is there such a disconnect between the number of people who have pet insurance and the number of people who would get it?
Compare the Market’s insurance expert Stephen Zeller says the reasons people don’t take out pet insurance are very similar in many countries.
“Key reasons for not getting pet insurance are often a lack of affordability, questions about value for money, a lack of interest in actually applying for a policy, and in some cases, many people just aren’t aware that it exists,” Mr Zeller said.
“We also see a general trend in pet owners not understanding the possibility of illness or injury to their pet, and how exorbitant the costs can be – sometimes, thousands of dollars.
“While it may not always be right for you, there are benefits to finding the right pet insurance policy. Generally speaking, the higher your level of cover the more you’ll be covered for.
“The number of pets purchased during the pandemic has soared, but this means spending on our pets has risen too. And pets are even more unpredictable than people when it comes to landing themselves on the operating table.
“So do your furry family member a favour and take a few minutes to compare pet insurance policies available to you, wherever you are.
It could make the decision to seek vet treatment much easier and end up being the thing that helps you to afford the treatment they need in order to save their life.”
Compare the Market commissioned Pure Profile to survey 501 Australian, 1,001 American and 1,004 Canadian adults in April 2022.