The price of your pet insurance policy will vary, depending on what type of policy you want:

  1. Accident only cover costs $20 per month (average)^
  2. Accident & illness cover costs $35-55 per month (average)^
  3. Comprehensive cover costs more than $60 per month (average)^
^ Monthly averages sourced from ASIC (2016, December 13th). Pet insurance. moneysmart.gov.au/insurance/pet-insurance

Roughly two in five dog or cat owners believed pet insurance was too expensive for them to purchase, according to Animal Medicines Australia in 2016. We can confidently explain why this product is such good value.

What can pet care cost without insurance?

That’s a complicated question, due in large part to the fact that different pets may run into different healthcare issues as they age. Let’s start by looking at the average cost to treat certain conditions:

Treatment Average claim cost *
Arthritis $532
Cancer $1,821
Cataracts (a vision issue) $449
Cruciate condition $2,620
Dermatitis (i.e. a skin condition) $615
Diabetes $2,819
Ear infection $250
Epilepsy  $799
Foreign body ingestion $1,272
Gastrointestinal $900
Multiple fractures $2,350
Pneumonia $2,169
Snake bite $1,757
Urinary tract infection $582
* Average claim includes GST, Holland Insurance (2014)

However, this doesn’t show you what you’ll pay for truly serious treatment. One insurer reported that some Australians made these big claims:

  1. $8,687 for a dog’s twisted stomach treatment,
  2. $6,643 for a cat’s tumour removal and treatment, and
  3. $4,211 for canine cruciate ligament treatment.

These are enormous financial outlays that many families wouldn’t think twice about paying for their beloved pets. A pet insurance policy provides a benefit limit of thousands of dollars each year, meaning that famillies don’t have to agonise over the cost of emergency treatment.

What factors impact your pet insurance premiums?

When it comes to pet insurance, an insurer will assess how likely you are to claim. They do this by looking at the following attributes of your pet:

  1. Age
  2. Breed
  3. Desexed / spayed status
  4. Gender
  5. Species

In addition to this, each type of policy (e.g. accident only, accident & illness, or comprehensive cover) is a priced differently. This is because each one covers more than the last, with comprehensive being the most expensive, but also the most exhaustive in what you can claim on (including great benefits like subsidised checkups, vaccinations, and more).

Another thing that affects your premium is your excess. If you elect to pay a more expensive excess in the event of a claim, you’ll pay less each month in insurance premiums – and vice versa.

Last of all, each insurer prices their products differently, which means no two policies are likely to cost the same.

How to save on your pet insurance policy

You may have pet insurance already, just in case you’re caught unawares by surprise expenses. However, many Aussies may be paying too much for their policy, and for petcare in general. Here’s how you can save:

  1. Complete an annual review of your policy. Be wary that some insurers won’t insure animals with illness cover once they reach a certain age. They can be covered by any illness policy (or switch to the same level of cover) for their whole life, but only if they’re held continuous cover since before they turned nine years old. You can, however, insure your pet with an accident only policy at any age. You should be aware, however, that insurers will generally not recognise prior cover held on other policies and so you risk having more conditions being excluded as pre-existing conditions if you switch cover.
  2. Get your pet desexed. Desexed animals tend to live longer lives, are less likely to contract diseases which affect reproductive organs, and are less likely to engage in aggressive behaviour against other animals.
  3. Get your pet chipped. An animal that’s been chipped can be easily located, which means they pose a smaller risk than one without.

Pet insurance can be fantastic value, so long as you’re prepared to spend a bit of time tracking down something suitable. That’s where we come in. We’re eager to help you find that perfect policy, with our comparison service offering the perfect avenue for you to explore your options. Whether you’re looking for certain features or a cheaper price point, we can help – and it doesn’t take long either!

Learn a little more about pet insurance from us, and you’ll be ready to go in no time.