21jan pet insurance hero
Research report
21 January 2021

Is it worth buying pet insurance?

Pet insurance can come with a few fishhooks.

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Linda H.
29 Jan 2021
Petplan

Our dog is insured with Petplan and apart from the rising monthly cost, we had been happy with them. That was until our dog found 2 bars of chocolate on 2 different occasions in one year, now we have a stand down period for a similar claim for 2 years.
On looking at the policy excess, we pay $150 now until August this year when we will have to pay $150 plus 20% and then when he turns 10 its $150 plus 35%!!!
We will be changing or cancelling, so interesting to hear others opinions.

Shona L.
28 Jan 2021
Southern Cross policy

Something that hasn’t been picked up in this review with Southern Cross pet insurance (and maybe similar with others) is that if your pet develops a chronic condition (such as cancer) then the pet is only covered for the benefit limit chosen (ranging from Bronze ribbon $2500 - Blue ribbon $15,000) and once that amount has been paid out then they are never covered for that condition again. My cat developed a lung condition and we only had the lowest benefit cover but I presumed that would rollover each year if she got sick again. It was used up very quickly within a year and now she is never covered for anything to do with her lungs.

Andrea S.
30 Jan 2021
Southern Cross

My 9 year old Lab had to have urgent spinal surgery probably due to trauma. Cost...we are up to 15K...S.C. Only paid out 5K and thats it, I can never claim anything else ever to di with this condition. None of it is cheap but grateful Harpa is still with us. Really important to insure your pet, dint know about the limitation though :(

Graeme W.
26 Jan 2021
Doesn't seem like great value for money

I have a 9 yr old collie/huntaway. I've never had pet insurance, going by the maxim "Only insure what you can't afford". As a mixed breed I also thought she would be super healthy. At about 5 she developed severe environmental allergies and we spent about $600 on a skin specialist and she is now on $180 injections every 10-12 weeks (cytopoint) for the miracle drug (in my eyes) which relieves her incessent itching which always developed into infections. But it seems that this would be one of the exclusions from many insurances.
More recently she has partially ruptured her ACL (cruciate). As its not a full rupture surgery to remediate this would only possibly be covered ($3800). However, we have decided to go down the physiotherapy route with her instead as a first option. I'm pretty sure dog physio isn't covered by insurance!
But the point of this post is that even with $900 for the cytopoint each year and $3800 for the surgery, if she had it, I think i'm still ahead or at least breaking even when you take deductibles into account and spread it across her life. Of course, there might be more to come yet, and if/when there is, she will always come first in the budget because her value is priceless.

Sharan M.
25 Jan 2021
Pet-n-Sur the worst?

We have a 10 year old dog insured with Pet-n-Sur on a Gold plan. It transpires that, when your dog is 10, they increase the excess to 50% - the premium, of course, doesn't reduce. Their minimum excess of $60 is quite high too. I'll never take out insurance with them again.

Niky F.
24 Jan 2021
Petplan

Best decision ever to get insurance for our mastiff who has a number of health conditions, some ongoing to the tune of 300$ each month for medication, as well as a growth plate fracture when he was a pup and now a mast tumour.

Petplan have never given us any grief despite paying out thousands in each of the last 5 years. Highly recommended.

Yvonne Box
24 Jan 2021
Self-insurance

I put money aside each month using an automatic payment into a separate savings account. That's building up into a healthy sum for any serious vet costs for our two small dogs and crazy cat. I considered it by far the best alternative after investigating all the pet insurance products available.

Fran H.
25 Jan 2021
separate account

I do the same. Easy to pay small amount into our Pet Account each fortnight.

Janice H.
20 Mar 2021
Commonsense

I agree, since getting my cat I have paid 5.00 per week in to an account in her name. There is now enough to cover annual vet reviews and flea/worming, with a healthy balance left for unforeseen issues. I looked in to various insurance schemes and like most insurances they seemed very one sided. I guess it helps that I have a healthy, non adventurous cat, so far!

Naomi J.
23 Jan 2021
Well served by Pet N Sur

I have been well served with Pet n Sur. When the unexpected happens and specialist care is needed, the vet bills rise quickly. I have also had cats develop chronic conditions and have been very grateful for being able to claim, hitting the max you can claim in a year several years in a row. I have found them honest and helpful.

STEPHANIE J.
24 Jan 2021
PET N SUR

Hi Naomi, am surprised to hear that you have received such good service from Pet N Sur because our experience was so different. It appeared that our claim was referred to a call centre and the people who contacted us several days later could not have been more unhelpful. This only happened last year and we haven't had pet insurance since. I don't understand why we should have had such different outcomes, but wish you and your pets all the best anyway. Kind regards, Stephanie

STEPHANIE J.
23 Jan 2021
PET N SUR

Never insure your pet with Pet N Sur, they are a pack of rogues!
Our dog was attacked by another much larger dog at the river and required stitches and antibiotics at Massey Vet Hospital. Pet N Sur refused to cover any of the treatment, saying that Max wasn't covered for accidents. We had been paying premiums for over a year and said that we would cancel cover, then Pet N Sur tried to say we were locked into a 2 year contract and were required to continue paying. We cancelled the direct debit immediately and have advised them that our "contract" has ended. Haven't heard from them since.
Be warned ...

Karen H.
13 Feb 2021
Pet n sure

I insured m y cat with this company but would never deal with them again.
My cat had blood in his urine and had a bladder problem with cysts. Pet n sure would not cover him for this as they said it was due to phycological problem. Cat was only a year old and was insured with them from the time we bought him. Our vet said it was no such thing and could not understand their diagnosis.

Sally M.
23 Jan 2021
Pet insurance

The cheapest thing to do is put what you would pay in insurance into your vet account and build up a credit. Most vets allow this. Then you only need put in what you need and all your money is going towards your pet not paying for the pet insurers risk

Bronwyn D.
23 Jan 2021
Cruciate Ligaments

We didn't have pet insurance, just put money aside just in case. Jazz, our 6 year old lab/collie cross only went for checkups and vaccinations once a year and kept good health and is very fit. We always thought at worst she might need dental surgery one day. But we weren't prepared for the $3200 bill when she ruptured her cruciate ligament last year. Fortunately we had money in the bank to renovate our bathroom, needless to say, we still have an old bathroom and our dog has a new knee joint. But now that she has ruptured one knee the odds are high the other will go, so she won't be covered by insurance even if we did take it out now. I have since heard stories about insurers not covering cruciate ligament surgery anyway because certain breeds are 'prone' to cruciate ligament disease, and the list includes almost every breed, and yet the required surgery is one of the most expensive, and also the recovery and rehabilitation is lengthy.