Has lockdown made Aussie pets healthier?

Posted: 21 May 2020 11:47 am
News

Stroking dog

A rise in pet insurance claims suggests owners are paying extra attention to their pet's health.

When restrictions were put in place to curb the spread of coronavirus, there were actually a few positive side-effects that were somewhat unexpected.

Emissions decreased, baking skills flourished, and our houses have never been cleaner. But, for many people, the most enjoyable side effect has been all the spare time they suddenly get to spend with their pets.

According to Finder's Consumer Sentiment tracker, 41% of Aussies have at least one dog and 29% have at least one cat - that's millions of happy owners and even happier animals.

But it seems owners aren't just spending the extra time playing with their pets. In fact, data from Australia's largest pet insurer shows owners have been using lockdown to focus on their animal's health - and insurance is helping.

According to PetSure, there's been a significant rise in pet insurance claims during lockdown as Aussies use the opportunity to schedule vet appointments and arrange procedures.

"Pet owners have taken care of chronic health issues, attended to pet wellbeing and acted swiftly on acute issues," said PetSure CEO Alexandra Thomas. "Evidence of this is the increase in treatment, claims and pet insurance payments for medical and surgical procedures."

Finder's Consumer Sentiment tracker found that 32% of pet owners in Australia have pet insurance and 60% of those think they're getting good value for money.

In April alone, PetSure paid $17.3 million in benefits - an increase of 34% from the same time last year. The number of claims has also risen by 16% year on year.

One possible reason for the uptick in claims is that many people have been spending more time with their animals, so have been quicker to notice changes in health or behaviour.

PetSure CEO Alexandra Thomas also suggested that Aussies may be lodging more claims as lockdown allows them to provide round-the-clock care for their pets.

"One upside of working from home may well be that pet owners are able to care for their pet in their recovery so have opted to act on health issues rather than delay them," she said.

So if you've been thinking about buying pet insurance, now could be a good time to do it. You can compare benefits from 17 major providers by using the table below.

Name Product Accidental Injury Illness Paralysis Tick Benefit Maximum yearly benefit Reimbursement rate Reimbursement Rate
Budget Direct Pet Insurance
$1,500
$12,000
80%
80%
Apply online and get 15% off your first year’s premium. T&Cs apply.
PD Deluxe Plan
$15,000
$15,000
100%
100%
Apply online and get your first 1 month free. T&Cs apply.
Vets Choice Elite Cover
$2,500
$15,000
80% or 100%
80% or 100%
Get a 5% discount when you insure more than one pet.
Knose Pet Insurance
$25,000
$25,000
70%, 80% or 90%
70%, 80% or 90%
⭐Finder Exclusive: Get 10% off your first year's premium. Lower prices for lower risk pets. T&C's apply.
PetsOnMe Deluxe Plan
Yes
$15,000
100%
100%
Get 2 months free if your pet is between 6-52 weeks old, or 1 month free if your pet is over 1 year old. T&Cs apply.
Medibank Ultimate Pet Care
$1,200
$15,000
80%
80%
Dig up 15% off your first year. Sign up and use promo code 15OFF by 31 May 2022. T&Cs apply.
PIA Major Medical Cover
$1,200
$15,145
80%
80%
Covers specified accidents and illnesses, with Routine Care Cover included. Get 2 months free when you sign up.
Kogan Pet Luxury Cover
$2,000
$15,000
80% up to age 8 & 65% over age 8
80% up to age 8 & 65% over age 8
Sign up and get your first month FREE plus $10 ongoing monthly credit. T&Cs apply.
Australian Seniors Top Accident & Illness Cover
$1,200
$12,000
80%
80%
Extra benefits such as overseas cover for your pet, plus an optional routine care add-on.
Guardian Platinum Accident & Illness Cover
$1,200
$12,000
80%
80%
Lifetime cover for cats and dogs, up to 80% covered.
Petsy Custom Cover
$10,000 or $25,000
$0
80% or 90%
80% or 90%
Enjoy 5% off your first year of pet insurance.
Real Premium Accident & Illness Cover
$1,200
$12,000
80%
80%
Claim up to a maximum of $12k per year, with no excess to pay.
RSPCA Ultimate Plus Accident and Illness Cover
Up to $20,000 annual limit
$20,000
80%
80%
Comprehensive cover for your pet, including the option of routine care. Get 1 month free for the first year of new policies. T&C's apply.
Coles Premium Cover
$2,500
$15,000
80% or 100%
80% or 100%
Sign up before 30 June 2022 to get 10% off your first year. Plus, earn 10x Flybuys points per $1 spent on pet food at Coles Supermarkets. T&Cs apply.
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