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Has lockdown made Aussie pets healthier?

Posted:
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 Yearly Sub-Limit Maximum yearly benefit Reimbursement rate Reimbursement Rate
Medibank Pet Max Cover with Extra Care
tick
tick
$30,000
$30,000
90%
90%
⭐Finder Exclusive: Get your 1st month’s premium free when you choose Medibank Pet Insurance. Sign up using promo code FINDERONE. Offer ends 29 April 2024. T&Cs apply.
Everyday Comprehensive Plus Cover
tick
tick
$3,000
$30,000
80%
80%
Everyday Pet Insurance customers get 10% off their monthly Woolworths shop. T&Cs apply.
PIA Major Medical Cover
tick
tick
$3,000
$30,145
80%
80%
Covers specified accidents and illnesses, with Routine Care Cover included. Get 2 months free when you sign up using the code PIA202. T&Cs apply.
Budget Direct Pet Insurance
tick
tick
$1,500
$12,000
80%
80%
Apply online and get 15% off your first year's premium. T&Cs apply.
Coles Premium Cover
tick
tick
$2,500
$15,000
80% or 100%
80% or 100%
Earn 10x Flybuys points per $1 spent on pet food at Coles Supermarkets. T&Cs apply.
PD Deluxe Plan
tick
tick
$15,000
$20,000
100%
100%
Apply online and get your first 1 month free. T&Cs apply.
Fetch Pet Insurance
tick
tick
$30,000
$30,000
80% or 90% or 100%
80% or 90% or 100%
Get dental, physio and behaviour cover included and skip wait periods by following our in-app journey.
Pet Circle Dog Cover
tick
tick
$10K or $17.5K or $30K
$0
70% or 80% or 90%
70% or 80% or 90%
Get 2 months free when you sign up using the code PCI2FREE. T&Cs apply.
Vets Choice Elite Cover
tick
tick
$2,500
$15,000
80% or 100%
80% or 100%
Get a 5% discount when you insure more than one pet.
Guardian Platinum Accident & Illness Cover
tick
tick
$1,200
$12,000
80%
80%
Lifetime cover for cats and dogs, up to 80% covered.
Petsy Custom Cover
tick
tick
$5000 or $10,000 or $25,000
$0
80% or 90%
80% or 90%
⭐ Finder Exclusive: Enjoy 30% off your first month of pet insurance, plus receive a custom pet tag. Sign up using the code FINDER. T&Cs apply.
Real Premium Accident & Illness Cover
tick
tick
$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
tick
tick
$20,000
$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.
Australian Seniors Top Accident & Illness Cover
tick
tick
$1,200
$12,000
80%
80%
Benefits include overseas cover when in NZ or Norfolk Island for your pet, plus an optional routine care add-on.
Knose Pet Insurance
Finder AwardExclusive
Knose Pet Insurance
tick
tick
$25,000
$25,000
90%
90%
⭐Finder Exclusive: Get 10% off your first year. Sign up using promo code FINDER10. T&C's apply.
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