If you have been watching any of the overseas television programmes about companion animals, you will be aware that with the ever increasing levels of technology and knowledge, the standards of veterinary care offered for pets continues to rise. With the demand by pet owners for the best care available for their pets, there comes an increase in the cost of treatment. Pet owning families hope that a serious accident or illness will never happen to their pet, but it often does. There is no public health system for pets.
Pet Insurance is a proven method to allow pet owners to be confident that they have an affordable and reliable method to pay the costs of unexpected veterinary care. With adequate insurance cover in place, pet owners are free to choose their veterinarian and know with reasonable certainty what amounts the policy will pay or reimburse for claims. This gives you the opportunity to consider all of the treatment options available and to choose the level of care you want for your pet. The premium costs can vary by the animal’s age and breed.
Most policies have an excess or copayment requirement. You can also choose a higher copayment option to reduce the cost of cover. Comprehensive Medical & Surgical plans for pets up to middle age cost approx. $16.50 - $50 / month for a cat and $35 - $110 for a dog. (Consumer Magazine, 2016). Policies can usually be tailored to include dental care, breed specific, genetic and chronic conditions. For Surgical Cover Only plans the premiums are lower. Southern Cross Insurance also has a policy for a single claim accidental injury cover.
Most insurers offer six weeks of cover for free when you first register your interest in taking out a policy for a young kitten or puppy. (Between 6-20 weeks of age and 7 day stand down for illness). Policies can include end of life cover and provision for replacement of the pet. For peace of mind over your pet’s well-being, and for their emergency healthcare, see us at VetSouth for further information. There are several companies offering Pet Health Insurance in NZ. For a general review or in depth policy details, look on the internet or the latest issue of Consumer NZ.
- Hugh Hasselman