The brain trust over at the Pet Industry Association of Australia (PIAA) has rifled through the numbers and recently declared that Australia has a pet ownership level resembling that of the United States, as almost 63 percent of Aussie households feature a four-legged friend against 65 percent in North America.
Out of the supposed 25 million family pets in Australia – a figure that actually clocks in higher than the country’s human population – the largest slice of the proverbial pie subsumes canines and felines, as expected.
On this subject, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) estimates that the mean lifetime disbursements for dog ownership tops $13,000 while cat ownership tips the scales at roughly $20,000 due to their longer life expectancies.
The caveat here is that both statistics are derived from aggregate out-of-pocket fees, which, in other words, suggests that the owner in question has not secured insurance or indemnification for the pet.
The Dollar-for-Dollar Value of Pet Insurance
Animal Medicines Australia (AMA) scrutinises countrywide economic activity in the pet care industry, and their number crunchers have boiled down its cumulative value to a ballpark figure of $12.2 billion, but it ought to be noted that only $490 million (four percent) of this amount is invested in pet insurance.
However, something as unfortunate as an ACL tear caused by, say, a badly timed leap off of the couch will run upwards of $3,250 in compulsory surgical outlays. Cancer therapies and malignancy medications, on the other hand, can be twice that amount. Even the average emergency treatment – which ordinarily encompasses three days of medical monitoring and specialist care – features a median quote of almost $1,800.
There was a recent case of a cat in Australia accidentally ingesting the leaf off of a lily plant, and some of these herbal species can prove to be lethal to felines. Once some alarming symptoms surfaced, the owner raced over to a local veterinarian’s clinic and transferred the cat to the intensive care unit. The cat emerged healthy, bright-eyed, and bushy-tailed, but the final bill was a whopping $1,680 – a fee that’s untenable for most Australians.
By a stroke of good luck, the owner had taken out pet insurance a few months in advance and his plan covered about $1,200 of the costs, which translated to nearly 72 percent of the invoice.
Choosing an Appropriate Coverage Plan for Your Fur Ball
Skimming through pet insurance cover options can be tiresome and somewhat opaque, but it becomes much simpler and more intuitive once you pin down your concomitant needs. There are three straightforward packages at your behest:
- Standardised accident cover: proffers an 80 percent reimbursement rate for every type of accidental injury, including all lab tests, hospitalisations, radiology inspections, prescription drugs, and counteractive procedures.
- Comprehensive cover: operates analogously to accident cover, but it also indemnifies you for illnesses, cancers, allergies, gastrointestinal complications, and other typical pet infirmities.
- Major medical cover: the crème de la crème of cat and dog insurance, as it combines both of the aforementioned plans with workaday pet obligations, such as periodic lodging, professional grooming, neutering, spaying, and other interchangeable options based on your predilections.
You’d never wish an injury or sickness upon your beloved companion, but all it takes is one mishap for your pet insurance to pay for itself, so make sure that you’ve given due consideration to this pivotal safeguard.