Protecting Your Pet: The Pros & Cons Of Pet Insurance


With over 29 million pets in Australia, we are clearly a pet loving nation. Not only do 61% of Australian households own pets, but the majority of owners consider their furry friends part of the family.  

Whether animal or human, caring for family is a fundamental part of life. However, love and affection aren’t always enough, and proper care can cost substantial money. We won’t deny that owning a pet can become rather expensive. However, for many people, it is a price worth paying. 

However, unlimited funds are not always accessible, and there is no way to predict when your pet will get hurt. This is precisely where pet insurance comes into play, as a form of insurance that can reimburse you for a portion of pet treatments if the unexpected was to occur. 

Pet insurance is similar to human health insurance in that it uses similar terminology and covers medical procedures. However, it differs because it doesn’t directly pay for any medical bills and functions solely as a reimbursement, typically requiring you to settle bills first. 

Ultimately, accidents happen. Pets get sick, the unexpected is inevitable, and costs are right around the corner. Pet insurance is a popular option to diminish some of these expected costs, but our beloved pets are priceless at the end of the day. 

So, what are the pros and cons of pet insurance, how valuable is it for you and is it required to protect you and your pet?


Abundant choice

While pet insurance has been around in Australia for approximately 15 years, the market didn’t see a rapid increase until recent years.  

This increase means more competition and affordable covers with policies to suit your requirements are easier to come by. Restrictions that were once in place with original policies have also been lifted and made more transparent since this increased competition, making it easier to understand exactly what your policy will deliver.

Specific covers now cover pre-existing health issues. However, they differ between insurers, making it important to read any policies to understand where you stand properly.


If you are making an investment, it is understandable that you will want to know you will be getting something valuable in return. With veterinary care being the second-highest expense of Australian pet owners next to pet food, any assistance with this cost is undoubtedly beneficial. 

Our pets have a mind of their own, and that’s often what we love about them so much. However, this also means that pet injuries and illnesses are more common than we would like and more expensive than we may expect. Pet insurance can be an extremely valuable addition to ensure you aren’t caught out financially on the relatively inevitable chance the unexpected will happen.  

Access to lifesaving treatment 

Pet insurance can be that extra layer of protection that can be the difference between accessing lifesaving treatment for your pet or not. Not being able to afford treatment for such a beloved member of your family is not a situation you want to face. 

Having pet insurance means that if an unexpected accident occurs, depending on the cover you choose, a crucial amount of the financial burden can be lifted, leaving you to focus on getting the best treatment for your pet. Ultimately, insurance prevents the need for the most common yet unfortunate alternative of having to euthanise your pet.

Peace of mind

Your life with your pet is meant to be a loving and peaceful one, where you can enjoy one another’s company and focus on the brighter side of life. However, we cannot ignore the fact that life throws unexpected curveballs our way all the time, hence the reason for insurance in general. 

We invest in insurance for our homes, futures, and personal health for peace of mind and a sense of future financial security, so why exclude pets from this scenario. With money worries being one of the main sources of stress among Australians, knowing that in regards to your pet’s health, everything will be okay financially is a great source of peace. 

Tailored to you 

With the multitude of different pet insurance covers to choose from, each contains different policies allowing you the freedom to find the perfect one for you and your pet. This also includes policies that allow you to add on routine cover. 

The first year of any pet's life is generally more expensive, with many pet owners spending between $3,000 and $6,000 in the first year alone. Routine cover can assist owners with some of the upfront and costly elements like desexing, microchipping, and council registrations by reducing the amount you have to fork out at once to pay for these expenses. 

The additional appeal of routine cover is that it is an add on, and subsequently, can be cancelled when you no longer require it if your pet is a little older.




Of all Australian pet owners, most of those without pet insurance attributed their choice to the price. Despite the valuable nature of pet insurance, it is a rather mundane element of pet ownership, and it’s understandable why people prefer to put their money towards more exciting expenses. 

However, many different factors can influence the cost of pet insurance, meaning you are likely to find a cover within your budget. One factor that influences the cost is your pet's breed. Certain breeds are more prone to serious illnesses and health issues, meaning subsequent medical costs could increase over their lifetime.

Can be limiting 

As pet expenses are highest in the first year of your pet's life, to make pet insurance worth it, it is generally required you take out a policy when your pet is young. Also, the younger your pet is, the less likely it will have a pre-existing condition that your policy won’t cover. 

It is typically recommended to take out insurance when your pet is as young as three months and add routine care cover when required, which is not always financially possible for pet owners. 

However, if you cannot afford pet insurance along with all of the other upfront costs, waiting until your pet is older to invest is likely to mean you have a much smaller selection of policies available to choose from.

Finding adequate cover for rescue pets can be difficult

The way that pet insurance policies are structured means that it can be challenging to find a cover that is actually valuable for a rescue pet. 

Rescue pets generally have no medical history and are of uncertain age, making it difficult to prepare for pre-existing illnesses and file for any form of insurance. While the outward cost of caring for a rescue pet is a noble and worthwhile thing to do, additional insurance often won’t provide you with any return for these pets. 


In Summary 

While pet insurance has become a lot more extensive, with various policies on the market, you will likely be able to find the right one for you, depending on your requirements. 

To help with the pet insurance decision-making process, it is ideal to discuss with your vet, insurers, and your family where your priorities lie. It is also important to ask your vet what conditions your pet may develop later in life as to where this could leave you financially. 

If you are concerned about the future of your and your pet’s life and want to ensure some peace of mind, contact Patch and Purr today. While we specialise in pet aftercare and cremation services, we are passionate about seeing you live a happy life with your pet and providing any advice to help you along the way.

The information contained in this article is general in nature and does not take into account your personal situation. You should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs, and where appropriate, seek professional advice.



Grief factsheets

If you’re in need of some extra support in the days and weeks following your pet’s passing, take a look at these handy guides written by leading figure in grief and empathy education and author of "When Pets Die: It's Alright To Grieve,"  Doris Zagdanski. 


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