• 73% of owners don’t have pet insurance; survey

    July 14, 2023


    Despite Australia having one of the highest pet ownership rates in the world, it seems the majority of us aren’t too keen on pet insurance.

    A recent survey by pet insurance company Compare the Market has revealed some surprising statistics about Aussie pet owners.


    Latest research from Compare the Market has found that 73% of pet owners do not have pet insurance.

    Over half of all pet owners expect to dip into their savings if an unexpected vet bill comes up.

    On average, the biggest vet bill respondents paid was $2,171.

    Border Collie Banjo sits for photo in park

    While there are more than 29 million pets in Australia, results of a recent survey show that 73% of pet owners don’t have insurance.

    Pet insurance comparison site Compare the Market surveyed just over 1000 pet owners aged 18 and above earlier this year.

    The results gave a good insight into the mind of Australian pet owners when it comes to pet insurance.

    Not only did it show that Baby Boomers are the least likely to get insurance, with 80% of that generation opting against it, it also revealed that most pet owners would dip into their savings to save their four-legged or furry friend.

    Compare the Market’s General Manager of General Insurance and pet insurance expert, Adrian Taylor, says pet insurance can make a difference.

    “Most of us know how mischievous pets can be, especially puppies and kittens,” says Taylor.

    Adrian’s top pet insurance tips

    Make sure you know what you want your pet insurance to cover.

    There may be additional extras that you could include in your policy, such as cover for vaccinations, however, this may increase your premium price.

    If you are thinking of buying a pet and then pet insurance, make sure you do your research on the breed to understand any potential medical or hereditary issues that may arise.

    Pet insurance premiums can vary based on the breed of pet (and therefore any potential medical issues that may arise).

    It’s much better to get insurance for your pet when he or she is young.

    While cover for older pets may still be available with certain insurers, it may be harder to obtain as they have a greater chance of medical issues.

    Check to see if you change your annual benefit limit, benefit percentage and policy excess to better suit your circumstances.

    That will impact how much you pay for your premiums and your out-of-pocket expenses should an unexpected vet bill come your way.


    “However, one wrong move and your pet could become critically ill or injured.”

    Taylor says it’s alarming that almost three-quarters of Australian pet owners are taking a gamble on their pet’s health.

    “Especially now that so many people are looking at every cost that’s going out of the household budget,” he says.

    “I hate to think about the choices they will have to make if something goes awry and they need to rush to the vet.”

    Compare the Market’s survey also found that those with insurance pay about $71.24 a month per pet (or $2.37 a day).

    “(This is) for peace of mind to know that if anything happens out of the blue, a portion of their vet expenses could be covered.”

    Compare the Market pet insurance logo 'Meerkat approved'
    Compare the Market has released its pet insurance survey results

    While Baby Boomers were the least likely generation to get pet insurance, those who have pet insurance spent the most on cover for their beloved pet at $73.04 per month.

    “Considering that the average survey respondent’s biggest vet bill was $2,171 the protection that pet insurance could provide for your pet, as well as the benefits of additional extras for routine care such as dental or behaviour management classes, may be well worth the investment,” says Taylor.

    “We’ve seen time and time again just how far people are willing to go to save a family pet, yet not everyone can splash thousands of dollars at the drop of a hat.”

    “This is why pet insurance is so important,” he adds.

    “It can come in and cushion the financial strain that may be holding people back from making life-saving decisions quickly.

    “And while people may be paying just over $70 a month for peace of mind, we know that there are some great pet insurance policies that are out there for cheaper or maybe better value than their current policy.

    “Pets are an integral part of the family for many households across Australia, so it’s important to give them the same treatment as any other member of your household.” Mr Taylor said.

    “Many levels of pet cover are available to suit you and your pet’s needs, ranging from basic accidental cover to more extensive coverage. If you are thinking of getting cover for your pet, it’s best to shop and look for the deal that’s worth it to you.”

    Snapshot of survey results

    73% of pet owners don’t have pet insurance.

    80% of Baby Boomers with a pet don’t have insurance

    Half of Australian pet owners would dip into their savings to pay for an unexpected vet bill.

    7% said they’d have to take out a loan if their pet fell ill, while 2% said they would likely have to put their beloved pet to sleep.

    On average, Australian pet owners took their pet to the emergency vet 1.8 times in the 12 months prior to May 2023.

    Again, Baby Boomers were the least likely to take their pet to the emergency vet (with an average of 0.8 times in the past year).

    Millennials frequented the waiting rooms the most often, with an average of 2.6 visits to the emergency vet in the past year alone.


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