Pet Insurance

Comparison of NZ Pet Insurances

When you suddenly find your treasured family pet or horse, sick or injured, the last thing you want to worry about is an expensive bill from your vet. More and more people in New Zealand realize the benefits that pet insurance has to offer. Accordingly the number of pet insurances has recently increased and there are now three dedicated pet insurances to choose from (Pet Plan, Southern Cross and Pet-n-sure). Southern Cross offers an accident only policy, AcciPet, a bit like ACC for pets.  We have compared the main features and compiled a table to make it easier for you to compare and choose a plan and hope you find this a valuable resource.

  Premium Cats / month
Premium Dogs / month
Select Breeds / month
Max. Annual Payout Annual Excess/per

condition

 
Pet n Sur          
Silver $28.22 $35.66 $46.72

$2,500 surgery,

$1,500 medicine

30%
Gold $31.04 $44.07 $57.35

$ 4,000 surgery,

$2,000 medicine

20%
Platinum $49.97 $59.89 $74.78

$ 6,000 surgery,

$3,000 medicine

20%
Rhodium $32.64 $52.64 $68.10

$ 6,000

Fixed $150

Southern

Cross

         
Bronze $20.32 ($16.25) $34.53 ($28.44) $43.16 ($35.55) $2,500  
Silver $32.83   ($24.62) $53.00    ($39.75) $79.50  ($59.63) $5,000 Excess is Zero
Gold $58.92   ($34.37) $81.20    ($47.71) $101.50 ($59.63) $10,000 or (20%)
Blue $61.31   ($37.45) $86.87    ($54.85) $108.59 ($68.57) $15,000

for Figures in Brackets

Acci Pet $20.87   ($10.24) $32.02    ($16.22) $40.02 ($20.28) $5,000

Excess is Zero

Pet Plan          
12 Months Essential $44.35 (DSH)  $20.25 (1 year old Labrador X) Based on breed

 $7,000 (cats + dogs)

Excess is $150 for all plans if under age requirements (dogs)

Excess is $125 for all plans if under age requirements (cats)

Covered for Life Classic 1 $58.55 (DSH)  $26.42 (1 year old Labrador X) Based on breed

$10,000 (dogs)

$9,000 (cats)

Standard breeds (dogs) 8+ years = $150 + 20%

Standard breeds (dogs) 10+ years = $150 + 35%

Covered for Life Classic 2 $65.66 (DSH) $29.51 (1 year old Labrador X) Based on breed

$15,000 (dogs)

$10,000 (cats)

Select breeds 4+ years (dogs) = $150 + 20%

Select breeds 7+ years (dogs) = $150 + 35%

 Covered for Life Ultimate  $79.87 (DSH)  $35.69 (1 year old Labrador X) Based on breed

$20,000 (dogs)

$15,000 (cats)

Cats 8+ years = $125 + 20%

Cats 10+ years = $125 + 35%

 

Beware of the small print!!!

1.) Ongoing illnesses: Limited payout with Southern Cross, once the maximum has been reached ($5000, $10,000 or 15,000 as per policy) the payments will stop for ongoing conditions.

2.) Special surgical problems and cancer:  Pet Plan is the only insurance to pay out the full annual allowance. PetnSure pays only a limited amount. 
a.    Cruciate ligament surgery -> PetnSure only pays limited amount
b.    Dentistry: Again PetPlan pays out where the others don’t (PetnSure only pay for accidents, not for tooth
       root infection etc. Southern Cross does not pay for dental treatments at all, unless you purchase the dental module at an extra cost
c.    Patella surgery (kneecap) -> PetnSure limits the payout
d.    Blockages -> apart from Petnsure all other insurance pay for this condition in full
e.    Inherited conditions – are covered, unless pre-existing (known to owner at time of application)
f.)   Pregnancy or Behavioral Problems - Southern Cross has these conditions excluded from cover

3.) Excess:
i.    Minimum excess: Pet Plan makes it easy and charges a standard one-off excess of $ 150 per annum  and condition. So once the animal is insured, the cost per problem is limited to $ 150 per year until the animal reaches the cut off age.
There is no excess with Southern Cross, but the premiums are substantially higher and cover is inferior to Pet Plan.
ii.    Percentage excess: all other insurances charge the excess as a percentage (between 15% and 30%). So if the total bill is $ 2000, the excess is between $ 300 and $ 600
iii.    Age excess: PetnSure  will raise the excess to an additional 15% of  once the animal has reached the age of 10 years, Pet Plan even to 35% of the claim, Southern Cross raises the Premium by 30%.
 
4.) Free Puppy Insurance:
Pet Plan provides 4 weeks free pet insurance for young animals up to 12 months old. Southern Cross provides 6 weeks free insurance for animals up to 16 weeks old.
 
5.) Accident Insurance: Southern Cross offers AcciPet, which is an insurance that covers accident related claims only, for example all HIT BY CAR scenarios, but also broken claws etc. This is a very good option if you cannot afford comprehensive cover since the traffic accident related surgical and hospital care can be very expensive, a huge immediate cost which comes out of the blue without warning.Cat owners will especially benefit from this cover since most vaccinated cats live to about 10-12 years a healthy life, unless the get run over by a car, attacked by a dog or fall off a tree etc.
 
6.) Cancellation policy: Southern Cross makes it easy, you can cancel at any time without penalties. Pet Plan deducts whatever is left of the current 12 months of premiums from your final claim, even if you pet is deceased. This does not happen very often, but when it happens comes as an unpleasant surprise as not many people are aware of it. Not very clever as it usually deters people to take out pet insurance (at least with Pet Plan) for their next pet.
 
7.) Premium increase: Southern Cross promises not to increase premium after making a claim, saying that all customers on a certain plan pay the same premium regardless whether the policy has been taken out recently or is long standing. Pet Plan increases in rare cases the premium after making large claims, however we never had a case

 

PetPlan Policies

PetPlan have recently changed their available plans. Every breed at different ages will now have a specific premium to pay - we therefore suggest using the PetPlan policy calculator to find out the cost of insurance for your pet.

Cover for death now costs $4 on top of the policy premium

     Covered for Life: Where chronic or reoccurring illnesses are covered for the life of the pet, provided the policy is renewed each year without break

     Guaranteed Lifetime Cover: only guarantees to cover the pet in old age, not lifelong or chronic illnesses

     Maximum Benefit Cover: Will only cover to a set amount Per Condition, then the condition is excluded

     12 Months Cover: Conditions are covered for 12 months, then the condition is excluded)


Disclaimer:

We have done our best to give you a good overview of all pet insurances available. However, this is our personal opinion and we strongly recommend that you ring the prospective insurance company and verify the above before taking out a policy as plans are subject to change.  At Mount Vet Hospital, we do not receive any commission of any insurance company.

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