It’s love at first sight when you meet your new fluffy companion, right?
You probably don’t imagine there could be a day when you can’t afford veterinary treatment that could save or improve their life.
Unfortunately, this is reality for too many pet owners, especially as veterinary costs have risen due to medical advances and inflation rates in Australia.
It turns out that pet owners spend thousands of dollars on their pets every year.
Too bad there’s no public health scheme like Medicare for pets, to help cover costs!
Pet owners worried about medical costs have two options:
- Create a savings account for your pet: set aside a certain amount every month to build a nest egg for emergencies and health care.
- Sign up for pet insurance: pay a monthly premium so you can claim back the majority of costs for eligible vet bills associated with unexpected illness or injury.
A dedicated savings account can sometimes work well, however it comes with a few risks that we’ll talk about.
Pet insurance generally provides a more reliable safety net, and we’ll explain why.
But before we get into that, an important note about insurance for cats and dogs:
Are you worried your money will be wasted on premiums if your pet stays healthy and you don’t make a claim? This is why you should choose a provider that gives ALL customers a free and valuable yearly service BEYOND insurance, if you do sign up for a policy.
Pet Insurance vs Savings Account for pet care
A savings account can be useful in certain situations…
Some people can afford to set aside enough money each month to quickly build their pet emergency account to a few thousand dollars, at least. On good months, you can save more than you usually do.
- This money can be spent on ANY pet-related cost, unlike with pet insurance (which doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions).
- The savings in your account attracts interest.
- No need to pay a monthly premium or insurance excess cost
If you go down this path, it’s best to start building this nest egg YEARS BEFORE you get a pet, so there are enough funds to dip into, should the need arise sooner than expected.
You should also “shop around” to find a local vet with the most reasonable prices before an emergency happens, so you can stretch your savings as much as possible.
Unfortunately, the average person can’t rely on their savings for veterinary care:
Many pet emergencies and chronic conditions cost far more than what most people can afford to set aside.
It can be dangerous to rely on a savings account because life is unpredictable and you may not have enough money when you need it.
Imagine if you’re hit by a $13,000 bill because your curious dog swallowed a foreign object like a shoelace.
You probably won’t have this kind of money if you’ve been saving around $100 a month. It could take nearly a decade to have enough, but your pet can’t wait that long!
It’s impossible to know what to do in that situation. Do you reject the surgery and say goodbye to your beloved pet? Alternatively, you could sacrifice another financial priority or put yourself into debt to pay for treatment.
No pet owner wants to face this choice.
Even if you never find yourself in such a costly emergency situation, keep in mind that many vet bills can be unexpectedly high.
Here are some of the most common pet insurance claims (2019), according to Finder.
- Multiple fractures: $2,066
- Cancer: $3,503
- Gastroenteritis: $1,319
- Tick paralysis: $1,156
- Snake bite: $2,133
- Pneumonia: $1,610
- Cataracts: $1,755
- Urinary tract infection: $814
- Ear infection: $883
These costs certainly add up, especially if your pet frequently falls ill or gets into strife.
Please also consider that your cat or dog may develop a chronic condition that will require ongoing treatment – costing you thousands of dollars over the years. This is particularly true for pets that are older than nine.
Pet Insurance vs Savings Account
Pet insurance is a good option for “pawrents” who want to give their cat or dog the best possible health care, if there’s an unforeseen crisis.
Depending on your policy, you can claim tens of thousands of dollars every year for any unexpected illness or injury that’s included in your plan. You don’t have to worry about how you’re going to pay for expensive treatment, because pet insurance significantly lowers the overall cost of vet bills.
As already discussed, many veterinary treatments end up costing more than what the average person can realistically save for. Pet insurance provides a safety net so you can easily afford the diagnostic tools, medications and surgeries needed to save or improve your furry pal’s life.
How does pet insurance work?
Every month you pay a certain amount that’s set by your pet insurance provider, based on the policy that you’ve purchased.
These monthly premiums may cost hundreds for every year that you’re signed up, but you will save a lot of money on vet expenses.
You pay your vet directly then you lodge a claim, which can normally be done online. If your claim is approved, you will receive a rebate from your insurer. The amount that you get back depends on the policy.
When choosing a provider, please read the fine print to see what’s covered and what’s excluded under each policy.
Note: Potiki offers GapOnlyTM cover. Our customers only need to pay their vet the amount that isn’t covered by their policy. We pay the rest directly to the vet, so there’s no waiting around for a rebate (the vet practice needs to be signed up for the GapOnlyTM service in order for pet owners to access this).
Why get pet insurance with Potiki?
Not only do we provide quality insurance for cats and dogs, we also help you look after your pet’s general needs to PREVENT illness.
No extra cost – we want to give you good value for money, even if you never need to lodge a claim with us.
Free services that you get every year that your policy is active:
- Potiki Perks (up to $400 worth of value each year)
Potiki will send a care package filled with day-to-day essentials such as flea treatments and worming tablets. You choose the items, tailored to your pet’s needs. We’re able to source these items for competitive prices, having teamed up with the pharmaceutical industry.
- Expert medical pet advice (online chat service valued at $199)
Seek advice from an experienced vet, without even leaving the house. Our VetChatTM service operates 24 hours a day. You can get medical support for situations that don’t require a face-to-face appointment.
Potiki cat and dog insurance lets you claim:
- 80% of eligible vet bills a year
- A choice of excess ($Nil, $250 or $500)
- And with Platinum Cover:
- Claim up to the annual benefit limit of $30,000 p.a.
- No Annual sub-limits for Vet Consults, Tick Paralysis, Cruciate Ligaments & Hip Joint Surgery
- Get a quick quote to find out what your premium will cost for one year.
- Submit payment if you’re satisfied with that amount (email us at [email protected] with any questions).
- Log into your Potiki Perks portal to select items for your care package, which will be swiftly delivered to you.
- Lodge a claim if you need help paying vet bills for unexpected sickness or injury.