It’s an age-old question. Unlike car insurance and sometimes home insurance, pet insurance is not obligatory, with the decision left with the pet owner as to whether or not it’s right for them and their loved one. Before coming to any decision, every pet owner should know exactly what the pros and cons are of each option, making sure that the decision is an informed one.

To assist you further, we’re going to cover the salient points of the argument, painting an accurate picture which you can then relate to your personal situation. Keep reading and we’ll tell you whether you can do without pet insurance or not.

What Does It Cover?

Similar to your average motor insurance policy, pet insurance can vary in its scope and breadth. At the very least, you will want to insure your pet against accidental injury which could be sustained at any time, even within the home.

From there, you have the option to add extra cover by way of a provision for illness or sickness which will help cover your veterinary bills in the event your pet falls ill. The all-encompassing policies will often also include for routine care bills.


The only reason most pet owners have this internal debate with themselves is over cost. Pet insurance policies are rarely cheap as they need to cover for every eventuality. It is this cost that can put off pet owners from taking out a policy and paying the yearly premium, instead choosing to foot the bill if and when their animal falls ill.

The average pet insurance claim is $1500 but can run into the thousands if your pet develops an ongoing condition which requires further medical treatment. On the other hand, pet insurance premiums will usually cost around $300 for the year with an excess of around $200 per claim.


Self-insuring is a popular option with owners putting money aside every year into a fund ear marked for vet bills. This option is beneficial for many as it means that you only pay if your pet becomes ill or injured, saving the money you would have otherwise spent on an unused policy.

Other Points to Consider

The debate surrounding pet insurance is one of risk. There is a good chance that your cat or dog will go through life only needing routine treatment such as vaccinations and deworming. The problem is that you can’t predict the future.

We would suggest that you consider;

  • The age of your pet – the older they are – the higher the risk of high vet bills.
  • Whether your pet has any pre-existing conditions. These will be expensive to insure but probably not as much as it would cost if you had to find the money yourself.
  • The policy excess. It should be as low as you’re comfortable with.

Finding Your Policy

There are many pet insurance providers offering covering in Australia. Simply decide whether you will be able to cover the cost of your pet’s medical bills should the worst happen. If you do head down the insurance route, always make sure that you compare policies for value.