Pet Insurance

Compare pet insurers in New Zealand at Canstar. AA Pet Insurance, Pet-n-Sur, Petplan and Southern Cross were compared on Overall Satisfaction, Communication, Comprehensiveness of Cover, Cost, Customer Service, Ease of Claim and Value For Money.

Rated brands

Overall satisfaction*

Value for money

Ease of claim

Cost

Comprehensiveness of cover

Customer service

Communication

More information^

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*Overall satisfaction is an individual rating and not a combined total of all ratings. Brands with equal overall satisfaction ratings are sorted by the mean overall satisfaction score as rated by consumers. Canstar Blue research finalised in July 2021, published in August 2021.

See our Ratings Methodology.

 

Most Satisfied Customers Award | AA Pet Insurance

AA Pet Insurance rated number one for customer satisfaction.

AA Pet Insurance: No.1 For Your Furry Friend

Animal lovers don’t call their pets fur babies for nothing. Our cats and dogs are beloved members of the family, whom we pamper and preen.

Nearly a quarter of Kiwi homes have a cat (44%) and close to a third have a dog (28%) and in total we spend nearly half a billion dollars each year keeping them fed and watered.

We also spend millions on their medical bills. Any pet owner will know all too well the costs incurred whenever a vet visit is required.

That’s why pet insurance is a reassurance for many pet owners. In our survey, almost half (44%) said that pet insurance gave them peace of mind that their pet would get the best treatment available.

And to help Kiwi consumers find the best pet insurance for their furry family members, this year Canstar canvassed the opinions of 312 New Zealanders who have pet insurance, across a range of categories, to measure and track their satisfaction.

To decide which pet insurance company offers the best level of customer satisfaction, each was rated across the following categories:

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Communication
  • Comprehensiveness of Cover
  • Cost, Customer Service
  • Ease of Claim
  • Value For Money

Coming out on top, and the clear winner of this year’s award for Most Satisfied Customers | Pet Insurance is AA Pet Insurance. The well-known insurance brand earns this year’s award thanks to a stellar performance across all categories. In each it earns our top 5-Star rating.

Also rating highly with pet owners is Petplan, which scored commendable 4-Star ratings across the board, including for Overall Satisfaction.

What Kiwis want from their pet insurance

Across all Canstar’s research, we hear the same message from consumers, that customer service is just as important as cost. This is especially true in areas that are renowned for their bureaucracy: think banking and insurance.

And with pet insurance it’s no different. While those in our survey rate Cost (17%) and Value for Money (18%) as major factors, the most important feature driving satisfaction with pet insurance is Customer Service (22%).

When making a claim, it’s clear that prompt and efficient service wins the day. Overall, the main drivers of satisfaction are:

What does AA Pet Insurance offer?

AA Pet Insurance offers cover for cats and dogs, each with a choice of three annual benefit limits: $5000, $10,000 and $15,000. Plus there are four levels of excess to choose from: $0, $100, $250, or $500. The higher the excess, the lower your premium will be.

AA Pet Insurance for dogs

The policy covers:

  • Swallowed objects
  • Blistered paws from walking on hot surfaces
  • Skin conditions
  • Poisoning
  • Cruciate ligament injury
  • Car accidents

It also covers for comprehensive tests or surgery, helping with costs for hospitalisation, surgery, lab and diagnostic tests, and cancer treatment.

Optional Paw Care Package includes cover for procedures including, health checks, vaccinations, worming and flea and tick control.

AA Pet Insurance for cats

The policy covers:

  • Swallowed objects
  • Poisoning
  • Allergic reactions to insect bites
  • Car accidents
  • Lacerations
  • Injuries from being stuck in a fence

It also covers for comprehensive tests or surgery, helping with costs for hospitalisation, surgery, lab and diagnostic tests, and cancer treatment.

Optional Paw Care Package includes cover for procedures including, health checks, vaccinations, worming and flea and tick control.

 

Key statistics

Pet insurance reassures me my pet will receive the treatment it needs: 44%

I know what my pet insurance covers: 41%

I would consider going into debt to pay for treatment for my pet: 35%

I spend more on my pet’s health than my own: 33%

I’ve switched vets because of their poor treatment of my pet: 24%

I’ve been uncomfortable with a vet trying to upsell me treatments: 20%

I pay for additional cover, such as dental for my pet: 18%

My pet insurance has rejected a claim: 17%

 

Average monthly spend: $67

 

Made a Claim

Yes: 65%

No: 34%

 

Renewed Policy After Claim

Yes: 93%

No: 7%

 

Reason for not renewing

Premium increase: 31%

No longer have the pet: 19%

Insurer opted not to renew: 13%

Dissatisfied with claims process: 13%

Canstar Blue surveyed 5000 New Zealand consumers across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction, via ISO 26362 accredited research panels managed by Qualtrics. The outcomes reported are the results from respondents who have pet insurance. In this case, 312 New Zealanders.

Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then by mean overall satisfaction. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.

2020

2019

Pet Insurance 2019

Please note that these are a general explanation of the meaning of terms used in relation to pet insurance policy cover. Your insurance provider may use different wording and you should read the terms and conditions of your insurance policy carefully to understand what you are and are not covered for. Refer to the product disclosure statement from your provider.

Accident and Illness: An insurance policy that covers a pet for injury, sickness, illness or disease.

Accidental injury: Physical harm or injury that is caused by a single specific, unpredictable, unusual event that was unintended (an accident) and is not caused by a pre-existing condition.

Accident only: An insurance policy that only covers your pet in the event of an accidental injury.

Age limit: You can usually insure your cat or dog as soon as they are eight weeks old, while some providers will offer insurance from the age of six weeks. Some insurers will only sign up a pet for insurance if it is younger than a certain age. To make your pet eligible for lifelong cover, you should insure your pet before they reach around six years old. Pets above this age may not be eligible for certain types of cover, and may only be eligible for accident-only cover. Make sure you know about any age limits on your policy before you sign up.

Comprehensive: An insurance policy that covers your pet for injury and illness, and also for preventative treatments, routine check-ups, behavioural treatment and other complementary therapies.

Co-payments: Some policies require a co-payment, which means that the insurer pays a listed percentage of the cost of vet fees, usually between 65% and 85%, and you pay the remaining percentage. You are co-paying the expenses. This is sometimes known as co-share. Some policies require that you pay both a co-payment and an excess.

Excess: An amount that you pay instead of the insurer, e.g. “the first” $250 or $500 of a claim. Insurers usually have either a policy with different excess options that you choose between, or separate policies that each have a different excess amount. You can pay a lower premium if you have a higher excess, but you need to be sure that you can afford to pay the excess unexpectedly, if your pet needs emergency treatment.

Exclusions: Anything that is not covered by your policy. When a particular health condition or treatment is listed as being excluded from your policy, the insurer will not cover the expenses for treating that condition, or having that treatment. Common exclusions include behavioural problems, elective procedures, diet and nutrition, grooming, pregnancy, and pre-existing conditions (where your pet showed symptoms before you bought insurance, or during the waiting period).

Extras cover: Another name for comprehensive cover or a policy with routine care benefits. See routine care below.

Inclusions: Anything that is covered by your policy. When a particular health condition or treatment is listed as being included in your policy, the insurer will cover the whole expense or a listed percentage of the expense involved.

Lifelong cover: An insurance policy that covers your pet for as long as they live, even if they grow to a ripe old age. You must renew your policy with the same insurer every year, with no break in cover, to be eligible for lifelong cover, especially for recurring, chronic or ongoing conditions, such as cancer or arthritis.

Limit/benefit limit: Policies have an annual limit on the amount of benefits you can claim. Many policies also have sub-limits for particular types of treatment, e.g. surgery, tick prevention and treatment, or dental. Some policies also have per-incident limits, meaning they will only pay a certain amount per claim, for a particular type of treatment. Most $20,000 policies won’t let you claim $20,000 worth of treatment. Make sure you know how your chosen policy works and whether it suits your pet’s condition, or health requirements.

Optional extras: Treatment options that can be added to your policy if you pay a higher premium.

Pre-existing condition: A condition that existed in any form before you signed up for the insurance policy. This is why insurers have a waiting period for illness, so that if your pet shows symptoms of a condition during the waiting period, they do not have to cover your pet for the costs of treatment. Certain pre-existing conditions will not be covered by insurers at all.

Premium: The amount you pay your insurance provider per year, per month, or per fortnight, for your pet insurance cover. Your premium must be paid on time for your pet to be covered.

Related condition: A condition that is considered to be a pre-existing condition, because it has same the same symptoms or classification as a pre-existing condition your pet has. Related conditions are not covered by your insurance. Unlike pre-existing conditions, related conditions do not have to happen before the commencement date of the policy, or during the waiting period. For example, if your dog has arthritis in its legs and this is a pre-existing condition, and then after the waiting period it develops arthritis in its back, this will be considered a related condition.

Routine care: These are preventative healthcare treatments specified by your insurance provider as procedures they will pay for. Common examples include dental treatment, de-sexing, or emergency boarding in a kennel or cattery. See your product disclosure statement to see whether your policy includes any routine care benefits. These are also known as wellness care, wellbeing care, or extras cover benefits.

Waiting period: Once you purchase an insurance policy for your pet, accidents will usually be covered immediately, but your insurer may impose a waiting period before your pet is covered for certain conditions. For example, a 30-day waiting period may apply for illnesses, and a six-month waiting period may apply for ligament injuries, unless you can provide your insurer with a vet certificate saying your pet does not have any ligament injury. A waiting period will usually apply to hereditary conditions or congenital defects existing at birth.

Wellbeing care: See routine care.

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