Media release: New Zealanders love their pets, but pet insurance market still in its infancy

New Zealanders have revealed a deep affection for their pets in a Canstar survey to find the Most Satisfied Customers of pet insurance providers. However, the research suggests the pet insurance market is yet to match pet ownership. 

The majority of survey respondents said their pets were “part of the family,” and that they had purchased insurance to give them reassurance around medical care. They also rated communication the most important factor in driving satisfaction with their insurance providers, above value for money. 

New Zealanders’ love for their animals, coupled with the increased costs and technological advances in medicine, means pet owners can face significant vet bills. This has led to the increasing popularity of pet insurance. However, the market remains in its infancy, with estimates from Canstar suggesting less than 10% of pet owners have bought pet insurance.  

Of those who did buy insurance, more than half were aware of what it covered, with 12% choosing to purchase extra cover – such as dental – alongside the basic policy.

“Our research confirms New Zealanders are a nation who love their pets,” said Jose George, Canstar NZ General Manager. “However animals can be expensive and we do encourage pet owners to consider insurance options to protect them from unexpected bills.”

Canstar’s Most Satisfied Customers Award for pet insurance is this year jointly awarded to Southern Cross and Petplan. Quality of service was named as a key reason for the high ratings at both companies. Southern Cross was also rated highly on value for money and ease of claim while Petplan rated highly in communication and process.

Southern Cross Pet Insurance General Manager Anthony McPhail said the award was recognition of the team’s focus on supporting Kiwi pet owners. “We pride ourselves on putting customers and their pets first, and work hard to consistently deliver a great quality product and experience.

“In the past year we’ve seen continued high growth in people seeing the value of protecting their pets’ health and we’re proud to lead a fast-growing industry in customer satisfaction,” he added.

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