Uptake of pet insurance is likely to grow by around 25% over the next 12 months, as a result of increased pet ownership during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to locally-owned firm Pet-n-Sur.
According to the insurer, which covers dogs, cats, rabbits and horses, Kiwis have been looking for a source of comfort amid the global pandemic, and this has caused more people to take in new pets. This jump in pet ownership, the company said, will be the main driver of growth in the market. Other reasons include improved consumer education around pet insurance and the increasing cost of vet treatment in New Zealand.
"From Auckland to Dunedin, anyone taking a walk through their local park will have spotted more dogs and puppies than ever before as many owners up and down New Zealand welcomed home a new pet over the past year,” said Tony Radisich, CEO of Pet-N-Sur.
"We’re really pleased to see pet insurance increasing in line with the rise in pet ownership. Owners are clearly wanting to safeguard their pet’s long-term health, after the pandemic and beyond.”
Additionally, the lockdowns of last year have caused increased unemployment and financial insecurity, leading more Kiwis to think more carefully about protecting their pets.
“No-one wants the added financial pressure of their dog or cat falling ill,” Radisich said. “Even if pets appear healthy, they can develop long-term conditions that, without the right insurance policy, can leave owners footing very large veterinary bills. The costs can quickly spiral out of control. Having insurance there gives owners peace of mind that they’re shielded against any unwanted surprises.”