Revealed – top insurance claims for cats and dogs in 2023

Six in 10 owners worry about pets eating something they shouldn't

Revealed – top insurance claims for cats and dogs in 2023


By Kenneth Araullo

In the final months of 2023, an analysis of the top pet insurance claims in New Zealand has provided key insights into the health risks faced by dogs and cats. This comprehensive review, led by PD Insurance, underscores the importance of awareness among pet owners regarding potential health issues.

“We recently surveyed 2,000 PD Insurance customers and, among many other questions, asked about their top health worries for their pets,” said Michelle Le Long, chief operating officer at PD Insurance. “Interestingly, the results aligned with several of our top 10 claims, so the concerns are justified. It's great to see a good proportion of pet owners understand where some of the risks lie - knowledge is power in pet protection.”

Notably, 60% of respondents expressed worry about their pets eating dangerous objects. A reassuring aspect for many is the security provided by pet insurance, which ranked as the fifth most common response.

Top pet insurance claims for cats and dogs in 2023

The data for 2023 showed that skin allergies were the most frequent dog insurance claim, with the highest payout reaching NZ$6,839. Ear infections, gastroenteritis, and diarrhoea were also prevalent, with notable cases where medical expenses significantly exceeded the insurance coverage. For instance, gastroenteritis treatment costs surpassed NZ$12,000 in one case, highlighting the potential financial burden of pet healthcare.

Foreign body ingestion, poison ingestion, vomiting, limb injuries, allergic reactions, and conjunctivitis rounded out the top claims for dogs. Each category presented its unique challenges and expenses, with limb injuries resulting in the third-highest insurance payout of NZ$13,044.

Cats, meanwhile, faced different risks. Bite wounds led the list of feline claims, with the highest payout being NZ$5,000. Abscesses, diarrhoea, conjunctivitis, and urinary tract obstructions were also common, with the latter requiring significant medical intervention. Cystitis, limb injuries, lower urinary tract infections, and eye infections were other notable health issues for cats. The costs for these conditions varied, with limb injuries costing up to NZ$9,775.

“Each of our customers who submitted a claim like the examples above is pleased they took out pet insurance,” Le Long said. “It means being able to get quick, quality treatment for their fur kid without a big, unexpected cash outlay. Pet owners are getting a soft landing during a tough time. Conditions emerge with age, so if you secure insurance before your pet develops health problems, most things will be covered when something goes awry.”

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