Which Australian pet insurers were delivering exceptional value to consumers in 2021, and which had the most satisfied customers?
There is no doubt that Australians are a nation of pet lovers. According to the most recent figures from the RSPCA, we have one of the highest pet ownership rates in the world, with almost two-thirds of households having a pet to keep us company. It sure won’t be a big surprise to learn that dogs are the most popular pet, with cats not too far behind.
This number is more than likely to be even higher now thanks to the huge spike in dog adoptions during the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, at the height of Australia’s first major lockdown, shelters across the country found themselves empty as many of us adopted dogs as companionship as we spent more time at the House.
If you’ve recently added a dog or cat to the family, you might be wondering about pet insurance. With a growing number of suppliers and products to choose from, how do you know which ones offer the best value for money and the most comprehensive coverage?
To help pet owners find value for their money, Canstar experts compared 173 pet insurance policies from 27 providers on our database as part of our 2021 Rankings and Awards.
We also asked Australian pet owners how satisfied they are with their insurer and found out which eligible providers have the most satisfied customers for 2021.
How were the Star Ratings & Award winners chosen?
Canstar’s pet insurance star ratings use a unique rating methodology that compares the prices and features of a range of pet insurance products.
A product’s price score takes into account how much a policyholder would likely pay in monthly or annual premiums, and how much excess they would pay in the event of a loss.
The functionality score of each product is based on six categories: ease and accessibility of the application process, the product’s payment process, its level of coverage and inclusions, customer service available, the complaints process and the ease with which the policy can be terminated. .
When evaluating pet insurance products, Canstar considered 32 consumer profiles, based on the following factors:
- The type of cover (accident and sickness or accident and sickness with routine care)
- The type of pet (small dog, medium dog, large dog or cat)
- The age of the animal (less than one year, two to three years, four to five years and six to seven years)
Fonts that offer exceptional value for at least one of these 32 profiles have received a 5-star rating. Awards were then given to pet insurers with the strongest and most consistent performance across the board.
To be eligible for a Prize in the Accident & Sickness category, a pet insurance policy must provide for three of the following illnesses:
- Spine Disorders / Intervertebral Disc Disease
- Hip dysplasia
- Ear / eye disorders (excluding cataracts)
- Skin diseases
In addition to the above, to be eligible for a premium in the Full category, a policy must also cover at least five of the following:
- Brushing teeth
- Vaccination / health check
- Flea / tick / worm control
- Heartworm check / heartworm test
Award-winning pet insurance providers in 2021
This year, three insurers won an Outstanding Value Award for their Accident and Illness coverage, while two were awarded for their Multi-Risk coverage. Of the four insurers in total that won awards this year, Petcover was the only one to win in both categories.
Exceptional value – Accident and sickness insurance for pets
The recipients of the Outstanding Value for Accident and Sickness Coverage were Coles, Knose and Petcover. Petcover and Coles maintain their places in this category since last year, while Knose is a new recipient from 2021.
Coles Insurance retained an Accident and Sickness award for another year. Coles offers to cover 100% of the cost of qualifying vet bills, or 80% of the cost for a lower premium, and offers options such as paying vet bills in advance for approved procedures. Canstar researchers noted that its coverage stood out in the areas of treatment, accident and illness inclusions. While policyholders will now be required to pay an excess contribution of $ 200 at the time of claim, at 100% the policy offers low reimbursable charges for a competitive premium.
Knose simplifies its coverage by offering an insurance plan with an annual warranty limit of $ 25,000. It allows consumers to choose a benefit percentage limit of 70%, 80% or 90% to cover this portion of vet bills, with no deductible or additional charges. Its coverage also includes optional additional benefits for dental illnesses, behavioral problems and alternative therapies. Canstar researchers noted that its competitive pricing this year was another factor that led Knose to purchase an Outstanding Value Award for Accident and Sickness coverage.
Petcover retained an Accident & Sickness award this year, continuing to provide a consistently high level of coverage for every animal type and age group. Petcover promises a short waiting period for health and injury coverage, and a quick and easy claims process. In the features category, its top performing policies offer 100% discount on veterinarian bills and cover the majority of disease, treatment and accident inclusions under consideration.
Exceptional Value – Comprehensive Pet Insurance
HIF and Petcover were the joint recipients of the Outstanding Value Award for Comprehensive Pet Insurance this year.
HIF Pet Insurance offers consumers a competitively priced product that includes coverage with specified accidental injury protection and coverage for selected routine treatment. In addition to offers such as emergency boarding for your pet, it also offers dew claw removal, prescription diets, and teeth cleaning. Canstar’s research team determined that due to its extensive offerings and competitive pricing, HIF won its award in the full category.
This year, Canstar researchers determined that Petcover’s new expanded offerings and higher benefit percentage made it eligible for the Outstanding Value Award for Comprehensive Pet Insurance. It offers a wide range of features at a competitive price, covering dogs up to $ 20,000 in vet fees per year and cats up to $ 15,000, also providing coverage for things like boarding costs. , quarantine fees and vacation cancellation. Due to its extensive offering, Petcover also won the Comprehensive Award.
For more information on how our Star Ratings & Awards work, you can read the methodology.
Which pet insurer has the happiest customers in 2021?
Canstar also enjoys hearing Australian pet owners themselves talk about the things they value most about a pet insurer. As part of our 2021 Most Satisfied Customer Award, we surveyed 732 pet policyholders. Respondents were asked to rate their satisfaction with various aspects of their experience with their insurer, including cost, communication, customer service, claims experience, comprehensiveness of coverage. and quality / price ratio.
Among the pet insurance providers considered for the award, one stood out and scored high across the board.
Bupa won Canstar Most Satisfied Customers – Pet Insurer Award for 2021
Bupa is perhaps best known to Australians for its hospital and extras insurance, but it also offers coverage for the health care needs of dogs and cats. Bupa pet insurance offers three levels of coverage, with an annual warranty limit of $ 20,000 and up to 80% reimbursement on eligible vet bills.
Bupa offers coverage for services such as emergency boarding, animal overseas travel, and essential euthanasia, and its optional routine care benefits include services such as deexing, microchipping, control and prevention of cardiac work, control and prevention of fleas and ticks, cleaning of teeth and removal of dew claws. .
What were the main drivers of satisfaction?
The results of our survey showed that Bupa has performed well in all areas with Australian pet owners. According to Canstar’s research, its customers were particularly satisfied with the completeness of its offerings, as well as its customer service and overall ease of communication with staff.
For more information on how our Customer Satisfaction Awards work, you can read the methodology.