The case for getting pet insurance in South Africa

Pet insurance is one of the fastest-growing insurance industries in the world and covers a wide range of medical expenses for your pet — from routine care to expensive procedures.

Many South Africans have never considered insuring their pet, but this trend is changing — with a wide range of South Africa’s top insurance companies now offering dedicated pet insurance offerings.

Given the economic challenges of running a household in 2023, it is important that any spending on pet insurance offers excellent value — else it is an unnecessary cost at a time when many are actively tightening their belts.

MyBroadband spoke to three insurance companies that provide pet coverage to learn more about the value of pet insurance in South Africa.

Oneplan Insurance

Oneplan Pet General Manager Carina de Villiers explained that serious events such as admission for illnesses or accidents could often cost up to R20,000, and pet insurance is a small price to pay to protect against such a sizeable and unexpected expense.

“If a client is on a comprehensive plan with an excess buster (such as the one Oneplan offers), they will have sufficient cover for these types of events,” said De Villiers.

She also explained that pet insurance doesn’t just make expensive procedures accessible; it also covers the significant cost of routine care.

“With pet insurance, annual check-ups, vaccinations, and routine care become part of your pet’s life,” said De Villiers.

“You have cover for these under your day-to-day benefits on a comprehensive pet plan which improves your pet’s longevity and life.”

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Auto & General Insurance

“Although people tend to prioritise assets that are higher in monetary value, like cars and homes, pet insurance is a growing market,” said Ricardo Coetzee, the Head of Auto & General Insurance.

Coetzee added that the industry is growing — but more awareness needs to be raised around the veterinary procedures and care available for pets.

According to Coetzee, clients can save lots of money on pet procedures — from significant veterinary claims that reach tens of thousands of rands, to smaller day-to-day visits and routine care claims.

He also highlighted that pet insurance offers extra benefits like third-party liability and cover for inconclusive diagnostic tests, preventative care, and when your pet ‘crosses the rainbow bridge.’

Absa Pet Insure

Absa Pet Insure explained that the importance of pet insurance has never been higher.

This is because the vet bills are rising in cost, with the average claim cost being about R8,500 — and they can be much higher, too.

“The highest claim is about R45,000, and that would be for spinal surgery,” said an Absa Pet Insure spokesperson.

The most common Absa Pet Insure claims are for simple routine care like vaccinations and sterilisation, however, and this shows that pet insurance is not just an emergency fund.

Absa also highlighted that pet insurance offers clients access to a wide variety of vets nationwide, meaning your pet is easily covered no matter where you are.

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Now read: These are the top insurance trends in South Africa

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The case for getting pet insurance in South Africa