Home / News & Insights / The importance of pet insurance for seniors

The importance of pet insurance for seniors

The importance of pet insurance for seniors

According to the Australian Veterinary Association, 62% of Australian households have a pet, which is one of the highest rates of pet ownership in the world.1 But these pets come at a cost, and that cost may be a barrier for many people deciding to adopt or purchase a pet. And it’s not just the initial outlay of money that seems to be concerning people, Australians are spending more than $12.2 billion annually on pet products and services.1 Whilst most of this is spent on food, veterinary services comes in at a close second with $2.2 billion spent each year.1

Advantages of pet insurance

There are several advantages to taking out Australian Seniors Pet Insurance, these include:

  • Vet bill cover – Your pet insurance policy will cover up to 80 per cent of vet bills, ensuring your pet can receive quality health care at an affordable rate.*
  • No excess – which means you can make multiple claims per year without worrying about paying an excess every time you visit the vet.*
  • You choose your vet – just because you take out insurance doesn’t mean you lose the ability to choose the veterinarian who will care for your pet.
  • Ongoing peace of mind – even as your pet ages, it will still be covered. You can get cover for your pet when it’s as young as eight weeks old.
  • Enjoy extra convenience, with home visits also covered. Get a quick quote now.

Much like people, pets can get sick. When this happens, sometimes the costs for treatment can climb quite dramatically and become quite expensive depending on the issue relating to the animal.

Problems may arise when people do not consider the ongoing expenses associated with their new pet. And one small accident can lead to major damage, that can see you spending thousands of dollars in health bills. Additionally, there are particular animals (or particular breeds of animals) that may be more susceptible to health issues due to their genetic make-up.3

For many people, pet insurance is just another cost to add to the monthly spend, which may be a reason they choose not to take out cover. However, in the case of a sudden emergency or illness, or if your pet breed has known health issues, the cost of treatment can result in an expensive bill if you don’t have pet insurance.

Another element to consider is your projected financial state as a senior.


The average lifespan of a cat is 12–18 years4, but they can live up to 20 years.5 Over that time, RSPCA New South Wales estimate:

  • $1,150–$3,570 (estimated) outlay for the first year of cat ownership
  • $800 (conservative estimated) outlay for each consecutive year.5


Dogs may live up to 20 years5, and although the first year investment figure varies depending on the dog’s age, breed, size, and previous accidents and illness, you’re looking at an additional $910 per year minimum.5

Why own a pet?

For seniors, pets provide companionship and affection to one’s life. In fact, studies have shown that seniors with pets display fewer health problems compared to their non-pet friends, especially in relation to blood pressure and cholesterol.6

Perhaps the main reason for this is because pets tend to keep our minds active and, in the case of dogs, our bodies moving, too. A study done at the University of Missouri found seniors who are also pet owners benefited greatly from pet ownership mainly due to walking their dogs.7 Physically, dog ownership means more walking, which equates to a lower body mass index. Mentally, there’s also a huge social benefit. Pets can relieve stress, alleviate boredom and provide excellent companionship. This is especially important with seniors, as loneliness is a contributing factor to failing health.6 Research has shown owning a pet leads to less depression, and a greater ability to cope with grief, stress and loss.8

Research has also proven a confirmed link between pet ownership and reduced risk of heart disease, as outlined in our recent article on the health benefits of senior Australians owning a pet. Additional benefits include:

  • Improved communication
  • Reduced visits to the doctor
  • Improved mood
  • Increased socialisation
  • Increased movement-based activities.

In order to afford your pet, forward planning and pet insurance are key, as while expenses can stay relatively the same, income tends to decline. While the continuous price of pet insurance may be another ongoing cost to maintain, if and when the time does come that your pet requires treatment, pet insurance will be there to help.

To find out more about how Australian Seniors Insurance Agency can assist with your pet-related costs, get a free quote for Pet Insurance.


* Pre-existing conditions are excluded. Limits and sub-limits may apply.


  1. Pet Ownership in Australia 2016Animal Medicines Australia
  2. Pet Insurance 101: Why Having It Will Save You & Your Pet’s AssPedestrian Group
  3. Why is Pet Insurance Important?Bondi Vet
  4. How Long Do Cats Live? Ageing And Your FelineBondi Vet
  5. The costs of owning a dogRSPCA NSW
  6. Pets offer purpose and health benefitsThe Northern Star
  7. Senior adults can see health benefits from dog ownershipScience Daily
  8. What are the health benefits of pet ownership?RSPCA Australia
  9. What are the health benefits of pet ownership?RSPCA Australia