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Furry Favourites And Costly Calamities – Southern Cross Pet Insurance Shares Top 10 Insured Breeds And Highest Claims

New Zealand has a reputation for being a nation of animal lovers, with over 4.35 million pets calling Aotearoa home. Supporting this sentiment, Southern Cross Pet Insurance is sharing its top 10 insured breeds. They are also revealing the highest claims for 2023 showing some of the costs of pet healthcare.

Renowned for their friendly temperament and loyal disposition, Labradors, Cavoodles, and Golden Retrievers came out on top as the most popular canine companions insured by Southern Cross Pet Insurance in terms of volume. Domestic Short Hair, Ragdoll, and Domestic Medium Hair cats also placed, proving their diverse personalities and distinctive traits ensure a top 10 ranking for our feline friends.

Top 10 breeds of pets insured by Southern Cross Pet Insurance by number:

  1. Domestic Short Hair cat
  2. Labrador Retriever
  3. Cavoodle
  4. Ragdoll cat
  5. Domestic Medium Hair cat
  6. Golden Retriever
  7. Miniature Schnauzer
  8. Labrador Cross
  9. Labradoodle
  10. Border Collie

Proud pet parent to three dogs and two cats, Southern Cross Pet Insurance Chief Executive, Anthony McPhail said, "Looking at our numbers it’s clear New Zealanders have firm furry favourites. Throughout 2023 we saw a 20 per cent increase in the number of domestic short haired cats insured last calendar year while policies for Ragdoll cats went up by 26 per cent and coverage for Cavoodles has grown by 19 per cent.

“As treasured family members and constant companions, these beloved animals bring immeasurable happiness to households nationwide. So, it makes sense that New Zealanders would be eager to have one of them join their family."

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While animals enrich our lives, they can prove costly – whether the expense is due to routine check-ups and care or an unexpected event. What matters most to Southern Cross Pet Insurance is helping owners look after their pets and ensuring our pets live longer, healthier and happier lives.

McPhail said, “Unlike healthcare options available to humans, there is no free public health system or ACC for pets. Whether an animal is having a routine treatment is ill or being cared for after an accident, the reality is many pet parents are surprised by the costs of veterinary treatment.

“Treatment for covered skin conditions bites, wounds and tendon problems can often cost much more than owners might expect and may require more than one trip to the vet. Our records show an average visit can cost nearly $350 for cats and $500 for dogs – highlighting the costs that an owner can incur for even the most routine issues.”

From 1 January 2023 to 31 December 2023, Southern Cross Pet Insurance paid out a total of $29.95 million in claims, with some claims in excess of $10,000.

Most expensive claims paid:

BreedDiagnosisClaim amount paid
PugTraumatic injury$14,119
Border CollieTraumatic injury$13,149
LabradoodleCancer (Haemangiosarcoma)$12,652
RagdollTraumatic injury$12,023
English Springer SpanielFracture$11,444
Golden RetrieverForeign body – ingestion$11,091
German ShepherdTumour$10,733
LeonbergerKidney Stones$10,202
DalmatianUrinary bladder disorder$10,192

“It’s clear that when it comes to protecting the pet life, people need to think about how they would pay for potentially high treatment costs. Pet insurance is an excellent way to get peace of mind and provides invaluable protection against these unexpected expenses,” said McPhail.

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