Data shows pet parents increased routine vet visits and elective proceduresin the height of lockdown

Claims data shows no increase in respiratory illnesses amongst pets

Pet owners are using the lockdown to focus on the health of their cats anddogs, ensuring routine vet visits are up to date, chronic conditions aremonitored, and elective procedures are taking place according to claims datafrom PetSure, Australia’s largest pet insurance underwriter.

With veterinary surgeries remaining open during the lockdown, PetSure hasrecorded an increase in the number of claims paid out for vet procedures,reflecting the higher number of vet visits taking place. PetSure is thelargest insurer of cats and dogs in Australia. Compared with April 2019,claims volumes in April this year were 16% higher. PetSure paid $17.3 millionin benefit reimbursements to customers in April 2020 alone, an increase of 34%from the same time last year.

PetSure CEO, Alexandra Thomas commented, “Anecdotally we know that pets havedone well in lockdown thanks to Australians staying home. Now our claims datashows that in the form of increased claims and vet visits: owners were morelikely to visit the vet.”

Ms Thomas said, “Pet owners have taken care of chronic health issues, attendedto pet wellbeing and acted swiftly on acute issues. Evidence of this is theincrease in treatment, claims and pet insurance payments for medical andsurgical procedures. One upside of working from home may well be that petowners are able to care for their pet in their recovery so have opted to acton health issues rather than delay them.”

Claims data from PetSure also found there has been no increase in respiratoryclaims since the pandemic was declared, and no cases of reported COVID-relatedillnesses. The latest data found that respiratory claims represented 0.2% ofclaims in dogs and approximately 0.05% of claims in cats. **** Compared withthis time last year, overall there has been a slight decrease in the totalnumber of claims relating to respiratory infections in dogs and cats.

Ms Thomas added, “We have been monitoring diagnoses relating to respiratoryinfections such as pneumonia, coughing and fever in both dogs and cats. Theseconditions have actually decreased slightly.”

According to the claims data the ratio of treatment across standard,specialist and emergency clinics remained consistent during the COVID-19lockdown. Standard vet practices account for 87% of claims, followed bytreatment at specialist referral clinics (11% of claims) and emergency clinictreatment (2% of claims).

Ms Thomas concluded, “During a stressful time for many Australians, one silverlining is that pet owners have had more time with their pets, been able to getthem to the vet in increasing numbers and use their pet insurance to help payfor vet treatment.

Toby is a 5 year old Schnoodle Toby, who started vomiting blood at homerecently.

His owner Mark Hatherley commented “It was so fortunate that I’ve been workingat home in recent weeks as Toby became sick very quickly.”

“I didn’t hesitate to call Vets On Crown in Surry Hills given the extra safetymeasures they’re taking, who said to bring him in straight away. After someblood tests which confirmed he had pancreatitis and a few hours receivingfluids, I was thankful to be able to bring him home after he received five-star treatment.”

“Being insured provided me with peace of mind for the whole experience. Tobyhas bounced back quickly, and has already resumed his official position as mylittle work helper.”

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