– Pet insurance certainly seems to be a major growth industry these days, given the amount of ads the team at pups4sale has seen recently. On television, the internet and even roadside billboards, there are ads popping up like mushrooms from all sorts of different companies – some familiar and some not so.
The question we would like to know of course is, “how do you compare the different pet insurance plans?”. There’s comparison sites like iSelect for human health insurance, car insurance and so-on, but at the Daily Dog we could find no site that compared a wide range of pet insurance plans – or specifically dog insurance plans for that matter.
We did come across one site that offered a basic comparison table; called top10petinsurance. However the table itself had no date label, so it was impossible to tell whether it was up to date or not. With pet insurance premiums changing as quickly as premiums for other types of insurance, unless the table is less than six months old, its information is largely useless. What we were really looking for was a pet insurance comparison chart where we could plug in our information, hit a “compare quotes” type tab and see quotes generated from the different insurers in just a few seconds.
The only such dynamic comparison chart we could find was at Choosi insurance. The chart was easy to use (thumbs up there), but the downside is it only compares four different insurance providers – and there’s the rub. With such a limited pool of insurers to choose from, there’s no real incentive for them to be fiercely competitive, which when dealing with insurance companies is always an advantage for the consumer.
So we turned to product reviews to see whether we could find any further assistance. We found a site with quite a few customer reviews of ten different pet insurance companies, active in the Australian marketplace. The upside of such reviews is you can read the genuine experiences pet owners have had when making insurance claims. However you need to be very careful when taking such reviews as gospel truth. The reason is such review sites are taken very seriously by the fiercely competitive marketplace – so seriously in fact that there exists many “reputation consultants” whose sole job it is is to promote a positive reputation on behalf of a given company. Posting fake positive reviews of their client company and negative reviews of their client’s competitors is a well known and heavily used tactic of such consultants.These consultants are often very highly paid, so they are not stupid when it comes to generating fake reviews. Such reviews are often indistinguishable from real reviews, and often defeat the efforts of the editors of the review websites hosting them to filter them out. This means at the end of the day, enjoy your reading of the product reviews, but don’t make your pet insurance purchase decision based on them.
Unfortunately the conclusion we have to draw at pups4sale is if you are seeking to make a pet insurance comparison in order to insure your dog, you will need to obtain individual quotes from the different insurance companies. After generating the quotes (either online or over the phone), we suggest you eliminate all but the four most price-competitive quotes, and then apply yourself to the arduous task of comparing the fine print conditions between them. It’s time consuming of course, but given you are going to the expense of insuring your dog/s, it’s time well spent.
The only other piece of advice we would like to pass on is make sure you do not allow your chosen insurance company to auto-renew your pet insurance. This is a common trick of the insurance companies, regardless of what it is you are insuring. We go to the trouble of comparing each renewal quote that comes in each year – whether it is for home and contents, car or any other insurance. Often by doing so we save ourselves money just by confronting our existing insurer and saying to them effectively, “Would you like to keep our business by matching this quote?” Sometimes they won’t come to the party, to which more often than not, we say,”It was nice doing business with you – in the past that is. We hope our new insurer is just as nice.”
Be as prepared to do this with your pet insurance as with any other type of insurance, and see just how much you save. 😉