We reveal the top ten most expensive pet insurance claims paid in 2022

Dogs rounded out the top ten most expensive pet insurance claims in 2022, but cats of all kinds weren’t far behind, with several claims topping $9,000.

New Zealand is a pet-loving nation – we almost have as many pets as people here – and the pandemic saw pet ownership boom as we sought comfort in the companionship of pets. Many pet parents believe, just like us, that pets are an important part of the family. They can help reduce stress, and they make us smile.

Protecting your pet’s health is a meaningful way to love them back. Pet insurance can help you access the best treatments for your fur baby when the unexpected happens. Advanced veterinary treatments, complex surgery and medicines help our pets live their best lives for longer, but they can cost thousands. Pet health care isn’t subsidised like human health care is.

Topping the list of most expensive pet insurance claims paid in 2022 was $15,000 to treat a Golden Retriever for ‘foreign body ingestion’. The poorly pooch needed extensive treatment after swallowing plastic. Pets eating something they shouldn’t can cause serious illnesses and even injury if the item gets lodged. We often receive claims for treatment of food-related illnesses and injuries, with chocolate, bones and even corn cobs being common offending items. But in the past, we’ve paid out for some unusual treatment claims for pets who’ve chowed down on a rock, a dishcloth and Nerf gun pellets.

Here are the most expensive cat and dog insurance claims of 2022

Top ten dog insurance claims by total amount paid

Dog breed Diagnoses Claim paid
Golden Retriever Foreign Body Ingestion $15,000
Jack Russell Terrier Poisoning/Toxicity $14,874
Irish Wolfhound Inflammation of the brain and surrounding tissue (Meningoencephalitis) $14,634
Greyhound Mass lesion $14,160
Bull Mastiff Cruciate disease $11,870
Labradoodle Fracture $11,548
Border Collie Cross Oesophagus disorder (Megaoesophagus) $11,504
Bernese Mountain Dog Spinal cord disorder (myelopathy) $11,287
Labrador Vomiting $11,103
Cavoodle Spinal cord inflammation (Myelitis) $10,823

Top ten cat insurance claims by total amount paid

Cat breed Diagnoses Claim paid
Chinchilla Cross Joint luxation $9,975
Ragdoll Abscess $9,607
Domestic Long Hair Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) $9,539
Domestic Short Hair Renal (kidney) disorder $9,152
Burmese Traumatic injury $8,373
Maine Coon Weight loss $6,577
Scottish Fold Cross Lymphoma $6,106
Domestic Long Hair Traumatic injury $5,978
Domestic Short Hair Lung (pulmonary) disorder $5,765
Ragdoll Cross Fracture $5,741

The importance of pet insurance in 2023 and beyond

As you can see from the claims paid in 2022, not all pet insurance claims were for accidental injuries.

Conditions like mass lesions or Oesophagus disorder require a series of tests and treatments to discover, treat and keep your pet living the best life they can.

While not every veterinary treatment cost thousands (we are looking at the top ten most expensive out of the thousands of claims we paid last year), having pet insurance can give you peace of mind if your pet gets sick or injured. You can focus on giving your pet the support and love they need instead of worrying about the bills.

When Mia the Whippet ate a bar of peppermint chocolate, her mum was able to whisk her off to the vet:

“Having insurance means money doesn’t come into that decision-making, it’s off we go and get the problem sorted. I don’t have to worry about money, we just worry about Mia who is a massive part of my and the kids’ life”.

“For some people, insurance might feel like a real luxury but I guess for us and our experience, it’s worth it and we’ve got huge value out of it. I’m a big advocate of it. And the 20% co-pay option means that the premium is a bit lower.”

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1Pet populations are booming, but are pet parents taking on more than they can chew?, Animal & Plant Health, https://animalplanthealth.co.nz/pet-populations-are-booming-but-are-pet-parents-taking-on-more-than-they-can-chew

Pet Ownership in Aotearoa New Zealand: A National Survey of Cat and Dog Owner Practices, MDPI, Rachel Forrest, Leena Awawdeh, Maria Pearson and Natalie Waran, https://www.mdpi.com/2076-2615/13/4/631

Southern Cross Pet Insurance claims paid data 2022


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