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Cheap Pet Insurance NZ: The Most Affordable Plans Compared

We compare all NZ pet insurance plans by cost to recommend the most affordable options for you and your family. 
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Mason Author
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Louis Editor
Updated Jun 10 2024

What's the Cheapest Pet Insurance in NZ?

The cheapest pet insurance plan in New Zealand is Southern Cross's AcciPet Plan averaging just $13.85 per month for dogs and $6.76 per month for cats.

Cheap pet insurance plans in New Zealand include: 
  1. Southern Cross AcciPet Plan - $13.85 for dogs or $6.76 for cats
  2. Cove Accident Only Plan - $15.94 for dogs or $10.35 for cats
  3. PD Insurance Accident Plan - $18.97 for dogs or $10.85 for cats
  4. Tower Accident Only Plan - $23.53 for dogs or $13.85 for cats
  5. Petnsur Surgery Plan - $23.91 for dogs or $14.36 for cats
  6. Petcover Mid-range Plan Core - $34.15 for dogs or $19.24 for cats
  7. Cove Major Plan - $39.33 for dogs or $16.55 for cats
  8. AA Accidental Injuries + Illness Plan - $43.94 for dogs or $23.29 for cats
The cost of pet insurance is impacted most by the level of cover that you chose i.e. accident-only plans are cheaper than comprehensive plans covering illnesses and other treatments/conditions. 

Also, the larger your policy limit, the more your insurance premiums will cost. On the other hand, the larger your excess and co-payment, the less expensive your insurance premiums will be. This is because a high policy limit and low excess/co-payment mean you have more cover so the insurance company will be eligible to pay more of your vet bills.

Know that your actual pet insurance costs will also depend on factors outside of your control like your pet's breed, age and medical history. Despite this, there are still a number of things that you can do to make your pet insurance cheaper.

Unless otherwise stated, all of the quotes on this page are obtained for a six month old female Labrador Retriever (dog) or Domestic Shorthair (cat). She's desexed and we've picked the maximum possible excess and co-payment (the cheapest option) but also the highest possible policy limit (the most expensive option).

Cheap Pet Insurance Plans in NZ Compared

Show 15 more plans

Tips for How to Make Your Pet Insurance Cheaper

While it is generally true for pet insurance that you get what you pay for i.e. cheap pet insurance will mean less cover for your vet bills, there are several things that you can do to make sure you're not overpaying on your premiums while still getting enough cover to make sure having pet insurance is actually worth it.

Take Advantage of Discounts

Some pet insurers have sign up bonuses, others have multi pet or multi policy discounts, and others even have discounts when you pay annually instead of monthly for your plan.

All of the discounts offered by pet insurers in New Zealand are as follows:
  • AA Pet Insurance: 5% discount for AA members
  • Cove Pet Insurance: Puppies get up to $100 off for 3 months + 10% multi-policy discount + 10% discount when paying annually + up to $100 when you refer a friend
  • PD Insurance: Buy online, get 1 month free + 5% multi-pet discount + $150 per pet when switching to PD Insurance
  • Petcover: 10% multi-pet discount (3+ pets)
  • Petnsur: Six weeks of free insurance (no obligation)
  • Southern Cross Pet Insurance: Puppies get 6 weeks of free insurance worth $2,000 + 5% multi-pet discount + 2.5% Southern Cross Health Society member discount + 2.5% direct debit discount when paying annually
  • SPCA Pet Insurance: 10% multi-pet discount
  • Tower Pet Insurance: 5% multi-pet discount
So, if you can pay annually, do it. If you have multiple pets, check if your premiums are cheaper with a company that has a 10% multi pet discount. And be sure to get insurance early enough to qualify for any sign up bonus that applies to only puppies or kittens.

Don't Over-cover Your Pet 

When buying pet insurance it can be tempting to add dental cover and cover for check ups. It can also be tempting to pick the 'premium' plan that covers the most ailments and the highest policy limit (up to $25,000). But consider what you're likely to go to the vet for based on your pet's breed, personality and lifestyle and if you will need this much cover.

There is nothing worse than finding out you're not covered for something, and by covering everything from an early age, your pet will not have any exclusions on future policies but it is still true that the more cover you choose, the more you will have to pay. 

Also be aware that some pet insurance policies have very unfriendly condition limits. For example it might cost you $75 a year to add dental cover to your Southern Cross PetCare Plan but then with a $300 limit, you are not getting much value for this additional cost.

Compare Quotes Before You Buy

It might seem obvious but selecting a few different companies instead of just one and taking the 5 extra minutes to request a quote can be the difference between hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars of savings over the lifetime of your pet.

Your pet is unique, as is the most suitable plan for you so don't let us tell you which insurance is the cheapest or the best without doing a little bit of research for your specific situation.

Another tip is to check what your insurance may cost in a few years time i.e. if you request a quote for your pet but say they are 3 or 5 years older than they actually are you will see how much the premiums with your chosen insurer are likely to cost. Some plans' premiums increase more than others over the lifetime of your pet so this is important to keep in mind.

Choose an Excess/Co-Payment That Makes Sense

If you have the option to chose your excess or co-payment then your choices are as follows:
  • High excess/co-payment: Your premiums will be less expensive but your vet costs will be much higher when making a claim
  • Low excess/co-payment: Your premiums will be more expensive but your vet costs will be much lower when making a claim
For example, for PD Insurance's Deluxe Plan for cats, we selected the $200 excess and the average monthly cost was $51.48 compared to a similar plan, Southern Cross's PetCare Plan which was only $26.53 per month but we selected a $500 excess and 20% co-payment.

Let's imagine that our cat gets gastrointestinal problems and our vet bills are are a relatively insignificant $400. We will pay $200 with PD Insurance and $500 with Southern Cross. Therefore the total cost of both plans is about the same if we have one small vet bill in a year.

However if our vet bills are closer to the maximum for this kind of ailment at $4,000 we will still pay $200 with PD Insurance but $1,200 with Southern Cross. Therefore the plan with the lower excess/co-payment is much less expensive if you have to make a bigger claim.

Because of this we always recommend a lower excess/co-payment as a small increase in your monthly bills is generally much easier to manage than a large one-off vet bill.

Consider Switching Pet Insurers

You can compare quotes before you buy but even if you already have pet insurance, you can switch insurers very easily. Some pet insurers like PD Insurance even cover your switching costs (with up to $150).

You might want to switch pet insurances because you find a cheaper or better plan, or even because you want to take advantage of a good sign up offer for one plan first but then actually prefer the cover of another plan. Regardless of the reason, there is generally no large cost to switching pet insurers and you will likely be able to arrange the switch so that your cover is continuous.

The only caveat here is that if you have made claims with one insurer for a particular condition for which you are covered, you will likely not keep this cover when switching pet insurance and in this case it is probably not worth making the change.

Compare the Cheapest Pet Insurances by Category

Below we compare the cheapest pet insurances in New Zealand in different categories including by breed, age, and level of cover so you can get a better idea of the cheapest pet insurance plan for your needs.

The Cheapest Dog Insurances by Breed

The cheapest dog breeds to insure are those that are expected to have fewer health problems. This generally means that mid to larger-size breeds and breeds with no common hereditary conditions are the cheapest dogs to insure although the actual cost of dog insurance for specific breeds does still depend on the insurer and plan that you choose.
PlanLabrador RetrieverBorder CollieJack Russel TerrierMiniature SchnauzerShih Tzu
Southern Cross Pet Insurance AcciPet Plan$13.85$11.09$11.09$11.09$11.09
Cove Pet Insurance Accident Only Plan$15.93$13.27$11.06$12.17$13.27
PD Insurance Accident Plan$18.97$15.18$15.18$15.18$15.18
Tower Pet Insurance Accident Only Plan$23.53$19.87$15.47$22.95$17.88
Petnsur Surgery Plan
Petcover Mid-range Plan (Core)
Cove Pet Insurance Major Plan$39.33$32.78$27.31$30.04$32.78
AA Pet Insurance Accidental Injuries + Illness$43.94$36.67$34.98$42.48$47.90

The Cheapest Cat Insurances by Breed

Like dog insurance, cat insurance is cheaper for breeds that have less health problems and cost less to treat. That means that breeds like Sphynx and Burmese are more expensive than breeds like Ragdoll and Domestic Shorthair.

Note that many accident only cat insurance are the same price no matter your cat's breed given that they don't include cover for illnesses which are more or less common for different breeds.
PlanDomestic ShorthairBurmeseRagdollPersianSphynx
Southern Cross Pet Insurance AcciPet Plan$6.76$6.76$6.76$6.76$6.76
Cove Pet Insurance Accident Only Plan$10.35$10.35$10.35$10.35$10.35
PD Insurance Accident Plan$10.85$14.11$14.11$14.11$14.11
Tower Pet Insurance Accident Only Plan$13.85$18.74$11.90$18.07$19.80
Petnsur Surgery Plan
Petcover Mid-range Plan (Core)
Cove Pet Insurance Major Plan$16.55$20.09$15.61$19.86$21.28
AA Pet Insurance Accidental Injuries + Illness$23.29$27.59$25.75$27.59$29.38

The Cheapest Pet Insurance by Age

Pet insurance is generally cheaper the younger your pet is, although some plans don't change in price as your pet ages. Also be aware that some plans increase in price as your pet gets older much more rapidly than others do. 

Note that some pet insurances can only be taken out before your pet reaches a certain age - that means that we can't request quotes and show you the cost of these plans at older ages.
Plan6 Months6 Years10 Years
Southern Cross Pet Insurance AcciPet Plan$13.85$13.85$13.85
Cove Pet Insurance Accident Only Plan$15.93N/AN/A
PD Insurance Accident Plan$18.97$27.51$32.14
Tower Pet Insurance Accident Only Plan$23.53$25.61$27.91
Petnsur Surgery Plan
Petcover Mid-range Plan (Core)
Cove Pet Insurance Major Plan$39.33N/AN/A
AA Pet Insurance Accidental Injuries + Illness$43.94$72.08N/A

The Cheapest Comprehensive Pet Insurances

The cheapest comprehensive pet insurance plans often have lower policy limits and higher excesses/co-payments. That's because you have less cover with a low policy limit and have to pay more of your vet bills with a higher excess and co-payment.

Despite this, the table below shows that some plans are less expensive even with higher policy limits or lower excesses/co-payments which is why it is always worth comparing policies before you settle on one - especially if you're after the best price.
PlanAverage Monthly Cost (Dog)Average Monthly Cost (Cat)Policy LimitExcessCo-Payment
Petcover Mid-range Plan (Core / Vital / Key)$34.15 / $38.52 / $53.34$19.24 / $22.32 / $28.32$5,000 / $10,000 / $15,000$20030%
Cove Pet Insurance Major Plan$39.33$16.55$25,000$1,00010%
AA Pet Insurance Accidental Injuries + Illness$43.94$23.29$15,000$50020%
Petcover Safety-net Plan (Catastrophe 1 / Catastrophe 2)$45.45 / $54.08$21.75 / $26.23$5,000 / $10,000$90020%
Cove Pet Insurance Major + Minor Plan$47.78$20.10$25,000$50020%
Petcover Safety-net Plan (Economy)$51.45$25.44$7,000 for some accidental injuries$15020%
Petnsur Silver / Gold / Platinum Plans$55.73 / $72.64 / $101.01$38.00 / $47.19 / $74.64$4,000 / $6,000 / $9,000None30% / 25% / 20%
Tower Pet Insurance Essential Plan$56.49$33.22$7,000, $2,000 for non-life threatening injuriesNone20%
SPCA Pet Insurance Big Stuff Cover$57.56$29.55$25,000$1,00020%
Southern Cross Pet Insurance PetCare Plan$57.97$26.53$15,000$50030%
PD Insurance Classic Plan$62.41$36.43$10,000$200None
Tower Pet Insurance Comprehensive Plan$67.23$39.54$15,000, $4,000 for non-life threatening injuriesNone20%
Petcover Superior Plans (Entry / Mid-Point / Superior)$67.73 / $75.88 / $90.53$33.06 / $36.86 / $43.72$10,000 / $15,000 / $20,000 (Dog), $9,000 / $10,000 / $15,000 (Cat)$15020%
SPCA Pet Insurance Everyday Cover$78.19$37.93$11,000, $2,000 per conditionNone30%
Petnsur Rhodium Plan$79.92$43.19$6,000None$300
PD Insurance Deluxe Plan$83.27$51.48$20,000$200None
SPCA Pet Insurance The Works Cover$95.00$46.23$20,000None20%
Petnsur Titanium Plan$159.01$68.10$18,000None20%

Is It Cheaper To Not Have Pet Insurance?

For some pet owners, having pet insurance will work out to be cheaper than not having it while for others not having pet insurance will be the cheapest option.

It all depends on how many eligible vet bills your pet has over its lifetime. Of course for a dog that never goes to the vet it would be cheaper to not have insurance and vice versa.

Our favorite pet insurance, PD Insurance's Deluxe Plan has a $200 excess and no co-payment and costs approximately $62.41 per month for our example dog, that's $748.92 per year. With the average trip to the vet in NZ costing around $500, it might not seem worth it to get insurance but that ignores two things.

Firstly, you may need to go to the vet twice or even three times in a year, in which case the costs start to balance or even tip in favor of pet insurance.

Second, and more importantly, the reason for getting pet insurance isn't really about paying slightly less than if you didn't have pet insurance, it's about bing covered so that you don't have to make tough decisions when you face larger than average vet bills.

Pet insurers make money because they make more from everyone's premiums than it costs them to pay out on their claims. Because some of these claims are worth thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars, this means that the average person with pet insurance will lose money from having pet insurance - but again, they will save a lot of money if they have to make a large claim.

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