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Cove Pet Insurance Review NZ

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Mason Author
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Louis Reviewer
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Thibault Reviewer
Updated Jul 11 2024
Cove has some of New Zealand's most affordable and transparent pet insurance plans with accident only and comprehensive options that will suit most, but not all pet owners. 

Lack of insurance for exotic pets, a young maximum age requirement of 5 years old and their slightly higher than average excesses/co-payments may mean there are better options out there especially if you want more of your vet bills covered (you will have to pay higher premiums for this though).

Still though, when compared to NZ's best pet insurance companies, Cove has the best discounts (20% or more) and the fewest extra conditions making it one of our favourite pet insurances. 

Overall, this is the insurance company to chose if you want a simple, cheap option and is particularly good if you take out multiple pet or even car insurance policies to take advantage of their 10% multi-policy discount.

Cove Pet Insurance Plans Compared

*The average monthly costs of pet insurance for policies listed on this page are based on quotes obtained for a six month-old female Labrador Retriever and a six month-old Domestic Shorthair. Our example pets are desexed and we've picked the maximum policy limit, excess and co-payment where we had the option (a moderately expensive option). We haven't selected any add-ons. Quotes were last updated in June 2024.

Which Cove Pet Insurance Plan is Best?

Cove has three pet insurance plans in New Zealand, their Accident Only Plan, Major Plan and Major + Minor Plan.

Each plan offers something a bit different, even if there are also many similarities, especially between the Major and Major + Minor Plan.

Cove's Accident Only Plan is, as the name suggests, a less comprehensive option designed to be more affordable then their full-cover options but still provide you with up to $5,000 compensation in case of accidental injury. It does a good job of this and is reasonably priced considering it also includes cover for vet consultations and emergency boarding. However, with a relatively narrow scope and low policy limit, we prefer Cove's full-coverage plans.

Cove's Major Plan and Major + Minor Plans are much more comprehensive than the Accident Only Plan and are very similar to each other. They have the same $25,000 policy limit and base-level of cover but they do have some key differences:
  • Cost - The Major Plan has cheaper premiums averaging $39.33 vs $47.78 per month for dogs and $16.55 vs $20.10 per month for cats
  • Excess and Co-payment - The Major plan has a high fixed $1,000 excess and lower 10% co-payment whereas the Major + Minor Plan has a lower optional $0, $100, $250 or $500 excess and a higher fixed 20% co-payment
  • Add-ons - For an extra cost you can add $500 of Dental cover and $300 of Everyday Stuff cover to the Major + Minor plan whereas there are no add-ons for the Major Plan

As the name suggests, the Major Plan gets more valuable the bigger your vet bills become because of the large excess. Because the Major + Minor plan is customisable with add-ons it can provide more well-rounded cover. With a smaller excess your smaller vet bills are also likely to be cheaper with the Major + Minor Plan. However, the 20% co-payment negates this a bit meaning your smallest vet bills still won't be fully covered.

Because of this we actually think the best value for money is with Cove's Major Plan although if you want slightly better cover for smaller vet bills, dental or everyday care you're still better off choosing the Major + Minor Plan. 

How Does Cove's Pet Insurance Compare to Alternatives?

Cove's insurances are among our top rated pet insurance plans in New Zealand, that's because they have some stand out features even if their plans aren't perfect.

Cove has very few long stand down periods compared to other pet insurances. Cove's stand down periods are 21 days for illness and 6 months for cruciate ligament injury and intervertebral disc disease whereas other insurers like PD Insurance also have stand down periods for illnesses including dental, patella luxation and accidental ingestion. 

Cove also has very few condition limits with only a $1,500 limit on emergency boarding. Compared to PD Insurance which has condition limits on vet consultations, hereditary conditions, cruciate ligament injury, patella luxation, accidental ingestion and third party liability this is a huge plus.

Cove also has the biggest discounts of any NZ pet insurance for up to 20% off your premiums if you pay annually and take out more than one policy. Cove's premiums are also among the cheapest in New Zealand, both for their accident only plan and comprehensive plans.

With a $25,000 limit on their comprehensive plans, Cove's policy limits are as big as you can get in New Zealand equaling SPCA's Big Stuff Cover Plan.
Cove's excess is flexible with the Major + Minor Plan but is fixed at $500 for the Accident Only Plan and $1,000 with the Major Plan which makes their excesses comparable to other pet insurances with similar cover, as are the 10% co-payments for the Accident Only and Major Plans and the 20% co-payment for the Major + Minor Plan.

And as far as cover goes, Cove's insurances aren't the broadest. Notably they don't cover alternative treatments, pre-existing conditions, third party liability and dental (can be added to Major + Minor Plan). Among other things, AA's only pet insurance covers dental and pre-existing conditions while Petcover's Superior Plans cover alternative treatments and third party liability.

In summary, you can expect cheap, condition-free pet insurances with high limits and standard coverage from Cove.

Cove Pet Insurance User Reviews

Cove's insurance generally has great user ratings. Of the reviews we found on Feefo, Trustpilot and Reddit, many users have highlighted how Cove's policies are cheaper than other insurers, although there were some users who warned that their premiums increase every year. 

When investigating this claim we found that Cove's premiums didn't actually increase any more than with other NZ pet insurers. However, because Cove has a maximum age limit of five years on new policies we couldn't request quotes for pets that were older than five so this may still be true for older pets.

Other things users highlighted in their reviews were how simple to get and easy to claim Cove's insurance was along with how their customer support was very helpful. There were of course comments that went against these trends but the vast majority of users are happy with Cove Insurance.

Overall, Cove Insurance has an Excellent rating on Feefo with 4.7/5 stars from 385 ratings in the last year and a Average rating with 3.0/5 stars on Trustpilot although there's only three Trsutpilot ratings in total and only one rating from the last year.

We have collected some user reviews below which highlight these points (note that many reviews we found were for Cove's car insurance):
"Good price. Very helpful phone operator. Easy to use site." - Feefo, Trusted Customer

"Great online customer service, customer service agent got good understanding of product knowledge." - Feefo, Henna Aroa

"My car is insured with Cove. No issues, no claims. Consider increasing your excess to reduce premiums." - Reddit, BruddaLK

"Used cove for 4 years, they are fine. One claim for cracked windscreen, no issues." - Reddit, NZX-Gambling

"I was insured with Cove until I had my car written off (not my fault) a few weeks ago, where it had to get towed. I made a claim online and called them to ensure that it would be assigned to a case manager. The next day I got a call, he asked for a few more details of the accident and sorted out a tow truck to drop it off to the panel beaters. A week later the assessor wrote off my car and a few days later, I signed a form to get receive the agreed cost of the amount I ensured. It was a smooth process from start to finish. I will definitely insure my next car with them again." - Reddit, iDontWantABurrito
"They are a disruptor IMO. Wait until you get your renewal and see how much it increases next year." - Reddit, [Deleted]

"Just bear in mind Cove isn’t an insurer, they are more so an underwriting agency, underwriting on behalf of a Japanese Insurance company. Their angle is a smart IT system to limit staff behind the scenes as much as possible to cut costs, as they’ll be working off super fine margins. Obviously goal is to quote new business cheap and then you’ll get steady increases after that, this isn’t the first time." - Reddit, Bentleytheboss

"I gave 3 stars as it was easy to sign up, and ended up being a couple of hundred dollars cheaper than my other insurance, however we will see what happens if I ever need to make a claim." - Feefo, Trusted Customer

"Everything is 5* except price - HUGE increase this year which follows everyone else - but really, 38%……….. However you are still the most competitive so I am with you again."  - Feefo, Trusted Customer
"Was happy at first, thought I had found a reasonable insurer then after only 5 months with them they increased my premium by 25%. I have never made claimed on any insurance and this is triple the amount of their claim of it being "due to inflation". Just another rip off. I wish I had stayed with my previous insurer." - Trustpilot, Jenny Dixon

"Tried to get a quote online. Went through the lengthy application only to have the application declined on the last question "have you ever had insurance application declined". Answered "yes" as I had 32 years ago. Didn't request any details - if they had I would have explained it was those scumbags at State and the only reason for decline was I had made a claim. Obviously Cove are no better than State so probably beneficial I don't go with them." - Trustpilot, Jeff Strampel

"Customer support is not good." - Trustpilot, Brooklyn

"Did not notify my current provider as advertised and currently am paying 2 companies."- Feefo, Annette

Is Cove Pet Insurance Trustworthy?

Yes, Cove Pet Insurance is trustworthy. 

Based in Auckland and launched in 2019 first as a car insurance provider and then as a pet insurer in 2022, Cove has enjoyed above 5-star reviews on Feefo ever since.

As well as the mighty Comparesies, Cove has also been featured on websites including Stuff, NZ Herald, The National Business Review and Insurance Business NZ. 

Cove's policies are underwritten by Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance Company Limited (one of the world's largest insurance companies from Japan) which has a Financial Strength Rating of A+ from A. M. Best Company and A+ from by Standard & Poors.

Cove Pet Insurance FAQs

Cove offers three pet insurance plans for cats and dogs in New Zealand.
  • Accident Only Plan - Covers accidental injury, vet consultations and emergency boarding up to $5,000 with a $500 excess and 10% co-payment
  • Major Plan - Covers accidental injury, illness, vet consultations, hereditary conditions, parasite treatments and emergency boarding up to $25,000 with a $1,000 excess and 10% co-payment
  • Major + Minor Plan - Covers accidental injury, illness, vet consultations, hereditary conditions, parasite treatments and emergency boarding along with add-ons for dental and everyday treatments up to $25,000 with a $0 to $500 excess and 10% co-payment
We think that Cove's Major Plan is their best pet insurance plan because it is slightly cheaper than their Major + Minor Plan while providing the same cover with a more expensive excess but smaller co-payment.
Yes, all of Cove's pet insurance plans rank among the cheapest pet insurance plans in New Zealand compared to plans with a similar level of cover.
No, Cove pet insurance is only available for cats and dogs at the moment.
No, we rated two of PD Insurance's pet insurance plans (their Deluxe Plan and Accident Plan) higher than all of Cove's pet insurance plans.

While Cove has cheaper premiums on average, equal or higher policy limits, and fewer condition limits and stand down periods than PD Insurance, we think PD's cover (which includes dental and third party liability) is better than Cove's as is the fact that they have a low maximum $200 excess and no co-payment compared to Cove whose plans have an excess of $0 to $1,000 and a co-payment between 10% and 20%.
Yes, we rated two of Cove's pet insurance plans (their Major and Major + Minor Plans) higher than all of Southern Cross's pet insurance plans.

We liked Cove's plans better because their premiums are cheaper on average, they have higher or the same policy limits for similar cover, their cover is broader including things like vet consultations, parasite treatments and emergency boarding and because they have fewer stand down periods and condition limits than Southern Cross.
Cove's insurance policies are underwritten by Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance Company Limited (one of the world's largest insurance companies from Japan) which has a Financial Strength Rating of A+ from A. M. Best Company and A+ from by Standard & Poors.

Conclusion: Is Cove Pet Insurance Good?

Yes, Cove Pet Insurance is good and should suit most pet owners, especially if you want a high level of cover with cheaper than average premiums and a smooth sign up and claims process.

We also love that there are very few hidden conditions with Cove's policies and even though we'd prefer a few more treatments/conditions to be covered and a higher maximum age limit we think that their strong customer support team and market-leading discounts make their pet insurance plans among the best in New Zealand.

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