How much does pet insurance cost in Australia?

More Australians are taking out pet cover than ever before. Discover how much they’re spending and how it compares to yearly vet and general treatment costs.

A deep dive into pet ownership costs

As most pet owners know or quickly find out, having a furry companion can get expensive. Food accounts for the majority of ongoing costs, with lifestyle, accessory and grooming expenses all part of the big picture too. 

However, it’s pet healthcare that commonly offers the most stress and pocket strain due to its volatility. It’s easy enough to keep on top of routine vet check-ups, but it’s the chance of an emergency that can undermine even the most calculated budget of a non-insured owner. The truth is, almost every pet will experience at least one medical emergency that fetches over $2000 in their lifetime that could really catch you off-guard. 

Luckily, contemporary pet insurance can have your back for all of it – for emergencies and those routine vet costs like check-ups and vaccinations. Insurance providers like ExtrasJar split these costs into two different categories: pet insurance (accident and illness) and pet extras cover, with many giving the option to roll it all together in a nice, neat bundle.

There are almost 30 million pets in Australia – that’s close to 4 million more dogs and cats than there are humans! However, when it comes to pet insurance, it’s estimated that somewhere between 20% and 30% of our furry friends are insured. 

That number is quickly increasing. Vet costs are growing alongside general lifestyle costs, and as pet insurance becomes more normalised, more Australians are reaping the benefits for the health of their pets and their wallet.  

But what kind of costs does pet insurance attract in Australia? Let’s first set the stage with a breakdown of the usual costs associated with pet ownership.

How insurance costs are derived

Before you secure reliable and beneficial cover for your furry friend, it helps to understand why some costs are the way they are. It’s due to a number of factors:

Level of cover

For general pet insurance, the main expense difference is derived from the comprehensiveness of your policy. Cheaper, more basic policies offer you financial assistance for a limited amount of accidents and illnesses while the more expensive, top-tier policies are exponentially more inclusive and holistic.


Most insurance providers only cover dogs and cats. Across the board, cat insurance is cheaper as they traditionally require less medical treatment over their lifetime.


Certain breeds of dog and cat are particularly prone to health problems, usually due to genetic, physical and environmental conditions or other risk factors. Purebreds are usually more expensive to insure.


The health needs of your pet will most likely change as they get older, just like us humans. That’s why insurance for older pets is generally more expensive.


Potential health risks and illnesses differ from male and female dogs and cats.


Commonly goes hand-in-hand with breed, but the larger your pet, generally the more expensive they will be to cover. Bigger animals simply require more resources in care.

Pre-existing health conditions

Generally, pre-existing conditions will raise the cost of your insurance, as they offer foresight of medical drama in the future.

Need for pet extras

Better known as general or optional treatment, these include vaccinations, routine check-ups, dental care, desexing and other preventative treatments. They are a vital aspect of your pet’s enduring health and decrease the likelihood of an undetected vet emergency.

Getting the most bang for your buck

To get the most value out of your investment into your pet’s health, look for flexibility and personalisation in their insurance policy. 

Pet extras offer pet owners the greatest opportunity to secure an ever-wagging tail day-to-day, yet most insurers are stuck in the past with a steadfast tiered system. The more you pay, the higher the tier and the more extras cover you’ll acquire. With this system, you may find yourself in a higher tier paying significantly more to grasp only one benefit, or be relegated to a lower tier based on cost where your pet’s unique health requirements are not quite met. This is what the team here at ExtrasJar found as a problem. So, we created a solution. 

ExtrasJar offers flexible and effective pet extras cover that lets your pet access the support it needs, without restrictive limits, tiers or the need to fork out for things they don’t need. Our tailored cover begins from the moment you open an ExtrasJar account and receive a digital Pet Extras Card. Just tap that at the point-of-sale instead of dipping into your savings. If you don’t tap into your fund in a given year or fully exhaust its value, it’ll not only rollover, but likely expand thanks to our pioneering investment mechanism. We’re all about freedom, personalisation and funds that don’t expire.

Invest in your pet's health - without breaking your budget

At ExtrasJar, we know that pet cover can be expensive, so we revolutionised the system. The result? A new kind of insurance based on empowerment and freedom. With respect to the unique needs of your furry best mate, spend your money the way you want in the way that they truly require it. 

Find versatility and discover true control with ExtrasJar today.