Media releases

December 4, 2008

Get your family pet back on all fours faster

Medibank Private has extended its suite of insurance products to include some very important family members - pet insurance for cats and dogs.

The health insurance fund launched the new products after market research showed that many pet lovers are unaware until needed that veterinary bills are the second largest expense of owning a pet and can, in many cases, cost the same as human medical treatment.

The much-loved family pet is not only adored but can also play an invaluable role in the wellbeing of individuals. In Australia, 63 percent of households have at least one pet - one of the highest levels of pet ownership in the world - however only one percent of pets are covered by insurance.

Medibank Private General Manager Business Relationships, Norm Cockerell, believes that while no one wants to think about their pet getting sick or hurt in an accident, being prepared can save you thousands of dollars and unnecessary emotional distress.

"No pet owner wants to be in the situation where they need to choose between the life of their pet and what they can afford. Pet insurance can eliminate this painful decision and possibly stressful financial impact of treatment," Mr Cockerell said.

"Advances in veterinary medicine mean that more can be done to treat sick and injured pets than ever before, but as with human medicine this can be expensive.

"For many pet owners, the much loved dog or cat is treated as another member of the family. It's not unusual for owners to indulge their pets, spending large sums on things like day care, toys and grooming. Medibank Pet Insurance is a very affordable way to care for your pet and protect yourself from costly bills, with monthly premiums from $12.50 for cats and $14.05 for dogs."

Medibank Pet Insurance offers a choice of policies covering up to 100 percent of vet bills for your cat or dog, including
� Gold Paw - covering accidents, illness, injury and disease plus routine benefits
� Silver Paw - covering accidents and illness
� Bronze Paw - covering accidents only

According to Mr Cockerell, Medibank Private aims to grow the pet insurance market in Australia, using its strong and trusted brand and deep distribution network to connect directly with potential customers.

"Currently, pet insurance is sold predominantly via the internet or through vets. We want our customers to be able to talk directly to our staff, either over the telephone or face to face in Medibank Private retail centres.

"We will also offer excellent value - Medibank Pet Insurance has one of the highest annual limits available, and offers the highest benefits for routine care. We also offer a no claims bonus, multi-pet discount, and a 10 percent discount for existing Medibank Private members," Mr Cockerell said.

In developing Medibank Pet Insurance, Medibank Private has worked closely with Hollard (the product's insurer) and PetSure (the product's administrators) to ensure Medibank Pet Insurance meets the needs of Australia's pet owners.

For further information please contact:
James Connors
Tel: 03 8622 5163 | Mob: 0433 992 677 | email: james_connors@medibank.com.au


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