Media releases 2015

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Please contact: Alistair Gray, Communications Adviser, Southern Cross Healthcare Group
Phone: 09 925 6420  Mobile: 021 375167


A high maintenance companion Southern Cross release top pet claims

Tuesday, 29 September 2015 by Aimee Bourke

Broken bones, unsavoury meals and dogged determination were the causes behind some of the more interesting claims paid by Southern Cross Pet Insurance in the year to 30 June.

Southern Cross Pet Insurance (SCPI) received over 10,000 claims – and paid out more than $3 million in claims.

While it’s the quirky cases you remember, the day-to-day health costs of having a pet are a real eye-opener for some owners says head of SCPI Anthony McPhail.

“We know a lot of Kiwis count their pets as part of the family, and would do almost anything to keep them healthy and happy.

“What we also know is that there’s an almost unlimited number of things that can go wrong, or ways your pet can get up to mischief, that may require a trip to the vet.”

Some of the more unusual claims from last year included:

  • Seeing something in the backyard, one English Bull Terrier was so eager to investigate they ran straight into a ranch slider, shattering the glass in the door. The poor pooch received a cut under the eye requiring stiches.
  • After falling into a pot of acrylic paint, a Birman cat decided to try and clean herself after her owners best efforts proved fruitless. She ended up being sedated and shaved.
  • A Staffordshire Bull Terrier, was so committed to returning a stick from the ocean, she swallowed a large amount of sea water. This required a vet to aspirate the fluid in her lungs and air in her stomach.
  • A thirsty Tibetan Terrier Cross decided to get in on the action when their owners glass of wine fell on the ground and smashed. This resulted in a vet visit to remove glass from her mouth.
  • One cat was up to mischief and found his left hind paw caught in a hinged toilet seat, where he was left hanging for some time. This resulted in a very swollen foot and a number of open wounds.

“Pets give owners a lot of pleasure when they’re healthy, but as a responsible owner you have to be prepared to take care of them when they’re unwell and a lot of people aren’t aware that treatment can be very costly,” says McPhail.

Top 5 highest claims in Financial Year 2015





Pericardial effusion


Traumatic injury (Hit by Car – Face Fractures & Tongue Amputation)






Spinal (vertebral column) disorder


Renal (kidney) disorder


Cruciate ligament rupture






Traumatic injury (Bite Injury – Attacked by Dog)


Southern Cross Pet Insurance insure the lives of 14,000 cats and dogs around New Zealand.