Fur real! The 10 wackiest pet insurance claims of 2019

Monday , 24 February 2020 by Susannah Walker

Southern Cross Pet Insurance has released its 10 most unusual claims of 2019, with the list featuring a serial sock swallower, a cat who played with fire and a dog suffering a chocolate overdose.

Cat tangled in fishing lineThe claims highlight how even everyday items can spell real danger for our furry friends - and how costly it can be for their owners.Cat tangled in fishing line

In one example, a dog with a taste for socks stole a pair and swallowed them, resulting in the owners’ third claim relating to sock ingestion.

A chocolate-loving canine ended up at the vet after feasting on five Easter treats, while a cat needed treatment after burning its paws on a wood burner.

“Even the most well-behaved pets aren’t immune to having accidents or getting up to mischief – but there’s no such thing as ACC for cats and dogs,” said Southern Cross Pet Insurance General Manager Anthony McPhail. “We get quite a few claims for things you would never dream might happen and a lot of these situations can be very costly and stressful for the animal and the owner.

“Our experience shows it’s important not to underestimate how much vet bills can cost. Pets give us so much joy but when they are sick or injured there’s no safety net unless you have the peace of mind of pet insurance.”

Although New Zealand has one of the world’s highest pet ownership statistics, insurance rates here are low compared to other pet-loving nations.

Southern Cross Pet Insurance’s 10 most unusual claims of 2019 were:

  • A Persian cat fell into a swimming pool while being chased by another cat. The waterlogged feline was taken to the vet and diagnosed with hypothermia ($1,065).
  • A Labrador swallowed a pin cushion, complete with pins, while the owner was sewing. The pin cushion and pins had to be surgically removed ($3,488).
  • A Hungarian Vizsla dog had bad breath and was ‘zonked out’ in the evenings. Eating sheep pellets sprinkled on the garden as fertiliser were the suspected cause ($352).
  • An Ocicat came off second best from a fight with a feisty blackbird and was treated for a scratch to one eye ($103).
  • A Boxer ended up with a bellyache after it raided the family’s stash of Easter treats and ate five chocolate kiwis ($270).
  • An overly enthusiastic Bernese mountain dog ran straight through a closed sliding door and sustained a serious wound to one of its legs ($1,101).
  • A Labrador’s trip to the beach turned sour for its owners when the dog discovered a pair of shoes and socks on the sand and promptly swallowed the socks. The serial sock stealer was taken to the vet to have them removed ($2,789).
  • A Tonkinese cat played with fire by jumping up on the wood burner at home and burning its paws ($177).
  • A Labrador Cross was so eager to escape from the boarding kennels, it ate through a fence, but was foiled at the next hurdle when it got stuck in a second fence. A vet treated the dog for a spinal fracture along with multiple wounds and abrasions ($6,999).
  • A cat arrived home with a fishing line tangled in its tail. The moggy sustained a tail wound which required treatment by a vet ($271).