Southern Cross releases bizarre pet data

Some adorable pets
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Southern Cross Pet Insurance (Southern Cross) in New Zealand has released some of its weirder claims data for 2018 – specifically, the oddest claims from customers making use of pet insurance.

New Zealand, according to Southern Cross, has the second highest level of pet ownership in the world, though perhaps worryingly pet insurance rates are not proportionally higher. However, many owners do opt to protect their furry friends, and some of the claims made in 2018 certainly raised eyebrows in our offices.

For example, one unlucky German Shepherd required two surgeries and post-operative care after it accidentally trapped itself in a room with two cats and impaled its leg on a metal shoe rack while frantically trying to escape. This claim totalled NZ$8,437. A Labrador Retriever, meanwhile, required surgery after eating a blanket, costing $6,000, while a Miniature Poodle ate an entire chicken skewer – which was removed whole, costing $3,197 – and a French bulldog required multiple incisions after eating an entire role of dental floss, which subsequently unravelled in its intestines. This procedure cost $2,873.

“Most of the claims we process each year are for fairly typical illnesses and routine checks, but we also receive some that surprise us, particularly the range of ways pets find to testing the limits of their digestive system,” said Anthony McPhail, General Manager of Southern Cross Pet Insurance. “When New Zealanders have an accident or need medical treatment we’re fortunate that our public health system covers most of the costs, but our furry friends don’t have the same luxury. This means owners can sometimes find themselves paying thousands of dollars to get their pets the treatment they need. We recommend owners prepare for those unexpected veterinary visits by either setting some money aside or considering pet insurance.”