CBA finds first home buyers want room for pets over nearness to family

Collage of a cute puppy in a bathtub.

New research from Commonwealth Bank reveals that room for pets is a top priority for 38% of first-home buyers.

While far from number one (that was property price, at 69%), it still edges out “proximity to family”, which only 23% of participants listed as essential. Sorry, mum and dad! But Fido and Moggy live with us. 

Yet despite having some of the highest rates of pet ownership in the world, less than 6% of pet owners in Australia have pet insurance. What gives?

Household pets hold pride of place for Aussies, but most aren’t insured

Two cute dogs held by painted hands.

Three in five Australian households own pets, according to another recent survey by Animal Medicines Australia. In fact, pets outnumber Aussies by about four million. Dogs (40%) and cats (27%) held pride of place as the most popular pets, trailed by fish (11%) and birds (9%). 

With so many animals living among us, and so many homeowners prioritising their pets in their financial decisions, why does pet insurance get missed? 

Roy Morgan industry communications director Norman Morris reckons it’s because of our number one priority: price. Many pet owners seem keen to take on vet costs out of pocket rather than with an insurance policy. But vet costs can be eye-watering.

Treatment for common injuries and ailments can run between $300 - $26,000. By comparison, Mozo found the average cost of insuring a dog in 2022 was just $716 a year (roughly $60 per month).

Depending on the coverage, pet insurance policies can help cover the costs of treating accidents and illnesses, with some comprehensive policies even including dental coverage or routine care.

The right policy can spare pet owners the decision between treatment and their budget. But no one’s thinking about what happens if things go wrong – most customers just see money down the drain.

While just getting cheap pet insurance is valid, prioritising cost this way highlights a common misconception. Insurance is about value, not price. If a policy doesn’t cover you adequately, it isn’t worth the money, no matter how affordable (or expensive) it is. 

Finding affordable pet insurance is like finding a good home: compare what’s on the market. Doing this can give Aussies an idea of what’s out there and who offers the best value.

After all, wanting room for your pet to run around, frolic, and live their best life is wonderful – and so is knowing they’re covered. They deserve it! Mum and dad can visit later. 

Compare pet insurance for your dog or cat. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter Moneyzone for more tips, tricks, and insights.