Dr. Chris Brown’s former pet insurance ambassadorship resurfaces amid recent comments

Dr. Chris Brown’s former pet insurance ambassadorship resurfaces amid recent comments | Insurance Business Australia

TV personality finds himself at the centre of controversy

Dr. Chris Brown's former pet insurance ambassadorship resurfaces amid recent comments

Insurance News

Jonalyn Cueto

Dr. Chris Brown (pictured right), an Australian veterinarian and television personality, has found himself at the centre of a controversy following his recent advice to pet owners. Last Tuesday, the 45-year-old Bondi vet recommended that pet owners avoid purchasing pet insurance, instead suggesting they set aside funds in a separate bank account to cover veterinary expenses. This advice has reignited discussion about his past role as an ambassador for a major pet insurance company.

Brown’s past partnership with Medibank’s pet insurance dates back to 2011. At that time, he advocated for pet insurance, stating that it provided pet owners with “a little control over the financial side of owning a best friend” and claimed, “there’s no doubt that pet insurance saves lives.”

However, in a recent interview with the Daily Telegraph, Brown advised pet owners to consider alternative savings methods to manage their pets’ healthcare costs.

“It comes down to trying to ration your money in the best possible way,” he said. “It is about staying on top of their health so smaller things don’t become bigger, because that often leads to that impossible decision people have to make, which is a reality – the pet or the finances – and you never want to see people in that situation.”

Brown criticised the quality of pet insurance options available in Australia, noting that many policies have numerous exclusions. He suggested that the money spent on insurance premiums could be better utilized by being deposited into a dedicated savings account for pets.

The celebrity vet’s comments have sparked a debate among pet owners and industry professionals. While some agree with his approach to pet healthcare savings, others argue that pet insurance can provide crucial financial support during emergencies.

Advocacies for pet care and support

Brown’s advocacy extends beyond pet insurance alternatives. He has consistently supported initiatives for pet care subsidies, including a proposal for an “animal Medicare.” On Wednesday, he launched his third Drooly Important Pet Census, aimed at gathering data to advocate for government support in managing the rising costs of pet ownership.

“The pet census is going to be really interesting because if we can really identify the significant role that pets play in our everyday lives and the benefit they have for our communities, then why shouldn’t we look at subsidising pet care if it is having such a positive effect on our healthcare system and saving us money in the long run,” he said.

Brown’s involvement in the pet census began in 2016, after he noted the exclusion of pet-related questions in the official Australian Census. He created an independent survey to collect data on pet ownership, which includes questions about the number of pets, their types, sleeping arrangements, and dietary habits.

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