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15 things you should know about cat and dog insurance

September 1, 2020
cat dog insurance

Between all of us, we have more and more dogs and cats as life companions. Until last year, 13 million pets were registered in the country, of which 93% are dogs, 6%, cats, and the rest, mostly rabbits. This figure, offered by the Spanish Companion Animal Identification Network (REIAC), shows a reality: In Spain there are more dogs than those under 15 years of age . If to the 13 million identified with the corresponding microchip we add the unregistered dogs and cats, birds, fish, ferrets and other animals, the figure would exceed 20 million. In this article, we will show you 15 things you should know about cat and dog insurance.

Those of us who have shared life with a cat and now do it with a dog (or two) know very well why these numbers and we insist on the psychological and physiological benefits they provide. They improve our health, make us more responsible, reduce stress, drive away loneliness, make life more fun … Cats and dogs are generators of happiness.

dog insurance

But, on the other side of the scale, our four-legged companions also get sick, they can have an accident, get lost or mess up a good thing with third parties. Make no mistake, keep an animal and give it all the necessary care it is not cheap and setbacks, unfortunately, do happen. The owners are increasingly aware of the expenses – anticipated and unforeseen – generated by our friends, we love and care for them as members of the family and, perhaps for this reason, the number of policies taken out to insure animals has only grown in recent years.

“In the specific branch of companion animals we have about 40,000 insured dogs and cats . 5% corresponds to cats ”, indicates Teresa Vaquerizo, Home and Pets Business Development technician at MAPFRE. To these should be added “the animals covered by the Home policies,” she details.

There are different insurances on the market designed to guarantee the protection and well-being of dogs and cats and, therefore, the peace of mind of those who take care of them. What coverage does the insurance have? Are they mandatory? How much do they cost? Can they pay for the veterinarian? Can I insure my old dog? What happens if my cat breaks the sofa? What if someone Trips on the strap and falls? We are going to answer 15 frequently asked questions about insurance for pets.

What do these dog insurance cover?

These insurances include different coverages. On the one hand, we have civil liability, that is, coverage of bodily injuries and / or material damage (whether to people, dogs, cats or things) that your animal causes to third parties, up to the established limit that appears in the policy . Another coverage is health care, illness and / or accident. In addition, the policies may include other guarantees such as compensation in the event of theft or loss, legal defense and coverage of legal expenses in case of complaints related to the animal, reimbursement of the expenses of stay in a residence in case of hospitalization of the owner, coverage of the costs of sacrifice and disposal of the corpse, etc.

Is it compulsory to ensure cats and dogs in Spain?

In general terms, in Spain it is not mandatory to take out insurance for pets, except for civil liability insurance in the case of owners of dogs considered PPP (potentially dangerous dogs) and their crosses. As an exception, in the Community of Madrid it is mandatory that all dogs have this insurance, even if they are not one of those known as PPP. In this community, owners who do not have this insurance are penalized with fines.

dog and cat insurance

What requirements must be met in order to ensure a dog or cat? Dog insurance

Both dogs and cats must be vaccinated, registered and identified with a microchip.

If my dog ​​is PPP, what steps should I take to insure him?

If you have a breed considered potentially dangerous (PPP) or a crossbreed, you are required by law to take out civil liability insurance, in addition to meeting certain requirements that you must demonstrate by acquiring the corresponding license and certificates. Keep in mind that the breeds that fall within this classification may vary from one Community to another, as well as the capital you must hire, never less than € 120,000.

dog

Are cats usually insured? It’s advisable? Why?

It is said that they have 7 lives, that they are tightrope walkers, that they always land on their feet … but all these myths can come down at the same time that your cat stands in the window opening, loses its balance and falls from the heights. In no case is it mandatory to take out insurance for cats and, in practice, it is more infrequent, but beyond the usual diseases (especially those related to the urinary system), having a veterinary care and civil liability insurance can come in handy in case your cat joins the “skydiving” or “hiking” cat club.

cat insurance

Civil liability, does it cover damages caused to anyone? Dog insurance

Civil liability covers bodily injuries, material damages and their consequential damages (whether to people, animals or things) caused to third parties, but not those caused to you, your partner, parents, children, grandchildren or any person who accepts the custody of your pet. For example, if your neighbor or a person passing by on the street trips over your dog’s leash, falls and breaks his arm, this damage would be covered and he would be compensated. If your doormat breaks or scratches your door, mat replacement and door repair would also be covered. This will not be the case, if the affected person is your child, your spouse, “or someone who lives in the same address as the policyholder or the insured, whether or not she is a family member” as Teresa Vaquerizo points out.

Do they influence the price or are variables such as age, breed, veterinary history … exclusive?

It will depend on the policy and the company, but there may be some exclusions or differences in the amount of the premium due to race, age or previous ailments and surgeries. There are companies that have special insurance for puppies or senior dogs but, in general, the age limit for acquiring health care insurance is 7 years old and, by accident, 9 years old. “Surgical interventions – with the exception of sterilizations-, congenital or hereditary diseases are the cause of exclusion ”, emphasizes the expert. And he clarifies: “if you take out insurance for your 5-year-old dog or cat, he will continue to have his policy with 7, 9 or 11, until he dies. The limits are in reference to new hires ”.

Yes, the company guarantees legal defense and guarantees against complaints or lawsuits involving the insured as the owner of the animal.

Let’s break down health care insurance, what does it cover and what doesn’t it? Are there franchises, grace periods, financial limits …?

When we talk about health care, insurances make differences according to the cause and the reason why the pet must be treated by the veterinarian. There are policies that cover only health care in case of accidents, while others also include cases of sickness assistance. If we go to the most complete formula, these health insurances usually include consultation costs, diagnostic tests, laboratory analyzes, surgeries, hospitalization and expenses for veterinary care at home … In general, preventive medicine is not usually included, although there are exceptions in which these policies pay for checkups and vaccinations. The contract will precisely detail the cases and illnesses that you have covered, as well as the financial limits, which can be, for example, “1,000 euros per claim and year”,

Also, check if the insurance has excesses: if your insurance has a 10% excess, it will mean that in a € 100 consultation, you will pay € 10 and the insurer the remaining € 90. As for the waiting periods, the usual thing is that from the date of contracting the insurance, for example, 15 days, 3 or 6 months elapse until you have the right to have the company pay the expenses of a test or intervention surgical.

If I contract health insurance, can I continue to go to my clinic and choose a professional or do I have to go to certain centers?

Again, it will depend on the insurance company. In some cases, it is necessary to choose to have the animal cared for in one of the collaborating veterinary hospitals and clinics. In others, the insurance does not have its own veterinary staff, so the insured can go to the veterinarian of their choice, pay the bill, request the report and manage the reimbursement of expenses afterwards.

cat hand

What happens in the event of theft, loss or death? How can insurance benefit us?

In case of accident and death of the animal, many companies guarantee compensation for the value of the animal. Likewise, you would receive this compensation in case of theft and, if your dog gets lost, there are insurance that reimburses you for the costs of inserting advertisements in the press or radio to facilitate its location.

Does the coverage of these insurances also apply if we go on a trip?

The usual thing is that the damage coverage is also applied abroad, in case the animal suffers any mishap during its holidays. Civil liability coverage, however, only works in the Spanish sphere.

If I already have home insurance, does it cover my pet?

If you have contracted a home insurance policy that includes civil liability, it is usual that this applies to the pets of the policyholder, that is, “that the expenses for personal or material damage caused by the animal to third parties are covered ”Explains Teresa Vaquerizo. In some cases, it is not necessary to designate or give the order to include the dog or cat in the policy, but this coverage is given “automatically”. If your dog is PPP or a cross, it is important that you check if the home insurance covers civil liability or not

It is also relevant to be aware that we are talking about damages to third parties, that is, there is no place to report the insurance if the cat has destroyed the sofa or the dog has eaten the wooden baseboards. The home insurance also does not take care of the damages suffered by the animal itself. In this sense, “there is the possibility of including accident coverage for just over € 30 per year in addition to the home premium,” says the expert.

How much does specific pet insurance cost on average?

The price will depend on the company, the coverage, the insured capital … and, as we have seen, also on other factors. For a little more or less than € 30 a year we can have a basic insurance that covers damage to third parties, such as the fall of a person on the street, and legal advice. If we add the assistance by accident, the figure would amount to approximately € 90, always taking into account the age and breed of the animal. In the case of comprehensive insurance that combines civil liability, veterinary assistance due to accident and illness, 24-hour telephone office, theft, loss, accidental death of the dog or cat, canine residence, sacrifice and disposal of the corpse, the amount can be around € 340 yearly.

exotic pet animal insurance

And what if my pet is neither a dog nor a cat?

In the market there are specific insurance for exotic animals (for exotic birds, raptors, snakes, turtles, lizards and small mammals), as well as for horses.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, if you have more than 2 dogs, it’s highly recommended and of you have less than 2, also as long as you have money

You can choose by comparing prices, features and reading articles like this.

No, it’s not, but if you have many cats, it’s recommended. You decide if you want to have this insurance.

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