Dog insurance? Good idea or wasted money?
Unlike in the Anglo-Saxon countries, special animal health insurance is still rare in our country. Because the market is still limited, there is little competition. These insurances can be expensive and contain a lot of exceptions, so that certain care or medicines are not covered. After all, insurance cannot be cheap and at the same time pay back all your daily costs.
You can insure your pet from a few weeks old to a certain age. That age often depends on your pet’s life expectancy, or rather until when its health condition is likely to begin to decline. It is therefore impossible to take out affordable insurance only if your favorite animal already needs expensive care.
Lots of variation between contracts
Depending on the contract and any accident or illness coverage, you pay € 10 to € 120 per month. Depending on the formula, nothing is reimbursed in any case beyond a certain limit, usually €1,200 to €3,500. Also take into account a possible exemption of €20 to €500 per year, a maximum reimbursement percentage per service – 50% to 90% , depending on the insurer and the formula – and specific conditions such as mandatory prior vaccinations and chip and no congenital diseases. Disorders that the animal already suffers from when the insurance is taken out are not covered.
Do you want to take out such insurance? Then be vigilant about the clauses of the contract. Don’t forget that the “family” insurance covers damage that your pet causes to third parties.
Is pet insurance for your dog worth it?
Pet insurance for your dog usually reimburses the costs for your own vet , veterinary clinic, medicines and surgery. However, there are a number of differences between the providers in terms of premiums and reimbursements. It is therefore worth taking a closer look at pet insurance.
Medical treatment of a sick animal can quickly drive up costs. Depending on the treatment, you can easily count on several hundred euros. Particularly due to the treatment of long-term or chronic conditions, some dog owners find themselves in serious financial trouble.
Dog insurance should reduce this risk. But is home insurance for your dog really worth it? What should you pay attention to when choosing a health insurance policy and what differences exist between the promised reimbursements?
When does pet insurance for your dog come in handy?
The biggest problem is that many pet insurance policies only cover young and healthy dogs. You can therefore only insure animals for which the costs at a veterinarian or veterinary clinic are generally not too high. You can often no longer take out dog insurance for dogs with existing illnesses or dogs older than seven years.
Of course, your perfectly healthy puppy can also get sick or have an accident. In this case, dog insurance protects you against excessive costs.
However, the rates for the insurance policies are not all equally cheap. In addition, it can happen that you pay for pet insurance for a number of years without having to use it. Such insurance is therefore initially only suitable for the persons listed below.
- Owners of dog breeds that are more susceptible to diseases.
- Anyone who can easily cover the annual costs but still needs extra security.
How much does dog insurance cost?
For most pet insurance policies for dogs, you will pay around 20 to 30 euros a month, but some premiums can run up to 50 euros. This and the data below are based on basic insurance for a young Labrador in January 2021.
The following applies to every insurance policy: the older the dog is at the time of taking out, the higher the monthly premium will be. The age limit for taking out insurance is in most cases 7-8 years, with some insurance policies it is even as low as 4-5 years.
In addition, most insurers have a so-called variety table. For dog breeds that are more susceptible to diseases. This often also applies to mixed dog breeds with an unclear pedigree. In some cases you cannot insure a certain breed at all. In addition, as a rule, dogs that are over 55 kilos at an adult weight are also not accepted.
With a policy for healthy puppies and young dogs between 6 and 12 months, you are therefore the cheapest.
Please note: some veterinary treatments, such as vaccinations, may be excluded from reimbursement.
What does pet insurance cover for dogs?
There are also differences between insurers and policies with regard to reimbursements.
In general, dog health insurance only covers the costs for medical emergencies. Vaccinations or dental cleanings without medical necessity are excluded by many insurers.
More comprehensive insurance packages
In addition to basic insurance, you can also take out more extensive insurance. Most insurers offer 3 different levels (basic, plus and top/total). If you take out more extensive insurance, it will be more expensive than with just basic insurance, but you will have more coverage. You will then receive extra reimbursements or reimbursed up to a higher upper limit. Certain treatments are not included in basic insurance with some insurers, but are included in the plus package. Of course, this also comes with a higher premium.
Is there a limit on your pet insurance coverage for your dog?
The insurance often does not reimburse unlimited. When choosing a pet insurance policy, you should therefore make sure that the maximum reimbursement is on the high side. The norm for such limits is 2500-3500 euros per year.
Normally a co-payment of 20-50% (depending on the treatment) is standard. Please note that some insurers apply a fixed amount of 45-50 euros per claim for the personal contribution.
With a comparison site you can quickly get an overview of the coverage of different insurance policies. This way you can look at the best price-quality ratio and find the insurance that suits you best.
How do I find the right pet insurance policy for my dog?
Before purchasing pet insurance for your dog, you should review the different options and carefully compare the prices & reimbursements. An independent comparator is very useful for this.
A comparison is always worth it!
In the end, you don’t get as much at a cheaper rate if the insurance only pays little. At the same time, the most expensive insurance does not necessarily give you the best coverage.
Have you already taken out liability insurance for your dog? Then find out what extra health insurance would cost for your dog. Some insurers offer combi packages. In this case, the amount for the individual insurance may be cheaper.
Please note: liability insurance only pays for damage caused by your dog through his own actions. Healthcare costs are not reimbursed by this insurance.
The following points for attention will help you with the comparison and your choice.
Checklist for choosing a pet insurance policy
- Which treatments are reimbursed?
- How high is the minimum fee?
- What is reimbursed for complicated treatments?
- How high is the personal contribution?
- What breeds and ages are accepted?
- Are operations reimbursed?
- Are only outpatient vet consultations reimbursed or also in-patient treatments?
- Can I choose my vet myself?
- How long is the waiting period?
- Would you like to take out additional insurance (cremation, ad in the event of a missing person, preventive treatments, etc.)?
From when can I claim the insurance?
Most insurance policies have a waiting period of 30 days. This means that you are not insured for most cases of illness within the first 30 days after the start date of the insurance. It is therefore not possible to take out insurance after the vet has diagnosed a disease. Insurers also want a statement about the health of your dog from the vet before taking out insurance.
If your dog has to be treated due to an accident, the necessary costs for the treatment are usually covered by the insurance, even within the waiting period.
Does the insurer also pay abroad?
If you regularly take your dog on holiday abroad, you should check carefully which rules apply. In the case of a temporary stay abroad (if necessary via a plus insurance policy), the cover remains in force with many insurers.
Summary: Do I need pet insurance for my dog?
Unlike liability insurance, which is a must for everyone, dog health insurance is not necessarily necessary. If you are afraid of the high costs after an accident, you can benefit from dog insurance.
Health insurance for dogs is only worthwhile under certain conditions, but unfortunately these cannot always be predicted. If you take out insurance early, so when your dog is still young, you pay a relatively low amount every month. If your dog later has a chronic illness or joint problems, health insurance may be worthwhile.
However, if you hardly have to go to the vet, insurance is on the expensive side. Especially if the costs for the standard examinations and vaccinations are not too high. It can also be useful to take out additional insurance for expensive additional costs.
Whether the costs and benefits of dog insurance can offer you a solution ultimately depends on your financial budget. In many cases it is more convenient to keep money on hand and to top it up regularly. You can then use it in an emergency.