Living in Andalucía - Pet Insurance

Why Insure Your Pet?

 Pet insurance in Andalucia. © istock
Pet insurance in Andalucia.

We all know that our pets are as much a part of our family as our parents, our spouses, and our children and frequently, they are the less of a cause for aggravation or concern. However, when they are sick or involved in an accident, pets can become a great preoccupation. Veterinary bills can be an unwanted surprise that can cause a great deal of stress within the family. That is why the concept of Pet Insurance has become a popular way to hedge against emergency veterinary costs.

Look at some of the facts. One out of three pets will need some type of veterinary services during a given year. Also, vet bills are rising much faster than our pay checks (some studies claim that they are rising at a rate twice as fast) meaning that we are dedicating more and more to the healthcare of our animals. Veterinary advances have come a long way in the last few decades so that much more can be done for sick animals. Years ago, the only option for certain sicknesses might have been euthanasia whereas now a myriad of treatments might exist and offer success. This all comes at a financial cost.

The cost of drugs is also on the rise, also meaning that although you now are able to help your sick animal, the bill can be prohibitive. There are few decisions more heart-breaking than having to put down a beloved animal for lack of money. It can be a guilt that remains for years.

How Does it Work?

In order to protect against such situations, many insurance companies in Spain now also offer health insurance for pets. Like health insurance for humans, the owner will pay a yearly premium (which might be around 75€ for a dog and 40€ for a cat). This premium will cover the owner against vet bills up to a certain yearly level as well as other liabilities, depending upon the policy. These other liabilities can include:

  • Kennel or cattery fees
  • Accidental death of your pet
  • Reimbursement in case of the loss/theft of your pet’s passport and/or health papers
  • Reimbursement for advertising costs if your pet is lost or stolen
  • Loss of your pet through straying or theft
  • Overseas travel
  • Third Party Liability if your pet bites someone or otherwise causes some injury.

The premium is, of course, affected by the amount of coverage that you want and also the extent of coverage you desire.

Normally, dogs between the age of 8 weeks old and 10 years old are eligible for pet insurance coverage. For cats, the range is usually between 8 weeks old and 8 years old. However, as with most insurance policies, it is always good to understand the small print.

There are, for example, exclusions when it comes to the insuring of dogs. Normally, dogs used as guards or racing are not eligible for this type of insurance. Also, dogs that are enumerated in the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 or types known as Pit Bull Terrier, Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino, Sharpei, Fila Brazileiro, wolves of wolf/dog mixes are all ineligible for coverage. Once again, be sure to read the policy carefully or at least ask the proper questions before purchasing. It should be noted that pets might also not be covered for what is known as “Sand-fly Disease”.

Most insurers will demand that your pets be vaccinated against common sicknesses in order to enjoy the benefits of pet insurance. Dogs, for example, need to receive shots for distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parvovirus, and rabies while cats require vaccinations for feline infectious enteritis, feline leukaemia, cat flu, and rabies. Many insurers may also ask that your pet be micro-chipped beforehand. All this helps to ensure that you beloved animal remains as safe as possible.

A puppy returning from a trip to the vet ©iStock
A puppy returning from a trip to the vet

Is It a Good Idea?

So does pet insurance make sense? The answer has to be a resounding yes. For a minor premium you can buy peace of mind knowing that if something does happen to your best friend, the cost of treating him will not become so exorbitant that he might have to be put out of his misery. Making such a decision should never have to be primarily a financial consideration. Instead, it should be based upon your animal’s need and the possibility of recovery.

It is also good to note that many companies that offer pet insurance advertise that their rates are totally independent of the number or cost of claims that you might make on behalf of your pet in any given year. Therefore, there is no need to worry about the insurance premium being doubled or tripled because your pet was unlucky enough to need help. It can be used as needed.

Give pet insurance a try. It is good for you and more importantly, good for your pet. If she could say thank you, we’re sure she would.

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