Are Your Pets Insured?

By Sanesh Mathew | November 16, 2017

Pet Insurance is a thing! Read on to learn all about Pet Insurance in India.

Are Your Pets Insured?

Unlike in most European countries and the United States, Pet Insurance isn’t as popular a concept in India when compared to Life Insurance, Health Insurance, loans or Credit Cards.

Pet parenting is evolving in our country. Today, our pets are considered members of our family. As pet parents, we often spend a great deal of our time and money to care for them and keep them healthy.

Regular visits to a vet can cost a pet parent around Rs. 300 to Rs. 1,000 per visit while treatment costs can cost anywhere above Rs. 2,000. Pet Insurance will certainly help reduce the impact of such treatments on your wallet. However, there aren’t many Pet Insurers in our country and many pet owners aren’t even aware they exist.

Pet Insurance can provide a much-needed helping hand to pet owners. But, what exactly does Pet Insurance cover? Pet Insurance usually covers the veterinary treatment charges accrued if your pet falls ill or gets injured. Some policies also pay out if the insured pet dies, gets abducted or is lost. However, these policies do not cover routine check-ups.

Additional Reading: 10 Financial Tips For Soon-to-be Pet Parents!

The main advantage that Pet Insurance provides a pet owner is reduced cost of treatments. Veterinary treatments are quite expensive and Pet Insurance can help pet parents provide their pets with the best treatment without worrying too much about burning a hole in their pockets.

If a Pet Insurance could ease the financial stress on pet owners, then why are there fewer takers for it in India? Let’s take a look at some of the reasons.

Firstly, there are only a few Pet Insurers in the country and pet owners aren’t really aware of them. Awareness is low mainly because these Pet Insurance companies do not promote their product since the policies benefit the pet owners and not them. And since people don’t know about these policies,  there are very few enquiries about them resulting in fewer sales.

Secondly, the claim process isn’t an easy one. It requires several documents and details. Maybe if the process was simplified and the product offering was more favourable (than it is now) to the customer, then there will be a higher demand for Pet Insurance here.

Also, in India, most Pet Insurance plans tend to focus only on dogs. There are only a handful of insurers who provide coverage to other pets such as cats, birds etc. In addition, these policies treat pets as property used for shows/performances or breeding purposes.

Another reason for the low adoption of Pet Insurance policies in the country can be attributed to insurers providing little to no information about these policies on their website or through their sales representatives. And only a few insurers offer animal insurance, which mainly focuses on livestock animals since there is humongous demand in that segment.

A few believe that insurance companies don’t offer Pet Insurance because the mortality rate is high in this segment as most pets aren’t regularly vaccinated or given proper veterinary care/treatments.

Did you know that not taking care of your pets properly can turn into a huge financial burden, especially if you don’t have an insurance? You can obviously opt for a Personal Loan if it’s an emergency and you don’t have enough funds. Or you could have a dedicated Emergency Fund for your pet, just to be prepared for future emergencies.

Additional Reading: How To Build An Emergency Fund

Type Of Coverage Available

There are three different types of Pet Insurance policies you can choose from if you’re planning to take one:

Lifetime cover: This policy covers expenses related to a pet contracting any long-term or chronic illness. The illnesses covered in this policy include arthritis, eczema or any other sickness that requires your pet to be treated by a vet for a long period of time. Under this type of policy, a policyholder is entitled to a specific sum of money every year. This maximum limit can be reset when the policy is renewed. This cover is especially available for Pet Insurance bought for dogs and cats.

Time-limited cover: Through this cover, pet owners receive financial protection for a specific period after a pet suffers an injury or contracts any disease that requires him/her to be treated by a vet. This cover is usually cheaper than the lifetime cover and is extremely popular among people who are worried about incurring high treatment costs.

Money-limit cover: Through this cover, pet owners can receive monetary benefits for every condition that falls under the purview of Pet Insurance coverage. There is no time limit and a policyholder can claim for as long the money limit is not reached. This cover is generally costlier than the lifetime cover but cheaper than the time-limited cover.

What Pet Insurance Policies Cover

Most pet insurance policies cover the following:

  • Death caused by an accident
  • Any diseases contracted while the policy is in effect
  • Treatments for any accidents caused while the pet is in transit (rail, road or air), or accidental poisoning
  • Loss or theft of the pet
  • Third party liability (for example, your dog biting a passer-by)

What Pet Insurance Policies Don’t Cover

Here are a few general exclusions from most Pet Insurance policies:

  • Any wilful injuries caused to the pet
  • Diseases or injuries resulting from poor handling of the pet
  • Loss of the pet or injuries resulting from military disturbances, war, revolutions, etc.
  • Death caused by certain conditions such as rabies, hepatitis, viral enteritis, leptospirosis, distemper, etc.
  • Any illness or diseases that were present before taking the policy

You won’t be able to find Pet Insurance in India easily. But, these two insurers offer pet insurance:

New India Assurance Co. Ltd.

This PSU offers dog insurance for dog owners. Insurance is provided for cross-bred dogs, exotic dogs and those of indigenous origin who are in the age group of eight weeks to eight years.

A qualified vet should do the valuation. A Veterinary Certificate must be issued and this should be submitted along with a detailed pedigree record and kennel club record to the insurance company. The insured dog must be marked via one of these identification methods – tattooing, nose print or photograph.

The premium rate of this policy is 5% of the sum insured.

Oriental Insurance

Oriental Insurance provides insurance policies for a variety of animals – dog, horse, rabbit, cattle, sheep/goat, camel, duck, elephant, and pig. If you want to learn more about these animal insurance policies, kindly visit the insurance company’s website.

Get your pet insured for any amount ranging from Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 50,000 depending on the breed and the insurance company.

There is an enormous opportunity in the pet care space in India, which sadly pet insurers aren’t capitalising on yet. However, the future does look bright and we hope that insurance companies will soon offer products that are in sync with changing times and people’s lifestyles. We’re sure that Pet Insurance will surely pick up its pace in the coming years.

Psst! Although we don’t have Pet Insurance as of now, we have other financial products such as Credit Cards, Personal Loans, Home Loans, Mutual Funds and more. Care to check us out?

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Category: Insurance
Sanesh Mathew

About Sanesh Mathew

A talkative sleepyhead, Sanesh, enjoys watching horror movies, listening to music, reading all things related to personal finance and wandering aimlessly (walking meditation, he calls it!). He refers to himself as a 'simple human being with a rather chaotic mind'.

4 thoughts on “Are Your Pets Insured?

  1. AvatarDr. Pippa Elliot

    I think it makes sense for pet insurance to be largely dog oriented no matter what country it’s in. Pet insurance for cats really isn’t necessary in most cases, in my opinion.

    Reply
  2. AvatarAnirban Sen

    Where can I obtain medical/health/composite insurance for my pet cat in India?

    Reply
    1. AvatarTeam BankBazaar

      Hi Anirban,

      Insurance firms like United India Assurance offer insurance cover for cats. You can ask any general insurance firm if they have pet insurance.

      Cheers,
      Team BankBazaar

      Reply

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