In France, on 62 million pets listed in the homes, 12% are dogs, about 7.53 million canines. For their owners, the health of their animal represents a significant burden since 52% pet owners in France spend over € 500 a year on veterinary fees. In fact, in recent years, insurance or mutual insurance for dogs have grown enormously. So, in 2018, 700,000 dogs and cats were covered by a health protection contract. It must be said that this solution has certain advantages in case of significant health expenses.
What are the solutions for financing veterinary fees?
Between 50 and 80 € for a vaccine, 40 € for an X-ray, 150 to 300 € for a sterilization or a castration, more than 500 € for an operation following a tumor or nearly 2 000 € for an operation and rehabilitation after rupture of a cruciate ligament … Veterinary fees for dogs are very high. In fact, some owners are imaginative to try to pay less. We have moreover four interesting and innovative possibilities:
– compete with veterinarians. Veterinarians are free to apply their rates. In fact, it is sometimes advisable to inquire about the costs involved in order to choose a more affordable professional, knowing that the cost is not proportional to the recognized quality of the veterinarian. It is also possible to have your pet treated in veterinary schools. They charge about 30% cheaper rates. Even though they are students who care, they are always under the supervision of experienced veterinarians. Only problem, these schools are often stormed, sometimes with difficult appointments.
– apply to animal protection associations. Some, like the SPA, have dispensaries, so with attractive prices. This solution is primarily for people with limited resources, as associations normally require proof of income.
– make a call to donations. On the Internet, more and more sick dog masters are putting together solidarity kittens. This mode of crowdfunding is quite effective.
– do not buy the drugs at the vet. Many professionals sell the necessary medications directly to dog owners. However, there is evidence that their price is higher by an average of nearly 30% compared to the same product purchased in pharmacies. So do not hesitate to ask for a prescription and go to a pharmacy.
– the subscription of a health protection contract for the dog is the last solution, with the idea to foresee in advance possible health concerns.
What is dog insurance?
A dog insurance is a contract underwritten by the owner, against payment of a monthly or annual premium, and which allows the care of many health care for the animal. Thus, this type of insurance works in exactly the same way as a mutual or health insurance for humans.
In fact, the cost of insurance depends on the age of the animal and its breed. Each contract provides several guarantees, more or less extensive, and, like all conventional insurance, deductibles or a dependent for the owner. In fact, prices can be very different depending on the desired guarantees and the characteristics of the animal.
The benefits of a dog mutual
Underwriting a dog insurance or dog insurance includes a number of benefits, including relative peace of mind. Indeed, you never know when an accident or an illness is going to support your animal. Having insurance avoids worrying about the financial aspect when the event occurs. It is easier to bring your pet to the vet when you know it will not cost anything. As a result, animals that have insurance are mostly better medically monitored, and stay healthier longer.
In addition, when we know the cost of different veterinary acts, there is no doubt that a mutual quickly becomes very advantageous, without even the dog suffers from very important pathologies. Not to mention that many owners are forced, every year, to euthanize their animals because the costs generated by an illness are too high. For these difficult situations, the dog insurance will be a formidable efficiency.
Thus, taking out a contract is a pledge of economy, better monitoring of the health of the animal and allows you to enjoy his companion on all fours without apprehension of what may happen to him.
Is insurance required?
Dog insurance is absolutely not mandatory. Each master is free to subscribe or not to this type of contract. Nevertheless, more and more animal owners have the choice to choose one, for all the reasons we have already mentioned. Moreover, veterinarians advise more and more this type of contract, aware that any financial difficulties ultimately harm the health of animals. It is therefore better to spend a little each month to ensure the health of the animal than having to spend large sums when health problems occur.
What does a dog health insurance cover?
Guarantees covered by an insurance or a mutual insurance company vary greatly from one contract to another, but also according to the chosen formula and the monthly cost.
In general, insurance covers, in whole or in part, the cost of consultations with the veterinarian or animal specialists, whether consultations are traditional or taken urgently. All veterinary acts are also entitled to care. This primarily concerns examinations, laboratory analyzes, x-rays or scans. The costs of surgery and hospitalization are provided by the insurance companies. Finally, ancillary costs such as medication or re-education of the animal give rise to refunds. All these expenses are taken care of, whether they occur as a result of an accident or illness contracted by the dog.
The second part of the care taken is the prevention of the health of the animal. This includes for example different vaccines, sterilization, flea treatments, but also the screening of various diseases and scaling, very important especially in some breeds of dogs.
For conventional medical procedures, insurance reimburses expenses up to a certain percentage, which varies between 40 and 100% of actual costs. However, for preventive care, the reimbursement is based on an annual fee, which varies from a few tens to hundreds of euros. Beyond this package, the costs are the responsibility of the owner.
Finally, several insurances include additional services or guarantees. For example, some have a mobile application that can be used to reach emergency veterinarians. Other contracts provide for civil liability for the animal: thus, if it hurts someone or deteriorates equipment, the insurance will take care of the repair of the damages or the expenses of health of the injured person.
How much does a dog insurance cost?
It is difficult to give accurate monthly costs for dog insurance for several reasons. On the one hand, the price is very variable depending on the breed of dogs. In fact, races that have predispositions to diseases have the cost of their insurance raised. On the other hand, the dog's age comes into consideration. The older he is, the higher the insurance premium. The companies specialized in this type of contract offer rather low prices for young dogs, this one increasing with the years. Finally, the last criterion that comes into play is the contract itself. Plus this one is protective, with a high caring percentage, a major prevention package, a high annual repayment cap, but also low deductibles, plus, logically, it will cost the owner each month. It is up to everyone to establish the best compromise between the range of safeguards needed to effectively protect their dog and the amount we are willing to pay on a monthly basis.
Thus, the monthly costs of a dog insurance range from € 7 for the most basic contracts to about € 60 for high-end contracts. For example, a basic contract may provide for a reimbursement rate for costs following an accident or illness of 60%, up to a limit of € 1,000 per year. To this is added a prevention package that rarely exceeds 20 €. A top-of-the-range contract will cover 100% of health expenditure excluding prevention, up to a limit of around € 2,500 and a prevention package of around one hundred euros.
What to pay attention when subscribing a dog mutual?
Today, nearly twenty companies offer pet insurance in France. These include Assur O'Poil, SantéVet, Fidanimo, Bulle Bleue, which are the most established players. In fact, it is essential to make several quotes on sites like toutoupourlechien.com before taking out a contract, because the insurance for dogs will be more or less competitive depending on the breed or the age of the animal. It is important to carefully review the rate proposals and terms and conditions of each contract. The following points should be carefully considered:
– the rate of support: between contracts that reimburse 40% of the costs and others that support everything, there are big variations. This criterion is the first thing to look at. Nevertheless, we must not stop at this rate. It is important to check what types of care are reimbursed: traffic accident and / or illness in particular. In addition, insurance excludes certain specific acts or certain diseases: it is for example the case of congenital diseases for several breeds of dog or operations of the patella or the shoulder.
– the annual amounts of support: all animal insurances provide a maximum annual amount supported. This varies from € 1,000 to more than € 2,500. Thus, all costs beyond this amount will be borne by the owner of the animal. The same principle applies with the costs of preventive acts. Logically, these fees are fairly fixed from year to year. It is therefore interesting to know how much is spent annually by the veterinarian for this type of care in order to assess the needs in terms of insurance.
– the annual deductible: some contracts provide for an annual deductible of up to a hundred euros. This means that at the beginning of the year, the insurance will start to pay back only when the care exceeds this package which remains the responsibility of the owner.
– Waiting periods: At the time of the subscription of a contract, the insurers foresee a period during which no expenses can be refunded. For an accident, this period varies between 2 and 15 days. For an illness, it is one to two months. Lastly, several contracts do not reimburse any surgery until six months later. However, it is sometimes possible to lower these deadlines by transmitting to the insurer a medical certificate from the veterinarian certifying that the animal is in good health at the time of the subscription of the contract.
Can all dogs be insured?
Insurers have no obligation to insure an animal. In fact, each contract provides criteria, sometimes quite restrictive.
The first criterion is the age of the animal. Many insurance companies refuse to cover older animals. Thus, after seven years, it is already complicated to find insurance. And when the dog reaches 10 years, it is almost impossible. However, these animals will continue to be insured if the first contract was taken out when they were young. But these restrictions do not apply only to older dogs. The insurance industry is reluctant to accept puppies under two months old, a period when dog mortality remains high.
The second restriction concerns already sick animals at the time of the contract subscription. The vast majority of insurance companies simply refuse to insure the animal. Others accept, but only for health expenses that do not relate to the illness of which is reached the best friend of man.
Thus, currently, dog insurance is developing considerably because it can limit the direct costs caused by an accident or an illness. Nevertheless, to find an effective and useful contract, it is necessary to make several estimates. Moreover, the different comparative sites online are very useful to find the best contract.