Pet Insurance


Most of us love animals and keep them as pets. They become part of our family and we form an emotional attachment to them. Did you know, as a pet owner or animal owner you can get pet insurance or animal insurance? Your pet is just like your family. Hence, there is an Insurable Interest. Getting a suitable pet cover is all about being informed. You need to understand there is a difference between pet insurance and pet care insurance. I shall try to arm you with sufficient knowledge that will help you make a better decision regarding pet insurance.

Bird on a ledge                               Staring Cat

What Is Pet Insurance?

Pet insurance is a policy that insure’s the life of your pet. It also protects the owner financially if the pet gets stolen. Some animal insurance policies also cover the expenses incurred as a result of illness or injury to the animal.

Who Needs Pet Cover

Some of us keep pets because our health does not allow us to be completely independent. And, yet others keep them for emotional comfort and support they provide. Either way, your pet is your lifeline. Hence, you need to buy a pet cover to keep them suitably.

Veterinary Care

Animals are living beings that are susceptible to falling ill and getting injured. Today, the veterinary expenses are high. As such, the best way to safeguard your pet against this aspect of life is to invest in a good animal insurance policy. Also, like your own family members, you have a vested interest in the life of your pet. An appropriate pet cover will help you insure the life of your dear friend.

History of Pet Insurance

The first known case of animal insurance was reported in the year 1890. This policy was written by Claes Virgin who was the founder of Länsförsäkrings Alliance. His prime focus area was livestock and horses.         The first insurance policy for dogs was written in Sweden in the year 1924. In 1980 VPI or the Veterinary Pet Insurance started operations in North America. At that time it was the only company that offered insurance to pets. The television star Lassie was the first dog to be insured in the United States in the year 1982.

How Pet Insurance Policy Works

You might assume, a pet insurance policy is similar to a human life insurance policy. However, that is not the case. Pet insurance or animal insurance is more a type of property insurance. Herein, the insurance company will reimburse the owner once the pet has received the necessary treatment. The owner will submit the bills to the insurance company. The company will then check the validity of the said claim and reimburse keeping to the terms of the contract.

Exotic Animal

Until quite recently most insurance companies would not offer pet insurance plans for elective (neutering) and preventive (vaccinations) procedures. However, as the demand for pet covers is increasing, the policies are being modified. In fact, the traditional pet covers provided insurance protection to just dogs, cats, horses and cattle. But as the demands of pet owners are changing, the animal insurance policies are being forced to cover other exotic species as well. The only drawback is that the premiums in cases of exotic animals are relatively high.

Types of Pet Insurance

There are two broad categories of pet covers. These being:

  • Lifetime Pet Insurance Policies – This type of policy covers all conditions that a pet could suffer throughout their life. If a condition needs further treatment the insurance company shall pay in accordance with the terms of the pet cover. A condition that has already been claimed carries on being covered throughout the lifetime of the pet.
  • Non-lifetime Pet Insurance Policies – This type of policy covers most conditions that a pet can suffer during the term of the policy. On renewal of the policy, a condition that has been claimed will be barred. In case, the said condition needs to be treated further the pet owner will pay from their own pocket.

Pet Care Insurance

Pet Care Insurance covers the businesses that are allied to taking care of the pet. So, Yes! Veterinary expenses are covered. But that is not all, under the purview of pet care insurance come dog walker’s insurance, pet grooming insurance, pet sitter insurance etc. However, the two terms, pet insurance, and pet care insurance are used interchangeably. Hence, at the time of purchasing the pet cover confirm with your insurance company the range of services covered by your pet care insurance policy.

A Good Pet Cover Will…

  • Insure the life of your pet.
  • Bear in part the veterinary expenses.
  • Financially protect owner when the pet is stolen.
  • Provide third party protection to dog walkers, pet sitters etc.

Future Of Pet Insurance

Pet Insurance or animal insurance is yet evolving. Most developed countries have a form of pet care insurance, though not all. As more and more regulations are passed forcing people to take good care of their pets, they are being forced to look for pet covers. In turn, the insurance companies are diversifying the product to make sure that they can meet almost all expected needs. However, a lot more still needs to be done.

There are many uncaring people who keep pets and fail to look after them properly. Sometimes this happens due to the scarcity of funds but mostly due to the owner’s negligence. In the near future, the governments will have to pass laws to make pet insurance mandatory for all pet owners. The benefit of doing so is that a person will no longer be able to keep a pet and ill-treat it.

Is Pet Insurance Worth It?

The answer to this question is pretty straightforward…if your life is worth a life insurance then your pets life is definitely worth it too. Just because your animal cannot convey his needs and requirements adequately does not mean that you can overlook them. They too fall ill and get injured. Medical expenses are high all around and veterinary expenses are no exception.  Therefore, as a conscientious owner, you need to buy the most appropriate cover for your pet.

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