Pet insurance is an insurance coverage for your pet dog or pet cat that pays fully or partially for your pet’s veterinary treatment.
India’s pet industry is growing at an explosive pace. Exotic dogs such as Siberian Husky are becoming a common sight in our cities. People are spending a lot of money on buying and maintaining exotic pets from all over the world. Dog prices in India have skyrocketed.
The pet insurance market in India is also beginning to take off. We see established insurance companies offering pet insurance coverage for pet parents. In this post, we address the following about pet insurance in India.
- What is pet insurance?
- When to opt for pet insurance?
- What to look for in my pet insurance?
- Does a pet insurer cover a chronic condition, pre-existing condition, or hereditary condition?
- Is the pet insurance claim process easy?
- What is a deductible/annual deductible?
- What are the benefits of pet insurance for dogs?
- What insurance companies offer pet insurance?
- Which is the best pet insurance company in India?
- Is pet insurance available in India?
- Is dog insurance expensive?
- Should I buy pet insurance for my dog?
- What type of coverage should I opt for my dog?
What is pet insurance?
Pet insurance is an insurance policy from an insurance company that pays fully or partially for your pet’s vet needs. Pet insurance providers offer the following coverage.
- Vet treatment/medical expense – If your pet dog or pet cat needs veterinary care, your pet insurance policy will provide coverage.
- Mortality (death) benefits cover – Mortality cover is an optional coverage that pays your sum insured amount in the unfortunate event of your pet’s death.
- Terminal disease cover – Is an optional coverage that provides a lump-sum compensation for medical expenses if your pet is diagnosed with a critical illness.
- Long term care cover – Is another optional coverage that pays for health conditions that require more prolonged treatment.
- OPD cover – Out-Patient Department is an optional coverage that takes care of accidental treatments or if your pet contracts a disease.
- Third-party liability – Is an essential coverage that pays if your pet dog or pet cat causes bodily injury to someone or causes property damage (accidental injury).
- Theft/Straying/Lost cover – Is an optional insurance coverage that pays the sum insured in a theft event.
- Wellness coverage – Is an optional wellness plan that helps you pay for routine care such as vaccinations, teeth cleaning, etc.
- Preventive care cover – Some pet insurers offer preventive coverage as an option. This cover is similar to the wellness cover.
Let us look at each one of the insurance coverage in-depth. Pet insurance is similar to health insurance. Each pet health insurance company/insurer has its subtle differences in what they cover and how they cover (pet insurance plan/pet insurance scheme). We at barks.in urge our readers to read the fine print before you buy a policy for your pet.
Pet health insurance cover
The following coverage form the pet health insurance in India.
- Vet treatment/medical expense
- Mortality (death) benefit cover
- Terminal disease cover
- Long term care cover
- OPD cover
Vet treatments in pet insurance
The pet insurer will reimburse your vet bill if your insured dog needs vet care for the following. This coverage is beneficial if you have dogs that are prone to health issues. Some popular dog breeds in India, such as the Pug, German Shepherd, Great Dane, etc. need routine care.
- Vet exams – General vet exam to check the overall health of your pet.
- Vaccinations – Some insurers cover the cost of vaccinations for your pet.
- Veterinary specialists – Sometimes, your dog will need to see a specialist who can provide expert care.
- Emergency & Hospitalization – If your pet needs emergency vet care.
- Surgery – Your pet policy will also pay for your beloved pet’s surgery.
- Prescriptions – Your insurer will pay for your dog’s medicines.
- Imaging – If your pet needs an x-ray or a scan, your pet insurance policy will pay for it.
Mortality/death cover in pet insurance
Death cover in pet insurance pays back the sum insured if your beloved puppy passes away. If you paid a premium for your Siberian Husky puppy, we urge you to opt for pet insurance.
Terminal disease cover in pet insurance in India
Dogs are like people and, sadly, suffer from several terminal diseases. The cost of treating terminal conditions such as heart issues, cancer, kidney failure, and other major illnesses is expensive. Insurers offer optional and add-on coverage to insure our pet buddies.
Long term pet insurance cover
As the name implies, long-term cover or illness plan pays for long-running treatments for our pets. With exotic dogs ruling the Indian pet market, long term cover makes financial sense.
- Hip condition – Most dog breeds in India suffer from hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia. These are expensive treatments.
- Chronic condition – A chronic illness is a pet health condition or disease that is long-lasting and needs long-term treatment for your pet – conditions such as epilepsy, thyroid issues, glaucoma, etc. are chronic.
OPD cover in pet health insurance
Out-Patient Department (OPD) cover offers reimbursement for accidental injury or if your pet contracts diseases such as parvo, pyometra, eye issues, meningitis, etc.
Third-party (TP) liability cover
India is home to some of the most dangerous dog breeds in the world. Most pet parents in India have a Rottweiler, Pitbull, Kombai, or a Rajapalayam as their pet. While aggressive dog breeds are excellent guard dogs that protect your home and family with their lives, they are also dangerous.
Third-party liability pays for legal expenses that you will incur if your beloved dog attacks and causes injury to someone. Dogs attacking and, in some cases killing people is not uncommon. If you own a giant breed, please get a policy.
If your expensive exotic pet goes missing, this cover will ensure that your insurer compensates for your financial loss. Pet theft is common in India, with small dog breeds, and cats are easy targets for thieves. The lost cover will also pay for ad and reward expenses, which will help you find your lost pet.
Wellness routine care and preventive care cover
All dogs need routine care. With rising medical expenses, having a wellness cover will ensure that your policy pays your exotic pet’s monthly cost.
When to opt for pet insurance?
Now that you are familiar with all the insurance terms. Let us look at when you need insurance for your pet.
- If you own an exotic and expensive breed such as a Husky, you must opt for insurance.
- People who own aggressive breeds such as a Pitbull, Rottweilers must consider pet insurance with third-party liability coverage.
- Suppose you own dogs that are more susceptible to illness. Dogs like the Pug, German Shepherd, Great Dane are prone to health issues when they are older.
- Your veterinarian recommends insuring your pet.
- You are a professional dog breeder. Insuring your dogs will protect your investment. Also, insurers give attractive discounts if you are insuring multiple pets.
Pet insurance has several advantages if you balance insurance costs with coverage.
What to look for in my pet insurance?
If you are considering insuring your pet, look for the following from the insurance provider.
Choose your insurance coverage based on your needs. If you have a native Indian dog breed, you don’t need health cover for them. If you own a foreign breed, we recommend buying a pet health insurance policy with death cover and theft cover. Also, consider purchasing a TP cover if you own an aggressive dog.
Read the fine print
In India, most insurance providers provide only accidental death cover. There are only two insurers that offer pet health insurance.
If you read the policy terms carefully, you will notice both insurance companies require a photo, RFID, and other forms of identifications for your pet. Insurers can deny your claim if you miss to give them all the documents and follow the process as per the policy terms and conditions.
It would help if you also made a note of pre-conditions in your policy. For instance, Bajaj Allianz expects you to submit medical test reports conducted within the last seven days for your coverage to start immediately. If you don’t offer these medical tests, your coverage begins only after 90 days.
In India, 99% of us pay out of our pocket all our pet’s vet bills. With the pet industry growing at an explosive pace, the cost of vet care is continually going up. Also, insurance companies are offering competitive premium rates.
If you just bought an expensive breed (₹25,000+), we urge you, as a pet owner, to buy health insurance for your pet. Bajaj Allianz’s premiums are attractive, and we believe it makes financial sense to get a policy.
Remember, you don’t need to opt for insurance if you own a breed that is not prone to health issues.
Before you sign, ensure that you fully understand the claim process. Pet insurance is similar to property insurance, where the insurer will reimburse the vet expense partly or wholly. They don’t offer cashless claims.
Also, each optional cover will have its specific inclusions and exclusions. Understand these terms before you opt for a policy. Ensure that you follow the process in case of a claim.
A deductible is an amount that you need to pay when you make a claim. There are two types of deductibles.
- Every claim deductible – A percentage or a fixed amount needs to be borne by the pet parent each time they make a claim. Both Bajaj Allianz and Pawtech have deductible for each claim.
- Annual deductible – A percentage or a fixed amount that you pay once annually (an not for each claim). There are no pet insurers in India who offer an annual deductible.
Does a pet insurer cover a chronic condition, pre-existing condition, or hereditary condition?
Cover of a chronic and pre-existing condition varies from one insurer to another. Pawtech, for instance, does not honor any claims arising from pre-existing condition/disease. Bajaj Allianz also has the below specific exclusion for a pre-existing condition.
“Any Claim… where the clinical signs were apparent before the effective date of the policy or that became apparent during the first fourteen (14) days before the start date of this policy;”
Is the pet insurance claim process easy?
All insurers define their claim process. Bajaj Allianz, for instance, has an easy and well-defined claim process.
Most insurers expect the following.
- Claim form – You can download it from the website or request it from the customer care.
- Medical history
- Death certificate from the vet, if you make a death claim.
- Police report for theft claims
- Vet bill, hospital bill, exam fee, and scans
- Court order in case of TP claim
What insurance companies offer pet insurance in India?
The following insurers offer pet insurance in India.
Which is the best pet insurance company in India?
The table below compares pet health insurance for the four insurers who offer pet insurance in India. Bajaj Allianz offers the best pet health insurance in India.
|INR 1000 or 5%
|INR 1000 or 10%
|Lab Tests, X-rays, Surgery, etc.
|Long term illness cover
|Third party liability
|Terminal illness cover
|Pre-condition - Microchip/RFID
|Pre-condition - Photos
|Pre-condition - Medical history
|Yes, else 3 months of no cover
|Multiple Pet Discount
|3 months to 7 years
|8 weeks to 8 years
|8 weeks to 8 years
|8 weeks to 8 years
|65% within 3 months
Is dog insurance expensive?
The premium amount varies based on several factors, such as the coverage, insurer, age of your dog, dog’s size, etc. We believe that the dog health insurance plan from Bajaj Allianz is an excellent choice and is cost-effective.
Should I buy pet insurance for my dog?
We recommend that you opt for pet insurance if you own an expensive or aggressive dog breed. For small and healthy dog breeds, you can opt-out of pet insurance.
What type of coverage should I opt for my dog?
We recommend a pet health insurance plan from Bajaj Allianz. Choose an insurance plan depending on the size of your dog, its health, and temperament.
Conclusion: Pet insurance in India
Pet insurance in India is an excellent choice for pet parents who want to provide the best possible care for their pets. We urge every pet parent to opt for insurance.
Bajaj Allianz offers excellent pet health insurance policy at an attractive rate. You can log in to their website, get a quote, and buy a policy for your dog.
The above image is the quote that we got from Bajaj Allianz for our German Shepherd. We believe it is an excellent offering from this insurer.