Want medical cover for your dog? Insure your furry buddy at Rs 315 premium
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Want medical cover for your dog? Insure your furry buddy at Rs 315 premium

What if your mischievous furry friend gets into trouble or get sick? The sudden extra veterinary care may pinch hole in your pockets. The solution to this is pet insurance

  • October 8, 2020  
  • |  
  • UPDATED   10:31 IST
Want medical cover for your dog? Insure your furry buddy at Rs 315 premium
Not many people know that you can buy a medical cover for your pet as you cover yourself with the health insurance

KEY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Providing medical care to pet dog is expensive  
  • Insurers had death benefit pet insurance plans, but not medical benefit
  • Bajaj Allianz's pet dog insurance comes with comprehensive medical cover
  • Surgery expenses and hospitalisation are two mandatory covers
  • Pet parents can add mortality, terminal illness, OPD and other covers
  • Adopted street dogs can be covered
  • Vetina Pawtect Plan by Vetina Healthcare LLP is another option

Having a pet at home is a beautiful, but expensive affair. Tending to their day-to-day care would require a significant monthly expense that too excluding medical expenses. And what if your mischievous furry friend gets into trouble or get sick? The sudden extra veterinary care may pinch hole in your pockets. The solution to this is pet insurance. Not many people know that you can buy a medical cover for your pet as you cover yourself with the health insurance.

Public sector insurance firms New India Assurance and Oriental Insurance did have dog insurance for a long time. These policies were life insurance cover in nature and only covered death due to accident and/or diseases. But, as a pet parent you would want to get your pet treated well more than getting benefit out of its death. With this thought process, the private insurer Bajaj Allianz launched a pet dog insurance policy in August in which they not just cover mortality, but also surgery expenses and hospitalisation, terminal diseases, long term care, OPD expenses, theft/lost/straying and third-party liabilities.

"We launched our pet dog insurance in the market on August 26 and so far, the response to our product has been positive and motivating. Based on the feedback, we may consider exploring other pet animal options in the future," says TA Ramalingam, Chief Technical Officer, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance.

Policy details- The surgery expenses and hospitalisation covers are mandatory, which come at the minimum annual premium of Rs 315 for up to Rs 65,000 cover, while mortality benefit cover, terminal diseases cover, long term care cover, OPD cover, theft/lost/straying cover and third party liability cover are optional. The premium depends on the age, gender and the breed of the dog. One gets a discount of 5 per cent on the premium if the dog is RFID-tagged.

The policy provides comprehensive coverage to domesticated pet dogs of indigenous origin, pedigree, non-pedigree, cross-bred and also exotic breeds over the lifetime of the dogs from age three months to 10 years, but make sure that your pet dog is vaccinated with standard vaccinations at the time of buying the policy and also throughout the policy period. Even adopted street dogs can be covered in this policy.

Surgery expenses and hospitalisation covers -- These are indemnity covers, that is, you will have to pay the medical bill yourself first. The insurer will reimburse the amount, but after deducting 10 per cent co-payment. Co-payment means the insured has to bear part of the medical expenses.

Mortality cover - For mortality benefit, you can choose the sum insured by your own. "We have a pricing grid for pedigree and non-pedigree dogs that we have defined based on the market research. If customers select the price falling in the grid, they will get the same sum insured. But, if they feel a higher sum insured is required for their pet, they will have to validate that by providing a proof of the purchase price," says Ramalingam.

Terminal disease cover - The sum insured is Rs 30,000 for terminal diseases such as cancer, kidney failure and heart disorder etc. This is a fixed benefit cover in which if the dog survives beyond 30 days from the day of disease detection, the insurer will directly pay the cover amount to the policyholder. No hospital receipt will be needed.

"In case we have paid claim under the terminal diseases cover, mortality claim can't be triggered for the same pet dog," says Ramalingam.

Long-term care cover - This cover comes with a sum insured of Rs 25,000. Some of diseases covered under this plan include epilepsy, pancreatitis, cushing's syndrome, diabetes and thyroid dysfunction etc. This is also a fixed benefit cover. So, if the dog is diagnosed with any of the covered disease, you will immediately get Rs 25,000 sum insured.

OPD Cover - The OPD cover comes with a maximum sum insured of Rs 30,000, but with a deductible of 10 per cent of the claim amount or Rs 1000 -- whichever is higher -- for each and every claim. The covered diseases include meningitis, hepatitis/liver dysfunction, pneumonia and eye-related problems (except for glaucoma), among others. It is an indemnity cover.

Third party liability cover - It comes with a high sum insured of Rs 5 lakh or 10 lakh. The insurer will indemnify you up to the sum insured, if you become legally liable to pay for any bodily injury and/ or property damage and/or sickness and/or Death of a third party due to any one event or multiple events occurring during the policy period involving your dog.

Theft/lost/straying cover - If your dog is lost or stolen and is not found within 45 days since the day of intimation to the insurer, you'll get the sum insured. "The owner has to make active efforts to search for the dog. So, not an FIR, but at least a general diary entry at nearest police station will be needed. The SI here is pre-fixed in the same manner (as per price grid) as it is done for the mortality cover," says Ramalingam.

Other options - Some general insurance companies cover your dog or cat under home insurance policy, but it is limited to only death or theft benefit. Vetina Healthcare LLP, a leading provider of animal health care products, has a Vetina Pawtect plan that provides coverage for major illness, accidental Injury, third party liability and major soft tissue surgeries, based on the plan type -- Blue Ribbon Plan Red Ribbon Plan and Yellow Ribbon Plan - selected. You can easily get the estimated premium to insure your dog on their website -- https://www.pawtectindia.com/.

"Pet insurance is a relatively new concept in India. While couple of options were available before, but not with a comprehensive coverage. Bajaj Allianz has put impressive check points in the policy. Them launching a full-fledged retail policy in itself signifies the industry is being serious about offering such policies. Dogs are no longer just a guard animal, but a family member," says Nishita Jadhav, Co-founder & CEO of Papa Pawsome, a start-up into pet grooming products.

Also read: Insurance for dogs! Bajaj Allianz launches new policy for pet canines