Comprehensive Guide to insuring your pet dog in India
I don't remember a day, I don't adore dog pictures on my Instagram. It's my favorite pastime. Then I get into thinking the joy pet owners must be experiencing each day in their life. Wow! How do I wish I had a pet dog of my own? Its a childhood dream which I am sure I will fulfill one day.
Pets are the family you choose. As they start living with you, loving you, they gradually become an inseparable part of families - something that cannot be described in words.
All pet parents have one thing in common - they want to take special care of their cute furry friends. They want to ensure the pet has access to the best of everything. Time and again pet parents have inquired whether there is good pet insurance available in the market.
Until yesterday, pet insurance in India covered pets like cattle or other animals like a horse or a cow employed for commercial reasons. These policies only covered death and disability. There was no policy I am aware of that covered a pet for illness or injuries.
That is about to change now. Bajaj Allianz has now introduced a comprehensive health insurance policy for dogs that cover surgeries, hospitalization, critical illness, and much more.
Here is a quick post to understand the cover:
What is covered?
Here are the key coverages under the policy. Apart from the surgery costs coverage, you can pick and choose the coverage you want to opt for.
- Surgery costs, costs related to pre-hospitalization, and post-hospitalization.
- Hospitalization charges in case of accident or injury of your dog.
- Lumpsum benefit on Critical Illness that requires long term care like Diabetes
- Lumpsum benefit on Terminal Illness like Cancer.
- Costs incurred when your pet dog goes missing.
- Regular medical expenses for a list of diseases.
- Legal Liability if your dog causes mishaps and you have to pay claims.
Who can get this cover?
- The dog should live with you at the address provided to the insurer
- Age when entering:
- If it is a Giant Breed – she should be between 3 months and 4 years of age.
- For all other breeds – she should be between 3 months and 7 years of age.
- Policy ends when
- Giant breeds cross 6 years of age.
- Other breeds cross 10 years of age.
- Your dog must be in sound and perfect health and free from any Injury at the time of the proposal.
- Your dog should be taken for regular annual check-ups.
- Your dog should be regularly vaccinated.
- The dog should be provided sufficient and proper food, water, shelter, and treatment and shall keep secure all fences.
Medical Test Waiver:
In case your dog is over the age of 4 years, you will have to opt for any of the below options:
- Opt for waiting period for the first three months of the Policy.
- Provide medical test reports of the dog for the Illnesses. Tests such as Biochemistry test, Circulatory blood count, urine test, and chest X-Ray carried out not more than 7 days before the application for insurance.
Details of Coverages and Exclusions:
1. Surgery and associated expenses: Upto Rs. 50000
- Surgery: up to Rs. 50,000
- Pre-Hospitalization for 7 days – Maximum Rs. 50000
- Post Hospitalization for 15 days – Maximum Rs. 50000
- Fractured limb covered for Rs. 5000
- Any disorder present existing from the birth of dog, and which is abnormal with reference to form, structure, or position of the dog.
- Any Surgeries related to procedures like hysterectomy, spaying, and castration unless medically required due to an Illness/Accident.
- Any Surgery done in relation to pregnancy or whelping
- Dental Surgery not arising out of an accident
- Any Cosmetic surgery.
- Removal of any abnormal growth such as a wart or an abscess
- Any Surgeries related to skin diseases
- Cost of artificial body parts and/or prosthesis.
2. Hospitalization – Rs. 2500 per day for a maximum of 4 days.
Covers charges made for hospitalization for an illness or accidental injury to your dog carried out in a Veterinary Hospital.
- The cost of Dental Treatment unless the treatment relates to an Injury.
- Expenses arising from skin-related treatments.
- Expenses incurred for vaccination and micro-chipping, other than the cost of treating any complications that arise from this procedure.
- Expenses incurred for spaying or castration unless the procedure is essential to treat the Injury or Illness
- Expenses incurred in connection with breeding, pregnancy, or giving birth.
- Any disorder present existing from the birth of the dog, and which is abnormal with reference to form, structure, or position of the dog.
- Expenses incurred for treatment of Illness or Injury arising out of a. Racing; b. Coursing; c. Commercial guarding; d. Organized fighting; or e. Any other occupational, professional or business uses of the dog
3. Cremation/Burial Expenses - Upto Rs. 3000
In case your dog, unfortunately, passes away due to an illness, an accident, from breeding, pregnancy or due to euthanasia prescribed by the vet. The mortality benefit will pay you INR 3,000 for the cremation/burial of your dog.
- If the dog is put to sleep for aggression not caused due to an illness.
- If the death is a result of an illness that has not been vaccinated.
4. Terminal Diseases Cover - Lumpsum cover: Rs. 30000
This optional cover provides you a lump sum compensation of INR 30,000 if the dog is diagnosed with any of the following critical illnesses:
✓ Kidney failure
✓ Coagulation disorders
✓ Cardiac dysfunctions
- If the dog dies before the completion of 30 days from the date of diagnosis of the above-listed Terminal diseases
5. Critical Illness Cover - Lumpsum cover: Rs. 25000
This cover provided you a lump sum benefit of INR 25,000 if your pet dog is diagnosed with any of the following illnesses:
✓ Cushing’s Syndrome
✓ Thyroid Dysfunction
✓ Inflammatory Bowel Disease
6. Regular Medical Expenses (OPD) : Rs. 30000
If your pet gets injured due to an accident, or contracts the diseases mentioned below, the optional OPD pet cover will be of great use. The diseases that are covered include:
✓ Hepatitis/Liver Dysfunction
✓ Inflammation of Prostate Glands
✓ Vestibular Disorder
✓ Eye Related Problems except for Glaucoma
✓ Parvo virus
Deductible of 10% or Rs. 1000 will be applicable.
7. Third Party Liability Cover: Rs. 5 Lakhs/Rs. 10 Lakhs
If your pet is the cause of an event that results in an injury, death, disease, or property damage of someone else, you will have a cover for:
- the Legal liability established by a competent Court or Tribunal or Forum constituted under Law
- Legal costs of defending a claim. You can opt for a Sum Insured of either INR 5 lakhs or INR 10 lakhs under this cover.
- Injury or damage was caused deliberately by members of your family or staff employed by you including staff/care-taker.
- Cost and expenses if the event happens in an area where dogs are prohibited unless the dog enters the area outside your control.
- Compensation or legal costs if the injured person is part of your family, lives in their home, or is paid to look after the dog, or is paid to train the dog.
- Compensation to Vets, dog trainers, kennel employees, dog breeders, dog shop owners if the incident has occurred in the course of conducting their profession/occupation.
Reward for Theft/Lost: Rs. 5000
Newspaper Advertisement: Rs. 1000
You can claim for this if your pet goes missing up to the SI (Sum Insured) that you’ve opted for. Further, this covers allows you to offer a reward to anyone who can help you find the pet.
Upon the loss, you will have to report the loss to the Police and get a General Diary entry lodged as well as register the incident with the insurer. You need to make full efforts to find your pet for at least 45 days including, if necessary, advertisements in local newspapers.
- If the claim is not supported by enough evidence or there is no advertising done to find the lost dog.
- The money you spend trying to find his/her dog is not covered.
- Any reward to anyone who is a member of your family.
All claims have a 10% Copay. You need to foot 10% of the approved claim amount from your pocket.
- Expenses to treat existing diseases before buying the insurance policy
- Expenses for diseases where preventive medicines, vaccines are missed.
- Costs or fees for experimental procedures or alternate treatments.
- Expenses for treatment of disease or accidental Injury to working dogs and volunteer dogs
- Any loss or damage in which you or any person, acting on his behalf, is involved or implicated.
- In case of injury or illness occurring outside India.
- If the illness or injury is due to an unlawful event carried out by the dog's family members
- If the dog is administered medication not recommended by the vet.
- Expenses incurred after the dog is sold.
- Surgery + Hospitalization – Rs. 315 to Rs. 2830 depending on the age and breed of your dog.
- Comprehensive (All) covers – Rs. 4000 to Rs. 13000 depending on the age and breed of your dog.
Process to buy:
You need to provide the following when applying for the insurance:
- Video of the dog walking and Colour Photos from all sides (With newspaper of Proposal date in same frame or through Insurance Wallet) or Colour Photo of RFID tag with the Identification Number clearly visible
- Diagnostics Test Results if you opt for PED cover being effective from succeeding day
- Self-declaration on vaccinations conducted on time & declaration for insurable interest
- Purchase Proof (in case of SI above max price as per pricing matrix has been selected by you)
- Pedigree Certificate (in case you have selected dog to be of pedigree lineage)
Other companies offering pet insurance:
Most of the other insurance companies providing pet insurance provide coverage for the pet as a commercial resource or asset. It usually covers Death and Disability.
New India Assurance:
New India Assurance offers insurance policy wherein pet dogs between the age of 8 weeks and 8 years can be insured. The pet is only covered against the death that occurred due to accident or illness.
The company offers insurance cover for pet dogs – but the cover is only for death due to illness or accident. It offers a dog insurance policy wherein pet dogs between the age of 8 weeks to 8 years can be insured.
United India Insurance:
The company provides a pet insurance policy for all various animals including Dogs. The insurance policy covers the pet against permanent disability and death occurred due to an accident.
Taking care of pets is entirely our responsibility which comes with a lot of expenses. Like we buy a health insurance plan for our family members, we should buy a health cover for our pet dogs as well. This gives them access to quality medical assistance when they are unwell because they are part of your family, too.
When looking for an insurance policy for your beloved dog, always remember to look for even the smallest detail and learn about various inclusions and exclusions covered under the insurance policy. Moreover, be informed about the insurance claim process to avoid confusion in case of an emergency.
Mahavir is the Founder at Beshak.org. Since 2005, Mahavir has been building tech-based startups that compare and advise insurance products to individual buyers. In his last role, he was the Chief Business Officer at Coverfox. Mahavir is a recognized professional in the personal insurance field. He has contributed to leading business publications, including The Economic Times, Business Standard, Mint, DNA, and Moneycontrol