When you welcome an animal, you commit to caring for it as a full member of the family for many years. Everyone must be able to deal with the risks and health problems of which our companions may be victims, for this reason more and more French people are choosing to take out health insurance for their animal.
Question 1: What is animal health insurance?
Animal health insurance works like a mutual in human medicine. In the event of an accident or illness, animal health insurance covers and reimburses veterinary consultations, examinations and treatments implemented up to the chosen formula. Veterinary medicine regularly makes huge progress. Thanks to it, animals are living longer and healthier. But sometimes it comes at a high cost. Animal health insurance allows you to care for your companion so that he can benefit from the best possible care, without worrying about expenses.
The health insurance for dogs, cats and animals belonging to the NAC family (new pets) is easy to use. It allows the owner to consult the veterinarian of his choice as soon as necessary for his animal. At the end of the consultation, the veterinarian fills in a treatment sheet. This is sent to the insurer, along with the invoice, for reimbursement by the insurance company.
Question n ° 3: When to sign this type of contract?
It is important to insure your dog, cat or NAC as soon as possible. There are indeed age limits. On average, the animal can be insured from the age of 2 months and up to 5 years for a dog; up to 5 years old, even 8 years old in some cases, for a cat; between 2 to 10 years for NACs depending on their species. The animal is insured once the waiting period has passed, and this throughout its life, regardless of its age.
Did you know ? By SantéVet, specialist in pet insurance:
“To consider health insurance cover for your pet is to give yourself more chances to be able to save them and provide them with the best veterinary care if necessary. Indeed, and unfortunately, some pet owners have to resort to euthanasia of their animal, because they lack financial means. An illness can quickly generate costs in excess of 1000 €, especially if there are complications, analyzes to be carried out … Do not hesitate to talk to your veterinarian! “
SantéVet, insuring your pet is not stupid!
Question # 4: What is the waiting period?
In the same way that one cannot insure an already damaged good, the waiting period in animal health makes it possible to certify that the animal is in good health at the time of signing the contract. Variable periods of 48 hours to 6 months are established before taking charge in the event of illness, surgery or accident. Hence the importance of not waiting to be faced with a problem and significant expenses to sign this type of contract.
Many animal health insurance offers are available. But not all are created equal. The cheapest are not the best! Good animal health insurance must also cover the costs in the event of illness, and not only following an accident. It must allow you to consult the veterinarian of your choice, in France and abroad if you are traveling with your animal. Emergency consultations must also be covered. Good animal health insurance also takes care of problems arising from consultation with a behaviorist veterinarian if necessary.
Question n ° 6: Does my animal have to be identified to be insured?
The insurance code makes it compulsory in France to identify a dog, cat or NAC. The animal, depending on its species, can be identified by an electronic chip (transponder) which is implanted under the skin by the veterinarian or by dermograph tattoo. Besides, it does not allow you to travel everywhere with your pet since some countries now require electronic identification. The identification can be partially reimbursed thanks to the prevention package contained in certain animal health insurance formulas.
Question # 7: What is reimbursed and what is not?
Any illness or accident, which subsequently results in the health of the animal, and which therefore predates the date of contract subscription, falls within the scope of the exclusions. Hence the importance of ensuring the youngest possible companion. Likewise, hereditary diseases and their consequences are part of the pathologies falling within the scope of the exclusions. Nowadays, tests to detect certain hereditary diseases exist. When choosing the animal, the future master has every interest in asking what is the status (free or not) of the parents of his new companion. As for sterilization or castration, they are reimbursed as soon as there is a therapeutic cause which requires it or even after a certain period of seniority of the contract. These acts can also be partially funded by the prevention package according to the chosen formula.
Question n ° 8: What are the different existing insurance formulas?
The owner can choose between several formulas. What sets them apart is the reimbursement rate: 50, 70, 75, 85, 90 or 100%. Some formulas also include a prevention package. The owner can therefore, depending on the breed or type to which his animal belongs, choose the formula that best suits him and is most suited to his expectations.
Question n ° 9: The “plus” of the prevention package
Animal health insurance makes it possible, thanks to the prevention package contained in certain formulas, to benefit from a sum allocated each year. The owner has it as he pleases. It can thus finance the purchase of veterinary products which are not included in the reimbursements (dewormers, antiparasitics, hygiene products, etc.). This amount can also be used for other acts not reimbursed by insurance or for the annual health check.
Question 10: Are there options?
If the owner wishes, many other options are available. Some are free, others are paid. For example, it is possible to benefit from the civil liability, essential for any dog and which is moreover compulsory for those of first and second category as defined by the law of January 1999 on the so-called “dangerous” dogs. There are also options “death guarantee”, “lost animal” or even “parachute”, the latter concerning indoor cats and veterinary fees from falling from a balcony.
Source: SantéVet, the specialist in dog, cat and NAC health insurance