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MONDAY, JANUARY 1, 1

Does a pet insurance make sense?

Does a pet insurance make sense?

There is no general answer to this question. However, it is a fact that veterinary costs are constantly rising. Since 14.02.2020, veterinarians are even allowed to charge 4 times the fee rate during emergency service times. To pay the veterinary costs each time from your own pocket, can become quite expensive in the long run, above all in case of chronic illnesses or larger operations. This can quickly add up to several hundred or even several thousand Dollars, as you can see from the following examples:

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A tumor operation on a dog costs about $420. In severe cases, the costs rise to up to $1,000.
For wound care in cats, veterinarians usually charge around $200. Treatment of an ear infection can cost up to $1,400, depending on its course.
Colic in horses always needs to be treated by a veterinarian and in about 30% of cases even requires surgery. Costs for the operation: almost $5,000.
So that to the fears around your ill animal do not come still financial worries, an animal health insurance is worthwhile itself thus quite. Even the healthiest four-legged friends get their aches and pains at the latest when they get older.

To make sure you and your pet are covered in the best possible way in the event of an emergency, you should pay attention to the following things when comparing health insurance:

Maximum benefit. The costs for treatment, medicines and accommodation in a clinic after surgery can quickly take on large proportions. Therefore, the higher the sum covered, the better. Ideally, the tariff should even offer unlimited protection.

Waiting period. Health insurance for animals only takes effect after a waiting period. This is to prevent animals that are already ill from being insured. The waiting periods vary depending on the tariff between 30 days and 3 months. The following applies: The shorter the waiting period, the better.

Deductible. In tariffs with a deductible (SB), you pay a fixed share of the veterinary costs yourself. Usually the share is between 10 % and 20 %. Some tariffs also specify fixed deductible amounts. Others do not include a deductible. The latter offer you the best cost control in case of emergency.

Reimbursement of veterinary fees. Veterinarians in Germany must follow the German Veterinary Fee Schedule (GOT) when billing. This determines how much they can charge for certain services. Depending on the severity or timing of the treatment, veterinarians can bill between 1 and 4 times the GOT rate. It’s best to choose a plan that reimburses at least 2x the rate.

Chip/Tattoo. Most plans require the covered pet to be chipped or tattooed when you submit the first bill. Some plans cover the cost of implanting the chip, while others provide a subsidy. If your pet has not yet been tagged, you should also look at this when comparing rates.

International coverage. Many insurers also cover treatment abroad. There are tariffs that cover pets worldwide and for an unlimited period of time. However, this point is only important if you travel abroad frequently with your pet. VS.-Info: Horse health insurance is generally only valid in Germany.

Preventive examinations. Prophylactic measures are usually excluded from insurance coverage. However, there are animal health insurances that contribute to the costs. Depending on the tariff, this can be up to 100 €. These offer you an even more extensive cost protection.

Neutering/sterilization. Most insurers will only cover the cost of neutering if it is medically necessary. Some insurance companies will at least pay an allowance without medical necessity. 100% of the costs, even if the neutering is not medically necessary, is only covered by the cat health insurance of AGILA in the tariff Exklusiv. If the neutering of your four-legged friend is still pending, it is a big plus if the costs are covered at least proportionally.

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Can a pet insurance also be superfluous?

Since many insurance companies only insure young and healthy animals at a reasonable price, it is not worth taking out pet health insurance for every animal. A savings account or piggy bank that you regularly fill with an amount equal to the insurance premium for your pet can be a good alternative for older animals with robust health.

You alone ultimately decide if pet health insurance makes sense for your pet. The best way to do this is to make an overview of possible costs for veterinary treatment versus the premiums for the insurance. In this listing, you should not forget aspects such as deductibles and annual maximum benefit limits.

In an emergency, expensive surgery for cancer or a heart condition followed by a stay in a veterinary hospital can be a lifesaver for a dog, cat or horse. In the case of smaller pets such as hamsters and budgies, the vet is more likely to suggest euthanizing them in a manner appropriate to their species.

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