Pet insurance: is it really worth it?

Find out if it pays off for you and what you can expect. Insurance for pets is quite common all over the world, but in Portugal the trend is still recent. The most widespread opinion is that animals don’t need major medical care, until the bills start knocking on the door and shaking the monthly budget.

Find out if it’s worth subscribing and what benefits you can count on.

What is pet insurance?
Pet insurance is financial protection that you can purchase to ensure your pet’s well-being. In the same way that it is possible to take out health insurance or other insurance, it is also possible to do the same with pets in order to help support health expenses. That’s why many owners consider taking out insurance for pets, and the trend is growing due to the numerous advantages they bring. As with humans, pet insurance can work in three different ways: through reimbursement of part of the expenses, through a network of agreed providers with lower prices than usual, or through both.

What types of pet insurance are there?
There are 3 types of pet insurance on the market: civil liability insurance, health insurance and some more complete ones. These are the main features of each.

1. Civil liability insurance for pets
A pet liability insurance protects against damage that your pet can cause, ensuring the payment of compensation for the resulting damages. It is especially useful when, for example, a dog, in a more excited moment of play, hurts a child or a neighbor, or when he accidentally damages a car or a store. It is also essential when you are staying in a hotel and the dog ruins the sofa while playing, or when it takes advantage of a moment of distraction from the owner and moves away to the road, which can cause collisions of vehicles that try to deviate from it. In Portugal, this insurance is mandatory for dogs classified as potentially dangerous.

2.Health insurance for pets
Pet health insurance is very similar to human health insurance. Usually, they contribute to veterinary assistance and medicines, and may also include exams, surgeries and hospitalizations. It is, therefore, a way to minimize costs and provide a better clinical treatment for pets. Animals require more medical care than you might think. On average, adopting a pet involves around €900 a year between medical and food expenses.

3.All-inclusive pet insurance
In addition to what is mentioned in the previous points, this type of insurance can cover a number of other situations for complete assistance. Some policies cover the custody of the animal, protecting it in situations where the tutors are temporarily unavailable to care, such as during the vacation period, the need for hospitalization and hospitalization, or any other similar situation. They may also include legal assistance and coverage of legal expenses in litigious cases arising from the action of the animal, or even the organization of funeral services, with all the formalities inherent in the event of the animal’s death. This type of insurance is the option that brings more peace of mind to tutors, but which, as a rule, is more expensive.

Is it worth taking out pet insurance?
The first question you should ask to know if, in your case, is it worth taking out pet insurance, is: how would you handle an unexpected bill? Could you easily cope with a large and unexpected amount, or would your financial health be seriously compromised?

There are, however, some aspects to consider when making this decision. If your pet is very sociable, outgoing and energetic, it is a sign that it is happy, but it can also be a risk factor for causing accidental damage or inadvertently injuring people. In this case, even though it is not mandatory, it may be worth subscribing to this type of insurance.

In addition, animals can also have an accident or become ill, and treatments, depending on their complexity, can involve thousands of euros. Considering that the average life expectancy of dogs and cats has practically doubled in the last decades, it is more likely that, throughout their lives, some clinical complications will arise. Taking out pet insurance is a way to provide your pet with all the care it needs without emptying your bank account.

Taking out pet insurance is one way to make your pet happy. In addition to taking care of your friend’s health, make sure he has a healthy, balanced diet, spend time with him and give him lots of affection.

Adopting a pet is a multi-year commitment. And so that the expenses don’t weigh you down, consider taking out life insurance for your four-legged companion.