Surgery for a dog, leg injury for a cat: it can get expensive quickly. You can protect yourself with pet insurance. But is it always a good idea?
Michael Wortberg from the Rheinland-Palatinate Consumer Advice Center knows what is really useful and what pet owners should stay away from.
What procedures for animals are paid?
In principle, all illnesses that occur unexpectedly are insured. Medically necessary treatment is covered. So-called natural or breed diseases are often excluded. For example, hip dysplasia in golden retrievers or breathing problems in outbred boxers or pugs due to too small nostrils.
What to do if the dog has already come to the owner of the patient?
Further, the same problems arise as with private comprehensive health insurance for people. Existing diseases are excluded.
How much does animal health insurance cost?
Unfortunately, there is no general answer to this question. The cost depends on the chosen insurance company. It also depends entirely on what benefits are insured, if there is a deductible, and what breed is insured. A pug or boxer that gets sick often costs more than a healthy dachshund. We can say that the halfway hull for dogs costs 400-500 euros per year. It would be just as expensive to pay for the surgery on your own every two years.
Many insurers offer surgical coverage. Does it make more sense?
Surgical insurance is the line we recommend the most. This is a very honest insurance, it states exactly what it pays out and covers expenses that can really cost you money.
Does it make sense to insure small animals such as guinea pigs, rabbits or canaries?
If you are considering something like this, you should first read it carefully, compare it, and discuss it with your veterinarian. When taking out veterinary or surgical insurance, it is important to find out in advance what exactly is not insured. What is the use of surgical insurance if x-rays, pre-treatment and post-operative care are not insured.
It is also important to consider how high the bet should be. Some insurers offer only 60% reimbursement, others 100%. Still others have a maximum limit of 800 euros per year. What is the point if the operation should cost, for example, 5000 euros? It also makes sense to calculate in advance whether the franchise is worth it. This is an example calculation. If you pay a deductible of 100 euros for treatment, but save 300 euros per year as a result, then it’s worth it.
The interview was conducted by Hans Lohmann.