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In the affluent society that we live in today, many pet owners may treat their pets as an extended member of their family. This means giving the best including spending time with them, plenty of food, proper grooming, and yes, even insurance coverage.
Similar to the reasons why we buy life, health and home insurance, the main purpose for buying pet insurance is to cover us from potential financial losses. This includes our pet being ill and needing medical treatment, third-party liability claims for damages our pet inflict on others or their properties and even theft.
Pet insurance in Singapore is a relatively new product. Even among pet owners, not many would know about pet insurance. In this article, we will explain how pet insurance works and how you can buy them.
Can My Pet Be Insured?
In Singapore today, you can buy insurance policy for either your pet dog or cat. In total, there are three insurers that offer pet insurance. They are Liberty Insurance, AIA and AON.
To qualify for coverage, your pet must be older than 8 weeks and younger than 9 years of age when cover first commences.
What Does It Cover?
# 1 Non-Surgical Expenses: If you bring your pet to a vet, the insurance policy will cover some of the cost you incur. Generally, there will be a co-payment feature which means you will be paid part of the cost incurred and not the full amount. There is also a cap for the amount that you can claim each year from the insurance policy
# 2 Surgical Expenses: This will cover any surgery that your dog or cat may need. Similar to non-surgical expenses, you will need to co-pay part of the medical bill with the insurance covering the rest of the bill, up to a certain limit each year.
For example, the PetCare (Dogs) Superior policy offer by Liberty Insurance provides an annual claim limit of up to $10,000 (30% co-sharing).
# 3 Chemotherapy Cost: Similar to humans, your pet can be diagnosed with cancer. Chemotherapy treatment is one way to manage the illness, but that’s also a cost that owners will have to bear.
# 4 Accidental Death: If your pet passes away due to any sudden circumstances, the policy may pay out a death benefit. This is likely to be a few thousand dollars, compensating you for the estimated cost that you may have bought your pet for.
# 5 Third Party Liability: A significantly underestimated risk is the liability that you may have to bear because of mischief caused by your pet. For example, if your pet were to do something silly, like attack someone else, you may be legally liable for the medical bills incurred. If your pet destroys someone else’s property, you may also be liable for the damages.
# 6 Theft: If your pet is stolen from you, your insurance may cover for the loss.
# 7 Final Expenses: Your pet will eventually leave you one day and a simple cremation is something some pet owners may want.
How Much Does Pet Insurance Cost?
Premiums for pet insurance depends on the extent of coverage. Based on what we observed on Insurance Market, an online insurance comparison platform in Singapore, premiums can range from $350 per year ($2,500 annual claim limit) to $1,000 per year ($16,000 annual claim limit).
The purpose of insurance is to hedge yourself against adverse circumstances, and to give yourself some peace of mind. So, if you are the sort that will send your pet for treatment and may be worried about the medical cost that follows, a pet insurance policy may help ease your worries.
If you like to buy an insurance policy for your pet, and would like to find out if your pet is eligible for insurance coverage, and how much it will cost, you can use the Insurance Market comparison platform below to help you find the right pet insurance policy that you want.
Have a specific insurance question that you wish to ask? DollarsAndSense is teaming up with fundMyLife to help get your insurance questions answered – for free. You can get personalised answers from a pool of handpicked, professional advisors. You can find out more about advisors on fundMyLife.
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