We all love our dogs and only want what's best for them. One of those things are health care insurances. They protect our loved ones (and our wallet) from any misfortunes. But the world of insurances can be overwhelming. Here's a quick guide that can help you how to choose your dog health care insurance!
Does my dog need insurance?
Personal financial situation
Having a dog is not the most expensive thing in the world but it's not exactly cheap either. By owning a dog you have to take paying dog tax into consideration which is about 100 - 150 € annually. Perhaps you want to think about liability insurance for your dog as they are not included in the regular liability insurance, unlike cats. Moreover, dog surgeries can be extremely expensive ranging from 400 to 1 500 and even 10 000 € for severe cases. If you have a savings account for your pet you might be able to cover up one surgery or two. However, if your dog needs multiple surgeries it could become difficult for some people.
Most insurances don't accept dogs that are older than eight years old as surgery for a dog at this age would cost a great amount of money. There are a few insurance companies that still accept dogs that are above the age limit but be aware that insurance could cost you up to 1 000 € annually without much coverage from the insurance itself.
French bulldogs or pugs are prone to a syndrome called "Brachycephaly" which describes a shorter skull than typical for a species. This results in very narrow airways and it might be difficult for your dog to breathe properly leading to chronic breathing issues. Some dogs require surgery from a very young age on though only if the trait is severe.
Types of insurances and what to look out for
If you decide to take out health care insurance, it is important to think carefully about all the offers out there. Make sure you know what is and isn't included in your plan and what exactly the insurance company covers. (Note that most insurances require a waiting period of about one month until the insurance company starts to cover for costs)
There are two main insurance types in Germany:
Starting off with the full or complete coverage insurance (Vollschutzversicherung), this type of insurance usually covers the majority or even all of the costs regarding health care. When considering full coverage insurance these are the details to look out for:
Full coverage insurance
*Gebührenordnung für Tierärzte (eng.: Veterinary fee schedule)
The second type is regular surgery insurance (OP-Versicherung). This one is less complicated and has fewer coverages. Therefore, it is also much cheaper. However, it only covers expenses related to surgery.
Costs vary between different providers and ages. The price will increase with the age of your dog. So, for example, if you get insurance for your one-year-old dog you will pay around 23 € whereas the same insurance for your seven-year-old dog might cost you 35 €.
For full coverage insurance, prepare to set aside 20 to 70 € a month. The more you pay for the insurance, the less you pay for treatment or operation costs (or if you have a good insurance plan, you might also pay nothing at all except the monthly fee).
A surgery insurance is more affordable and is usually between 8 to 20 €.
Below you can find a quick overview of the top four dog health care insurance companies in Germany:
Whether or not you decide to get insurance for your dog, be sure to always have an emergency plan for your loved one(s) in case something happens to them. If you are uncertain or overwhelmed with all the offers that are out there I would advise you to visit a website where you can compare different insurances to each other (for example check24.com for Germany). Lastly, checking on your pet often enough can help prevent diseases or illnesses soon enough. Until next time, stay happy and healthy!