Here’s an odd statistic: while 80% of Swedes take out health insurance for their dog as do 35% of Brits, only 4% of the French hold a policy to cover vets’ bills. One common explanation we’ve heard is that health insurance for dogs is expensive – but so is a lot of veterinary care.
Our advice – with which most vets would concur – is that the Swedes show the way to go. But don’t hang about – most companies have an age limit (between 5 and 8 years) after which a dog can’t be signed up. Also policies don’t kick in until a certain time after enrolment so don’t wait until your canine companion gets sick or has an accident.
As in any area of insurance, you need to look carefully at what’s offered. Prices vary with the animal’s breed and the degree of cover required. Very cheap policies don’t offer much. You need to check what sort of payout you’ll get in the case of illness, accident, hospitalisation, surgery and for medication. Watch out for limits on payment and exclusions (commonly these include hereditary diseases and hunting accidents). A reasonable policy for a poodle would cost around €340 a year, for a Labrador maybe €385. For more detailed information see www.assurance-chien.com