4 best pet insurance plans to protect your furkids (2021), Lifestyle News

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Four different means to stop your pet’s medical bills from burning a hole in your pocket.

Our pet cats and dogs are precious members of the family that we love unconditionally, so it’s no surprise that we want to protect them from the pain and suffering of old age, illness and accidents.

It’s quite a pity then, that when it comes to pet insurance, dog and cat owners in Singapore aren’t exactly spoiled for choice.

Here are the four best pet insurance plans you should consider to protect your favourite pet, with fingers crossed that there will be more policies available sooner rather than later. But first…

A note on co-insurance and deductibles

As you go through the article, you’ll notice that some plans have co-insurance and deductibles attached to them. Here’s a quick explanation.

Co-insurance refers to the portion you have to pay when making a claim. For example, you make a claim for a vet surgery session that came up to $5,000 in total. Your pet insurance plan offers a 20 per cent co-insurance on vet surgeries.

This means that you will only be reimbursed 80per cent of the bill = $4,000. The remaining $1,000 (or 20 per cent) will have to be borne by you.

Similarly, deductibles are also borne by you, the policyholder. The difference is that deductibles are first applied on the amount being claimed, before the claim is processed.

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For example, let’s say your dog escaped and dug up your neighbour’s garden. She is now claiming damages from you amounting to $2,000.

Your insurer offers a deductible of $500 on all third-party liability claims, such as the one your neighbour has slapped you with. Therefore, your insurer will only pay $1,500 on your claim instead of the full $2,000.

Why is there such a roundabout way of doing things? Well, co-insurance and deductibles help insurers bring down premiums, by making sure that only policyholders who need to make a claim pay their share.

Otherwise, the costs will be passed on to everyone in the pool, making all policyholders pay higher premiums.

It is important to take note of deductibles and co-insurance as they affect how much out-of-pocket costs you have to bear. This, in turn, affects the value that you’re getting out of your pet insurance plan.

A summary of the best pet insurance plans in Singapore

AIA Paw Safe CIMB My Paw Pal Happy Tails PetCare
Eligibility

 Dogs

  • Age 3 months to 7 years old 
  • Dog must be licensed
  • Must not be mastiff, bull terrier, Staffordshire bull terrier, pit bull terrier, American pit bull terrier, Argentina dog, Canary dog, American bulldog or dogs crossed with any of these breeds and/or wolves

Cats and dogs

  • Age 3 months to 7 years old 
  • Licensed with AVS and microchipped 
  • Fully vaccinated and neutered/spayed
  • Must not be working dog

Cats and dogs

  • Age 4 months to 9 years old
  • Microchipped
  • Fully vaccinated
  • Must not be a working pet or one used for breeding

Cats and dogs

  • Age 2 months to 9 years old
  • Microchipped
  • Residing with you
  • Must not be a working pet or one used for breeding
Events covered
  • Accidental injury and/or death
  • Cremation and/or burial fees due to accident
  • Vet fees due to accidents
  • Loss of dog due to theft
  • 3rd-party liability

Basic cover

  • Accidental injury and/or death
  • Cremation and/or burial fees due to accident
  • Vet fees due to accidents

Optional A: Loss of dog due to theft

Optional B:

  • Vet fees due to illness
  • Cremation and/or burial fees due to illness

Clinical and surgery benefit

  • Chemotherapy benefit
  • Final expenses benefit
  • 3rd-party liability

Accidental death

  • Vet costs for accidental injury and/or illnesses
  • Lost of dog due to theft
  • 3rd-party liability 
Notable exclusions
  • Pre-existing conditions
  • Conditions arising from breeding
  • Preventive or cosmetic treatments
  • Putting your dog to sleep 
  • Pre-existing conditions
  • Conditions arising from breeding
  • Preventive or cosmetic treatments
  • Putting your dog to sleep 
  • Pre-existing conditions
  • Spay/neuter procedures
  • Non-surgical treatment or preventative care
  • Pre-existing conditions
  • Spay/neuter procedures
  • Non-surgical treatment or preventative care
Tiers and Premiums (annual)

Microchipped: $79.49

Without microchip: $84.58

Basic cover:

$74.90

Optional A: $32.10

Optional B: $321.00

For dogs

  • Fur: $337.82
  • Furry: $410.22
  • Furball: $482.60

For cats

Standard: $350

Enhanced: $450

Superior: S$750

Best for Budget-friendly plan that protects against accidental injury and death Affordable pet insurance with step-up to illness cover when needed

Protection for older pets

Pet owners seeking extended cover for medical expenses 

Protection for older pets

Vet fees cover for both surgical and nonsurgical treatments

AIA Paw Safe: Budget-friendly dog insurance for accidents

Event Claim up to 
Accidental death $1,000 or purchase price
Vet fees due to accident $1,000Deductible: $150 per claim
Cremation or burial expenses due to death by accident $250
Loss of dog due to theft

$1,000 or purchase price

Deductible: $250 per claim 

Third-party liability

$1 million

Deductible: $1,000 per claim 

Tiers and premiums (annual)

Microchipped: $79.49

Without microchip: $84.58

If your dog has a habit of chasing after cars, or bolting away from you when outside, getting an insurance plan that covers accidental injuries and death may be a prudent move. (That’s on top of proper training and handling to curb the behaviour, of course).

The AIA Paw Safe plan offers coverage against accidents involving your pet dog (fatal or otherwise), paying out benefits that can be used to help offset necessary vet surgical fees.

This plan also offers cover in case you lose your pet dog to theft. You’ll also be covered for third-party liability claims.

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Note that there’s no cover for treatments arising from non-accidents such as illnesses, making this strictly an accident plan for your dog.  

Also, be aware that there are deductibles for some claims (some of which are quite high), so the onus is on you still to properly control and manage your dog.

 Unfortunately, this policy is capped at two dogs per household, with one policy for each furkid. So if you are the lucky owner of three or more dogs, you need to look elsewhere.

Additionally, this policy does not cover certain dog breeds, including mastiff, bull terriers, pit bull terriers, American bulldogs, and more. On the bright side, your dog does not need to be a pedigree to qualify for this policy.

Additionally, the premiums are low, which makes AIA Paw Safe an affordable option for dog owners looking for accidental death and injury cover. 

CIMB My Paw Pal: Pet accident insurance with optional cover for illness 

Event  Claim up to 
Accidental death $1,500
Loss of dog due to theft (Optional A) $1,500Deductible: $250 per claim
Vet fees due to accident Vet fees due to illness (Optional B) $3,000Co-insurance: 30 per cent per claim
Cremation or burial expenses due to death by accidentCremation or burial expenses due to death by illness (Optional B) $300
Third-party liability

$250,000

Deductible: $1,000 per claim 

Tiers and premiums (annual)

Basic cover: $74.90

Optional A: $32.10

Optional B: $321.00

CIMB’s pet insurance plan offers budget-friendly protection against accidental death and injury, which should satisfy pet owners who simply wish to cover against vet fees should their cats or dogs meet with an accident.

If you’d like additional protection, there’s also an option to extend the coverage to include illness; purchasing this allows owners to also claim for vet fees arising from sickness and disease treatments, instead of just being limited to accidents.

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This feature is unique among the four plans we have surveyed. The main advantage is that it allows pet owners flexibility in meeting the changing needs of their pets as they age, without having to change providers.

One practical application could be to purchase the basic accident cover while your pet is young, and only add the optional illness cover when your pet gets older and face increased risks of contracting certain diseases.

Furthermore, your pet receives coverage instantly upon policy approval and if its microchip has already been submitted.

However, keep in mind that working pets are not eligible for this policy. For example, if your cat or dog used for law enforcement, breeding, racing, or other commercial purposes. Additionally, if your pet is a dog, it must be licensed with the AVS.

Happy Tails: Extended medical plan for cats and dogs

Event Fur (Total annual cover: $3,500) Furry(Total annual cover: $7,500) Furball(Total annual cover: $12,500) Purrfect (for cats)(Total annual cover: $5,000)
Clinical and surgical benefit $2,500 $6,000 $10,000 $3,800
Room and board expenses (after surgery) $250 $600 $1,000 $380
Post-surgery benefit $150 $300 $500 $200
Chemotherapy benefit $1,000 $1,500 $2,500 $1,200
Final expenses benefit Not covered $250 $250 $250
Third-party liability $100,000 $250,000 $500,000 $250,000
Premiums (annual) $337.82 $410.22 $482.60 $299.69

Happy Tails pet insurance is designed for pet owners seeking a more comprehensive medical plan, rather than a simple accident cover plan.

Apart from pre-existing conditions, as long as your pet dog or cat needs medical care arising from injury or illness, you’ll be covered. However, six hereditary and congenital conditions are covered by this insurance policy, including cherry eye and elbow dysplasia.

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Do note that the benefits you can claim are subject to an annual cap, which differs according to the plan you choose. 

Dog owners will have a choice of three plans, with each tier costing around $70 more than the last. Depending on the age and health status of your dog, it may be worthwhile to pay a little bit more for the higher-tier plans in order to take advantage of the higher coverage amounts. 

There’s only one plan offered for cats, with an annual limit of $5,000. This is reportedly due to cats having a vastly different size and temperament.

Do note that for Happy Tails, your furkid will need to be microchipped, fully vaccinated, and not be a working pet. It must be clinically examined by a licensed vet within 30 days from the insurance policy’s commencement date as well.

Co-insurance Deductible

20 per cent – pet enrolled before age four

30 per cent – pet enrolled before age seven

40 per cent – pet enrolled before age nine

$250 per claim 
No claims discount

First renewal – five per cent

Second renewal – 10 per cent

Third renewal – 15 per cent

Fourth renewal and onwards – 15 per cent

Pet owners may appreciate that Happy Tails offer comprehensive benefits that extend to post-treatment and recovery. However, it all comes at a cost; besides the relatively high premiums, you’ll also have to pay co-insurance and deductibles on your claims.

The plan does come with a no-claims discount which builds up to 15 per cent, which should help pet owners save some money.

Promotion: Enjoy 80 per cent* reimbursements on expenses for pets as young as 16 weeks up to below four years old at enrolment. This sum applies throughout your pet’s lifetime, as long as your pet remains under Happy Tails insurance coverage.

*Before deductible

PetCare: Premium pet insurance with high surgical cover

Event  Standard Enhanced Superior
Accidental death $1,000 $2,000 $3,000

Vet fees due to accident

Deductible: $50 per claim 

$500 $750 $3,000

Illness: Vet fees for non-surgical treatment

Co-insurance: 50 per cent

$500 $750 $3,000

Illness: Vet fees for surgical treatment

Co-insurance: 30 per cent

$1,500 $2,000 $10,000

Third-party liability

Deductible: $500 per claim

$100,000 $250,000 $500,000
Premiums (annual) $350 $450 $750

If you’re worried about the financial costs of pet surgery (which can go into the thousands), then you should look into PetCare, by Liberty Insurance.

PetCare offers a straight 30 per cent co-insurance for any surgical procedure your dog or cat may require. This feature offers a way to control how much you need to spend on vet fees, while helping your pet get the treatments they need.

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This plan also offers the highest benefit for accidental death of your pet — up to $3,000 — which may be attractive to owners with pedigree pets.

(Although we know no amount of money will ever make up for the pain of losing a beloved pet).

This is the most expensive pet insurance plan on the list. Be sure to weigh your options carefully before signing up. 

Protected up to specified limits by SDIC.

This article was first published in SingSaver.com.sg.


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