Dog parents often feel torn between their love for furry friends and the massive bills that need to be paid to keep these members of the family healthy. Wanting to deal with this dilemma, artist Silica Kole took an insurance for her pup Zoobie. Sharing her experience of her on a Facebook group, Kole writes that she was paid the entire capped amount of ₹30,000. “After nine months of getting the insurance, my dog fell critically ill with parvovirus and almost lost her life but was saved by her competent vets. She needed hospitalisation. This happens despite being fully vaccinated. Right after parvo she gets tick fever as a secondary infection, despite having tick or flea protection in the form of Simparica (vet prescribed). My expenditure goes nearly a Lakh in all this. I filed an insurance claim with her de ella insurance company with proofs like her diagnostic test reports, her vet prescriptions, her hospital bills, vaccination status details (sic). ”
The concept of pet insurance is still fairly new, and those who have availed it are all praise for the financial trouble it saves them. “I never knew insurance for pets existed,” wrote Shailly Bhutani, on the thread of Kole’s post, which is a community of pet parents. As the awareness for pet insurance increases, pet parents share their doubts. Not sure of buying it at first, Dr Vedant Agrawal, a Delhi-based pet parent, shares he feared that the “claiming process would be difficult” and most likely he wouldn’t get any claim.
“But when I came around pet insurance from a reputable company, and found that the cover is pretty cheap at around ₹1,500 per year, I was sold for it! I bought a semi cover, which included OPD cover at ₹30,000, hospitalization at ₹10,000, and accidental surgery cost for ₹30,000. I’m only glad that I bought that cover in February this year as my pooch got infected with parvovirus; it’s symptoms are almost similar to Ebola and is a very deadly virus for dogs. Our dog was vaccinated against it, but vaccination doesn’t guarantee safety although the immunity generated after vaccination can give a chance to dog for survival,” he adds.
From not buying insurance for his pet, to feeling ecstatic about how changing his decision helped Dr Agrawal, as he ended up buying one. “We took our dog to the vet, who said that it could cost us around ₹6,000 everyday, for many days to eat. Insurance or not, we were ready to spend the money for his survival. Then, I filed the insurance claim on February 15, and the process was not very smooth because we had to upload documents multiple times. It was very confusing at the start and we had to file it multiple times online. Ultimately we went to the local office, as the main branch of the insurance company is in Nagpur, and the process there was very smooth. It cost us around ₹50,000 to ₹60,000 for the complete treatment and we filled two insurances, one for OPD care and another one for hospitalization. I received ₹9,000 for the hospitalization care. The one for OPD care is still under process, but most probably that will also get cleared, and we would at least get ₹25,000 to ₹30,000mm total. I’m glad that my pooch survived and at least part of his treatment of him would be covered by the insurance, ”adds Dr Agrawal.
And Delhi-based Dr Anurupa Roy, a businesswoman, was also apprehensive about taking an insurance earlier. “I’ve six pets and had been planning to take up pet insurance since quite some years now. But there was an absolute lack of point of sales, and the terms and conditions were unclear. Then last year, when my dog was accidentally diagnosed with fibroma, we realized the importance of insurance that would have helped us if it were in place,” shares Dr Roy, who took insurance for four of her pets later.
For Lucknow-based Jyoti Chatterjee pet insurance in India was a “dream” for her. “I am very thankful to my insurance company for rolling out this pet insurance plan in India. I have taken for my son, who is actually a male Rottweiler of one and a half years old. I have not used this policy till now but I am sure If God forbid, anything will happen accidentally, the company will definitely help with all financial need which is a great blessing for all pet parents,” she says.
Pune-based Susan Joseph, adds how she had been looking for a pet insurance for her pet and could not believe her eyes when she read about a company offering insurance for pets. “Now I am stress free because I got my pet insured. This is so helpful for pet parents in the time of emergency. We can also focus more on our pets health without worrying about the cost involved. One can keep their pet happy, healthy and protected with pet insurance,” she says.
Insurance policy differs from breed to breed. Sneha Vasnik, a policy agent, adds: “The age bracket of the dog is three months to seven years. Ek saal ke policy mein seven covers aate hain. For surgery, ₹50,000 tak ki cover hoti hai. Agar emergency admit ho raha hai hospital mein, toh hospitalization ka alag se ₹10,000 ka cover aayega.”
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