French Admin - Andrew
Pet insurance is now becoming hot property in France and is a booming business.
There are 7.26 million dogs in the country and over 12 million cats. France is the 3rd country in Europe for the number of cats, in fact. But sadly there are some 100,000 cats and dogs that are abandoned every year in this country, with some 10,000 alone in the summer months that end up in the SPA (the Société protectrice des animaux, or the equivalent of the RSPCA). The SPA was created as far back as 1845 and was recognised as an organisation of public benefit as early as 1860. But, those summer months are cruel for animals when some abandon their pets just to go away on holiday.
It's predicted that the world market for pet insurance is set to increase to $ 10 billion by 2025 and that is an increase of nearly 7% a year. Today, and with the younger generations, millennial are no longer seeing their pets as just animas. They are prepared to spend more and more on their well-being. That includes holidays and looking after them. It also includes food that is healthier or organic, or at least, more natural, rather than industrialised foods.
Pet insurance today is provided in France by a large range of companies, from your local bank to a specialised pet-insurance company. Even supermarkets these days offer pet insurance.
You will usually have a range of prices from something like just 10 euros for a dog, for example per month, to up to 30 euros, or perhaps more. But you will need to read the fine print since not all ailments are provided for and their is a limit to the quantity of money that you will get back every year. If you make too many claims one year, then your premium will increase the following year. Sometimes, it is worth refusing the first offer that they make and telling them that you want a better price. Most of them will take a better offer, but if you have a pet that has an illness, then you will have trouble finding a new insurance company always, which means they know they can put the price up.
Medication is never reimbursed by these insurance companies but here are some of the things that can be covered:
Vaccinations (a contribution and not all of them)
Consultations at the vet's or at the animal hospital
Having your dog spayed or neutered
You will have to be careful as congenital diseases are usually excluded from insurance policies for animals. So, for example if your dog's breed suffers from hip dysplasia, then it is unlikely to be covered. The insurance company might ask for a report from the vet.
What normally happens is that when you go to the vet's you will give the vet a form to be reimbursed the expenses paid out. The vet will sign that form and put a stamp on it and then you will have to send it off to the insurance company. They will reimburse you within a couple of weeks, usually and that payment can range from 50% to 80% (depending on the premium that you have paid) of expenses covered by the vet's.
As in all countries these days, vet's fees can be very high. At animal hospitals (which are usually the national veterinary schools (there are just 4 in France), or local clinics), it is usually possible to make monthly instalments if you have a high bill.
If you do need pet insurance, then French Admin can provide you with some quotes and help you choose the best one that fits you and your furry friend.