Nothing beats the excitement of bringing home your new beloved pet and usually it does not take long for the four-legged personification of loyalty to become your best friend and indeed the same for your whole family.
The same happened with Sandra, my sister-in-law, who was cajoled by her daughter, Janet, into getting a dog for her birthday. Sandra agreed to let Janet adopt a puppy Golden Retriever from their neighbour. I was then being tasked to insure the welfare of this adorable puppy and to start looking for suitable Pet Insurance for it.
Why do you need a Dog Insurance?
The cost of taking medical care of your dog in Singapore can easily burn a hole in your pocket. Getting insurance for your dog is one way to reduce the risk of excessive financial costs that may incur while taking care of your dog.
There are not many providers of Dog Insurance in Singapore and there are some limitations to what they are prepared to insure. For instance, they do not insure “any old dog”. There are some limitation to what they are prepared to insure. So before you compare and buy insurance for your dog, it is best to first review the following checkist:
1. Does my dog qualify to be insured?
For your dog to be eligible for an insurance policy, it is necessary to have your puppy or dog to be micro-chipped (if it has not already been). Microchips helps to identify your dog when it’s lost or treated. Also, your dog needs to be residing with you. Finally, none of the insurers offers insurances for working dogs such as guide dogs or ones that are used for breeding purposes.
2. How old is your dog?
There are 3 insurers that offer different plans with different eligibility requirements. One of the insurers only insure dogs after 8 weeks of age and before it is 9 years old (on the date the insurance starts). For another insurer, it offers comprehensive lifetime coverage for puppies aged between 16 weeks and 4 years old. The third insurer only offers coverage for dogs between 3 months to 7 years old and the coverage is only for accidental injury and death but not illnesses. So, the policies are quite different.
Thus it’s best to go compare on our site to see which policy best suits your dog at this moment. If you are lucky, your dog may qualify for all 3 and you can compare benefits and prices to see which one best meets your overall requirement.
3. How healthy is the dog?
One insurer accepts insurance applications without a medical examination or vaccinations for its plans. However, their coverage is quite limited and in order to get more comprehensive coverage, you will need to go to the insurers to arrange a medical check-up and get all required vaccinations by a registered vet.
To enjoy coverage for the specific medical conditions, for instance, medical history from its parents (hereditary) or specific medical conditions that are present at birth (congenital conditions), your pet has to be certified to be without pre-existing conditions by the same registered vet. The examination has to be done within 30 days of the enrolment and a waiting period of 12 months from the start of the coverage applies before the benefits can take effect. One insurer also applies a waiting time of 90 days before the cover for illness takes effect. This is to prevent people from insuring their dog when it is already sick.
4. Can I insure any kind of dog?
Your dog does not need to be a pedigree, it can be almost any kind of breed, crossbreed, mutt, stray, etc. One of the insurers has a list of breeds it doesn’t cover:
- Bull terrier,
- Staffordshire bull terrier,
- Pitbull terrier,
- American pit bull terrier,
- Argentina dog,
- Canary dog,
- American bulldog,
- or dogs crossed with any of these breeds and/ or wolves.
The reason is simple, these dogs are considered too high a risk to be insured (probably because of their potential ferocity).
Still, want to insure your dog?
You should! Best is to do it as soon as you get it either as a puppy or perhaps from the shelter. You will need to go to the vet anyway to get vaccinations and check-ups done, so you can deal with all the requirements in one go. When you have made the required preparations, compare and buy a suitable dog insurance plan you have selected earlier. Here is a checklist to help you to make the process smoother and quicker. Make sure you have the following available:
Checklist for buying Dog Insurance
Pet’s license – all dog owners must be licensed for traceability in the event of a rabies outbreak as well as to provide pet ownership. A licensed application is made at Pet Animal Licensing System (PALS) at AVA website.
- Address where dog is kept
- Date of birth
- Microchip number
- Sterilisation date (if applicable)
- Mobile number
- E-mail address (for SMS/ email notification on renewal of licence)
- Mailing address
Microchip number: Microchips are implanted in dogs by the vet, animal shelters such as SPCA and breeders for identification.
Medical history: This information may be given when the pet is acquired or adopted. A medical check with the vet helps to build the medical records.
Vaccination records: Is your dog vaccinated by a registered vet in Singapore?
The vet certificate: regarding the absence of pre-existing conditions (if required)
Though it took me a bit of time to research about Pet Insurance in Singapore, I am so glad to be part of the planning process to find a suitable Pet Insurance for Janet’s puppy based on her mother’s requirements and budget.