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Whether it's a dog, cat or rabbit: a pet is part of the family. You probably prefer not to think about it, but even a pet can get sick or injured. If your pet gets sick, you don't want to have to choose between your pet and your wallet, because of course your pet deserves the best care. That's why pet insurance can help. With pet insurance you are insured for common unexpected medical expenses for the pet.
Why insure a pet?
Imagine your dog eating a sock lying around and needing emergency surgery. Or that your cat fights with a companion and gets bitten pretty hard in her tail. Medical costs can sometimes be very high, especially if surgery is also required. In addition to acute medical costs, other costs also play a role in having a pet. Consider, for example, a consultation or treatment at the vet and medications. For pet insurance you pay a relatively small amount per month, so you will not have to pay the full bill after medical treatment later.
What kind of pet insurance is available?
Dogs and cats are the most common pets in the Netherlands. Therefore, most insurers offer cat insurance and dog insurance. The content of both insurances is otherwise the same. If your dog or cat falls ill, a pet insurance policy will insure you for the medical costs involved. A few insurers also offer rabbit insurance.
What does pet insurance cost?
What pet insurance costs depends on your pet. An insurer looks at the following factors when calculating the premium:
- Your pet's breed or crossbreed
- Your pet's weight
- The age of your pet
- Do you go for the basic coverage or do you also choose additional coverages
If your pet is heavier, there is a higher risk of health problems. Your pet's age is also important. The older an animal gets, the higher the risk of disorders. Many insurers therefore recalculate the premium every year, this is also called an aging surcharge. This means that the premium increases every year.
You can also expand the basic pet insurance with additional coverage. These include physical therapy, behavioral therapy, radiotherapy and dental costs. With some insurers you can also insure the spaying or neutering of the animal and sometimes even the necessary vaccinations. Travel coverage or cremation coverage is also an option. So you can put together your pet insurance completely the way you want it.
Frequently asked questions about pet insurance
Which pets can I insure?
You can insure dogs, cats, rabbits and parrots. The animal you are insuring must be at least 8 weeks old.
The maximum age for taking out insurance is for dogs up to 7 years, for cats up to 11 years, for rabbits up to 5 years, and for parrots unlimited.
What are the differences between the different packages?
- Reimbursement up to €3000 per year.
- For an accessible premium, the certainty of good coverage in case of unexpectedly high costs
- Including: consultation, diagnostics, special treatments (physiotherapy, behavioural therapy, hips & elbows), operations (including anaesthesia), placing identification chip, medicines (including chronic/long-term treatments) and euthanasia
- Your co-payment is always 20%. For consultation, diagnostics and special treatments, you pay 50% co-payment.
- Reimbursement up to € 4,000 per year.
- Comprehensive package with a good price-quality ratio. For those who want to be insured for specialist care such as an MRI scan or dental treatment.
- Contains all reimbursements from the Basic Package.
- Also includes: dental care (such as tartar removal, tooth extraction), intensive care (such as MRI, CT scan and aids), and extra care (such as Animal ambulance, European medical expenses, care of pet when owner stays in hospital, admission and nursing for more than 7 days).
- Your co-payment is always 20%. For consultation, diagnostics and special treatments, you pay a 25% co-payment. For medication of alternative care, dental, intensive care and extra care, you pay 50% co-payment.
- Reimbursement up to €5,000 per year.
- Enjoyment without worries. The most complete package with the highest compensation.
- Contains all reimbursements from the Basic and Plus Packages.
- Your own contribution is always 20%.
- Compensation up to €2,000 per year
- The entry-level package with reimbursement for care required after an accident.
- This package only provides cover for a verifiable accident, i.e. road traffic accident, bone fracture, ingestion of a foreign object, toxic gases, poisoned food, bite wounds, fire or flood.
- The insurer will reimburse 80% of the above costs. In addition, you get an advertising budget of 250,- Euros. The waiting period is 48 hours for accidents.
How is the Pet Insurance structured?
You can choose from 4 packages:
- Basic package
- Plus package
- Total package
- Accident package
The Accident package has a more limited cover than the other three packages. In this package, health costs are only covered in case of a demonstrable accident: a traffic accident, bone fracture, ingestion of a foreign object, toxic gases, poisoned food, bite wounds, fire or flood.
In addition to the four main packages, you have a choice of 4 optional supplemental policies:
- Chemo- and radiotherapy (cancer treatment)
- Cremation of a deceased pet
- Continuous Travel Insurance World Coverage
The supplementary insurances can be taken out in combination with one of the 3 main packages (Basic, Plus or Total Package). The Sterilization/Castration insurance can only be taken out in combination with a Plus or Total Package.
Does my pet need an identification chip?
Yes, identification and registration of insured pets is mandatory. Most insurers only accept claims that include a chip number. The costs of placing the chip are reimbursed by the insurer.
Will the costs be reimbursed if my pet does not have an identification chip?
No, the insurer will not reimburse you if your pet is not microchipped. Claims are only accepted if your pet has been microchipped. Therefore, make sure your pet is microchipped before you submit your first claim and that the chip number is known to the insurer.
Can I insure my pet if he does not have a chip yet?
Yes, even if your pet does not yet have a chip, you can already insure it. However, you must make sure the animal is microchipped before you submit a claim.
What happens to my insurance if my pet dies?
We can imagine that during the emotional time surrounding the death of your pet, you may not immediately think about insurance. Fortunately, stopping the insurance can be made retroactive. What is the procedure for this?
- No later than 30 days after the death of your animal, provide the insurer with the request for termination.
- Include a death certificate from the veterinarian.
- After this notification and receipt of the death certificate, the insurer shall terminate the insurance one day after the death of the pet.
- Any premium paid in excess will of course be refunded.
Frequently asked questions about pet insurance
To take out pet insurance or not?
The choice is yours, of course, but insurance offers you financial security in the event of unexpected medical expenses for your pet. An operation or long-term treatment can quickly cost around €1,000. If you don't have this money behind you, pet insurance can offer a solution.
Up to what age can I insure my pet?
You can buy insurance for dogs up to 7 years old, cats up to 11 years old and rabbits up to 5 years old. There is no maximum age limit for parrots.
When taking out or renewing insurance, the age of the animal is taken into account. The older the animal, the higher the insurance premium because the risk of diseases and accidents increases.
What is the duration of pet insurance?
You take out insurance for one year. After that, it can be cancelled monthly.
Does the premium change when my pet gets older?
Just as with people, the health costs of pets are lower when they are young than when they get older. That is why the premium of a puppy is lower than the premium of a dog of, for example, 7 years old. The exact annual increase depends on (the breed) and the actual age of the animal.
Are there any (breed) specific exclusions?
All animal breeds are welcome. However, there are restrictions for some dog breeds. For these breeds, the breed standard includes (hereditary) breed characteristics that give rise to (many) additional sickness costs. Disease costs related to these abnormalities are excluded through a breed clause and can therefore not be reimbursed.
- (Old) English Bulldog: Standard exclusion of all respiratory diseases (including throat and nose).
- French Bulldog: Standard exclusion of all respiratory diseases (including throat and nose).
- Cavalier King Charles: Standard exclusion of all neurological disorders including brain and spinal cord.
Can I extend the cover in the meantime?
Yes, you can switch to a more comprehensive package. You can do this on the annual premium due date (the policy anniversary).
Why is there a 30-day waiting period?
A waiting period applies to pet insurance. Complaints that arise before or during this waiting period will not be reimbursed. Any follow-up costs of an illness, disorder or accident occurring before or during the waiting period will also not be eligible for reimbursement.
How long is the waiting period?
- For care required after an accident, a waiting period of 48 hours applies.
- A waiting period of 30 days applies to diseases and disorders.
In all packages, the insertion of the chip is reimbursed in the waiting period.
When does my insurance start?
The pet insurance starts - after acceptance - on the day the application is received by the insurer.
After the effective date there is a 14-day trial period. Within these 14 days, the pet insurance may be cancelled in writing without stating any reasons. This does not apply if a claim has already been submitted.
From the starting date onwards, a waiting period of 30 days applies for illness.
How can I cancel my insurance?
You can terminate your insurance with one month's notice. This is possible on a monthly basis once your policy has reached the one-year term or in special cases, such as when your pet has died.
Frequently asked questions about reimbursements and claims
From what moment can I claim care?
The time from when you can claim depends on the waiting period. From the effective date of the insurance, a waiting period of 30 days applies for illness.
How can I claim?
You can claim in two ways and it is always free of charge: online or by mail. The advantage of claiming online is that the insurer receives your claim sooner, so they can process it faster and you receive your money sooner.
Do I have to provide a regular veterinary clinic?
As of Jan. 1, 2015, it is mandatory to report your regular veterinary clinic, or practice to the insurer.
Which vets can I turn to?
You have free vet choice. So you decide which vet you like. However, before you submit your (first) claim, you are obliged to inform the insurer of your regular veterinary clinic. Do you also incur expenses at another clinic? Then in principle they will also be reimbursed, unless it concerns a second opinion.
What is the voluntary excess?
You can opt for a higher voluntary deductible excess. This means that when you submit a claim to the insurer, the voluntary deductible is deducted first. The advantage of this is that you can lower your monthly premium, and you are covered in case you have to incur high costs for your pet.
You can choose a voluntary deductible of €100 or €250 per year. You will then receive as much as a 15% or 25% discount on your premium.
Note: when you choose a voluntary deductible excess, this applies for one year. Only after one year can you change it or stop it.
How does the personal contribution work?
When you submit a claim, your co-payment on this is determined for each treatment. The personal contribution differs per package:
- Basic package:
You pay a co-payment of 20%. For consultation, diagnostics and special treatments (such as hip and elbow treatments and physical therapy), you pay a 50% co-payment.
- Plus package:
You pay a 20% co-payment. For consultation, diagnostics and special treatments (such as hip and elbow treatments and physical therapy) you pay a 25% co-payment. For medications of alternative care, for dentures and for intensive and extra care, you pay a 50% co-payment.
- Total package:
You pay a 20% co-payment.
- Accident package:
You pay a 20% co-payment.
The co-payment will be deducted from your claim.
What is the best pet insurance?
Is only the best good enough for your faithful four-legged friend? Then, of course, you'll look for the best pet insurance. What is the best pet insurance depends on your pet and on your personal situation. It is recommended to purchase the insurance when your pet is still young, because pet insurance can only be purchased up to a certain age. In addition, it is important to take a look at your financial situation. If you have a buffer to cover unexpected expenses, you may not need to have as much insurance as if you are a little tight on money. This way you can determine the best pet insurance for you, your pet and your wallet.
What is the cheapest pet insurance?
Food, a basket, toys, a leash or cat litter... Maintaining an animal costs money, of course. Not surprisingly, you want to save a little too. Saving on pet insurance, but not sacrificing coverage? No problem. On Alpina.nl you can find the best and cheapest pet insurance with our online comparer. Moreover, you can easily add and remove additional coverage to get a good idea of the difference in costs.
Why compare pet insurance
Before you move on to buying pet insurance, it is important that you start comparing. After all, one insurer is not the other. Often there are differences in coverage and premiums. To start comparing, you can enter some personal information and details about your pet in our online comparison tool. Then you will get an overview of all insurers that match your needs. Look not only at the amount of the premiums, but also at the policy conditions of the insurance. What is all covered? What about the increase in premium as your pet gets older? If you compare extensively, you can be sure that you will soon have a good pet insurance policy.
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