In Las Almenas we always tell new families that, before getting a dog, you should be aware of the care and responsibilities that come with enjoying a pet. Your dog is a member of the family and, at the end of the day, it lives with you and you are the one who takes care of it and who is responsible for the animal, that is why many people choose to purchase dog insurance, since it allows them to have veterinary assistance and to cover certain unforeseen events.
However, dog insurance is mandatory in certain cases, do you know what they are? Well, we are going to talk about this and the characteristics of the different dog insurances in our Las Almenas dog blog.
In which cases are dog insurances mandatory?
Currently, dog insurance is mandatory for certain breeds. Specifically those that are called “potentially dangerous” (PPP), since they have a type of bite that can be very serious or cause a lot of damage. These breeds are large in size, strong-jawed, weigh more than 20 kilos in weight or have a robust build.
And what are these breeds? Well, in Spain they are considered as potentially dangerous dog breeds:
- Pit Bull Terrier
- Staffordshire Bull Terrier
- American Staffordshire Terrier
- Dogo Argentino
- Brazilian Fila
- Tosa Inu
- Akita Inu
If the dog you are going to acquire is one of these breeds, it is necessary to contract one of the many dog insurances that currently exist.
Royal Decree 287/2002, of March 22, which develops Law 50/1999, of December 23, on the legal regime for the possession of potentially dangerous animals, obliges you, “to obtain or renew the license for the possession of potentially dangerous animals” to comply with a series of requirements, among which is included, the “accreditation of having formalized a civil liability insurance for damages to third parties with a coverage of not less than 120,000 euros”.
What are the requirements to insure a potentially dangerous breed dog?
In order to own one of these dogs, whose breed is potentially dangerous, it is necessary to have a license, which will be valid for a period of five years, with the option of renewal. This legal permit is obtained if a series of requirements are met:
- Be of legal age.
- Not to have a criminal record with respect to some assumptions such as crimes against property, morals, sexual freedom or homicide. To do so, a criminal record certificate must be presented, which is obtained from the Criminal Record Registry, and a sworn statement of not having been sanctioned.
- To have the physical and psychological capacity to own one of these dogs. This certificate can be obtained in centers of medical examinations, like those that we find in centers for the renewal of the driving license or of the weapons license.
- Accreditation of having subscribed a civil liability insurance for damages to third parties, for a value of 120,000 euros.
Autonomous Communities that require insurance for dogs
In addition to potentially dangerous dogs, there are certain Autonomous Communities in which pet owners are required to take out insurance to cover civil liability, whether it is a dangerous dog or not.
This is the case of the Community of Madrid and the Basque Country where, even if you own any harmless breed like the ones we breed in Las Almenas (Maltese Bichon, Biewer, Poodle, Pomeranian, Shih Tzu, Yorkshire or Dachshund ) you will have the obligation to insure it.
What is a civil liability insurance?
The Civil Liability insurance required by Law is the basic coverage included in dog insurance, by which the insurer you decide to hire will respond to possible damages that your dog may cause to a third party. Thus, for example, if your dog bites another person, the insurance company will be responsible for compensating and covering medical or personal expenses.
In addition, the civil liability insurance also covers material damages caused by the dog, as well as possible legal expenses.
What the civil liability insurance does not cover are the damages caused to any person living in the same domicile of the policyholder or the insured, whether or not he/she is a relative.
What coverages should be taken into account in dog insurance?
In the world of dog insurance there are different modalities, just as with any other insurance policy you take out. However, you should pay attention to the inclusion in your policy of certain coverages and services:
- Liability insurance which, as we have already mentioned, is essential and mandatory for certain cases.
- Unlimited access to all veterinary treatments that your dog may need and that will help you to guarantee the health of your furry friend. Additional services, which will be the services that will allow you a comprehensive protection of your dog, such as, for example, 24-hour telephone veterinary care, travel insurance, access to vaccinations; as well as coverage in case of sacrifice (always recommended by the veterinarian to avoid the animal’s suffering), disposal of the corpse, etc.
- It is also advisable to study your policy well before signing and check if there are any exclusions that limit the scope of protection for your dog. Keep in mind that some dog insurance policies may exclude certain coverages for certain breeds or due to the age of the dog or the state of health of your furry friend. There are many dog insurances that, precisely, exclude from accident and illness insurance those dogs older than 7 years old. Please note that these limits are only used for new contracts. So, if you take out insurance for your 5 year old dog, he will continue to have his policy until he dies, no matter how old he is.
- Check if your insurance has deductibles: if, for example, your insurance has a 10% deductible, this means that, for example, in a veterinary consultation of 100€, you will pay 10€ and the insurer will pay the remaining 90€.
- As for the waiting periods, it is usual that, from the date of contracting the insurance, for example, 15 days, 3 or 6 months elapse before you are entitled to have the company pay for the costs of a test or a surgical intervention. Also take this into account when evaluating the different dog insurances!
Is it or is it not advisable to take out dog insurance?
With the exception of the cases and in the communities where it is mandatory to have an insurance, it is necessary to study the pros and cons of dog insurance. This is something that you will have to decide for yourself, but from Las Almenas we want to help you in this process, that is why we make clear to you what are the advantages and disadvantages of taking out insurance for dogs:
- You will have the civil liability coverage, that is, the economic support of your insurance company in case of any problem that your pet may cause to a third party. The basic liability insurance covers the possible aggressions of your dog to other animals or people. It also covers accidents that may occur due to your dog’s fault, such as, for example, pushes and falls, etc. Dog insurance usually includes check-ups, veterinary consultations and some vaccinations, as well as important discounts on treatments or surgeries.
- There are also dog insurances that, for a slightly higher price, take care of veterinary expenses due to accidents, such as being run over, cuts in the dog’s skin, etc.
- Dog insurance gives peace of mind because in the end it is the best way to give your furry an immediate and quality care in case of unforeseeable situations that may occur.
- On the other hand, when taking out certain dog insurance policies, you may not be able to continue going to your trusted veterinary clinic. This is because some insurers have certain hospitals and collaborating veterinary clinics, from which you will have to choose. In other dog insurance policies, the insurer does not have its own veterinarian, so, as the insured, you will be able to go to the veterinarian of your choice, pay the bill, request the report and manage the reimbursement of the expenses afterwards.
- The price of the insurance is another issue to take into account. However, the price will depend on the company, the coverage it offers, the insured capital…
Do you already have your dog insurance?
What did you think of our article? Were you already aware of the compulsory nature of dog insurance in certain circumstances? Tell us if you have taken out a dog insurance policy and what advantages you find. You can share your experience with us here below, in the comments box, or on our Facebook and Instagram profiles, as well as on our YouTube Channel.
Dog insurance gives us a lot of peace of mind and is an advantage to be able to take care of our pets in the best conditions in case of possible unforeseen events. The ideal is that you analyze the different offers and choose the formula that best suits your needs and those of your dog. From Las Almenas, we hope we have helped you to choose among the different dog insurance policies.