Hey, hoomans! How about getting pet insurance?
As a pediatrician, Dr. Angela de Leon, 32, takes good care of kids just like the way she adores and looks after her fur babies. Just two weeks ago, five more cute puppies were added to her ward of seven dogs.
But it could get expensive when pets get sick: De Leon shelled out nearly P26,000 for her 7-year-old “aspin” (asong Pinoy) Hash last month when he came down with an illness.
Hash had to undergo blood transfusion and was placed in intensive care. The dog is now in better shape, but his pet hospital bill cost De Leon P19,085 while the blood supply set her back P6,900.
“He’s part of the family,” De Leon said, explaining why she was willing to spend that much for his treatment.
To save on her pets’ medical costs, De Leon got interested in getting pet insurance.
As more and more Filipino families are adopting so-called pandemic pets to cope with the stress and isolation forced upon the population by COVID-19, the Insurance Commission (IC) said it may be high time for these cuddly creatures to get covered as well.
“Many people are still unaware that pet insurance is available in the country now. So it’s best to let people know that it’s no longer a Western concept. It should be picking up in the coming years,” IC Commissioner Dennis Funa told the Inquirer on Thursday.
The first-of-its-kind pet insurance policy made available in the Philippines was approved by the regulatory agency in 2018 and started to be sold to the public in 2019, before the pandemic struck, Funa said.
While pet insurance clientele could be “very niched,” Funa said the premium that customers pay remained “very reasonable.”
In a statement, the IC said five insurers currently offer pet insurance: Malayan Insurance Co. Inc., Mercantile Insurance Co. Inc., PGA Sompo Insurance Corp., Pioneer Insurance and Surety Corp., as well as Standard Insurance Co. Inc.
Malayan’s pet insurance, its brochure showed, offers three plans with annual premiums of as low as P2,800 and as high as P5,400, inclusive of taxes and charges.
The insurance packages covered medical reimbursement when the pet meets an accident or gets ill, plus a cruciate ligament injury benefit which has a maximum reimbursement limit per leg.
If the pet dies, insurers also disburse a lump-sum burial assistance benefit.
The pet owners’ liabilities will also be covered in the case of third-party property damage or bodily injury caused by their insured pets.
Malayan also offers an optional benefit to cover the pet owner’s personal accident, with an annual premium, inclusive of taxes, worth only P15 to P25.
Funa himself has an insured dog, which he said rarely gets sick, but it worries him whenever it does
Pet insurance may thus be a necessity at this day and age when “millennials are treating their dogs like human babies,” Funa said.
The IC’s public assistance and mediation division recently received a number of inquiries about pet insurance, indicating a growing interest in this type of coverage, he said.
“Responsible pet owners can consider getting their pandemic pets these insurance products so that [they] will have peace of mind that their beloved pets are insured against the peculiar risks involved with owning pets,” the IC chief said.
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