What is Pet Insurance? Is Pet Insurance Coverage available in India?

Since old days’ man and their pets have been great friends. Even today the charm is no lesser, pets in our homes are like our own family and are incredibly playful, joyous and interesting.

In addition to the young family members even the older people of the family equally enjoy the presence of a pet animal in the home. They are so much affectionate and loving that we intend to take care of them and want to raise them like our own child.

In today’s age of high retail and medical inflation raising a pet is not a cheap affair at all. In addition to the all the care and love they desire and deserve from the guardians, there are many day to day expenses of the pet and there may be additional medical expenses in case any disease or accidental injury.

Veterinary doctor, medicine and other related charges are generally high and at times may be such high that the budget of the family may get disturbed.

Pet ownership is steadily increasing in India year after year, numbers show that there are around 19 million, more than 75% of which are pet dogs. Pet insurance have been quite a popular product in the foreign markets since long.

In India as well this type of products have been lately filed by many insurers which demonstrates that there is a need of pet insurance and this is confirmed by the numbers released by the industry estimates and provided above.

As we have already discussed above, the majority of pet animals are dogs in India. Although cannot be considered as a pet in the true sense, cattle insurance is another popular product in India especially amongst the rural farmers who raise cattle to earn their livelihood.

Many public and private sector insurers like Bajaj Allianz, New India, Oriental and others have come up with a specialized IRDAI approved dog Insurance. Customized pet insurances for cats, horses and other animals can also be purchased from some of the Indian insurers.

The sum insured under these policies may range from 10k – 50k depending upon the breed of the dog and other related factors like age. The premium charge generally vary from 3 – 5 percent of the sum insured opted under the policy. A co-payment of a specified percentage may be applicable in the product which is generally 10%.

There can be a waiting period applicable to the policy as a whole or it may be applicable to certain section and vary from section to section depending on the product construct. In the later section we will give a brief update on the coverages that this kind of product may offer.

There may a lifetime, time limit and money limit cover available under this product. Under the lifetime product the policy will protect the pet from any long term illness like arthritis, in which the owner would get an amount each year of treatment of the pet.

The time limit policy as the name suggest offers protection for a limited and specified time period after the pet has contracted an illness and suffered an injury. Whereas a money limit policy offers financial protection for medical expenses of the pets, time limit constraint is not applicable and the policy ceases to attach as and when the money limit under the policy is reached. The below sections can be expected in a standard pet insurance product.


  • Hospitalization: Inpatient hospitalization of the insured pet in a veterinary hospital is covered under the policy with a limit of expense per day in hospital.


  • Surgical expenses: Carried out by a vet at a clinic or hospital up to the sum insured is covered under the policy. Pre surgery and post-surgery expenses are also covered in the policy.


  • Mortality benefit: As specified in the policy schedule is paid if the vet puts the insured pet to sleep in order to alleviate the extreme pain and suffering. Some amount also is paid for burial of the insured pet following death due to insured peril.


  • Terminal diseases: This section pays a lump sum amount as per the policy schedule if the insured pet is detected with named terminal illnesses like Cancer, Kidney failure, distemper, Leptospirosis, Coagulations Disorders etc.


  • Long term care cover: The policy pays a lump sum amount if the pet is affected with any of the named diseases which need long term care like Glaucoma, Diabetes, Pancreatitis, Ascites etc.


  • OPD Cover: Policy reimburses for the treatment of the insured pet as an outpatient in any vet clinic or hospital for named diseases like Hepatitis/Liver Dysfunction, Meningitis, Pyometra, Pneumonia, accidental bodily injury, Vestibular Disorder and others.


  • Theft/ Loss/ Straying Cover: Lump sum amount as shown in the policy schedule is paid if the insured paid is lost or strayed and no recovery has been made after lapsing of a pre- determined time say 45 days. Reimbursement is also provided for giving an advertisement in a newspaper or offering a reward to find the lost pet.


  • Third party liability: The insurer will pay the legal financial liability in case of a third party bodily injury or property damage involving the insured pet. In addition to the penalty defense costs are also paid in connection with the same.


  • Add on: Some private insurers also provide add on covers like loss of show entry fee if the insured pet cannot participate due to an illness or accident.


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