Insurance for dogs, how works?

It is an insurance policy designed to cover your pet's veterinary needs and protect you in the event of possible harm to third parties
When you first buy or adopt a dog, you are not only bringing home a source of great joy and company, but also a major responsibility. In other words, a double responsibility. You will be responsible for keeping your pet healthy, clean and up-to-date with all its vaccinations. And you will also have a responsibility towards your surroundings, and must ensure your pet doesn't cause any damage. A pet insurance for dogs will help you to manage this double commitment.
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If there are policies covering your health and damage to your car or home, why wouldn't there be an insurance policy for dogs? Your pet isn't just another belonging, it is a living being. It will need to be taken to the vet and the grooming salon and it will also need a constant supply of food. The average annual cost of keeping a dog in Spain is around €1,000, or between €700 and €1,500, depending on the breed and the size.

A pet insurance for dogs will cover civil liability in the event of harm coming to a third party as a result of an act committed by your dog. This includes biting people or other animals and any damage to third parties (material or personal) covered by the policy. If you have a dog, pet insurance is strongly recommended. Read about pet insurance for dogs and the coverage it offers.

Madrid and the Basque Country are the autonomous regions of Spain that require civil liability insurance

In Spain, pet insurance for dogs is only mandatory in the autonomous regions of Madrid and the Basque Country, which require all dog owners to take out civil liability insurance. The obligation to have such an insurance policy extends to the whole country for owners of dogs classed as dangerous or potentially dangerous.

The concept of public liability is the commitment you assume as a dog owner to take responsibility for any damage your dog may cause. The insured capital depends on the breed of the dog, but is usually between € 60,000 and € 300,000 and covers both bodily injury and property damage caused to third parties.

If your dog causes harm, such as biting a third party or damaging urban furniture, such as a bench, the insurance also will provide legal assistance and advice regarding procedures involving public administrations or private institutions.

To find out whether you need to take out civil liability insurance, you need to understand what is meant by a dangerous dog. Except in Madrid and the Basque Country, where you need to take out an insurance policy regardless of the breed, those classed as dangerous and that require this coverage are: Pit Bull Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Rottweiler, Argentinian Mastiff, Brazilian Mastiff, Tosa Inu and Akita Inu.

Apart from these eight dog breeds, potentially dangerous dogs also include those with a robust, powerful appearance, and an athletic, agile, strong and resistant build. Also included in this category are dogs that have a thoracic perimeter of between 60 and 80 centimeters, a height at the withers of between 50 and 70 centimeters and a weight of more than 20 kilos. Moreover, also considered as dangerous are those dogs that, regardless of their breed, have bitten before.

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Requirements that must be fulfilled to insure a dog

Although each insurer is free to establish its own requirements for insuring a dog, in general they all require the dog to comply with the following characteristics:

  • It must be older than three months and younger than nine. As proof of this, owners are required to facilitate an age certificate.
  • The dog must be registered and identified by a name plate or a microchip.
  • It must be up to date with its compulsory vaccinations. Dogs must be vaccinated against distemper, parvovirus, hepatitis and rabies.
  • If it is worth more than € 300, the animal must have a pedigree certificate or a Breed Stud Book.

The coverages offered by a dog insurance policy

So that every dog owner can take out the policy that best suits them, insurers offer policies with different levels of coverage.

In addition to civil liability insurance, you can contract the following coverages:

  • Veterinary assistance: the insurance covers the cost of veterinary treatment in the event of an accident or illness. This coverage includes:
    • Tests and initial explorations such as X-rays to determine the extent of the injuries.
    • Surgery.
    • Post-operative care.
    • Preventive castration.
  • Robbery: depending on the coverage contracted, the insurance will pay out the total or partial value of the dog.
  • Accidental death: the insurance pays you an indemnity if the dog dies as the result of an accident.
  • Euthanasia: if it is necessary to have a dog put to sleep, the insurance policy will cover the medical and cremation or interment fees.
  • Legal defense: the insurance will provide legal assistance and indemnities in the case of possible legal situations such as a court case.

If you are thinking of adopting or buying a dog or you already have one, learn more about the coverage and prices of dog insurance policies offered by different insurers on the market. BBVA does not currently market this type of product, so this article is merely informative.

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