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INSURANCE - DOGS FIRST IN LINE TO GET PET INSURANCE IN SLOVAKIA

Man's best friend now insured

DOGS across Slovakia have new reason to wag their tails - their owners can now insure them to cover the cost of expensive veterinary treatments, accidents and property damage.
Česká Poisťovňa-Slovensko became the first insurer in Slovakia to offer pet insurance this June. Dog owners can now insure their furry family companions, no matter whether they are purebreds or mixed breeds.

So far, dogs are the only pets in Slovakia covered by insurance plans.
photo: SITA

DOGS across Slovakia have new reason to wag their tails - their owners can now insure them to cover the cost of expensive veterinary treatments, accidents and property damage.

Česká Poisťovňa-Slovensko became the first insurer in Slovakia to offer pet insurance this June. Dog owners can now insure their furry family companions, no matter whether they are purebreds or mixed breeds.

"Insurance for beloved pets is already a standard insurance in the global market, and the demand for it is continuously growing," Ivana Čambalíková, spokeswoman of Česká Poisťovňa-Slovensko, told The Slovak Spectator.

Great Britain is the most famous country in Europe for insuring its pets. Insurance for pet dogs and pet cats is most widespread there. It is also possible to insure thoroughbred and other horses.

In America, dog insurance was first offered in 1982. Pet insurance was gradually extended to cats, birds, hamsters, rabbits, guinea pigs, and exotic animals such as chameleons, chinchillas, snakes, turtles, and even mice, Čambalíková said.

"For now, Česká Poisťovňa-Slovensko does not plan to extend insurance to other pets in the near future," she said. "However, we have not definitively closed this area [of insurance]."

The insurance covers the costs for veterinary treatments, and liability and accidental damage of property or health caused by a dog.

"The insurance covers veterinary treatment only when it is provided in Slovakia," Čambalíková said. If a dog gets ill abroad but it gets treatment in Slovakia, vet expenses could be claimed and covered by the insurance.

However, territorial coverage is extended to all of Europe in case of death, euthanasia, or liability and accidental damage.

To qualify for insurance, each dog must be healthy when the insurance agreement is signed. It must also be marked by a microchip or tattoo for identification.

The level of a monthly premium depends on the weight of a dog, its age, and the insurance coverage and amounts a client chooses according to his consideration and needs. Monthly premiums starts from Sk2,075 (€62).

So far, Česká Poisťovňa-Slovensko has sold 255 dog insurance contracts. All kinds of dog lovers have been interested in the product - pet owners, breeders and dog professionals, Čambalíková said.

Since the launch of the product, the insurance company's contact centre has received almost 2,000 calls about dog insurance.

"Based on the number of calls, we can see that the interest in this insurance is high," she said.

"However, a large part of the people will be able to insure their dogs after the dog is marked with a tattoo or a microchip."

Foreigners living in Slovakia can also insure their pet dogs. The same conditions of a dog's health, age and weight apply to them.

"There are no limitations for foreigners living in Slovakia who want to buy dog pet insurance," said Čambalíková.

However, treatments must be done in Slovakia by a vet with a license to provide the treatment in Slovakia.

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