A relatively new venture in the UAE, pet insurance has become increasingly important due to the advances in animal treatment including chemotherapy and MRIs. Vet bills can be expensive, and surgery or an extended stay can leave you facing a big, multi-thousand Dirham bill – according to the American Veterinary Medical Association, the cost of animal care has doubled over the last decade. Example fees include AED 900 for an ear infection, AED 8,000 for cataracts and up to AED 50,000 for multiple fractures.
Pet insurance varies according to the pet, how old it is, their breed and the plan chosen, but as a general guide it ranges from AED 1,500 to AED 2,5000 per year. This will include cover for veterinary fees, consultations, diagnostics, surgery, medication, death, loss by theft or straying and third party liability.
As a general rule, the older the animal, the higher the cost of insurance, while some breeds – including the Bulldog, Irish Wolfhound and the Mastiff – will only be insured until they’re five years old. You’ll need to check if your insurer will take pets over 10 years of age.
You’ll need to consider if your policy will increase with the amount of claims you make, what the claim limit is and if the company pays for after care and medicine. Another important factor is whether your insurance supplier pays for the costs up-front or whether they reimburse you at a later date, and how long that process will take.