Pet Insurance Guide For New Paw Parents in Singapore

| 24 May 2019

German Shepherd Dog

Pet insurance just got easier with our guide for new paw parents in Singapore.

I recently got my dog Gou Gou and he’s the cutest dog ever. My dog owner friends informed me that vet fees can be exorbitant and advised that it would be wise for me to get pet insurance for Gou Gou’s sake. In all honesty, as a new pet owner, I didn’t know that pets needed insurance too, so I decided to heed their advice and do some research.

 

What are the types of insurance in Singapore?

From what I’ve found, there are 4 available policies in Singapore, namely: Paw Safe (AIA Insurance), PetCare (Liberty Insurance), HappyTails (AON Insurance) and My Paw Pal (CIMB Bank). Paw Safe only offers one plan, whereas Happy Tails has three-tiered plans for dogs and one plan for cats. PetCare offers Standard, Enhanced, Superior plans. My Paw Pal is the latest player in the market that offers a basic plan with add-ons.

Pros and cons of each pet insurance

Paw Safe by AIA

  • Pros:
    • The main plus point about Paw Safe is the comparatively low cost. The plan also covers dogs that are not micro-chipped, unlike the other three policies. The annual premium with a microchip implant is $79.49, and $84.58 for dogs not microchipped.

  • Cons:
    • What I don’t like about this policy is that it only covers fees relating to accidents. For example, Paw Safe covers vet fees due to accident i.e. provides pay-out to cover the cremation or burial expenses incurred in the event of accidental death. However, it does not cover any vet or surgical expenses relating to illness.

    • In my opinion, I think this won’t be sufficient for Gou Gou. I read that some large breeds like Gou Gou (German Shepherd) are more prone to contracting diseases. Other large breeds such as Labradors and Golden Retrievers are at greater risk of developing bone cancer. Research shows that dogs weighing more than 36 kg are 60x more likely to develop osteosarcoma than dogs weighing less than 34 kg. Specific breeds have specific susceptibilities hence it is crucial that they are insured for illnesses as well.

    • Another con is that PawSafe excludes many dog breeds such as a mastiff, bull terrier, Staffordshire bull terrier, pit bull terrier etc. So do check if your dog breed is excluded.

 

HappyTails by AON

  • Pros:
    • The main advantage of this policy is that it provides extensive coverage for surgically related fees, which can be expensive. For example, the policy not only provides for vet fees related to surgical treatment but also room and board expenses following surgery. They also provide chemotherapy benefit and final expenses benefit. This is on top of giving a pay-out for accidental death and covering vet fees due to accidents.

  • Cons:
    • The main downside to this policy is that you have to bear a fixed amount of $250 for any claim, as compared to PetCare which only requires a deductible for accidental injury ($50).

    • Moreover, the policy requires a mandatory clinical examination (PetCare does not) and excludes coverage for illness relating to prostate problems, hormonal skin conditions, perennial hernias, testicular tumours if the pet is not spayed or neutered.

    • Another drawback is that HappyTails has different co-insurance rates for different age groups. For example, it is 20% for dogs enrolled before age 4, 30% for dogs enrolled before age 7 and 40% for dogs enrolled before age 9. Pet Care, on the other hand, has the same percentage for all ages i.e. 30% for surgical expenses. Gou Gou is about 8 this year. As such, the co-insurance for Happy Tails may be higher than Pet Care for surgical expenses.

 

PetCare by Liberty

  • Pros:
    • What I liked about PetCare is that it provides the widest coverage. Pet Care covers both vet fees related to surgical and non-surgical procedures. Paw Safe focuses on fees incurred due to accidents and HappyTails focuses on surgical related fees, but PetCare offers coverage for both.

    • The coverage is also extensive in terms of payouts and can go up to $10,000, depending on the plan. 

    • There is also no co-insurance for liabilities and accidents.

    • Additionally, no medical examination is required, unlike HappyTails, and you can use any vet, anywhere in Singapore.

    • If you have a young puppy, and you want to quickly take out insurance, you should consider opting for this policy as it covers pets as young as 8 weeks, as compared to 16 weeks for HappyTails.

    • The other advantage is the low premium cost – covers start from less than $1 a day. Click here to see the premium rates for different plans.

  • Cons:
    • Coverage does not include certain skin, hereditary and congenital conditions. It also doesn’t include some breed-specific conditions, such as hip dysplasia and persistent eczema/hot spots. However, Paw Safe and HappyTails have similar exclusions as well.
    •  

Concluding thoughts

Choosing which pet insurance to buy will depend on your own dog’s needs. Personally, I value the wide scope in coverage such that it covers surgical and non-surgical costs. Some illnesses don’t require surgery and as a dog owner, I would feel more at ease if my insurance covers this.

A pictorial representation comparing the policies:Pet insurance comparison

 

By the way, you can now purchase Liberty PetCare through PolicyPal and enjoy 5% discount at checkout.

PolicyPal is a one-stop insurance solution Whenever you need to make claims or enquiries about the different plans you have purchased from PolicyPal, you can just reach out to our support using the app/website – fast and easy compared to the tedious process of filing claims with other insurance providers! Store your policies in your app: a big plus if you have a lot of policies to keep track of.

Have any tips to share? Let us know what’s your take on this! Don’t wait to protect your furry ones!

Have any burning questions about insurance or looking for some useful insurance tips? Learn, ask and share with PolicyPal Insurance Community today!


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