Having pet insurance could mean the difference between life and death, a few hundred liras and thousands, and give you more treatment options and financial security.

If you and your pet are frequent travelers or you are thinking of moving abroad with your pet, pet health insurance is something most vets would strongly recommend you invest in. Although pet insurance is a prevalent practice abroad and health insurance for animals has been widespread among livestock breeders and farmers in Turkey, on a pet level (for dogs, cats, birds, etc.), it has only recently become more popular.

But whether you have a dog, cat, bird, or any other type of pet, nowadays, there are a variety of options for insurance that will suit you and your pet’s unique needs.

What Is Pet Insurance?

Pet insurance is a type of insurance that works just like private health insurance, but instead of you, it covers your pets.

In the most basic sense, pet insurance helps cover the treatment costs arising from any health problems your pets may experience throughout their lifetime. Insurance could help you get the best possible treatment for your pet in the face of emergency and unexpected health problems and aid you, as the pet owner, financially.

However, as with health insurance for humans, there are certain conditions and limits to pet insurance, and the sooner and earlier you get your pet on a plan, the better.

The scope of pet insurance varies according to the insurance company offering the service, and each insurance plan will have different policies regarding health conditions and coverage.

What Does Pet Insurance Cover?

Although people are more likely to apply for pet insurance for their furry companions such as cats and dogs, different types of policies cover other animals that have become a part of the household, such as fish, reptiles, rodents, and birds. As long as you can prove that your animals live at home and are domesticated, you will be able to buy the insurance.

Pet insurance usually covers a variety of treatments performed in clinics in situations such as:

  • Traffic accidents,
  • Falls and fall-related injuries,
  • Getting burnt or suffering from electric shock,
  • Health problems caused by extreme heat or cold or adverse weather,
  • Choking (asphyxia) due to swallowing a foreign object or any other reason,
  • Overnight stays at the veterinary clinic (subject to limit),
  • Surgeries and operations (though most policies exclude routine treatments such as neutering/spaying and vaccinations),
  • Nail cutting, eye, and ear, grooming, etc., once a year max.

If your pet causes physical harm to someone or another pet, the treatment costs of the injured person and pet are also usually covered by pet insurance.

How Much Does Pet Insurance Cost?

There are likely to be significant differences between insurance policies from different companies; they can be pretty comprehensive or very specialized, significantly affecting pricing.

Pet insurance pricing will significantly vary from company to company and will largely be determined by the scope and coverage of the insurance policy you apply for as well as the general health status of your pet. If your pet has pre-existing health conditions or is prone to certain diseases, you will likely have to pay a higher fee or premiums to get your pet insured.

You should weigh your options and evaluate the number of clinics and vets that will accept the insurance, what will cover treatments and medical procedures will cover treatments and medical procedures, and which ones will incur extra cost.

Again, for the most comprehensive and economical option, ask and shop around. In Turkey, the current rates for pet insurance average around TL 500 a year for a basic/standard insurance plan and TL 1,500 for a more premium package, though there is no upper limit. There are even plans for TL 250 a year, but such options may not offer you comprehensive coverage.

How Can I Get Cat or Dog Insurance?

Most insurance companies have websites or online portals that make it easy to apply for an insurance plan. Alternatively, you can also give them a call.

You can start by asking for an offer and examine the different packages they offer. You may be asked to bring your pet’s documents in for further examination or send them via e-mail.

Whether you have a cat or dog, the pet subject to insurance must be fully vaccinated (especially against rabies in the case of Turkey), have no chronic health conditions, and be older than 6 months and younger than 10 years of age. If they have pre-existing health conditions, you will be asked to document them, and they will be excluded from your policy.

However, you cannot get insurance for breeds and species whose feeding, production, and sale are prohibited in Turkey. Animal Protection Law No.5199 and regulations related to this law state that the following breeds cannot be fed, owned, sold, gifted, or imported into Turkey: Pitbull Terrier, Japanese Tosa, Bull Terrier, Dogo Argentino, Rottweiller, Spanish Mastiff, Dogue de Bordeaux, etc.

Things You Should Consider When Applying for Pet Insurance

While getting insurance for your cats and dogs, a microchip will be sent out to you from the starting date of your insurance policy to keep track of all procedures and treatments as part of their insurance package. This is also essential if you want to travel with your pet, especially abroad.

Microchipping is usually included within the scope of most insurance policies. To activate your insurance, some companies may ask the pet to be microchipped by an authorized veterinarian. If you reject the procedure or if the microchip is not inserted by a trained and authorized professional, you may revoke your insurance policy.

You need to carefully read, examine and evaluate the insurance policy offered to you. You need to clearly understand the scope, specifics, and exceptions to the rules and learn about which clinics will be able to accept your insurance. You may have to search for different insurance companies depending on where you live in Turkey. When in doubt, contact multiple companies and compare other packages or policies to make the best decisions.

If you would like to learn more about pet insurance in Turkey and learn more about Ikamet Sigorta, please give us a call or drop us your questions.