As expats, we know that each move to a new country means mountains of research and paperwork. You’ll have to open new bank accounts, fill in forms, and take out new insurance policies. If you’re shopping for insurance abroad, you need to have an idea of which providers to get quotes from, as well as the difference in services between your current country and your new home.As pets hold a special place in our hearts, you’ll want to insure their well-being, while at the same time financially protecting yourself in the event that they require expensive medical treatment. With this in mind, this article tells you everything you need to know about pet insurance in France, as well as giving you a list of some providers and discussing some difficulties you might face.
There is rather a lack of information available when it comes to pet insurance in France. Whilst it is possible to purchase pet insurance in the country, this is not as commonplace as it is in other locations. Often, the level of cover provided is less comprehensive and may be limited to partial cover. It is therefore important to always read the small print and so clarify what exactly is covered by your pet insurance policy and up to what cost. The excess on French insurance policies is often calculated as a percentage. For example, if your excess if 30 percent, the insurance will reimburse you 70 percent of the cost of treatment. This varies to some other countries, where a typical insurance policy will have a flat-rate excess of say £50 or £100.
As with most insurance policies, there will be limits on how much money can be claimed for various veterinary treatments. Many policies don’t cover particular conditions if, for example, the breed of your pet is prone to specific health problems. Other treatments may be excluded on your insurance policy; this might include vaccinations, sterilisation or castration, dental treatment, cancer screening and hereditary diseases. Clauses on your policy may also include an age limit for valid cover; usually nine or 10 for dogs. However, many French pet policies will give you a discount for insuring multiple pets.
Generally speaking, there are two types of pet insurance in France: insurance against accidents and insurance against illness and accidents. The former covers only medical and surgical costs resulting from an accidental injury such as a broken bone, cuts or bites. The latter, which is usually double the cost, also covers the treatment of certain illnesses and diseases; however, it is vital that you clarify which illnesses and diseases are covered and which are not. There may be a waiting period of up to four months before your insurance policy becomes effective.
Third-party liability, which you will need if your dog breaks something or bites another dog, comes under your household insurance, although you will need to make it clear to your household insurance provider that you have pets.
If you’re struggling to find adequate information about pet insurances online, you can find pamphlets at your local veterinary clinic. Speak to your current provider first, as your cover may remain in place during your transitional period. If not, consider getting pet travel insurance for the interim, so your pet will be covered during your move and afterwards while you look for a new provider in France.
We would recommend trying some of these providers.
April.fr comes under the April International umbrella and is a reputable global company. They offer a flat-rate policy price regardless of the age of your pet, as well as a 15 percent discount for insuring a second pet. They offer affordable packages starting at around €15 a month.
Translated as ‘Blue Bubble’, this French pet insurance provider offers free quotes within two minutes. The company, which was created by a group of French veterinarians, is the first of its kind. It offers comprehensive packages from as little as €7.90 per month.
Insurance from ECA covers not only covers cats and dogs, but also ferrets, rabbits and other small pets. Cover of this type can be difficult to find in France. ECA have competitive rates and often run offers which mean you will receive three months of free insurance if you purchase a policy with them.
My French House
This company can provide you with all your policy and contract details in English, meaning you know exactly what you’re signing up for. Starting out as property experts, My French House have won awards for their services. They have now expanded into the pet insurance sector.
You may find it hard getting a policy renewed if your pet requires regular treatment, so it’s important to do your research before purchasing.
Expats have also reported finding it difficult to obtain insurance for rescued pets, particularly when trying to purchase a policy online, as your pet’s date of birth is often required for a quote. If this is your situation, speak to the customer service team over the phone for a bespoke quote, or ask in your local vets’ surgery what your options are.
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