Pet insurance is catching up fast in India. As prices of imported breeds like Pugs, German Shepherds, Dobermans and Labradors go up, insurance companies are gearing up to make a killing. National Insurance Co Ltd, New India Assurance Co Ltd, Oriental Insurance and United India Insurance as well as private sector giants like Bajaj Allianz have launched pet policies.
High profile dogs — profile being determined by pedigree and whether they have lifted any trophy in prestigious dog shows — get insured at a higher rate, running into lakhs. AP Singh of Pioneer Insurance Services says that insurance agents are also keen on insuring such dogs. “We generally avoid making an effort to sell policies for Indian dogs as they do not cost more than Rs 25,000-Rs 50,000. For insuring a dog of Rs 25,000, the premium is only Rs 1,500. We get barely 10 per cent of the amount,” says Singh.
Pets aged between 8 weeks and 8 years can get insurance cover. Dog-owners need to provide documents like veterinary health certificate, kennel club certificate and a photograph. RK Sinha, chairman of SIS, a private security agency, that has the largest kennel in the private sector, says the agency has been importing and insuring dogs for many of their industrialist clients. “We also cover risks such as death by accidental poisoning and loss due to theft,” he adds.
Jayesh Mathur of south Delhi-based The Pets Shop says that the tribe of dog lovers is growing fast in big cities. And with people buying dogs that come with a price tag of anything between Rs 2 lakh to Rs 5 lakh, they better have a security blanket for their pet passion.