Dog-sitters, the best food and a whole cupboard full of toys – we look after our pets, because they are an important part of our lives. However, according to estimates, only just under 10% of dogs and cats in Switzerland are insured. So it can quickly become expensive if our four-legged friends need medical care due to illness or an accident. With pet insurance, you can cover the financial consequences without having to worry about high vet’s bills.

What is pet insurance?

Pet insurance protects you against high costs if your pet requires veterinary treatment, such as regular check-ups or due to illness or an accident. A large proportion of the costs for a visit to the vet, medication bills or hospital stay are covered (usually 80-90% basic cover).

Most policies cover cats and dogs, but it is also possible to insure other pets.

Is pet insurance worthwhile? 

Pet insurance is worthwhile. Nowadays we take our pets with us wherever we go, even when travelling. This involves an increased risk of accident and illness, including abroad. 

 People often underestimate the real cost of a visit to the vet. In addition, emergency operations and chronic illnesses in old age are forgotten. If, for example, your dog needs surgery, a preliminary examination, the operation and subsequent follow-up care can quickly add up to several thousand francs. But medicine for chronic diseases can also soon reach a three- to four-digit amount. 

With pet insurance, after the chosen excess has been deducted, you get back a large proportion of the costs incurred and can take care of your pets with peace of mind. 

Vet Andrea Faure Beaulieu holding a dog in her arms
In the current era with the medical options available to us, we recommend that you take out pet insurance. Veterinary medicine has developed strongly in recent decades. Minimally invasive operations, dialysis and complex surgical reconstructions are part of routine procedures. This progress, while benefiting animals and their health, is rapidly becoming very costly as it is so specialised.

How much does pet insurance cost? 

The costs of pet insurance can vary greatly, with a premium of between CHF 150 and CHF 800 per year. 

The costs depend on the following factors:

  • Type of animal (dog/cat)
  • The animal’s age
  • What costs are covered (hereditary diseases)
  • The chosen excess
  • Basic cover or additional benefits

What costs does pet insurance cover?

Pet insurance reimburses the vet’s and operation costs for your pet's outpatient, inpatient and surgical treatment. Depending on the type of insurance, the costs for medication, accommodation and diagnostics are also covered. Please note that the treatments must be medically necessary. 

Insurance with basic cover usually covers 80-90% of the treatment costs, minus the chosen excess. With additional cover, in most cases 100% of the treatment costs are insured, minus the excess.

As a vet, it's important for me to ensure our pets receive the best and most suitable medical care. The decision as to whether and how to organise the treatment should not be a financial one.

Good to know:

You can insure your pet from the age of 3 months. The insurance is valid worldwide. Claims must be reported as soon as possible (within seven days).

A cat looking towards the camera

Important tip

Extend your personal liability insurance to cover damage caused by your pet. Because here, too, it can quickly become expensive.

image source: Unsplash; Marcus Wallis, Tobias

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