Taking out health insurance for your cat or dog is an excellent way to preserve its well-being.
If the offers are not lacking, all the basic, intermediate and high-end formulas seem to be accompanied by an annual reimbursement ceiling, which corresponds to the maximum amount that the insurer agrees to cover each year, regardless of the level of reimbursement subscribed. Nevertheless, is it possible to find a mutual insurance formula for dogs or cats without an annual reimbursement ceiling? Let’s do a check in.
Reimbursement ceiling: what are we talking about?
When the owner of a dog or a cat wishes to preserve the health of his little companion, he can take out a dedicated health insurance contract. From one insurance company to another, guarantees and rates can vary greatly, but there are still three main categories of formulas.
- The basic formulas, economical, make it possible to cover the basic costs relating to illness and/or an accident for an average cost of 5 euros to 15 euros per month. Nevertheless, the level of reimbursement is low since it fluctuates between 50% and 70% only.
- Comfort formulas are interesting for their intermediate character. With an average monthly contribution of 12 euros to 30 euros, they cover a wider range of treatments up to 70% to 90%. They therefore offer a good compromise and remain the most popular with dog and cat owners.
- Premium formulas are premium warranties. Very comprehensive, they cover almost all of the care and certain ancillary costs such as funerals and euthanasia, up to 90% to 100% in most cases. On the other hand, they are more expensive, with a monthly contribution which varies between 30 euros and more than 80 euros.
At each consultation, the owner of the insured dog or cat has a care sheet filled out by the veterinarian and sends it to his insurer with the detailed invoice for the care provided. After having paid the costs to the practitioner, he receives reimbursement up to the rate provided for in his contract and for the care concerned within a period which may vary from one day to several weeks.
As you will have understood, if there are several types of formulas, the more the animal is covered, the higher the contribution.
The other parameters of a mutual insurance contract for dogs or cats
In addition to these data, you should know that a dog or cat health insurance contract is likely to include other parameters, which must be taken into account.
- The reimbursement rate : already mentioned above, the reimbursement rate is that which is applied to the care concerned by the contract. This is the part that will be refunded to the owner. Be careful however, this is not applied to the total amount of the care bill, but only to the care covered by the mutual insurance contract.
- Franchise : this is an amount that remains the responsibility of the owner when requesting a refund. If it is not applied by all the companies and for all the formulas, the deductible can be presented in two forms, namely in the form of a fixed amount or a percentage, and it can be applied to the first reimbursement request for the year or on each of the requests made.
- The waiting period : this is the time that runs from the signing of the mutual insurance contract for dogs or cats to its taking effect. During this period, the owner begins to pay his contributions, but the animal is not yet covered, in order to protect the insurer from abuse. This waiting period can vary from a few days to several months depending on the contract.
- The annual reimbursement ceiling : this is the maximum amount that the insurer agrees to reimburse each year to its client.
What is the annual reimbursement limit?
As indicated above, the annual reimbursement ceiling is the maximum amount that an insurer agrees to reimburse each year within the framework of taking charge of the care of an insured animal. Freely set by each company, it is a limit sum imposed on the master of the dog or cat.
Indeed, when the owner of the animal sends reimbursement requests to his insurer, the latter pays him the amounts provided for in his contract for the care covered, but within this annual limit. Thus, over the requests, the amounts add up.
Consequently, if the amount of care to be reimbursed exceeds at a given time the amount of the annual ceiling accepted, the insurer will no longer reimburse its client until the following year and the resetting of this counter. This annual limit is applied for all types of contracts, including 100% coverage. Thus, as soon as the annual ceiling is exceeded, the reimbursement is interrupted and the owner can no longer receive a payment until the following year.
However, you should know that the annual reimbursement ceiling can be reached in different ways. Some years, when the animal is doing well, the master does not approach it. On the other hand, it can be exceeded during the year by the accumulation of several reimbursed consultations or by a single expensive intervention. It is indeed possible, for example, that an annual ceiling of 1,500 euros is suddenly exceeded by a surgical operation billed at 2,000 euros. In this case, even with a reimbursement rate of 100%, the owner of the insured dog or cat will have a remaining charge of 500 euros.
If the amount of the annual reimbursement ceiling is freely set by the insurance companies, be aware that the more a formula is covering and expensive, the higher it will be. Consequently, the amount of this ceiling is higher among the top-of-the-range offers than the economic formulas. On average, it fluctuates between 500 euros and 2,500 euros.
Dog or cat insurance without reimbursement ceiling: is it possible?
Within most insurance companies, mutual health contracts for cats and dogs provide for reimbursement ceilings ranging between 500 euros and 2,500 euros. Remember that the more a contract is covered and expensive, the higher the amount of the annual reimbursement ceiling. However, even a contract that provides for a rate of 100% support is subject to an annual ceiling, which forces the owner of the animal to finance any overruns from his pocket. Moreover, it is not uncommon for the amount of this ceiling to reduce over the years, as the animal ages since it requires more and more care, in theory.
Why such a limit? Quite simply to allow each insurer to avoid soaring prices and too expensive care for sick animals. By imposing an annual reimbursement ceiling, insurers protect themselves from the abuse of masters and cats and dogs who suffer from serious and costly pathologies in care or very injured.
But then, is it possible to find dog or cat insurance without a reimbursement ceiling? The answer is no. To date, none exist. However, be aware that this sector is subject to fierce competition, pushing companies to offer ever more flexible offers. As a result, the highest annual reimbursement ceiling currently offered on the market is 7,000 euros! An ideal solution to preserve the well-being of his little companion, but which remains rare.
How to find the right health coverage for your dog or cat?
If there is not yet an insurance formula without an annual reimbursement limit, you can benefit from good coverage by taking out a contract adapted to the needs of your dog or cat.
You can opt for a very covering formula, which offers the highest annual reimbursement ceiling, but you will have to pay in return for an expensive contribution. However, given the price of veterinary care, such a level of protection and care can be particularly advantageous. Indeed, the ordinary care of a healthy cat or dog can be limited to a few tens or hundreds of euros per year, but when the animal falls ill or is injured, the prices soar. and can reach several thousand or even tens of thousands of euros per year.
For a young and healthy cat or dog, the classic, intermediate or premium levels of protection are sufficient, because it is rare to exceed the imposed ceilings. On the other hand, it is not impossible, because no cat or doggie is immune to an accident or contracting an illness.
The best solution is to use an online comparator that will help you find the formula that best suits your budget and your pet’s needs. These free, powerful, fast and non-binding tools allow you to receive several suitable offers in a few seconds after completing a simple questionnaire. All you have to do is study the proposals to choose the one that best protects your little companion.