Pet insurance inquiries surge during pandemic on heightened importance of animal companions

INQUIRIES about insurance coverage for pets have surged during the pandemic, with policies becoming available from several companies over the past two years or so, the Insurance Commission (IC) said.

Commissioner Dennis B. Funa said in a statement late Wednesday that the current policies available offer reimbursement on veterinary bills for certain illnesses or accidents, as well as burial assistance benefits for deceased pets.

Insurers are also offering owners pet-related personal accident cover, and liability cover for when they become legally liable for the injury or property damage caused by their pets.

“Many still do not know it is now available in the country. It’s good to let the people know we already have this in the Philippines,” Mr. Funa said via Viber Thursday.

The regulator approved the first pet insurance product in 2018; it was launched in 2019.

The five companies with IC-approved pet insurance products are Malayan Insurance Co., Inc., Standard Insurance Co., Inc., Pioneer Insurance and Surety Corp., PGA Sompo Insurance Corp., and Mercantile Insurance Co., Inc.

The start of the pandemic seems to have been a trigger for interest in the segment, the IC said.

“It has recently been reported in mainstream media that there is an increasing trend of families taking in pets to cope with the stress brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus, it may be an opportune time to remind our countrymen of the available insurance products for pets that have been approved by the IC,” Mr. Funa said.

He said Malayan’s pet insurance products have annual premiums of between P2,000 and P5,400 for medical reimbursement and pet owner’s liability coverage of up to P300,000 and burial aid worth P10,000. — Jenina P. Ibañez