Many dog and cat owners take out health insurance to take care of their little companion. If the conditions of application of this health protection are well known in France, it is not always clear whether these remain in force in the event of a trip abroad.
In principle and in most cases, yes, this validity is maintained. However, some formulas reject any support once the animal leaves French territory and other companies apply different conditions and methods when the treatment is carried out abroad. We take stock to try to see it more clearly.
Does dog and cat insurance work abroad?
In principle, the dog or cat insurance contract you have taken out should protect your little companion in all situations provided for, even if they occur abroad. In fact, the conditions of care must be identical and apply to French territory as elsewhere.
However, it is recommended that you check this point before planning a trip abroad with your pet. To do this, see the terms and conditions of your contract. If no clear reference is made, please contact your insurer directly and make sure you get a clear, written answer to avoid any misunderstandings if you have to assert your rights. Please specify the country of destination, the length of your stay to know the guarantees that are maintained or not during it.
Traditional guarantees valid abroad
Each insurance company is completely free to apply the guarantees, conditions of application and rates you choose. As a result, some insurers may refuse to cover an animal when traveling abroad. Keep in mind, however, that this is rare, as most well-known brands extend their warranties to foreign territories. However, the duration of coverage can be shortened, most often to a maximum of three months.
There are three main categories of health coverage formulas for cats and dogs.
- The basic formulas they are the cheapest, but also the ones that cover the least. They can offer protection in case of illness and / or accident with a reimbursement rate of between 50% and 70%. With these formulas, support abroad is rare.
- Comfort formulas, intermediaries, offer a wider coverage with the assumption of costs related to illness, accident, exams, even pharmacy, and this, with a reimbursement rate of 70% to 90%. These relatively interesting mid-range formulas cover, in most cases, animals abroad.
- Premium formulas, high-end, are the most complete. With a 90% to 100% reimbursement rate, they cover almost all veterinary costs, including euthanasia and funerals. More expensive, they generally protect animals when traveling abroad, even if restrictions may apply.
Additional guarantees in case of travel abroad
Even if your traditional insurance policy allows you to travel abroad with your dog or cat while enjoying health coverage, you may take out other guarantees that will allow you to be better covered during your trips outside France. .
Guarantee of attendance
This guarantee of assistance is a valuable help to travel abroad. It offers assistance by phone and / or email 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to make it easier to find a veterinarian or get information about local practices in this area.
This type of warranty may already be included in your dog or cat insurance policy or other insurance policy (home, travel, vehicle, etc.). So be careful not to subscribe twice if you plan to protect yourself with it for your travels.
In addition to assistance, you can take out other optional guarantees that are sometimes included in high-end insurance contracts. You can add them to your contract for a long period or just for your stay, but keep in mind that a waiting period may apply, so it’s best to worry about it well in advance to be sure benefit him.the stranger.
These optional guarantees include guarding the dog or cat in case of hospitalization or the cost of research in case of loss or theft of your pet.
Insurance for dogs or cats abroad: what are the operating conditions?
If your health insurance for your cat or dog works abroad, however, it is recommended to check the application conditions, as these are likely to vary if you leave French territory. Please be aware of these points before you leave in order to avoid disappointment once abroad.
These are the main monitoring points related to the operating conditions of dog or cat insurance companies.
The territoriality of health coverage abroad
There are all kinds of health insurance for dogs or cats. Indeed, some reject any support for the animal abroad and others extend its protection without modifications or conditions to all countries in the world. But there are also many intermediate formulas that cover only European countries or certain countries on the continent or other continents. It is also not uncommon for countries considered at risk to be excluded from guarantees, so it is necessary to ensure this before leaving France.
The duration of the coverage
In most cases, the coverage of the dog or cat abroad has a maximum validity of three months, or 90 days. Some insurers undertake to renew this protection for a new maximum period of three months in the event of a long journey, but this is not always the case.
Either way, after this period, your dog or cat is no longer covered. This loss of coverage is mainly due to the fact that he no longer meets the conditions to be considered a French tax resident.
Before you go abroad, find out about the prerequisites required by the countries you are going to visit, including for a simple stopover, and airlines, in fact, the rules may vary from country to country. . Some require, for example, that the animal be vaccinated against rabies or certain pathologies. If this is the case and you have not met this requirement, your little companion’s care may be invalidated. The animal may not even be able to enter the territory when you arrive.
Compliance with refund conditions
In general, and unless the health contract states otherwise, the veterinary expenses of the dog or cat are covered under the same conditions as in France. However, it is important to follow the valid procedures in place and those provided for in your contract, as it is difficult to assert your rights a posteriori.
As the owner of the cared dog or cat, you will have to pay the care bill, as provided by France. As a general rule, the few formulas that advance veterinary expenses are not valid for traveling abroad. Then, before leaving the veterinary consultation, you must obtain the following documentation to obtain the reimbursement due from your insurer:
- the attendance form completed by the veterinarian, with the date of care, details of the care performed and the type of pathology in question, as well as the signature and stamp of the doctor;
- the detailed attention bill, paid, dated, signed and also stamped;
- the possible prescription in case of covered treatment;
- any invoice paid in case of reimbursement of pharmaceuticals.
Make sure you keep the original documents and send a copy of your receipts to your insurer as soon as possible. Also note that in this case, the repayment period may be extended a bit.