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Pet Insurance in Germany

Written by
Janine El-Saghir
In 2023, 15.7 million cats and 10.5 million dogs lived in German households. Our four-legged companions are not spared health problems either. Routine examinations, illnesses, and accidents can cause high costs. Pet health insurance protects against this risk. Dog owners are also strongly recommended to take out dog liability.
At a glance
  • Pet health insurance ensures that routine examinations, vaccinations, and veterinary treatment are kept within acceptable limits.
  • Health insurance for pets is available with comprehensive coverage or as a surgical tariff. Comprehensive coverage tariffs are significantly pricier. You should always check the scope of benefits of pet insurance thoroughly before taking out cover and compare different offers.
  • Dog owners should also have dog liability insurance — personal liability insurance does not cover damage caused by dogs. In some federal states of Germany, pet liability insurance for dogs is not only required by law for dangerous dog breeds but for all dogs.
  • Many insurance companies in Germany offer pet insurance. You can find particularly high-performance pet insurance from the fintech insurers Getsafe and Feather at transparent conditions. Both providers offer pet health insurance for cats and dogs and dog liability policies. Especially for expats, we recommend purchasing pet insurance from these providers.

Pet health insurance in Germany

Veterinarians charge for their services according to the scale of fees for veterinarians (GOT). It provides for three different fee rates. The simple rate is a minimum fee for simple treatments and routine examinations. Higher rates apply for complicated diagnoses and treatments, as well as emergency services.

For pet owners, veterinary costs are a relevant cost factor that can rapidly add up to three or four-figure sums in the event of more serious illnesses, accidents, or operations. Pet health insurance helps to cover the costs of visits to the vet and treatment.

Pet health insurance — protection against high veterinary costs

Health insurance for pets works in the same way as private health insurance for human patients. The insurance will cover the costs if your four-legged friend needs veterinary treatment. Your vet will issue you an invoice, which your pet insurance will reimburse.

There are two types of health insurance for pets:

Surgical tariffs

This type of tariff only covers medically necessary operations. It is important that the insurance also covers the costs of diagnosis (including cost-intensive diagnostic procedures) and aftercare.

Your pet’s stay in a veterinary clinic should also be covered. The prices for this can vary greatly depending on the type and size of your pet and the facilities at the clinic. For a dog, they average between €50 and €150 per day, for cats between €30 and €100.

Full insurance rates

Full insurance tariffs for pets are significantly higher than surgical tariffs. This type of pet health insurance covers the costs of operations and non-surgical treatment.

The pet insurance companies determine the benefits of their tariffs for their health insurance for pets. Only benefits included in the respective tariff are insured.

Even a full insurance tariff may not cover veterinary costs in full. So, you should check the scope of benefits thoroughly before deciding on a particular tariff. Good tariffs also cover emergency treatment, hospital stays for your pet, preventive visits, and preventive measures.

Pet health insurance cost

The premium amount is influenced by the breed, size, and weight of your pet, as well as its age and state of health. You will have to pay higher premiums for older animals or animals with pre-existing illnesses. Therefore, taking out health insurance for your pet as early as possible is advisable. Some providers generally refuse to insure older pets.

Health insurance policies for pets offer very different benefits and conditions. An insurance comparison will help you find a suitable offer with a good price-performance ratio.

Dog liability insurance in Germany

If you own a dog, you should also have pet liability insurance for him. Liability insurance protects against the financial consequences of personal injuries, property damage, and financial loss caused to third parties by the policyholder. The best known is private liability insurance, which covers damage caused by cats, small animals, or birds but does not cover damage caused by dogs.

Dog liability — compulsory in some federal states

Whether dog liability is compulsory depends on which federal state you live in. In Hamburg, Berlin, Lower Saxony, Schleswig-Holstein, Saxony-Anhalt, and Thuringia, all dogs must be insured regardless of their breed. In most other federal states, insurance is only compulsory for dogs classified as dangerous, while some states also require it for large dogs. Only in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania is there currently no compulsory insurance for dogs.

Liability insurance for dogs — highly recommended

Even if there is no compulsory insurance, liability insurance for dogs is highly recommended. As a dog owner, you are liable for all damage caused by your dog with all your assets. Particularly in the case of personal injuries, very high amounts of damage can quickly arise. In such cases, you not only have to pay for the medical treatment of injured people, but also for loss of earnings and the financial consequences of permanent inability to work.

Dog liability protects you against these financial risks. Just like private liability insurance, dog liability covers personal injury, property damage, and financial loss to third parties.

In addition, dog liability offers passive legal protection in the event of legal disputes. The insurance company defends against unjustified third-party claims and covers legal disputes’ costs.

Sums insured and scope of benefits

A good dog liability policy should insure at least five million euros—this amount also keeps you safe in the event of personal injury.

The scope of benefits of dog liability policies can vary considerably — you should therefore compare different providers and thoroughly check benefits and rates before taking out a policy. Rental property damage and financial losses should also be covered. If you frequently travel abroad with your dog, the policy should also include cover abroad. Good tariffs also cover damage caused by puppies — in this case, the policy must include the “puppy protection” clause.

Premium amount for dog liability

The breed, size, and age of the dog play a particular role in the premium amount for dog liability. Policies become pricier for potentially dangerous or larger dogs. You can insure several dogs in a joint policy and thus save costs. Some pet insurance companies provide their liability insurance with various additional benefits.

The premium amount is also influenced by the sum insured under the policy, additional insurance benefits, and a contractually agreed excess in the event of a claim.

The best pet insurance in Germany

Numerous insurance companies offer pet insurance. Here we present pet health insurance and dog liability insurance from the insurance companies Feather and Getsafe.

Both insurance companies are FinTech providers and have specialized strongly in the requirements of expats in Germany. They operate their websites in German and English, also advice and support are available in both languages. You can manage all insurance matters online or via a mobile app.

Pet insurance from Feather

Feather’s pet health insurance can be taken out for cats and dogs aged eight weeks to nine years. The insurance cover is valid worldwide. The Surgery (only medically necessary operations, no preventive castrations) and Standard tariffs are available. The Standard tariff includes operations as well as regular visits to the vet, medication, preventive castrations/sterilizations, dental treatment, and physiotherapy. Except for operations, annual cost limits apply to all veterinary services. The general waiting period for both tariffs is one month, with an extended waiting period of six to 18 months for some illnesses and medical procedures.

When taking out Feather pet insurance, you can choose between full reimbursement of costs and a 20% excess. Insurance for a one-year-old cat costs €14.25 (Surgery) or €41.18 (Standard) per month. The costs for a dog (one-year-old, mixed-breed, shoulder height up to 44 cm) are €19.31 or €55.06 per month.

Feather offers the best coverage guarantee for its dog liability. This insurance also provides worldwide coverage. The monthly premium is €6.90 (no excess) or €5.58 (€150 excess). Dangerous dog breeds cannot be insured. Feather dog liability can only be taken out if no more than one insured event with a claim amount of less than €2,000 has occurred in the past three years.

Pet insurance from Getsafe

Getsafe’s pet health insurance can be taken out for cats and dogs. There are three tariffs to choose from:

  • Surgery cover: cat (one year, mixed breed, free-range) €6 per month, dog (one year, mixed-breed, shoulder height up to 44 cm) €18.12 per month, reimbursement of a maximum of €3,000 (cat) or €5,000 (dog) per year
  • Full cover Comfort: cat €22.99, dog €53.17 per month, reimbursement of a maximum of €3,000 (cat) or €5,000 (dog) per year
  • Full cover Premium: cat €30.57, dog €70.72 per month, no upper limit on benefits

The Premium tariff also has no upper limits for most individual benefits, and alternative treatment methods are also covered.

Worldwide insurance cover is included in all tariffs for a maximum of 12 months. Pre-existing conditions cannot be covered. The waiting period after the start of insurance is one month. Accidents and telemedicine are insured immediately.

Getsafe’s pet liability insurance for dogs is available from €2.40 per month. All breeds can be insured. The premium is calculated individually. The premiums for a medium-sized dog (mixed-breed) are on average €5 or €6 per month in the Comfort (cover amount: €20 million) and Premium (cover amount: €50 million) tariffs. Premiums are slightly higher for potentially dangerous dogs (American Pitbull: €10.39 or €11.95 per month). Within the EU, the insurance cover is unlimited, worldwide for a maximum of five years.

Conclusion

With health insurance for cats and dogs and dog liability insurance, you can protect yourself against your pet’s medical costs and any damage caused by your dog. Our editors recommend pet insurance from Feather or Getsafe, which are particularly well suited to the requirements of expats in Germany.

Frequently Asked Questions — FAQ

Most insurance companies, whose portfolio includes pet insurance, offer health policies for cats and dogs. Some insurers also offer health insurance for horses.

No. There are no legal requirements. You decide for yourself whether you want to insure your pet. However, insurance is recommended in any case, as it protects you from high veterinary costs.

Whether pet liability insurance is required by law for all dogs or only for dangerous breeds depends on the federal state where you live. When traveling within Germany, you must observe the legal requirements at your destination. There are currently no regulations on dog liability, only in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.

About the author
Janine El-Saghir Read more
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