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Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Dogs are most insured pets and not Cats ... !!

Among various General insurance policies, is coverage for pet animals, more specifically dog insurance.   In India, this policy offers coverage to indigenous, crossbred and exotic dogs which are pets, watch dogs, sheep dogs… and provides coverage against death due to accident and / or diseases during the period of insurance to the dogs.   The insured animal must be  suitably identified by  tattooing; nose print; photograph etc., Normal physical identification marks and breed, sex, age etc. should be clearly described in the Veterinary Certificate and Proposal form. The Policy can be extended  to cover transit risks as also accidental poisoning and the like.   There is liability arising out bites too.    Policies would exclude rabies, canine distemper and the like.

Pets are often smaller animals kept for companionship and enjoyment. These are domesticated animals, which would obey commands and do things that would please its master [is that not what is wanted everywhere !] – man’s interaction with animals is boundless – there are wild animals [or is animals in wild more appropriate], livestock, laboratory animals, working animals, sports animals, breeding animals kept for food and making money – there are few others which are kept for their loyalty, playfulness, singing prowess, beauty and other characteristics.

Believers claim that pets would help relieve stress – but you need to love your pet and believe on this to really enjoy and get some health benefits ! Some say, merely looking at the swimming fishes would take away the strain and stress. Then suddenly there came the concept of vasthu and vasthu fishes. Going by available statistics, Cat tops the list of pets followed by Dogs, Fishes, small mammals, parrots, pigeons, lovebirds and other  small birds, reptiles, amphibians and equine – but keeping a pet would be more driven by one’s liking than by any empirical evidence.  In foreign countries, there are some peculiar pets too !

There has often been suggestions that ‘felines’ are the most loved and  kept pets – but going by Insurance industry statistics, it is seemingly is not so ! -  it is ‘dogs’ that are  more likely to be insured by their owners than cats, figures show.  It comes as the pet insurance industry posts highest-ever claim total – last year,  British firms paid out more than £602million in animal insurance.  The lucrative pet insurance industry has hit an all-time high as new research reveals dogs are much more likely to be insured by their owners than cats.

The old adage that dogs are a man's best friend would appear to ring true - one in four dogs in the UK (2.4million) is covered by insurance against unforeseen medical problems and traffic injuries. By comparison, only one in six cats (1.2million) are the subject of an insurance policy, the new study has shown.

In total, UK firms last year paid out a massive £602million pounds for pets - marking an increase of 15 per cent on the previous year and a high since records began in 2007, according to figures released by the Association of British Insurers (ABI). While dogs and cats were the most commonly insured creatures, other pets with cover included horses, rabbits and rare and exotic animals such as snakes.  The ABI said one of the more unusual claims insurers had dealt with in the past year was a £600 bill for a kitten which needed its stomach pumped and antibiotics after it fell into a toilet.

Others included a tortoise that was treated for a digestive disorder and a cockateil that needed helping learning to fly correctly. The two claims were valued at £560 and $500 respectively. Mark Shepherd, General Insurance Manager at the ABI, said the cost of getting quality veterinary treatment for your pet can easily reach into thousands of pounds particularly if they have to have surgery or need chemotherapy to tackle cancer.

'Pet insurance gives you peace of mind that you won’t have to deny your pet life-saving treatment because the veterinary bills are too expensive. 'It’s encouraging to see more consumers taking advantage of this, and the hope is that other owners will give more thought to how they would cope if their pet fell dangerously ill or had a serious accident.'  ~and would that make a sales pitch down here !!

In a different interesting story read in MailOnline, the maternal instincts of females may make them interact with humans more than males do, according to a Swedish study. Researchers set more than 400 pedigree beagles an impossible puzzle. They were put in front of three boxes, each of which had a clear lid and contained a biscuit. Two of the lids slid back, allowing the dogs to eat the treat, but the third was stuck shut.  Females were more likely to look to a researcher for help, making eye contact and physical contact, such as putting their paw up.

Professor Per Jensen, of Linkoping University, said: ‘Females scored significantly higher on social interactions and physical contact. 'We don’t really know why females were more social towards humans, but a speculative possibility would be that it could be a side-effect of their nurturing instincts. ‘Perhaps female dogs are more apt at co-operation since they have a pup-rearing responsibility in their natural behaviour.’ He said the findings could help improve human health, adding: ‘Reduced eye contact and communication have been suggested to be important aspects of human autism spectrum disorders. 'Dogs may prove to be important models for understanding the genetic basis of this.’ Owners of male dogs needn’t despair, as the professor said that his results don’t necessarily mean that bitches make better pets.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
5th May 2015.

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