Tuesday, August 14News That Matters

Now You Can Get Pet Insurance Online For RM18.50/Month—Because They Need Surgery Too

  • Underwritten by MSIG Malaysia, PolicyStreet now offers pet insurance starting at RM222 annually. 
  • Pet insurance has been around for a long time without attention, but maybe the convenience of ordering it online might entice Malaysians into actually insuring their pets. 

Animals can get sick too, and for when disaster strikes, insurance can help owners from ending up thousands of ringgit down the hole when all you want is the best for Fluffy.

One of such providers here is MSIG Malaysia, which has now partnered with Malaysia insurtech startup PolicyStreet to make pet insurance more accessible.

PolicyStreet wants to make insurance more affordable for the average Malaysian, and they do that by taking insurance products out of policies and packages and selling those to Malaysians who now have the choice to curate a ‘plan’ that suits them. There’s certainly a demand for a type of business that reduces premiums prices.

Now PolicyStreet has brought MSIG Malaysia’s pet insurance into their fold.

Their website is now the official online channel for Malaysians to buy pet insurance for their pets, starting from RM222 annually, which breaks down to RM18.50 a month for pets.

The policy can be bought as long as pets are between 12 weeks-old to 9 years old, and microchipped.

The pet insurance coverage includes:

  • Vet and surgery coverage for when pets get injured, ill or require surgery.
  • When pets die or have to be put down, the insurance will reimburse the purchase price or adoption fees.
  • Reimbursement for burials or cremations.
  • Advertising and rewards for recovering a missing pet.
  • Boarding kennel or cattery for if the owner ends up in a hospital.
  • Legal costs and expenses for when pets cause injury to others.

How much you get to cash out is based on whether you pay the RM222 annual premium, the RM381 premium, or the RM540 one.

Besides further information about things listed above, the PolicyStreet page for this pet insurance is actually pretty newbie-friendly, listing out how to claim the insurance, eligible benefits, and other basic questions.

The uptake of pet insurance has been pretty slow in Malaysia, even though it’s at least been around since 2010. This does make sense to a certain extent, because if Malaysians aren’t even insuring themselves, would many of them consider covering their pets?

We posited this question to PolicyStreet’s Yen Ming, who said, “The scenario was different back then. Pet insurance was not available online and predominately distributed via agents.”

He also stated that the old pet insurance in Malaysia was discontinued due to lack of interest. Yen Ming argued that back in the day, it made more sense for insurance agents to focus on products that have a mass appeal—life insurance, motor insurance, etc.

“Also, these are two products which have the two largest premium base, hence larger commissions. Pets serve a niche audience—not every prospect they speak to has pets. Therefore, the awareness level was not built then.”

“That’s why, at present, everyone we speak to tend to think we are pulling their leg when we say we have pet insurance. Most of our friends who have pets did not know pet insurance existed before!”

“We believe the scenario will be different when we use the power of technology to bring about product transparency and empowerment to customers to make their own informed decision. Therefore we believe pet insurance will make an impact on the market like how it has in developed markets.”

While pet insurance is something of a rarity in Malaysia, it’s all just part of life in countries like Sweden. Sweden is said to have the highest rate of insured pets at 57% and was one of the earliest countries to introduce pet insurance—in 1924 for a dog.

Rumour has it that this is all thanks to the Swedes’ society that believes in fairness. They even pay higher taxes if it means that their society’s downtrodden can have a better life.

To actually underline the importance of pet insurance, PolicyStreet has brought on a number of partners to promote awareness to Malaysian pet owners ranging from vets, pet hotels and online pet services—Ministry of Pets, Cocomomo, Petsodia, and Jompaw.

Perhaps the convenience of it being online will help pet insurance fly off the figurative shelves. There are a lot of passionate furparents out there who consider pets to be their own children, and I can definitely imagine them being interested in insuring their pets as long as they know it’s possible.

This also means that besides breaking down policies and plans, PolicyStreet seems to have a vested interest in getting more ‘unknown’ types of insurance policies out in the market too.

Feature Image Credit: Smart Family Pets

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