Your pets, safer

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10.May.2022

Last February the Government approved the draft Animal Protection Law and at the same time the Council of Ministers approved an amendment to the Criminal Code to extend the penalties for animal abuse.

The aim of this legislation is to establish obligations to protect animals, to care for them in dignified living conditions, to guarantee their rights, to promote their healthy development, to prevent their ownership from causing danger to others, to educate them in non-violent methods, to monitor them properly and to provide them with the healthcare they need.

Significant changes

Among the most significant changes introduced by this law are that animals cannot be left unsupervised for more than three days (24 hours in the case of dogs); a course must be taken before taking in a dog; the list of dangerous dogs is eliminated (the new law focuses on the behaviour of each dog in particular, beyond its breed); and the sale of animals and the conditions under which they can be put down are regulated.

Although in some Autonomous Communities it was already compulsory to have civil liability insurance -specifically for dogs- this new law makes it compulsory for this to be extended to the whole of Spain. It is therefore important to know how this type of insurance works:

What is the most common type of insurance?

Without a doubt, civil liability insurance. Pet liability insurance is intended to cover any bodily injury, property damage or damage caused by the pet to third parties. The specifics of the cover usually depend on the individual insurance company with which the product is contracted, but they normally cover both bodily injury and material damage that the animal may cause, even when the pet is not with its owner.

Some of the cover provided by this type of insurance includes the payment of the compensation that we must bear as a result of the behavior of the animal; the creation of the judicial bonds if someone reports us; the legal costs and the defense of the insured in the event of claims in civil proceedings, even when the claims are unfounded; and the defence of the insured in criminal proceedings.

Specific insurance

Keep in mind that some home insurance also covers pets. This protects the policyholder against any damage that the animals may cause to furniture or household appliances, as well as damage caused to third parties.

In addition, the insurance sector has created specific products for pets, beyond simple civil liability. Therefore, in the market we can find specific insurance policies for pets which, in addition to civil liability, offer broader coverage such as damage to the animal in case of accident, theft, help in searching for it in case of loss, medical assistance for pets, and stays in a kennel in the event of the insured being hospitalized.

In short, protection and security for these animals, which are often regarded as a member of the family.

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