Pets are no longer things, they never have been, but now legally they are living beings, to be more exact, “sentient” beings. This is well known to owners who, in most cases, consider their dog or cat as a member of the family. However, until recently, the same was not the case in legal matters. The legislative change applied in 2022 so that animals are considered sentient beings recognizes a series of rights that their owners are obliged to guarantee. Insurance is one more tool to be able to comply with the new regulations and their future changes.
What does the novelty in the Law on the Legal Regime of Animals imply?
The main novelty that has come into force in 2022 is that, not being considered things but sentient beings, animals acquire new rights, in addition to the basic ones such as that they cannot be mistreated or abandoned. Now, an animal cannot be seized, something that could previously happen, for example, in the case of horses from a farm seized for non-payment. In case of divorce, in addition, pets cannot be separated from one of their owners, that is, shared custody is legally regulated. Pets, in addition, may also be included in wills.
The role of pet insurance
- Civil liability coverage – Cover the damage that the animal can cause to other people or objects.
- Accident coverage – Cover the expenses derived from the attention that the pet needs after an accident.
- Health or veterinary coverage – Cover the expenses derived from the health care of the animal in case of illness or even hospitalization or rehabilitation.
The first of the coverages can be included in the home insurance, while an exclusive insurance for pets usually offers all three. In any of the cases, having the animal protected through this route allows the pet to have two guaranteed issues. On the one hand, the good state of health and care that the law requires, since the insurance will be able to cover expenses of an unforeseen event that we might not be able to cover financially in another way. On the other hand, our responsibility for the possession of the animal and the damage that it may cause.