Canada’s Pet Insurance scheme may be forced to be rewritten and replaced after the government raised concerns about the way it works.
In its report to the government on Tuesday, the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) said the program should be changed to ensure it is not a one-size-fits-all scheme and is based on more accurate data.
“It’s time to revisit the Pet Insurance Program and the way we get our insurance coverage,” said CVMA President Dan Kelly.
“The CVMA’s recommendations include: an end to ‘catch-up’ rates; an end in 2020 of the $5,500 per year ‘catch up’ subsidy for those with a small dog; and a reduction in the amount of subsidies available for those who buy their own insurance.”
The report also says that it would be good to see the government review the program’s ‘catchup’ subsidy, and if it is effective in ensuring that more people have the right to buy coverage, as it is currently.
“The CVMAS believes the $25,000 subsidy is an important tool to ensure that the insurance is affordable to all Canadians and that it works for those buying coverage, regardless of their size,” said Kelly.
The CVME said the federal government has not yet made any recommendations about its recommendations.
“We’re hopeful that the government will respond to our recommendations and provide further details as soon as possible,” Kelly said.
The federal government’s insurance scheme is based in part on an average of two factors: the number of pets a household owns, and the number in the household.
If a household has more than one dog, the government provides a subsidy of $5.00 per dog.
If the household owns three dogs, the subsidy is reduced to $3.00 for each additional dog.
A dog can also be owned as an “inherited pet” or as a “secondary pet” in a household, if both parents are members of the same religion.
According to the federal website, the Pet and Insurer Program is an annual program which provides coverage for pets up to six months old.
In addition to the subsidy for the first year, the program provides a $5 “catch-ups” subsidy to all households with a dog, $1.50 for a dog up to two years old, and $1 for a canine of any age up to 12 months old if they live with their owner.