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Insurance in Spain

Pet microchips and insurance

March 10, 2023

As the famous saying goes “dog is a man´s best friend”, but I am sure that every pet owner would extend this to cover all creatures, great and small. According to statistics, the number of people owning pets has been steadily increasing year on year, and nowadays over 90 million European households have at least one pet. In Spain, it seems that dogs are the most popular of our furry friends, with 27% of Spanish households sharing their homes with at least one dog, followed by 16% of households who own a cat. 

According to Spanish law, every cat, dog, (and ferret!) must be microchipped and registered in the Spanish system. This is not only so that their medical history in terms of vaccines and treatments can be recorded, but more importantly for the owners, it is also the means by which lost animals can be reunited with their owners if they sneak out or wander off and can’t find their way back home. It is not an obligatory requirement for other types of animals, but it is also possible to have other kinds of pets microchipped. For more details about microchipping different pets, check out the WSAVA guidelines. Please note that with the new animal law approved in 2023, in the near future (yet to be determined) any dog will have to be legally insured.

So, let’s look at some of the details of microchipping…

Pet microchip cost with and without insurance

What are pet microchips?

Some people may think that with the rise in new technology the microchip is similar to the “find you iPhone” function where you essentially geo-tag your pet with GPS. This would be handy to see what your little friend gets up to if they are allowed to explore alone. However, the microchip is simply a tiny radio-frequency transponder, about the size of a grain of rice, that is registered with a unique identification number and transmits the ID details when scanned to show the registered contact details and medical records. Unlike alternative GPS systems that attach to your pet´s collar, the pet microchip requires no batteries and cannot be lost as it is injected under the skin of the animal, and so it is a permanent means of identification. 

What are the costs of a pet microchip?

In general, the price to have your pet microchipped costs between 20€ to 50€. There isn’t a standard universal price across all regions or cities in Spain. The Veterinarian Association has a recommended price for the microchip, but the final price is determined by each veterinary practice or clinic to carry out the injection/installation procedure, and the registration fee of the autonomous community. 

Each community has its own register, but the database is coordinated nationally by the non-profit organisation REIAC (Red Española de Identificación de Animals Campañia). You can click on the map on the homepage to find the details of each of the 19 communities. 

If you have adopted your pet from a rescue centre or protective association, they are likely to already have the microchip, and you will either be given the supporting documentation, including the ID number so you can complete the registration directly, or they may also help or do this procedure for you. 

Registration of a pet microchip

Microchipping and registration must be done either within the first 3 months of being born, or within one month of ownership, but the sooner the better, as owning an unchipped or a chipped but unregistered pet could result in you getting a fine of up to 600€ 

To register your pet´s microchip, you will complete a registration form or RIA (Registro de Identificación Animal). As the owner, you will need to provide formal personal identification documents, such as your NIE/passport, proof of address and a Spanish telephone number and the microchip identification details which will be given to you by the vet. The pet microchip is registered to your name and current address, so, if you move house, or transfer ownership of the pet, you also need to remember to update the records. And for those of you who may have brought your pets from another country to start a new life in Spain, it is also important to note that you may need to have your pet re-chipped, even if they have already been microchipped in another country, and they must be re-registered in Spain so they are included in the national database. 

Now, onto the lowdown on pet insurance…

Especially in the case of cats and dogs, due to the mandatory nature of microchipping, in order to take out your pet insurance your animal must be officially identified with an ID microchip and corresponding registration. Of course, it is not obligatory to also insure your pet's health, but as most owners will attest, having a pet can prove to be costly, not just in terms of paying for vaccines, routine treatments and visits to the vets to keep them in good health, but also to cover costs of medical attention for potential accidents, injuries and diseases which could require extensive and expensive treatments. For this reason, more and more pet owners are choosing to take out pet insurance to help them minimise the risk of having to pay the cost of vet´s bills that they may not otherwise be able to afford. 

For example, at Caser, you can choose from a range of plans, which are specialised pet insurance policies available to help protect your best friend(s) against a range of risks.

  • WeCan Live is a policy which covers your cat or dog for unforeseen illnesses or accidents and could not only help to save their life but also save you from worrying about potentially high costs of vet´s bills. For 159€ a year per pet, it covers diagnostic tests, surgeries, treatments, and hospitalization. For veterinary bills exceeding €800 you will be reimbursed 100% for the cost of treatments with no maximum limit. This policy allows you to choose the veterinary clinic you want for the treatment required during the 365 days from the occurrence of the accident or diagnosis of the illness. It also gives you access to 24-hour telephone veterinarian advice.

  • WeCan Check is a policy which helps you to check the health of your pet and avoid day to day vet expenses. It gives access to free unlimited veterinary consultations and reviews, including telephone advice and 24-hour emergency consultations by a network of more than 320 approved veterinary clinics. It also includes the cost of the Rabies vaccine, and other services required will either be provided at no cost, or up to 40% off normal prices. In addition, with this policy, the true animal lover with a menagerie of pets, can benefit from up to 30% discount for additional pets. Prices for 1 pet are 220€ per year, but you could access this service for as little as 146€ per pet per year, for up to 5 pets.

Pet microchip cost with and without insurance

You can also choose to combine the benefits of both of the pet insurance policies above (WeCan Live/WeCan Check) so you have the peace of mind that your pet is covered for all eventualities:

  • WeCan Live/Check Combo pack is available, at a cost of 339€ per year, to give you access to free regular check-ups and consultations and coverage for costs over 800€ for any potential treatments required for illness or accidents that your pet may suffer.

In addition, all of these policies also include protection of civil liability of up to 180,350€ for potential damages for third parties and legal defences and expenses. 

There is also another policy called WeCan RC (responsibilidad civil) which provides civil liability coverage only of 120,250€ to 300,550€ for damage to third parties that your dog may cause, and also support for legal defence and legal expenses. Prices start from 45€ a year and covers any breed of dog, including those on the list of breeds that are classed as potentially dangerous, referred to as PPP in Spain. Call to +34 91 055 16 56 and talk about it with our agents.

Thankfully Spain has gone further than many countries in recent times, with the new Animal Protection Law of 2022 (Ley de Protección Animal), which recognises them as sentient beings, not just objects. As the law states, pets are legitimate members of the family, and so they deserve care and protection like the rest of us.  Therefore, all in all, pet microchips and pet insurance are an amazing and cost-effective way to do as much as you can to protect your furry family member. They help ensure that the odds are in your favour to be reunited if they go missing and also to get them the medical attention they deserve if they need a vet´s help. Fulfilling these areas of protection for your pet also helps protect you against emotional trauma and financial losses that can be caused by any unforeseen problems. 

Download Free Guide:  Pet Insurance Options in Spain

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