Introduction: Do I need pet Insurance in Spain?
Navigating the world of pet insurance in Spain can be a complex task, especially for expats who are not familiar with the local regulations and requirements.
As insurance experts with over 20 years of experience in the Spanish insurance markets, insuranceagents.es is here to guide you through this intricate landscape and help you understand the upcoming changes in the law that will affect all pet owners in the country.
Currently, in Spain, liability insurance is only mandatory for certain breeds of dogs that are considered potentially dangerous.
However, there is a significant shift is on the horizon. A new animal welfare law, set to come into effect at the end of September 2023, will make it mandatory for all dog owners, regardless of the breed, to have pet liability insurance.
This law is a game-changer, marking a significant step forward in ensuring the welfare of all pets and their owners.
This article aims to provide a comprehensive guide to the new law, its implications, and how it will affect pet owners, particularly those from the expat community.
We will delve into the specifics of the law, the types of pet insurance available, and the consequences of non-compliance.
Whether you’re a long-time pet owner or considering getting a pet, this guide is for you.
The new law and it’s implications for pet insurance in Spain
ALL DOG OWNERS, REGARDLESS OF THEIR PET’S BREED, WILL NEED TO HAVE LIABILITY INSURANCE TO COVER DAMAGES CAUSED BY THEIR PET TO OTHER PEOPLE, PROPERTY, OR ANIMALS.
The new Animal Welfare Law in Spain, enacted in 2023, is a significant step forward in the protection of animal rights.
The law, which is comprehensive in its scope, covers a wide range of issues related to animal welfare, including the treatment of pets, farm animals, and wildlife.
Recognition of Animals as Sentient Beings:
he new law acknowledges animals’ capacity to feel pain, experience emotions, and have a sense of awareness, shifting away from the previous legal framework where animals were considered mere property.
Stricter Regulations on Breeding and Sale of Pets:
The law introduces tighter controls on pet breeding and sales, aiming to combat illegal breeding operations and pet trafficking.
All pets must be microchipped and registered in a national database.
Harsher Penalties for Animal Cruelty:
The law imposes stricter penalties for animal cruelty, including substantial fines and potential imprisonment.
Certain cruel or inhumane practices, such as declawing cats and docking dogs’ tails, are banned.
Timeline for Enforcement:
The law was passed in early 2023 and will be fully enforced by end of September 2023, with a transition period for pet owners and businesses to adapt to the new regulations.
Consequences for Non-compliance:
Non-compliance can result in severe consequences, including fines for failing to microchip and register pets, and potential jail time for animal cruelty or neglect.
The law also provides for the confiscation of animals in cases of severe neglect or abuse.
UNDERSTANDING DOG LIABILITY INSURANCE IN SPAIN
The new law for obligatory pet insurance in Spain is designed to cover any damages that a dog may cause to third parties, whether that’s to people, other animals, or property.
Here’s a closer look at what dog owners in Spain need to know about these changes and how they might affect them:
Dog liability insurance covers damages that a dog may cause to third parties, including objects, people, or other animals.
This coverage aims to account for possible accidents and reinforces the responsibility of pet owners.
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Insurance for PPP Dogs:
Most policies offer an average coverage of 150,000 euros. However, regulations state that a minimum amount of 120,000 Euros must be covered, particularly for potentially dangerous dogs (PPP).
From September 2023, this insurance will be mandatory for all dogs.
Changes with the New Animal Welfare Law:
The new law maintains these rules, with the significant change being that all dog owners, not just those with PPP dogs, must have insurance for the minimum amount.
The law does not distinguish between different dog breeds when it comes to insurance requirements.
Insurance policies, like those offered by InsuranceAgents.es, cover bodily injury, property damage, and consequential damages.
They also allow for free choice defense, with no waiting periods, no deductibles, and no exclusion of breeds.
To obtain a policy, the dog must have a microchip, and the owner must present their ID.
The aim is to ensure the safety of people, the owner, and other animals, and to promote responsible coexistence.
Penalties for Non-compliance:
The Spanish law sets out penalties ranging from minor (from 500 to 10,000 euros) to serious (10,001 to 50,000 euros) for non-compliance with the regulations.
These penalties can increase if there is a repeat offence.
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CURRENT COMPULSORY LIABILITY INSURANCE FOR POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS BREEDS (PPP)
Currently, in Spain, certain breeds of dogs are classified as potentially dangerous and are required to have mandatory liability insurance. These breeds, often referred to as PPP (Perros Potencialmente Peligrosos), include:
- American Staffordshire Terrier
- Dogo Argentino
- Fila Brasileiro
- Neapolitan Mastiff
- German Shepherd
- Pit Bull Terrier
- Presa Canario
- Tosa Inu
- Akita Inu
- Staffordshire Pitbull Terrier
The choice of these breeds as potentially dangerous is mainly related to their physical capabilities:
Powerful appearance and athletic configuration
Wide, large and muscular neck
Robust, broad and deep body structure
Vigor, agility and endurance typical of a broad, muscular and compact body
Height between 50 and 70 centimeters with robust, wide and deep structure.
Solid, broad, large and deep chest with arched ribs and short, muscular loin.
Regulatory Compliance for Potentially Dangerous Dog Breeds (PPP) in Spain
Owners of Potentially Dangerous Dog Breeds (PPP) in Spain must adhere to the following regulations, as outlined in Law 50/1999:
- Mandatory Pet Liability Insurance: All dog owners, including those with PPP breeds, are required to have pet liability insurance.
- Use of Muzzle: PPP dogs must wear a muzzle in all public spaces.
- Licensing and Registration: Owners of PPP dogs must possess a valid license for dog ownership and register their pet in the municipal registry.
- Restriction on Free Roaming: PPP dogs must not be left untied or unconfined within a delimited and fenced space.
- Leash Length Limitation: When walking a PPP dog, leashes longer than two meters or extendable leashes are prohibited.
- Limitation on Walking Multiple PPP Dogs: A single person is not allowed to walk two or more PPP dogs at the same time.
- Reporting Lost or Stolen PPP Dogs: In the event of loss or theft of a PPP dog, it must be reported to the municipal registry within 48 hours.
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IMPLICATIONS OF THE NEW ANIMAL WELFARE LAW FOR POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS BREEDS (PPP) AND THEIR OWNERS
The new law does not eliminate the existing regulations for PPP breeds.
Owners of these breeds will still need to obtain a PPP licence, which involves meeting certain legal conditions, such as being of legal age, having a certificate of physical and psychological training, and having a clean criminal record.
In addition, PPP dogs will still need to comply with specific regulations, such as the use of a muzzle in public spaces and restrictions on walking multiple PPP dogs at the same time by a single person.
While the new law brings more inclusivity by extending the insurance requirement to all breeds, it also maintains the stricter regulations for PPP breeds.
This reflects the law’s aim to promote safer and more responsible pet ownership, while also acknowledging the potential risks associated with certain breeds.
THE PEACE OF MIND OF A GOOD INSURANCE FOR RESPONSIBLE DOG OWNERSHIP
A good insurance policy for your dog is not just about fulfilling legal requirements; it’s about peace of mind and at insuranceagents.es, we’ve got you covered.
Knowing that you’re covered for any damages your pet might cause offers a sense of security that is invaluable. It allows you to enjoy the companionship of your pet without the constant worry of potential financial implications should an accident occur.
BENEFITS OF GOOD INSURANCE
With the new Animal Welfare Law in Spain, having liability insurance for your dog is not just beneficial, it’s mandatory. Ensuring you have the right insurance helps you stay on the right side of the law.
Although this article primarily focuses on the new insurance obligations for dog owners, veterinary bills can be expensive, especially in the case of accidents or serious illnesses.
A good insurance policy can help cover these costs, ensuring that your pet gets the care it needs without causing significant financial strain.
Peace of Mind:
Perhaps the most significant benefit is the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’re covered.
This allows you to enjoy your time with your pet, secure in the knowledge that you’re prepared for any eventuality.
CONCLUSION: PET INSURANCE IN SPAIN – THE NEW LAW
In conclusion, the new Animal Welfare Law in Spain represents a significant shift in the landscape of pet ownership. It places greater responsibility on all dog owners to ensure they have adequate insurance coverage for their pets.
While this may seem like an additional burden, the benefits of having good insurance – from financial security to peace of mind – far outweigh the costs.
As responsible pet owners, it’s up to us to adapt to these changes and ensure we’re providing the best care for our furry friends.
At InsuranceAgents.es, we’ve got you covered for all your pet insurance in Spain needs.
Give us a ring on (+34) 868 97 55 25 and speak to an expert today.