Can Santa insure his reindeer?

Santa arm holding an actual reindeer with a red harness.

Good ol’ St. Nicholas is a responsible pet owner. Not only does he want to give his reindeer pet insurance for Christmas, but he wants to get them the best coverage possible for the best price. T’is the season, after all.

So what’s the best way to find the right policy for his needs? 

Here’s what Santa needs to know-ho-ho about pet insurance.

Exotic pet insurance

Reindeers in a snowy pen, staring into your soul.
Image by Arseny Togulev on Unsplash.

Pet insurance typically only covers cats and dogs, though some providers may include exotic animals like fish, birds, reptiles, and horses. 

Santa will need to look for a provider willing to cover reindeer during his comparison process.

Level of coverage

Santa reading a piece of paper at his desk.
Santa always reads the PDS. Courtesy of Getty Images.

Once Santa finds providers willing to cover reindeer, he’ll need to decide what level of coverage he’s after.

Pet insurance typically comes in three different tiers: 

  • Accident-only. Covers vet costs associated with treating an accidental injury.
  • Accident and illness. Covers accidents and illnesses that vaccines or regular tick/worming treatments can’t prevent. 
  • Comprehensive. Maximum coverage available. Usually can be tailored with optional extras like dental insurance, routine care, or alternative therapies like acupuncture. 

There are trade-offs to opting for different levels of coverage. For instance, accident-only is usually the cheapest pet insurance you can buy, while comprehensive insurance offers more benefits. Santa will need to consult Mrs Claus and decide which inclusions they want and which they can live without. 

One way to find out what’s included in a policy is by reading the product disclosure statement (PDS). This document outlines the terms and conditions of their coverage. Once they compare this with the quote, they can see which policies offer good value and which don't.

Working animal exclusions

Just the happiest reindeer pulling a sleigh.
Santa's little good boys. Image courtesy of Getty.

Animals with jobs usually don’t receive coverage under standard pet insurance policies. As business pets, their lifestyles go above and beyond the normal call of duty, so they face greater risks and thus a greater likelihood of claims. 

So, where do Santa’s reindeer fit in?

If he classifies his worldwide Christmas adventure as business-related, he may not be eligible for coverage (unless he chooses business insurance). But he might be covered if this is his equivalent of walking the dog. Huzzah!

However, Santa doesn’t want to lie or mislead the provider during the sign-up process. Providers have the right to cancel or void your insurance if they find you haven’t held up your end of the truthful bargain.

Talk about ending up on the naughty list!

Multiple pets under one policy

A parade of reindeer walk by in the snowy Mongolian wilderness.
This is definitely worth a discount, right? Image courtesy of Getty.

Everyone remembers the names of Santa’s reindeer, right? On Dancer, on Dasher, on…uh, Thrasher…Masher…hold on, I had it. Wait, was one of them Cupid? Why?

In any case, Santa’s probably looking to get all nine reindeer insured under one pet insurance policy. How might this affect his coverage?

Depending on the provider, having multiple pets under one policy usually does one of two things. Either a) you get a multi-pet discount on your annual premium, or b) you have to insure each pet separately, which can add up significantly. Time to shop for sales!

Usually, there’s no upper limit to the number of pets you can insure under one policy, but check the PDS just to be sure. Every reindeer listed on the policy will likely have the same level of coverage. However, he’ll need to chat with his provider about individual cases, such as Rudolph’s pre-existing condition.

Speaking of which…

Rudolph’s pre-existing condition

Reindeer with Christmas lights on their antlers in Finland.
Got their hazard lights on. Image courtesy of Getty.

While Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is surprisingly helpful in a blizzard, he may not be covered if he experiences an injury or illness related to his nose or causes a traffic accident with a passing sleigh driver. 

This is because his red nose is a pre-existing condition. Anything that ails a pet before a policy starts is a pre-existing condition, and these rarely receive coverage under any type of insurance – including pet insurance. 

However, given that his condition isn’t life-threatening, some pet insurance providers may offer Santa the option to submit a veterinary assessment of Rudolph’s nose. If a vet believes it isn’t likely to cause problems, he may get covered after all.

Third-party liability

Santa flies above nighttime houses in his sleigh.
Be careful on landing! Image courtesy of Getty.

Part of Santa’s M.O. is to land on people’s houses and sneak down the chimney. But what happens if reindeer hooves cause damage to the roof?

Some pet insurance policies these days include third-party liability in their comprehensive coverage. If his insured animals damage someone else’s property, he could claim back eligible costs on his pet insurance. 

However, Santa may need to provide additional evidence proving the incident didn’t arise from a history of bad behaviour. If the reindeer get in the habit of tap-dancing upon landing and smashing people’s roof tiles, he may need to look into having a Christmas sinking fund instead.

Overseas coverage

Santa holds up a map, plane flies in snowy background. Art.
"We took a wrong turn somewhere..." Image courtesy of Getty.

Most pet insurance policies do not cover incidents outside the country. 

Some providers in Australia extend their coverage to New Zealand or Norfolk Island if you take your pets on vacation there (usually for up to sixty days). 

However, Santa’s reindeer will likely only receive coverage while they’re at the North Pole. So if Santa wants worldwide coverage, he may have to consider taking out pet insurance in every country he plans to visit on Christmas Eve (though he may have to establish residency in said countries to be eligible). 

Let’s hope Santa and his reindeer have a smooth ride and a Merry Christmas!

Shopping for a Christmas winner? Compare the best pet insurance policies, as voted by Mozo’s Expert Judges.

Subscribe to our newsletter, Moneyzone, for weekly tips and insights.