What is the Best Pet Insurance 2022? | moneyfacts.co.uk

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nigel woollsey

Nigel Woollsey

Online Writer
Published: 13/01/2021

At a glance

  • Pet insurance protects you from the high cost of vet’s bills if your pet falls ill or has an accident.
  • Dog insurance can include public liability insurance – in case your dog injures someone or causes damage to their property (including another animal or livestock).
  • When taking out pet insurance cover make sure you understand what treatments are covered and if there are any limits or excesses to pay.
  • Nearly all domestic pets can be insured but be aware that the older they are the higher the premium you are likely to be charged.

How do we review which pet insurance policies get the best rating?

Moneyfacts’ expert team have spent the last 30 years providing 100% impartial and accurate information regarding a host of retail financial products. We take a whole of market look at the pet insurance policies, collecting over 70 fields of information for each individual product before analysing and comparing them to produce our ratings. As part of this process, we split cat and dog insurance policies so you can be assured that our Four and Five Star Ratings represent the best in market choice for your beloved pet.

How does a star rating help me find the best pet insurance?

Moneyfacts is recognised by both customers and providers as the go-to place for accurate insight and impartial evaluation of pet insurance policies. The straight-forward five-star ratings system is a simple and effective way for consumers to compare products and providers.

Only those pet insurance policies that deliver the best in terms of both features and benefits can expect to receive our Four and Five Star Ratings. Customers choosing from products that are awarded one of these ratings can be sure they are buying the best cover on the market.

 

Featured Pet Insurance Providers

  • Moneyfacts Star Rating: 5 Stars

    • Award winning pet insurance provider, fighting for fair insurance for cats and dogs.
    • Tailored cover to suit your pet’s needs, including a choice of vet fees up to £15,000 and add on cover options like dental illness.
    • Cover for pre-existing medical conditions* and no upper age limits – cover for cats and dogs from 4 weeks old.
    • Optional excess and bill share.
    • 24/7 unlimited access to video consultations with UK-based vet FirstVet.
  • Moneyfacts Star Rating: 5 Stars

    • Tesco Bank Pet Insurance offers a choice of cover levels to suit you and your pet’s needs.
    • Direct to Vet payments available
    • Spread the cost of your policy with no extra cost, if paying monthly by direct debit.
    • 24/7 unlimited, free telephone calls or video calls with Vetfone™ experts, provided by Vetsdirect Ltd, included with every policy.
    • No cancellation fee
    • Pets must be at least eight weeks old when cover starts and any pre-existing injuries and illness and certain breeds of cat and dog are not covered.
    • Tesco Bank Pet Insurance is arranged, administered and underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Ltd.
    • A guaranteed discount for Clubcard members. All you need to do is tell us your Clubcard number when prompted.
  • Moneyfacts Star Rating: 5 Stars

    • Pet insurance policies for dogs, cats and rabbits
    • 98% of claims paid*
    • Insure multiple pets for a multi-pet discount
    • Unlimited 24/7 access to UK vet nurses and vets with Petcall
    • Manage your policy online with the Pet Portal
    • Everypaw's Lifetime cover has received a 5 Star Rating from independent financial business, Defaqto **

    * based on Pinnacle Insurance plc claims data between Sept 2020 and Sept 2021
    ** based on Lifetime cover of £8K-£10K rated 5 stars by Defaqto Feb 2021-Feb 2022

    • GET YOUR FIRST MONTH FREE
    • Cover starts from 8 weeks old, up to £10,000 vets fees per annum
    • Covers Reoccurring conditions & Dental
    • 24/7 video vet with 100% digital claims
    • Track claims in real-time with a personal claims handler
    • Online behaviour and nutrition consultations
    • Supports a charity of your choosing
    • Payment for loss, theft or death
    • Perks & discounts unique to your dog
  • Moneyfacts Star Rating: 5 Stars

    We focus on pets and their health.

    Our goal is to help your pet have a long happy life, so we offer more than insurance.
    We set out to give pet owners the insurance they deserve.

    ✅ Up to £15,000 vet fee cover
    ✅ Voted Pet Insurance Provider Of 2021 at the Moneyfacts Consumer Awards
    ✅ No waiting period for claims if you switch to us
    ✅ Hassle-free claims
    ✅ FREE vet video calls 24/7, 50% off flea and worming treatment delivered to your door by VetBox, and Free pet house sitters membership worth £99

    Previously known as Bought By Many

  • Moneyfacts Star Rating: 5 Stars

    • Petplan is the UK's No.1 pet insurer
    • Petplan insure over 1.3 million pets
    • Award winning pet insurance
    • Petplan cover things others don’t
    • 98% of Covered for Life® claims paid
    • You won’t pay more for claiming.
    • Petplan have over 40 years experience helping to keep pets healthy
    • Over 90% of customers renew with Petplan each year.
    • Petplan can pay your vet directly
    • Petplan pay 90% claims in 5 working days
    • Get a 10% online discount.
  • Moneyfacts Star Rating: 5 Stars

    • Voted UK's Best Pet Insurance Provider 2019 at the Insurance Choice Awards
    • Rated excellent by our customers on Trust Pilot
    • Free unlimited access to a UK-registered vet or vet nurse, 24/7 through The Vet Connection
    • Lifetime cover for cats and dogs providing up to £15,000 of vet fee cover each year
    • Flexible excess from as little as £60
    • Direct payment to vets
  • Moneyfacts Star Rating: 5 Stars

    • 12.5% Multi pet discount if you have more than one pet on the same policy
    • Introductory online discount applied over the first 12 months.
    • Rated 8.9/10 by our customers on Reevoo
    • Have a question about you pet? Get unlimited 24/7 online access to a qualified vet via PawSquad
    • Payments made direct to Vet. Subject to Vet agreement, excess and conditions apply.
    • Pre existing condition cover; quotes available via phone depending on eligibility.
    • Submit claims online 24/7
  • Swinton Pet Insurance allows you to cover your beloved cats and dogs against illness, accident or injury for up to £7,000 cover. Basic plans will include medical aid such as MRI scans and dental procedures, while more comprehensive plans will cover you for holiday cancellations due to a pet illness, accidental damage or a reward if your pet goes missing.

    Having pet insurance in place not only provides essential financial cover for the unexpected, but also provides peace of mind that you won't be caught short if something were to happen to your fluffy family member! But, why choose Swinton?

    Insuring through Swinton means your pets are covered by one of the most trusted and well-established insurance brokers in the UK. Customers give us 4.5 out of 5 with Trustpilot.
    Plus, with Swinton Pet Insurance you can:

    • Speak to veterinary professionals for free with the Swinton vet line
    • Get lifetime cover available for vet bills, legal fees, accidental damage and more. Limits apply.
    • Choose your level of cover and tailor your insurance benefits to build a policy that’s right for you.

     

  • Moneyfacts Star Rating: 4 Stars

    • Insurance cats and dogs will love you for
    • 24/7/365 Scratch & Patch Careline giving you unlimited access to fully qualified vet nurses whenever you need them
    • 8 levels of cover including Prime, Premier & Premier Plus which are 5 star Defaqto rated (2022)
    • 2022 Highly Commended at the Moneyfacts Consumer Awards in the Pet Insurance Provider of the Year
    • UK based administration and claims handling
    • No waiting period for illness cover if you switch from another provider and have continuous insurance (otherwise 14 days)
  • Moneyfacts Star Rating: 5 Stars

    • Different levels of cover to suit every budget.
    • 97% of our customers rates us good – excellent 4.6/5 From FEEFO customer review site.
    • Cover from 6 weeks old
    • UK based contact centre
    • 24/7 emergency claims line
    • 97% of all claims are paid 5 days on average
  • This will be a highly competitive product offering unique benefits:

    • The only UK insurer to offer specialist senior insurance for cats and dogs aged seven and over, with no upper joining limit
    • Defaqto 5* rated on all Lifetime levels, Trust Pilot rated excellent
    • Dentistry included as standard for both accident and illness
    • Farewell cover and a bereavement helpline included as standard
    • There is no waiting period for claims if there has been no gap in cover (this allows a customer to switch from another provider to Petwise without having an exclusion period of 14 days for illness and 2 days for accident)
    • Policies cover pre-existing conditions that have shown no signs or symptoms in the last two years
    • 24/7 vet helpline offering free consultations online and over the phone with FirstVet
  • You could pay just £3.01 per month on your pet insurance

    • Search and compare cheap quotes from over 20 UK insurance providers including: PDSA, Animal Friends, Healthy Pets, Waggel, and Sainsburys.
    • Compare quotes for your furry friend, whether they’re a dog, cat or rabbit, and see how much you could save today!
    • With Quotezone Rewards, unlock an entire platform of cashback and discounts for a full year just for completing an insurance quote.
      • Save online at up to 1,000 retailers
      • Earn cashback on your everyday shopping
      • Enter free competitions
  • Moneyfacts Star Rating: 4 Stars

    Get 15% Multipet discount when you take out two or more policies online*

    • Policies for Dogs and Cats from 5 weeks old with no upper age limit
    • No cancellation fees
    • Lifetime policies
    • Vets bills can be paid directly to your vet. Subject to vet agreement, excess applies

    * The sale must be made directly through the Pefect Pet website and the policies have to be taken out at the same time. The discount is not available to accident only policies. The 15% multi-pet discount is available only when purchasing an Elite, Elite Extra, Vital, Vital Extra, Essential or Essential Extra policy. Offer ends 31/12/2022 23:59.

  • Moneyfacts Star Rating: 5 Stars

    Save 10% when you use the code MFPET10  at checkout*

    Admiral offer a range of policies like 12 month and max benefit, but Lifetime cover is the most fully comprehensive policy. It includes the following as standard:

    • Vet fees for an accidental injury up to £10K
    • Vet fees for a new illness up to £10K
    • Up to £2M Third party liability for dogs
    • Up to £2,500 Dentistry after accident/injury
    • Continued cover for new illnesses at renewal up to cover fee limit
    • Refresh your illness cover limit at renewal
    • Three levels of cover to choose from
    • Get a 5% discount with multi pet
    • Pet Insurance is provided by Insurance Factory Ltd.

    *Full T&Cs here.

  • Moneyfacts Star Rating: 5 Stars

    • Over 20 years experience as pet insurance experts
    • Free 24/7 vet video consultations for dogs and cats
    • Every policy you buy helps us support animal charities
    • Your vet can claim online on your behalf.
  • Moneyfacts Star Rating: 5 Stars

    • Over 37 years protecting the UK’s pets with specialist insurance
    • Vets bills can be paid directly to your vet
    • 3 levels of annual vet cover up to £12,000
    • Cover for pets over 2 months old
    • 10% multi pet discount
    • Cover for new long-term and chronic conditions
    • 0% monthly payment option
  • LV

    Moneyfacts Star Rating: 5 Stars

    Our pet insurance gives you a choice of 5 levels of cover to meet your needs, with a mixture of Lifetime and Time Limited policies available.

    • We can pay your vet directly
    • We’ll cover your puppy or kitten from eight weeks old
    • Pay monthly at no extra cost
    • Variable excesses to suit your pocket

    Lifetime options:

    • Vets fee cover of £3k, £5k or £10k – every year your pet is insured with us

    Time Limited options:

    • Vets fee cover of £1.5k or £2.5k for up to 12 months for each condition
  • Moneyfacts Star Rating: 5 Stars

    • Lifetime Pet Insurance for dogs and cats with up to £12,500 vet fees cover
    • 97% Claims are paid, direct to your vet if you prefer
    • Rated Excellent on Trustpilot
    • Winner of Moneyfacts Consumer Award 2018 & 2019: Pet Insurance Provider of the Year
    • Winner of Moneyfacts Consumer Award 2018 & 2019: Best Claims Service
  • Moneyfacts Star Rating: 5 Stars

    • 4 different cover options to choose from, find a policy to suit your needs
    • Receive a 10% multi-pet discount for each pet that you insure on the same policy with multi-pet discount. Multiple discounts applied consecutively
    • Access to qualified vet nurses, any time, any day
    • 0% APR so you can spread the cost
    • You can submit a claim online 24/7
    • Vets bills can be paid directly to your vet. Subject to vet agreement, excess applies.
    • More Than pays out on 92% of claims*

    *MORE TH>N DATA Jan 2021 - Dec 2021

  • Moneyfacts Star Rating: 5 Stars

    • Different levels of cover to suit every budget.
    • 97% of our customers rates us good – excellent 4.6/5 From FEEFO customer review site.
    • Cover from 6 weeks old
    • UK based contact centre
    • 24/7 emergency claims line
    • 97% of all claims are paid 5 days on average
  • Moneyfacts Star Rating: 5 Stars

    Healthy Pets allows you to cover your furry friend against illness, accident or injury for up to £7,500 cover. We can pay out to either the policy holder, or directly to the vet, offer competitive premiums as one of the UK's pet specialists, insure dogs from as young as 5 weeks old, and cover your animal for eligible new illnesses.

    Having pet insurance in place not only provides financial cover for if the unexpected happens, giving you peace of mind that you won't be caught short if something happens to a valued member of your family! But, why choose Healthy Pets?
    Insuring through Healthy Pets means your pets are covered by one of the longest standing and and most well-established Pet Specialist Insurer. Customers give us 4.7 out of 5 with Feefo.
    Plus, with Healthy Pets you can:
    Rest assured you are covered by people who care as much for your pet as you do.
    Get lifetime cover available for vet bills, legal fees, accidental damage and more. Limits apply.
    Choose your level of cover and tailor your insurance benefits to build a policy that’s right for you.

    • 3 levels of cover to choose from including Time Limited, Maximum Benefit and Lifetime Cover
    • Lifetime cover for Dogs and Cats with vet fee options of £2,000, £5,000 and £10,000
    • Choose your own excess level
    • Claims paid direct to vet practice (subject to vet agreement)
    • UK based call centre
    • Cover available from 8 weeks old
  • Moneyfacts Star Rating: 4 Stars

    • Pre-existing conditions until treatment or symptom free for 24 months.
    • Pets less than 8 weeks old or over 8 years at policy inception.
    • Illnesses within 14 days of policy inception & injury within 5 days of inception.
    • Dogs used for guarding, racing, coursing or and dog registered under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.
    • Dogs used for working
Note

Links to third parties on this page are paid for by the third party. You can find out more about the individual products by visiting their site. Moneyfacts.co.uk will receive a small payment either if you click the links or if you use their services after you click through to their site. All information is subject is subject to change without notice. Please check all terms before making any decisions.

Disclaimer

The list of pet insurance providers on this page is a selection of services available and gives you an idea of the kind of options available. You can find out more about the individual products by visiting any of the providers listed. All information is subject to change without notice. Please check all terms before making any decisions. This information is intended solely to provide guidance and is not financial advice. Moneyfacts.co.uk will not be liable for any loss arising from your use or reliance on this information. If you are in any doubt, Moneyfacts.co.uk recommends you obtain independent financial advice.

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Have you compared prices for your pet insurance?

What elements of the pet insurance policy do we look at?

  • Maximum veterinary fees insured
  • Claims time limit
  • Total excess
  • Fees and charges
  • Discounts
  • Boarding fees cover
  • Death by accident and illness cover
  • Lost or stolen cover
  • Advertising and reward cover
  • Alternative treatments cover
  • Dental treatments cover
  • Euthanasia cover
  • Hereditary conditions cover
  • Congenital conditions cover
  • Overseas vet fees
  • Quarantine costs
  • Special diet cover
  • Behavioural disorders cover
  • Accidental damage to third parties cover
  • Pet funeral / cremation cover
  • Third-party legal liability cover
  • Maximum age limits.

 

Cat Insurance - Five Star

4Paws Pet Insurance - Life Plus
4Paws Pet Insurance - Life Premium
4Paws Pet Insurance - Life30 Plus
4Paws Pet Insurance - Life30 Premium
4Paws Pet Insurance - Maximum Benefit £7,000
Ageas - Extra
Ageas - Ultra
Agria Pet Insurance - Agria Lifetime
Agria Pet Insurance - Agria Lifetime Plus
Animal Friends - Assure Plus
Animal Friends - Prestige
Argos - Lifetime £3,500
Argos - Lifetime £7,000
Argos - Maximum Benefit £5,000
ASDA Money - Lifetime £10,000
ASDA Money - Lifetime £8,000
ASDA Money - Lifetime £6,000
ASDA Money - Lifetime £4,000
Bought By Many - Complete
Bought By Many - Fixed for Life
Bought By Many - MoneyBack
Bought By Many - Pre-Existing
Bought By Many - Regular
Club Care Insurance - Lifetime £12,000
Club Care Insurance - Lifetime £7,000
Confidas - Pet Lux
Confidas - Pet Max
Co-op Insurance - Select Plus
Direct Line - Advanced Cover
Direct Line - Select Premier Pet Insurance
Emerald Life - Emerald Level 3
Emerald Life - Emerald Level 4
Everypaw - Lifetime Everypaw £10k
Everypaw - Lifetime Everypaw £4k
Everypaw - Lifetime Everypaw £6k
Everypaw - Lifetime Everypaw £8k
Everypaw - Maximum Benefit Everypaw £5k
Geoffrey Insurance Services - Enhanced Lifetime
Geoffrey Insurance Services - Standard Lifetime
Healthy Pets Insurance - Gold
helpucover - Premier
Insureyourpaws.co.uk -Lifetime £10,000
Insureyourpaws.co.uk - Lifetime £5,000
Insureyourpaws.co.uk - Lifetime £7,500
Itch Insure - Lifetime £2,000
Itch Insure - Lifetime £4,000
Itch Insure - Lifetime £7,000
John Lewis Finance - Essential
John Lewis Finance - Plus
John Lewis Finance - Premier
Leisure Guard - Accident & Illness £12,000
Leisure Guard - Accident & Illness £3,000
Leisure Guard - Accident & Illness £6,000
LV=
- Lifetime £10,000
LV= - Lifetime £3,000
LV= - Lifetime £5,000
M&S Bank - Premier
MiPet Cover - 365Flex £5,000
MiPet Cover - LifetimeFlex £10,000
MiPet Cover - LifetimeFlex £12,000
MiPet Cover - LifetimeFlex £4,000
MiPet Cover - LifetimeFlex £6,000
MiPet Cover - LifetimeFlex £8,000
MORE TH>N - Classic £4,000
MORE TH>N - Classic £8,000
MORE TH>N - Premier £12,000
MORE TH>N - Premier £4,000
NatWest - Premier Pet Insurance
PDSA - Lifetime £5,000
PDSA - Lifetime £8,000
Pet ID - Select Plus
Petguard - Accident & Illness £12,000
Petguard - Accident & Illness £3,000
Petguard - Accident & Illness £6,000
Petplan - Classic
Petplan - Classic +
Petplan - Ultimate
Pets in a Pickle - Standard Lifetime
Pets in a Pickle - Ultimate Lifetime
Petsure - Lifetime Cover £1,000
Petsure - Lifetime Cover £10,000
Petsure - Lifetime Cover £15,000
Petsure - Lifetime Cover £3,000
Petsure - Lifetime Cover £5,000
Petsure - Lifetime Cover £7,500
PETtrac - Accident & Illness £12,000
PETtrac - Accident & Illness £3,000
PETtrac - Accident & Illness £6,000
Petwise - Lifetime £10,000
Petwise - Lifetime £4,000
Petwise - Lifetime £6,000
Petwise - Lifetime £8,000
Post Office Money - Premium Plus
Purely Pets - Lifetime Gold
Purely Pets - Lifetime Silver
Royal Bank of Scotland - Premier Pet Insurance
RSPCA Pet Insurance - Gold
RSPCA Pet Insurance - Platinum
RSPCA Pet Insurance - Silver
Saga - Super
Sainsbury's Bank - Lifetime £10,000
Sainsbury's Bank - Lifetime £2,500
Sainsbury's Bank - Lifetime £5,000
Sainsbury's Bank - Lifetime £7,500
Sainsbury's Bank - Maximum Benefit £3,000
Sainsbury's Bank - Maximum Benefit £6,000
Sterling Pet Solutions - Maximum Benefit £6,000
Sterling Pet Solutions - Maximum Benefit £7,500
Tesco Bank - Extra £4,000
Tesco Bank - Extra £7,500
Tesco Bank - Premier £10,000
Tesco Bank - Premier £2,000
Tesco Bank - Premier £4,000
Tesco Bank - Premier £7,500
Tesco Bank - Standard
The Insurance Emporium - Lifetime Bronze Annual
The Insurance Emporium - Lifetime Bronze Monthly
The Insurance Emporium - Lifetime Gold Annual
The Insurance Emporium - Lifetime Gold Monthly
The Insurance Emporium - Lifetime Silver Annual
The Insurance Emporium - Lifetime Silver Monthly
The Insurance Emporium - Maximum Benefit Bronze Monthly
The Insurance Emporium - Maximum Benefit Gold Annual
The Insurance Emporium - Maximum Benefit Gold Monthly
The Insurance Emporium - Maximum Benefit Silver Annual
The Insurance Emporium - Maximum Benefit Silver Monthly
The Insurance Emporium - Time Limited Bronze Monthly
The Insurance Emporium - Time Limited Gold Annual
The Insurance Emporium - Time Limited Gold Monthly
The Insurance Emporium - Time Limited Silver Annual
The Insurance Emporium - Time Limited Silver Monthly
Vetsure - Premier
Vetsure - Premier +£1k Top Up
Vetsure - Premier +£2k Top Up
Vetsure - Premier Plus
Vetsure - Premier Plus +£1k Top Up
Vetsure - Premier Plus +£2k Top Up

Cat Insurance - Four Star

4Paws Pet Insurance - Life 
4Paws Pet Insurance
 - Life30
Admiral - Premier Plus
Ageas - Classic
Animal Friends - Max Extra
Animal Friends - Superior Plus
Argos - Lifetime £1,000
Argos - Time Limited £4,000
ASDA Money - 12 Month £5,000
ASDA Money - Lifetime £2,000
Club Care Insurance - Maximum Benefit £7,000
Direct Line - Essential Cover
Everypaw - Lifetime Everypaw £1k
Everypaw - Lifetime Everypaw £2k
Everypaw - Maximum Benefit Everypaw £3k
Healthy Pets Insurance - Premier
LV= - Time Limited £2,500
MiPet Cover - LifetimeFlex £2,000
MORE TH>N - Basic £3,000
PDSA - Lifetime £3,000
PDSA - Lifetime £4,000
Pet ID - Select
Pet-insurance.co.uk - Lifetime Lunar Monthly
Petplan - Essential
Pets in a Pickle - Essential Lifetime
Petwise - Lifetime £2,000
Purely Pets - Lifetime Bronze
Sainsbury's Bank - Time Limited £3,000
Scratch & Patch - Premier Plus
Sterling Pet Solutions - Maximum benefit £3,000
The Insurance Emporium - Maximum Benefit Bronze Annual
The Insurance Emporium - Time Limited Bronze Annual
VetsMediCover - Diamond

Dog Insurance - Five Star

4Paws Pet Insurance - Life Plus
4Paws Pet Insurance - Life Premium
4Paws Pet Insurance - Life30 Plus
4Paws Pet Insurance - Life30 Premium
Admiral - Premier Plus
Ageas
 - Extra
Ageas - Ultra
Agria Pet Insurance - Agria Lifetime
Agria Pet Insurance - Agria Lifetime Plus
Animal Friends - Assure Plus
Animal Friends - Prestige
Animal Friends - Superior Plus
Argos
- Lifetime £4,500
Argos - Lifetime £7,000
Argos - Maximum Benefit £5,000
ASDA Money - Lifetime £10,000
ASDA Money - Lifetime £4,000
ASDA Money - Lifetime £6,000
ASDA Money - Lifetime £8,000
Bought By Many - Complete
Bought By Many - Fixed for Life
Bought By Many - MoneyBack
Bought By Many - Pre-Existing
Bought By Many - Regular
Club Care Insurance - Lifetime £12,000
Confidas - Pet Lux
Confidas - Pet Max
Direct Line - Advanced Cover
Direct Line - Select Premier Pet Insurance
Emerald Life - Emerald Level 4
Everypaw - Lifetime Everypaw £10k
Everypaw - Lifetime Everypaw £4k
Everypaw - Lifetime Everypaw £6k
Everypaw - Lifetime Everypaw £8k
Everypaw - Maximum Benefit Everypaw £5k
Geoffrey Insurance Services - Enhanced Lifetime
Geoffrey Insurance Services - Standard Lifetime
Healthy Pets Insurance - Gold
helpucover - Premier
Insureyourpaws.co.uk -Lifetime £10,000
Insureyourpaws.co.uk - Lifetime £5,000
Insureyourpaws.co.uk - Lifetime £7,500
Itch Insure - Lifetime £2,000
Itch Insure - Lifetime £4,000
Itch Insure - Lifetime £7,000
John Lewis Finance - Essential
John Lewis Finance - Plus
John Lewis Finance - Premier
Leisure Guard - Accident & Illness £12,000
Leisure Guard - Accident & Illness £6,000
LV=
- Lifetime £10,000
LV= - Lifetime £3,000
LV= - Lifetime £5,000
M&S Bank - Premier
MiPet Cover - 365Flex £5,000
MiPet Cover - LifetimeFlex £10,000
MiPet Cover - LifetimeFlex £12,000
MiPet Cover - LifetimeFlex £4,000
MiPet Cover - LifetimeFlex £6,000
MiPet Cover - LifetimeFlex £8,000
MORE TH>N - Classic £4,000
MORE TH>N - Classic £8,000
MORE TH>N - Premier £12,000
MORE TH>N - Premier £4,000
NatWest - Premier Pet Insurance
PDSA - Lifetime £5,000
PDSA - Lifetime £8,000
Pet ID - Select Plus
Petguard - Accident & Illness £12,000
Petguard - Accident & Illness £3,000
Petguard - Accident & Illness £6,000
Petplan - Classic
Petplan - Classic +
Petplan - Ultimate
Pets in a Pickle - Standard Lifetime
Pets in a Pickle - Ultimate Lifetime
Petsure - Lifetime Cover £1,000
Petsure - Lifetime Cover £10,000
Petsure - Lifetime Cover £15,000
Petsure - Lifetime Cover £3,000
Petsure - Lifetime Cover £5,000
Petsure - Lifetime Cover £7,500
PETtrac - Accident & Illness £12,000
PETtrac - Accident & Illness £3,000
PETtrac - Accident & Illness £6,000
Petwise - Lifetime £10,000
Petwise - Lifetime £4,000
Petwise - Lifetime £6,000
Petwise - Lifetime £8,000
Post Office Money - Premium Plus
Purely Pets - Lifetime Gold
Purely Pets - Lifetime Silver
Royal Bank of Scotland - Premier Pet Insurance
RSPCA Pet Insurance - Gold
RSPCA Pet Insurance - Platinum
RSPCA Pet Insurance - Silver
Saga - Super
Sainsbury's Bank - Lifetime £10,000
Sainsbury's Bank - Lifetime £2,500
Sainsbury's Bank - Lifetime £5,000
Sainsbury's Bank - Lifetime £7,500
Sainsbury's Bank - Maximum Benefit £3,000
Sainsbury's Bank - Maximum Benefit £6,000
Sterling Pet Solutions - Maximum Benefit £7,500
Tesco Bank - Extra £4,000
Tesco Bank - Extra £7,500
Tesco Bank - Premier £10,000
Tesco Bank - Premier £2,000
Tesco Bank - Premier £4,000
Tesco Bank - Premier £7,500
Tesco Bank - Standard
The Insurance Emporium - Lifetime Bronze Annual
The Insurance Emporium - Lifetime Bronze Monthly
The Insurance Emporium - Lifetime Gold Annual
The Insurance Emporium - Lifetime Gold Monthly
The Insurance Emporium - Lifetime Silver Annual
The Insurance Emporium - Lifetime Silver Monthly
The Insurance Emporium - Maximum Benefit Bronze Monthly
The Insurance Emporium - Maximum Benefit Gold Annual
The Insurance Emporium - Maximum Benefit Gold Monthly
The Insurance Emporium - Maximum Benefit Silver Annual
The Insurance Emporium - Maximum Benefit Silver Monthly
The Insurance Emporium - Time Limited Bronze Monthly
The Insurance Emporium - Time Limited Gold Annual
The Insurance Emporium - Time Limited Gold Monthly
The Insurance Emporium - Time Limited Silver Annual
The Insurance Emporium - Time Limited Silver Monthly
The Kennel Club - Kennel Club Lifetime
The Kennel Club -
Kennel Club Lifetime Plus
Vetsure
 - Premier
Vetsure - Premier +£1k Top Up
Vetsure - Premier +£2k Top Up
Vetsure - Premier Plus
Vetsure - Premier Plus +£1k Top Up
Vetsure - Premier Plus +£2k Top Up

Dog Insurance - Four Star

4Paws Pet Insurance - Life 
4Paws Pet Insurance
 - Life30
4Paws Pet Insurance - Maximum Benefit £7,000
Ageas - Classic
Animal Friends - Max Extra
Animal Friends - Superior
Argos - Lifetime £2,000
Argos - Maximum Benefit £7,000
ASDA Money - 12 Month £5,000
ASDA Money - Lifetime £2,000
Club Care Insurance - Lifetime £7,000
Club Care Insurance
 - Maximum Benefit £7,000
Co-op Insurance - Select Plus
Direct Line - Essential Cover
Emerald Cover - Emerald Level 3
Healthy Pets Insurance - Premier
LV= - Time Limited £1,500
LV=
- Time Limited £2,500
MiPet Cover - 365Flex £2,500
MiPet Cover
- LifetimeFlex £2,000
MORE TH>N - Basic £3,000
PDSA - Lifetime £3,000
PDSA - Lifetime £4,000
Perfect Pet Insurance - Extra Elite
Pet-insurance.co.uk - Lifetime Lunar Monthly
Pet-insurance.co.uk - Lifetime Yearly
Pet-insurance.co.uk - Standard Lunar Monthly
Pets in a Pickle - Essential Lifetime
Petwise - Lifetime £2,000
Purely Pets - Lifetime Bronze
Sainsbury's Bank - Time Limited £3,000
Scratch & Patch - Premier Plus
Sterling Pet Solutions - Maximum benefit £6,000
The Insurance Emporium - Maximum Benefit Bronze Annual
The Insurance Emporium - Time Limited Bronze Annual
VetsMediCover - Diamond

What is pet insurance?

Many pet owners consider their beloved cat or dog as one of the family. Unfortunately, when a pet falls ill the vet’s fees can quickly mount up. Pet insurance is there to help you pay for the veterinary costs should your cat, dog or other domestic pet becomes sick or is injured.

In addition, if you choose you can expand the cover to include a range of other perils, such as public liability (if your dog attacks and injures another animal and/or person or it damages someone else’s property), the cost of keeping your cat or dog in a cattery or kennels if you fall ill and must go into hospital or temporary care and even the replacement value if your animal is stolen or lost.

In this guide we’ll be looking at the important things you need to know about pet insurance.

What kind of pet can I insure?

Most people tend to buy pet insurance for their cat or dog; however, cover isn’t just restricted to our four-legged friends. It’s perfectly possible to insurance a range of domestic animals, such as hamsters, rabbits, guinea pigs or anything else you may find in a pet shop. This also includes certain types of birds, like budgies or parrots.

Pets which you keep for the purposes of racing them, such as greyhounds (unless they are retired) or pigeons, may cost more to insure (or may be declined entirely) due to the higher likelihood of them being injured or lost.

Of course, pet insurance is available for the not-so-common pets too, so if you have an exotic animal, such as snakes, lizards, spiders – even tropical fish – you can still find there’s a policy out there for you.

Horses and ponies aren’t covered under domestic pet insurance but can still be insured by an equine insurance provider.

How much does pet insurance cost?

The cost of your pet insurance can vary tremendously depending on what type of animal you are insuring, their age and what is covered under the policy. Insurance which has higher limits, more comprehensive cover and greater benefits will cost more than those offering basic cover for a limited number of risks.

The cost of pet insurance however is small compared to the £100’s and even £1,000’s you could have to pay in vet’s bills if your furry friend gets seriously ill or injured. Worse yet, if you can’t afford to pay and must have your pet put down.

Things which might increase your premium

  • Age – Older pets will cost more to insure and may not get cover at all
    Medical history – You will have to declare any medical problems which your pet has already suffered. These can increase the premium or the risk may be excluded completely from cover (Never be tempted to lie or simply not disclose this kind of information – this is illegal and can result in both prosecution and your policy being cancelled)
  • Type and breed of pet – Dogs tend to attract a higher premium than cats. Exotic pets and pedigree breeds will also tend to increase the premium you can expect to pay. However, on the plus side some insurers offer multibuy discounts if you are insuring more than one animal.

Choose a policy which gives a level of cover you are happy with at a price you can comfortably afford. Of course, you can always choose to pay monthly to spread the cost of most pet insurance premium but remember that you’ll probably be charged interest for doing so.

What does pet insurance cover?

This includes:

Veterinary bills and medical treatments

At the most basic level you can buy pet insurance policies which work perfectly to cover you against unexpected vets bills for illness or injury.

These include the cost of drugs, any surgeries required and even physiotherapy to help your pet recover. Some policies will also cover the cost of non-standard treatments, such as acupuncture, homeopathy and behavioural therapy.

However, it’s important to note that some things – such as the cost of regular check-ups, vaccinations, booster shots, anti-flea treatments and grooming – will not be covered. For more information see the section on What is excluded from pet insurance? below.

Pet value on loss or death

Pet insurance also often covers the value of your treasured pet, should they die due to illness, accident, be lost or even stolen. While the average cat or kitten might be bought for less than £50 – often they are free to a good home – pure-bred pedigree cats can have a value measured in the hundreds and even thousands of pounds, as can many dogs.

Exotic pets by their very nature tend to be rarer and cost far more than ordinary domestic pets. While no sum could truly make up for the loss of your furry friend at least this will compensate you for your basic financial loss.

In cases where a pet goes missing some insurance policies will cover you up to a set limit to advertise for your lost pet and even offer a modest reward for finding the animal and returning it to you or for information that leads to a conviction if the pet was stolen.

Public liability

As mentioned previously pet insurance can also include an element of public liability cover should your animal injure someone or do damage to their property (including another pet or livestock). This cover is normally reserved for dogs, but it can also be extended to venomous exotic pets too.

Boarding costs

Many pet insurance policies may also cover the cost of boarding your cat or dog at a cattery or kennels, should you have to go into hospital or into temporary care. Often these boarding charges are only claimable for periods over four days, if the costs exceed a certain limit – such as £500 – and have an upper limit to all payments – say, up to £2000 for any single occasion.

Overseas costs

Some policies will cover your pet for all or some of the above events while you are abroad. This is great if you have a second home overseas which your pet might travel to with you.

What will my pet be covered for?

There are several different types of pet insurance which affect what you are covered for, if there is a limit on what you can claim and how often per year.

See the section below What types of pet insurance are there? for more info

What is excluded from pet insurance?

There are some things which you cannot insure against or claim for with pet insurance. What you are insured for will differ depending on your policy and provider. This is one of those occasions where you really should read the small print!

  • Dental care (check carefully!). Some policies will cover this at an additional expense or even as part of their standard cover. However, some will not cover dental treatments for your pet at all or may have a limit on cost of treatments. Check your policy carefully and make sure this is in place if necessary. In all cases cosmetic dental work will not be covered.
  • Pre-existing health conditions*. Very often these are specifically excluded from cover, unless they arise during the period of insurance. For example, if it is known that your dog has liver problems before you take out the policy you will probably not be able to claim for treatments or death specific to this cause. If, however, your pet’s condition is diagnosed after 14 days from the start of the policy this will likely be covered (subject to your policy’s cover, terms and exclusions).
  • Regular health check-ups, vaccinations and immunisations (including booster shots)
  • Grooming costs – Including claw-clipping, de-matting and cosmetic procedures
  • Routine and preventative treatment – This includes flea, tick and worm treatments, spaying and castration costs
  • Pregnancy – Some policies may exclude claims related to pregnancy or your pet giving birth - Be sure to check
  • Euthanasia and cremation costs- Some policies do not cover the cost of having your pet put to sleep and/or the costs of cremation. In addition, if these are covered then there may be policy limits which restrict how much they will pay in these circumstances. Again, check your policy carefully.

* - Hereditary illnesses. If you pet has a family history or a tendency in the breed to develop certain health problems, you must declare this when taking out the policy. Most insurers will accept the risk if your pet is not showing any signs of this condition when the policy is taken out (although you may be charged a higher premium).
If your pet subsequently develops this condition 14 days or more after the policy starts and you have ‘unrestricted’ cover then you will be covered (subject to your normal policy conditions, limits and exclusions).

Always make sure you know what is covered by your pet insurance policy and what isn’t – Don’t find yourself in the unenviable position of having paid a premium only to find out later that you aren’t covered when the worst happens

What types of pet insurance are there?

Pet insurance falls into four types: Lifetime, maximum benefit, time-limited and accident only.

Lifetime

This is the most comprehensive cover level and so is usually also the most expensive. However, it does provide the widest level of cover for your pet. Lifetime insurance means that you will be able to claim up to a set amount (detailed in your policy) every year that your pet is covered – for example, cover may stipulate a maximum total of £10,000 per year.

These limits ‘reset’ every year so in the example above you’d be able to claim up to £10,000 of treatment every year. Any costs over and above this will not be covered – For example, if the total value of your pets treatment comes to £13,000 in a single year you can claim up to £10,000 of this but you would have to pay the remaining £3,000 yourself. Lifetime pet insurance policies tend to set limit either by condition per year or lifetime annual cover (which works like a total overall limit per year).

  • Per condition per year limit. This is where there is a limit to how much you can claim for per condition each year. For example, the limit could be £2,000 per year for your cat’s liver disease and £1,000 for skin conditions per year so these would be the maximum amounts you could claim annually. Again, these limits reset at renewal every year.
  • Lifetime annual cover. This is cover provides an overall limit to how much you can claim over the period of one year. For example, cover may limit the total amount for all claims to £5,000 per year.

Both types of lifetime cover will reset on an annual basis (so long as you renew your policy with that provider and don’t go elsewhere) so your pet can have ongoing treatment for the remainder of its life.

Maximum benefit

These may also be called per condition policies or money limited policies.
This type of policy often has limits which will not reset even when you renew so your pet will only be covered up to the policy limit for this condition for their lifetime, regardless of whether you renew with that insurer after a year. Once you have claimed for treatment up to this limit you will have received the ‘maximum benefit’ available under that policy. You will be responsible for the remainder and any further costs for this condition, even if you renew the policy with the same insurer.

As ever, check the small print carefully for details of the limits your policy will impose in any treatment before you buy to ensure you are getting the cover you want for your pet.

Time limited

This type of policy normally covers a pet for both injuries and any illnesses. However, these are limited to fixed limits in both how long you can claim for, as well as how much the insurers will pay for treatment. Normally claims are limited to around 12 months from when your pet falls ill or suffers an accidental injury.

When the time or monetary limit has been reached you will no longer be able to claim for your pet’s treatment. This applies even if you renew the policy.

Accident only

This is the lowest level possible to obtain for your pet and is the cheapest to obtain. It’s likely that the cover levels will be lower than lifetime or annual policies and feature larger excesses.

Accident cover does not insure against illness at all but only treatment if your pet suffers an accident (such as being hit by a car).

A word about excesses...

All pet insurance policies are likely to carry some form of excess. For example, if your pet’s policy has a £250 excess this means that the insurers will not pay for the first £250 of any claim.

Most policies also charge a percentage of the amount outstanding after the excess has been deducted, this will vary depending on the age of the animal.

Different excesses may apply for different conditions, treatments or pets as well so check your policy carefully.

Frequently asked questions on pet insurance

How soon is my pet covered by insurance?

Pet insurance policies normally carry a waiting period of 14 days from when the policy starts. No claims are covered within this 14-day period but after this your insurance operates as normal.

Consequently, be cautious regarding any pet insurance that offers ‘instant’ cover.

How do I claim on my pet insurance?

In cases where the treatment is on-going, insurers can arrange to pay vets directly for their fees. However, most vets will insist on an account being settled straight away or in advance, in which case you will have to submit your invoices and other payment proof to your insurer so they can reimburse you (subject to cover limits and any excesses).

Always keep copies of any invoices or other documents which you send to the insurance company for your own records and in case they are lost en-route.

How can I cancel my pet insurance policy?

Cancelling your pet insurance policy should be a matter of simply calling your insurer and informing them that you don’t need cover any longer. If you are moving to another insurer, then be sure to let your current insurance company know that you won’t be renewing your policy with them (many insurers will automatically renew your policy and take payment accordingly). If you cancel your insurance mid-policy (rather than at renewal) you may be charged a fee.

Pros and cons of pet insurance

  • Veterinary treatment - especially for serious and long-term conditions – can be very expensive.
  • Depending on the cover you choose it often covers more than just vets’ bills – including public liability and boarding fees, etc.
  • There are a wide variety of covers available allowing you to choose a pet insurance plan which suits your budget
  • Pet insurance doesn’t cover the cost of routine vet treatments (such as inoculations, deworming and check-ups, etc.)
  • Policy excesses may mean you have to contribute toward the cost of treatments, while policy limits may restrict the total amount that insurers will pay over a year or per condition.
  • You may have to settle the vets bill first before being repaid by the insurers (less any excesses or policy limits)

Moneyfacts tip

Moneyfacts tip nigel woollsey

Be sure to check if your pet insurance covers emergency dental problems and treatments. This often catches people out when they buy a policy but find out later that this element is specifically excluded.

Remember that routine dental care provided by your vet (descaling, cleaning, etc.) won’t be covered

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Disclaimer: This information is intended solely to provide guidance and is not financial advice. Moneyfacts will not be liable for any loss arising from your use or reliance on this information. If you are in any doubt, Moneyfacts recommends you obtain independent financial advice.

At a glance

  • Pet insurance protects you from the high cost of vet’s bills if your pet falls ill or has an accident.
  • Dog insurance can include public liability insurance – in case your dog injures someone or causes damage to their property (including another animal or livestock).
  • When taking out pet insurance cover make sure you understand what treatments are covered and if there are any limits or excesses to pay.
  • Nearly all domestic pets can be insured but be aware that the older they are the higher the premium you are likely to be charged.

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