Advertising and reward pet insurance cover

If your pet goes missing, many pet insurance policies offer advertising and reward cover, which could help reunite you with your beloved animal.

Key points

  • Advertising and reward cover is not included on all policies, but it may be available as an optional extra
  • Can help with the cost of searching for a missing pet and/or a reward for its safe return
  • Some policies offer compensation for loss or theft up to set limits

Research from the Kennel Club in June 2014 suggested that there were more than 70,000 pets missing in the UK.

If you suffer this misfortune it could be a devastating experience, but if you have the right kind of pet insurance there may be an increased chance of getting him or her back safe and sound.

Advertising and reward cover - which could also be referred to as missing pet insurance, or lost and found cover - is included as standard with some policies and can be taken out as an optional extra with others.

While such protection may generally be thought to be for cats and dogs, it can also be offered for other pets such as small mammals and rabbits.

How many policies offer missing pet cover?Dog and cat

On 8 August, 2014, analysed 280 dog and 272 cat insurance policies listed on the matrix of independent financial researcher Defaqto.

The study revealed that 72% of dog policies and 71% of cat policies offered cover to help owners advertise for their missing pet and/or reward money for their return.

A total of 60% of the dog policies and 58% of the cat ones offered this as standard, the remainder of those offering such cover requiring you to purchase it as an optional extra.

Keeping track of your pet

  • Dogs, cats, and many other animals can be microchipped
  • If your pet does go missing, you can put their details on the UK Missing Pet Register

The level of cover offered could be significant.

A total of 60% of the dog policies and 68% of the cat ones would pay £500 or more to cover the costs of advertising a lost or stolen pet, while 35% of dog and 34% of cat policies would pay £1,000 or more.

Theft or loss of pet cover

Some policies will also provide money to offer some consolation for the sense of loss you feel if your pet is stolen or goes missing.

On 20 August, 2014, analysed 283 dog and 275 cat insurance policies listed on the matrix of independent financial researcher Defaqto.

This showed that 55% of dog and cat policies covered the loss or theft of a pet as a standard feature, 17% of which offered cover for over £1,500 or the price of the pet.

Of the 45% of policies that didn't offer this cover as a standard feature, 14% could sell it as an optional extra.

Things to think about's Ben Wilson was keen to stress the value of finding the right policy for your pet to ensure you're protected if something unfortunate happens.Rabbits

"Many of us treat our pets like a member of the family, so losing a dog or cat can be a difficult experience for us," he said.

"When we think of pet insurance, we usually associate it with helping to pay vet bills, but - excluding 'accident only' policies - most provide cover for a wide range of circumstances, including helping you find your pet should it go missing.

"Unfortunately, many cat and dog owners don't have insurance for their pet, which means they would receive no aid should they get lost or stolen, potentially lowering their chances of being reunited.

"With the range of cover that good quality pet insurance can provide, taking out a policy should be a priority for any owner."

Other precautions which can safeguard your pet

Microchipping is a painless and safe way of identifying pets.

It involves a small chip containing your details being inserted into the back of the animal's neck, and this practice has led to countless lost pets being taken back home.

If your pet does go missing, you can also put their details on the UK Missing Pet Register.

You'll be given a unique tracking number and contacted if someone finds your pet and gets in touch with the register.

Take a look at Covered mag's cats reunited feature, which has some helpful tips that could also apply if a pet other than your cat goes missing.

And Covered's glimpse at life in a canine rescue centre has advice on what to do if you find a lost pooch or other animal.

By Rebecca Lees