Our exclusive pet insurance offers this September*
- ManyPets - Get a £60 Pooch and Mutt gift card when you purchase a dog policy. T&C’s apply
- Animal Friends - Get a £40 Amazon.co.uk Gift Card when you purchase a pet policy. Excludes Accident only and Equine policies. T&C’s apply
- More Than - Get a £50 Amazon.co.uk Gift Card when you purchase a dog policy. Offer ends 30/09/23. Excludes Accident only and Time limited policies. T&C’s apply
- Sainsburys Bank - Nectar Members receive 6,000 Nectar points when purchasing a pet policy (could be worth £30). Offer ends 30/09/23. Nectar Customers Only. T&C’s apply
- Perfect Pet - Get a £25 Amazon.co.uk Gift Card when you purchase a dog policy. T&C’s apply
- NOW Pet - Get a £20 Amazon.co.uk Gift Card when you purchase a dog policy. T&C’s apply
*Pet insurance purchases only. All offers end 30 September 2023. Full T&Cs apply.
Why should I take out pet insurance?
You don’t legally have to insure your pets, but it’s a good idea.
Most cats and dogs will unfortunately need treatment for an illness or injury at some point in their life and veterinary treatment can be eye-wateringly expensive.
Therefore it’s worth asking yourself, without insurance, what you would do if you were faced with a vet bill for hundreds or thousands of pounds a year?
Pet insurance can give you peace of mind that you’ll be able to cover the costs of medical treatment should something happen to your pet.
PROTECT YOUR PET AND YOUR PEACE OF MIND
Cats and dogs, young and old can all benefit from the right pet insurance. You can even get cover for your horse or rabbit.
Cover for your hound, whatever the shape or size. This insurance can cover injuries, illness and third-party losses.
Protect your pampered Persian or cuddly moggy. Cat insurance can be taken out for indoor or outdoor cats, to cover all sorts of scenarios that might end in a vet visit.
Equine insurance for horse and rider. You can get policies that go beyond medical treatment for your horse and also cover loss of use, and theft of or damage to your riding equipment.
Specialist policies can cover small animals too. Treating injuries and illness in rabbits can sometimes cost just as much as for cats and dogs – so find the right cover to give you peace of mind over your bunny’s treatment.
PET INSURANCE POLICY TYPES
There are four main types of pet insurance, so it can be hard to decide on the right one for you and your pet.
Think about what you want from your pet insurance. Accident only or time-limited cover is better for expensive, short-term incidents and illnesses. Lifetime and maximum benefit can help cover the cost of treatment for single conditions that go on for many years.
Lifetime pet insurance pays for injuries or illnesses with no time limit on each condition. There’s usually a limit on the amount you can claim in a year for each condition though.
As long as you keep renewing your policy, you’ll get continuous cover for the illness or injury each year that your policy is in place.
You’ll only be covered for new illnesses or injuries, not pre-existing ones.
Accident-only pet insurance helps cover the cost of treatment if your pet is involved in an accident.
It doesn’t cover illnesses, diseases or have any other benefits.
If your pet has a pre-existing condition, it won’t be covered either.
If you pick a time-limited policy, there'll be a cap on how much you can claim for treatment and a time limit too - usually 12 months.
You can’t claim again for a condition after the 12-month period is up, or if you reach the cap on treatment costs - whichever comes first.
Pre-existing conditions aren’t covered either.
This covers your pet for each injury or illness up to a specified limit.
The limit doesn't reset each year, so there’s no time limit on how long you can claim, like with an annual policy.
This means you can keep claiming for the same condition until you reach the limit, for as long as you keep renewing your policy.
What does pet insurance cover?
It depends on the type of policy you go for, but as well as veterinary treatment for accidents and/or illnesses policies often cover:
What's usually covered?
- Diagnostic costs for illnesses - This may include cost of consultations, examinations, tests, x-rays, MRIs, medication, bandages, surgery and hospitalisation.
- Euthanasia - Covers the cost of a vet putting your pet to sleep if it’s necessary and to prevent further suffering.
- Third-party liability (dogs only) - May cover legal costs if your dog’s responsible for hurting someone or causing damage.
- Alternative therapies - If your vet refers your pet for something like hydrotherapy or acupuncture.
- Advertising costs to find lost pets - Cover the cost of posters and advertising for your lost pet. Some will even offer a reward if found.
- Boarding fees - Covers the cost of putting your pet in kennels or a cattery if you have to be hospitalised for emergency medical treatment.
What’s not usually covered?
- Vaccinations, routine vet check-ups, or preventative treatment - You’ll have to pay for vaccinations and check-ups for preventative medicine like flea and worm treatments yourself.
- Neutering and pregnancy - The cost of having your pet castrated or spayed or treatments needed because of your pet becoming pregnant, or giving birth.
- Pre-existing conditions - Health issues your pet was showing signs of before you took out the policy. If they first become ill while you have lifetime pet insurance, they’ll continue to be covered for that treatment as long as you keep renewing the policy.
- Dental treatment - Treatment such as scaling, polishing or teeth extractions. Many policies will cover emergency dental work for injuries caused by an accident.
- Cremation and burial costs - Although euthanasia is covered by pet insurance in some circumstances, you’ll usually have to pay for burial or cremation costs yourself.
How do I get a pet insurance quote?
Enter your details
Click “Get started” and pop in some details about you and your pet – name, age, address, cover type, medical conditions and so on.
Compare the features and prices of different policies to find one that works for you.
Protect your pet
Choose the cover you like and give your pet the protection they deserve.
How much is pet insurance?
For dogs aged one-five, the average cost of insurance works out at just £19.68 a month. For cats it's £10.84.
As your pet ages, the insurance costs are likely to go up. It's not just age that determines your premium though. Insurers use a host of factors including:
- The type of cover you're purchasing - Pet insurance comes in various types, from lifetime – which offers the most cover, and is the most expensive – to accident only, which is the cheapest.
- Your pets breed - Pedigree animals will generally be more expensive to insure as they have a higher value are more vulnerable to genetic complaints.
- Your location - The level of vet fees within your postcode will likely to be reflected in your premium. Generally speaking, urban areas are likely to be pricier than rural ones.
- Previous claims - If you’ve claimed on your pet insurance before, the price will likely increase.
How do I make my pet insurance cheaper?
Try our top tips to get those premiums down:
Keep your pet healthy
Make sure your pet’s vaccinations are up to date, get them microchipped and feed them a quality diet. Healthy pets visit the vet less, which means less chance of needing claim which could push up future premiums.
Put your pets on one policy to see if you can get a better deal
Think about co-insurance
Pet co-insurance can keep premiums affordable for older pets
Compare pet insurance
Always shop around to find a great deal
Check your excess
If you can pay a higher excess towards each claim, your premiums should be cheaper. Be careful though – make sure the excess is still affordable for you if you do need to claim.
Keep an eye out for age limits
Some cheaper policies might not cover pets over a certain age, which could end up costing you more in the long run
If you pay monthly you’ll usually get charged interest, making cover more expensive. So it can be most cost effective to pay for your insurance in one go
DOES PET INSURANCE COVER PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS?
Standard pet insurance almost always excludes pre-existing medical conditions.
If you’re trying to insure a pet with a pre-existing condition, some specialist insurers will cover them if they haven’t shown any signs of the illness for some time.
If you buy a lifetime policy when your pet’s young, and you keep renewing, you’ll be covered for future chronic health problems.
The alternative is to exclude the condition from your policy and cover any medical treatment yourself. You’ll still be able to claim for other new conditions your pet develops.
Frequently asked questions
Third party liability insurance covers you for your dog causing accidental injury or damage to someone, their property or pet.
This can include paying legal bills if someone takes you to court or tries to sue you due to an incident involving your dog.
Third party liability insurance doesn’t apply to cats – they’re legally regarded as ‘free spirits’.
Pet insurance doesn’t cover the cost of pet vaccinations, but keeping your vaccinations up to date might get you a discount on your premiums with some policies.
If your pet isn’t vaccinated, and you need to make a related claim, your insurance probably won’t cover the cost of treatment.
Policies may include a co-insurance element - if you claim, you’ll be charged a percentage of the remaining vet fees after the excess has been deducted.
As they have a higher value and are more likely to be stolen, pedigree animals generally will be more expensive to insure. Due to their breeding, they also tend to be more vulnerable to genetic complaints.
Yes, you can but you’ll need multi-pet insurance to cover them on the same policy and you'll usually get a discount for it. But compare quotes for insuring your dogs separately on their own policies as well, as sometimes it'll work out cheaper.
You probably won’t be able to insure dog breeds listed under the Dangerous Dogs Act. You won’t be able to insure some wild animal hybrids either, such as wolfdogs or first generation (F1) savannah cats.
Yes. The level of veterinary fees associated with your postcode is likely to be reflected in your policy price and - generally speaking - urban areas are likely to be pricier than rural ones.
Pet insurers tend not to insure against accidental damage in the policyholder’s home, largely because pets are temperamental and it’s difficult for underwriters to assess how well an animal has been trained.
Many policies will cover the cost of damage caused to another person’s property up to a specified amount, but watch out for exclusions - there are often a lot of them.
Yes. As long as it’s not a pre-existing condition or hereditary (inherited from its parents), your pooch will likely be covered for it.
Yes, if it’s medically necessary it might be covered. Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS) is a common condition for flat-faced pets, like French Bulldogs or Persian cats. You can find out if surgery for it is covered by calling your insurer or checking the policy details.
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