Pet insurance

Compare pet insurance quotes in minutes and find the right cover for your furry friend[1]

Man playing tennis and talking on the phone

Why should I take out pet insurance?

Pet insurance helps to pay for veterinary treatment for your pet so you can concentrate on getting them on the road to recovery.

There’s no NHS for pets. Veterinary care can be eye-wateringly expensive but most cats and dogs will need treatment for an illness or injury at some point in their life.

Horses might need to have a vet called out to them, which will increase costs, and even smaller animals like rabbits can be surprisingly costly to treat.

It’s difficult to think about your animals being hurt or unwell, but you need to ask yourself: what would you do if you were faced with a vet bill for hundreds or thousands of pounds a year?

Father and son resting and snuggling on the sofa with their adult tabby cat

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.

Maximum benefit

This covers your pet for each injury or illness up to a specified pre-set 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 pre-set limit, for as long as you keep renewing your policy.

Pet insurance companies we work with

We search for quotes from over 30 pet insurers, including:[2]

Animal Friends logo
Tesco Bank logo
Purely Pets logo
More Than logo
Coop logo
Manypets logo
napo logo
everypaw logo

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:

  • Diagnostic costs for illnesses - The cost of working out what’s wrong with your pet. Diagnostic testing can be quite expensive and some policies will put a limit on the amount they’ll reimburse per test. Cover may include cost of consultations, examinations, tests, x-rays, MRIs, medication, bandages, surgery and hospitalisation.
  • Euthanasia - At the end of your pet’s life, most pet insurance policies will cover the cost of a vet putting them to sleep if it’s necessary and to prevent further suffering.
  • Third-party liability (dogs only) - This pays the legal costs if your dog’s responsible for hurting someone or causing damage – for example, if they ran into a road and caused a car to swerve and crash.
  • Some alternative therapies - If your vet recommends something like hydrotherapy or acupuncture, some pet insurance policies will cover these treatments. You usually won’t be covered for anything unless your pet gets a referral
  • Advertising costs to find lost pets - Most pet insurance policies include some cover for the cost of making posters and putting up advertising for your lost pet. Some will even cover a reward. If your cat or dog sadly can’t be found your policy might also offer some compensation.
  • Boarding fees - Your insurer will usually help cover the cost of putting your pet in kennels or a cattery if you have to be hospitalised for emergency medical treatment.
  • Holiday cancellation - Some pet insurers will reimburse some or all of the cost of a cancelled trip if your pet’s health worsens or if they have a medical emergency.
  • Overseas vet fees - If your pet needs vet care while abroad, the same level of cover applies as if they were being treated in the UK. Your pet will only be covered if they were healthy before they went away.

What’s not usually covered?

Pet insurance is for the unexpected, not routine treatment. Here are a few things that are usually excluded:

  • 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 - Pet insurance won’t cover the cost of having your pet castrated or spayed. You’ll also have to pay costs for treatments needed because of your cat or dog becoming pregnant, or giving birth.
  • Pre-existing conditions - Pet insurance usually doesn’t cover any 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 - Looking after your pet’s teeth with a scale and polish or extractions is rarely covered by pet insurance. Although most 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.

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.

Dog insurance

Dog insurance

Cover for your hound, whatever the shape or size. This insurance can cover injuries, illness and third-party losses.

Pet insurance

Cat insurance

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.

Horse insurance

Horse insurance

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.

Rabbit insurance

Rabbit insurance

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.

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.[3]

As your pet ages, the insurance costs are likely to go up. Insurers use a host of factors to determine your premium including:

  • The type of cover you're purchasing
  • Your pets age
  • Your pets breed
  • Your location
  • Previous claims

Does pet insurance cover pre-existing conditions?

No. 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 showed 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.

Plenty of pets?

Insure up to six pets with multi-pet cover. See if you could save

Compare multi-pet insurance

How does my pet's age affect pet insurance?

Older pets are typically more expensive to insure. 

As your pet ages, they’re more likely to suffer the diseases and injuries that are a part of getting old – and insurers will charge more to reflect this increased risk.

The exception is puppies and kittens – animals under one year old are slightly more expensive to insure because they tend to be more accident prone and at risk of injury at this age.

Insurance for older pets frequently has a co-payment applied. This is where you’re asked to pay a percentage of your animal’s treatment costs and the insurer pays the rest. 

Think about the future

Lifetime pet insurance is the most comprehensive pet insurance you can get. It'll keep paying vet fees for your cat or dog for the whole of its life, as long as you keep renewing the policy, even if they develop a chronic condition


Find out more

How do I make my pet insurance cheaper?

Try our top tips to get those premiums down:

  1. 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.

  2. Multi-pet cover

    Put your pets on one policy to see if you can get a better deal

  3. Think about co-insurance

    Pet co-insurance can keep premiums affordable for older pets

  4. Compare pet insurance

    Always shop around to find a great deal

  5. 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.

Frequently asked questions

Just click ‘Get quotes’ at the top of this page and fill in some details about you and your pet.

You’ll need to tell us about their breed, age and gender and any previous issues with their health or behaviour.

You’ll get help choosing to see policies for short-term illness (time limited), or policies that cover longer-term issues (lifetime and maximum benefit).

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.

Does pet insurance cover BOAS surgery? 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.

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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Page last reviewed: 27 February 2023

Page reviewed by Owain Harrhy

[1] introduces customers to Stickee Technology Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.'s relationship with Stickee Technology Limited is limited to that of a business partnership, no common ownership or control exist between us. Please note, we cannot be held responsible for the content of external websites and by using the links stated to access these separate websites you will be subject to the terms of use applying to those sites.

[2]As of January 2023, there are 34 active pet insurers on the panel at Stickee Technology.

[3]Average (median) monthly price for dogs and cats aged 1-5 based on all quotes generated through Stickee Technology in Jan 2023.