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Lifetime pet insurance

Compare quotes in minutes with our partner Stickee Technology [1] and find the right cover for your pet

What is lifetime pet insurance?

Lifetime pet insurance is the most extensive pet insurance cover you can get for your cat or dog. As long as you keep renewing your policy, it’ll last for their whole life and pay out for every new condition up to the policy limits each year.

Lifetime pet insurance will also pay out for any injuries or illnesses related to ones you’ve previously claimed for that develop at a later date.

Lifetime insurance policy limits

Lifetime insurance has a limit each year on either how much you can claim per condition, or the overall amount you can claim for all conditions, or both.

Let’s say your policy has a £5,000 annual limit per condition and a £10,000 overall annual limit.

Your dog develops a skin allergy, and it flares up every year. The vet bills and medication come to £4,000 in the first year, so you’re covered for all the treatment.

The next year it costs £6,000 to treat. That means you’ll have to pay £1,000 yourself as the treatment cost exceeded the per condition limit.

But you can still claim up to £5,000 each year for any other insured condition, until the overall annual limit Is reached.

What’s included in lifetime pet insurance?

  • Vet costs – Cover for treatment for injury or illness, up to the per condition or per year limit. These limits will reset each year and conditions you’ve previously claimed for will still be covered
  • Kennels/cattery costs – Covers boarding costs for your vet if you’ve had to go into hospital
  • Third party liability cover – Covers claims against you for loss or damage caused by your pet. It usually only applies to dog insurance and not cats
  • Dental cover – but usually only as a result of accident or injury. Routine dental treatment is generally not covered by many policies
  • Complimentary therapies, for example acupuncture or hydrotherapy – some policies will cover this if it’s been recommended by your vet
  • Lost or stolen pets – Your insurance might cover the cost of advertising a lost pet and pay a proportion of their value if they sadly can’t be found
  • Euthanasia – If the worst should happen, pet insurance can cover the cost of your pet being painlessly put to sleep

Lifetime pet insurance exclusions

  • Dental treatment – Dental treatment is covered by very few pet insurance policies, unless it’s as a result of an accident
  • Cremation and burial – Although most lifetime policies include necessary euthanasia, cremation and burial tends not to be covered
  • Pre-existing conditions – Although anything you’ve claimed for before should continue to be covered, illnesses and injuries related to a condition that happened before you took the policy out won’t be
  • Excess and co-payment – You’ll have to pay a sum towards the claim yourself, called an excess. Some policies also have a co-payment – it’s another excess, where you also pay a percentage of the full cost

Watch out for age limits

Some lifetime policies have an upper age limit for older pets – it doesn’t apply to existing policyholders, but you wouldn’t be able to take out a new policy if your pet’s over that age. For some breeds of dog, that could be as young as six.

Many policies also ask that you pay a co-payment – a percentage of each claim – when your pet reaches a certain age.

How much does lifetime pet insurance cost?

As you might expect, lifetime cover’s usually more expensive than other types of pet insurance, because it’s so comprehensive. How much it’ll cost you depends on your pet, its breed and its age. Your personal information and where you live will also make a difference.

When you compare quotes, you’ll also see that each policy has an excess and some will have a co-payment. Choosing a policy with a higher excess or a co-payment can help keep the costs down, but you’ll have to contribute more towards the cost of any claim.

The pros and cons of lifetime pet insurance

Pros

With lifetime cover, your pet will be covered for chronic conditions. Annual policies on the other hand stop covering a condition a year after it first occurs.

That means you’ll be protected from the cost of ongoing vet treatment, unlike with an accident-only or time-limited policy.

Cons

Premiums for lifetime pet cover are high compared to other pet insurance types.

Once you reach the annual or per condition limit, you’ll have to pay for any remaining treatment yourself.

You have to stay with the same insurer year on year to really benefit from a lifetime policy. That means it’s really important you compare your options to find the best one before you commit to an insurer.

Be aware that the policy price for future years isn’t fixed. Lifetime pet insurance can and usually does increase in price as your pet ages.

What do I need to get a quote?

You can get quotes for your own cat or dog in no time. All you need to do it tell us:

  • How old your pet is
  • Whether they’re a cross breed, mixed breed or pedigree and what breed they are
  • If they’ve been vaccinated, neutered and microchipped
  • your personal details

Our pet insurance companies

We search for quotes from over 20 pet insurers, including:[3]

  • Animal Friends
  • Tesco
  • Healthy Pets
  • More Than
  • Scratch & Patch
  • The Insurance Emporium

Frequently asked questions

  • What type of pet can I cover with a lifetime policy?

    Usually any sort of cat or dog can have a lifetime policy. It’s a good option if you have an expensive pedigree pet that could suffer from hereditary illnesses, although their cover is likely to be more expensive if their breed is susceptible to certain conditions.

  • Can lifetime pet insurance cover existing conditions?

    Only if you took out the policy before the condition started. If you insure your pet when they’re young, renew the policy every year, and continue to pay your premiums you’ll be covered.

    Generally speaking, regardless of the type of insurance, you won’t be covered for pre-existing conditions. There are specialist insurers that can help, though.

    We’ve partnered with VetsMediCover, an insurer that offers specialist pre-existing conditions pet insurance.

[1]Gocompare.com introduces customers to Stickee Technology Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Gocompare.com'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.

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