Pet Insurance Basics
Our Pet Insurance Buying Guide aims to give you a detailed explanation of pet insurance, but if you don’t have time to read through everything right now, here’s a basic overview of what to look out for.
The most important decision to make is which type of policy to buy, and the amount of cover you want. Most pet insurance polices are one of three types:
1. Time Limited – these will pay out until you reach the vet fees limit, or 12 months from when the condition started. Once you reach this point, you won’t be able to claim again for that condition even if you renew, or move to another provider.
2. Maximum Benefit – these are the middle tier of policies, and once you hit the vet fees limit (either per year, or condition), you won’t be able to claim again for that condition even if you renew or take out a different policy.
3. Lifetime polices - the best, and usually the most expensive of the policies. The vet fees limits get reset every year, so you can continue to claim for a condition for the lifetime of your pet as long as you continue to renew the policy.
Different policies include or exclude different things, such as dental illness treatment, cover when abroad and accidental damage, and will also offer different amounts of cover depending on the level of policy you take out.
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Find and Compare Pet Insurance
Search for the best pet insurance policies for your needs with our Pet Insurance Search tool. By using the drop-down selection boxes, you can select only the policies that meet your requirements, and filter out those that are not suitable.
Pet Insurance Comparison
Click on "More Details" to discover more about a specific policy, or hover over the Policy Name to see a summary of the cover provided. Click on "Get a Quote" to go straight to the website of the pet insurance provider where you can fill in your details and get an instant quote online. To compare two policies side-by-side, simply select any two policies below by ticking the respective checkboxes (you can compare a maximum of two policies), then click "Compare".
* Online Discounts are only applicable in the first year of a pet insurance policy, and do not apply for renewals.
Why buy pet insurance?
A pet is part of your family, so when your four-legged friend becomes ill or is injured, you want them to get the best care. Unfortunately, a trip to the vet can be very expensive with some treatments costing thousands of pounds, and an already stressful situation can be made far worse if you don’t have the funds available to pay to get your pet treated.
One solution is to invest in pet insurance, to give you peace of mind that your pet could be treated if needed without you getting an expensive and unexpected bill.
What are the different types of pet insurance?
There are 4 different types of pet insurance - Accident Only, Time Limited, Maximum Benefit and Lifetime.
Accident Only - this type of policy is not very common, and as the name suggests only provides cover if your pet is injured in an accident. It doesn’t provide any cover for illnesses so these policies aren’t really recommended for most people.
Time Limited - this is the cheapest type of pet insurance that covers illnesses, and will pay out until you reach the vet fees limit, or 12 months from when the condition started. Once you reach this point, you won’t be able to claim again for that condition even if you renew the policy.
Maximum Benefit - these policies will allow you to claim for treatment over any length of time as long as you continue renewing the policy, up to the claim limit per condition.
Lifetime - this is the top tier of pet insurance, and is usually the most expensive too. These policies will pay out up to the claim limit per year, however unlike the Maximum Benefit policies, the claim limits are reset each year.
How much does pet insurance cost?
Pet insurance premiums can vary greatly, and the cost is determined by several factors. The type of animal, breed, age, and location are all taken into consideration by pet insurance providers, and will make a difference to the cost, and also the excess that you pay in some cases.
The cost of a pet insurance policy can vary from as little as £6 per month, and can go into the £100s in some cases.
How to get cheaper pet insurance?
If you are looking to buy a pet, then it’s worth doing some research to see whether particular breeds are prone to certain medical conditions, as this could make them more expensive to insure.
If you have more than one pet, then it may be cheaper to take out a multi-pet policy as these offer discounts for multiple pets. It is worth getting quotes for single pet policies from different insurers though, as this may work out cheaper than a single provider even with their discount.
Use the pet insurance search facility above to find policies that offer the cover you want, so you don’t end up paying extra for a policy that provides more cover than you need.
What does pet insurance cover?
Pet insurance doesn’t just cover cats and dogs - you can also get cover for smaller pets such as rabbits, and larger animals like horses.
A typical pet insurance policy would include cover for:
Vet fees for treating illness or injuries
Boarding fees for kennels or catteries if you have to spend time in hospital
3rd Party Liability if your pet causes accidental damage to a 3rd party (dog insurance policies only)
Advertising and offering a reward if your pet is lost or stolen
Some pet insurance also covers vet fees if you are abroad, and will pay out if you have to cancel a holiday due to your pet being injured or ill.
Most pet insurance will exclude cover for the following:
Routine and preventative treatments (e.g., vaccinations and flea or worming treatments)
Dogs registered under the Dangerous Dogs Act, or used for racing, commercial breeding, or security purposes
Please note that the pet insurance information on this site is for information only, and we take no responsibility for any decision you make to purchase as the information may have been superseded. You are advised to check the current Terms and Conditions before taking out any policy - these are available on the Pet Insurance company's website.