Lifetime pet insurance

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What is lifetime pet insurance?

Lifetime pet insurance is the most comprehensive pet cover you can get, and could pay vet fees for your cat or dog for the whole of your pet's life. Lifetime cover can be the most expensive pet insurance, but it gives you peace of mind that ongoing conditions are catered for.

The UK’s 16.5 million cats and dogs are part of the family and the right pet insurance is an important part of looking after them. Lifetime pet insurance cover can give them comprehensive care for as long as they live.

There are two types of lifetime cover to consider for your pet:

  • cover with an annual limit per condition
  • cover with an overall, or lifetime, limit for each condition

Frequently asked questions

What’s included in lifetime pet insurance?

This type of pet insurance typically covers:

  • Vet costs
    These are usually covered up to a financial limit per condition, per year – usually excluding routine treatments, like vaccinations. At renewal time this financial limit is reinstated. This is handy if your pet develops a condition that requires long-term treatment. Remember that you may need to pay an excess fee before you can claim against the policy.

  • Kennels/cattery costs
    If you couldn’t look after your pet for a while, then your insurance may cover kennels or a cattery costs. There’s usually a financial limit per year to the costs.

  • Third party liability cover
    If your dog injures someone or damages their property, this insurance protects you against costs you’re found to be liable for and any legal fees involved. Liability cover is often £1m or more. This cover doesn’t apply to cats – they’re legally termed ‘free spirits’, which means their owners aren’t liable for their actions.

  • Dental cover
    Some policies may include this for issues caused by accidents or illness.

  • Compensation if your pet is lost or stolen
    Lifetime policies sometimes contribute towards the costs of advertising or other search costs to help find your pet.

  • Cost recovery on a pet’s death
    If your pet passes away due to illness or as the result of an accident, you could get back the price you paid for them. Most policies have an age limit, typically 7-10 years old for a cat and 7-8 years old for a dog, and there’s also usually a financial limit.

  • Euthanasia, cremation and burial
    If the worst does happen, some policies will make a contribution towards the costs of these services.

How much does lifetime pet insurance cost?

The price of your lifetime cover pet insurance will vary, but these examples from our data should give you a ballpark figure for your dog or cat.

  • If you’re a cat owner who wants lifetime cover, we’ve found 50% of customers could pay up to £6.77 a month**.
  • If you’re a dog owner who wants Lifetime cover, we’ve found 50% of customers could pay up to £11.59 a month***.

**50% of people could achieve a quote of £6.77 per year/month for their lifetime cat insurance based on Compare the Market data in November 2018.
***50% of people could achieve a quote of £11. per year/month for their lifetime dog insurance based on Compare the Market data in November 2018.


What are the benefits of lifetime pet insurance?

If you purchase lifetime cover for your pet, you’ll get the following benefits:

Your pet will be covered for chronic conditions – such as arthritis or diabetes.

You could be protected from the cost of ongoing vet treatment – which can run to thousands of pounds each year.

Your pet will be covered for hereditary conditions – as well as behavioural and complementary treatments, depending on your vet’s recommendation. This is why this type of cover is worth considering for pedigree cats and pedigree dogs, who are more prone to hereditary conditions.

What are the disadvantages of lifetime pet insurance?

Lifetime cover isn’t the right pet insurance policy for everyone. Downsides include:

  • Premiums for lifetime pet cover can be high compared to 12-month policies

  • Once you pass your pre-set cost limit you’ll have to pay the rest.

  • You have to stay with the same insurance provider year on year to benefit.

What are the other types of pet insurance?

As well as lifetime cover, you have three other pet insurance options:

  • Time limited pet insurance – this will pay vet fees for a year, then you'll have to pay the cost.

  • Accident only pet insurance – covers your pet for accidents, but not long-term illness.

  • Maximum benefit pet insurance – protects you from illnesses and accidents up to a maximum amount per condition.

Comparing lifetime cover

If you'd like to compare lifetime insurance policies, we can help. Get a quote in less than one minute. Start a quote by simply telling us about you and your pet. We’ll provide you with all the relevant lifetime policies that meet your specific needs and save your quote if you want to make changes or come back to it later.

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