A simples guide

Choosing the right pet insurance

We love our pets and we want them to have the best care. But sometimes this can be costly. That’s where pet insurance can come in, but why do you need it and what exactly does it cover?



When’s best to insure?

It’s best to insure your pet as soon as you bring them home, so that you have cover should they get ill or injured. Although you might have to waiting around 8 weeks or so before insuring new-borns. Sorry puppies.

The price of a pet

Unfortunately when the NHS was created they sadly overlooked the nation’s beloved pets. So if your pet gets ill, injured or has an accident, you’ll have to foot the vet bills. This can be expensive. A dog can cost up to £31,000 in its lifetime (that’s equivalent to about 67 smartphones).

But pet insurance can help to cover this cost.

There are four main types of pet insurance

Accident only

Just for accidental injuries. Ideal for your accident prone companions.


Time-limited (or per condition with time limit)

Will cover illness along with accidents, for a set amount of time (usually for up to 12 months). These policies will also come with a max payout.


Maximum benefit (or per condition no time limit)

This will cover accident and illness indefinitely, up to a fixed cost. Once this cost is reached, the condition becomes pre-existing, meaning you can’t make further claims for it.


Lifetime policy

The most comprehensive pet insurance cover available. Will cover accident, injury and illness for the life of your pet. Similar to max benefit, your pet has a fixed cost per condition. However, unlike max benefit, on renewal previous conditions you’ve claimed for before, will be insurable again.



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What it doesn't cover

Pre-existing medical conditions
If your pooch is already poorly, a policy bought after the injury or illness won’t be valid. It’s best to get your cover as soon as you can.

Routine and preventative treatment
Routine things such as vaccinations, spaying or neutering, grooming, flea or worm treatments and pregnancy are unlikely to be covered.

Any costs during the waiting period
Policies will typically have a waiting period of 10-30 days after purchase before you can make a claim.


dog in a bath

Funny looking dog

Cats and dogs are simple to insure. For other pets like rabbits, budgies or chinchillas you’ll have to speak direct to an insurer. There are also a number of specialist insurers for horses.

For exotic pets like snakes, tarantulas and pot-bellied pigs you’ll need specialist insurance to protect against thieves who target valuable animals.

dog and snake

Keep up to date

Always tell your insurer of any changes to your address or any relevant information about your pet such as if they’ve recently been neutered, spayed or micro-chipped.