A simples guide

Lifetime Pet Insurance

In the UK we keep some 14 million cats and dogs as pets. They’re part of our families and we have a special bond with them.

It can be incredibly distressing when your pet becomes ill or has an accident. Specialist medical attention may become a necessity and veterinary costs can become expensive very quickly.


What does lifetime pet insurance cover?

As a result, many pet owners choose to take out pet insurance to cover them in the event that they need medical support. There are a number of different types of cover, the most comprehensive of which is known as ‘lifetime pet insurance’.


What does it include?

Let’s start by saying that not all pet insurance policies from different providers are the same. They may include different items and different financial cover limits, so it is important to make sure you read the policy features carefully to ensure that you have the cover you need.

- Vet Costs

Vet costs are usually covered up to a financial limit per condition, per year (typically excluding routine treatments such as vaccinations). Each year at renewal the limit is reinstated. This is important if your pet develops a condition which requires long-term treatment. A number of pedigree dogs for example, are susceptible to hereditary conditions that require ongoing treatment.

Remember that an excess fee is typically payable before you can claim against the policy.

What else does it include?

- Kennels/Cattery

If you were to find yourself needing hospital treatment and had no one to look after your pet, then your insurance can sometimes cover the costs of putting your dog or cat into kennels or a cattery. There is usually a financial limit per year to the costs.

- Third party liability

If your dog injures someone or damages property, third party liability insurance protects you against both the cost of the damage or injury and any legal fees involved. As these can be expensive situations, the liability cover is often £1m or more.

Please note that this only applies to dogs, cats are legally termed ‘free spirits’ and therefore owners aren’t liable for the actions of the cat.

- Dental Cover

Some policies may include dental cover for issues caused by accidents or illness.

- Lost or stolen

Lifetime policies can typically include financial compensation if your pet is lost or stolen. They may also contribute towards the costs of advertising or other search costs in order to try and find your dog or cat. 

- Death

In the unfortunate situation where your pet dies due to illness or as the result of an accident, you could get back the price you paid for them, if of course that’s something that’s important to you, we appreciate it will probably be the last thing on your mind. Most policies have an age limit, typically 7-10 years old for a cat and 7-8 years old for a dog. There is also typically a financial limit.

- Euthanasia, cremation and burial

If the worst does happen, some policies will make a contribution towards the costs of these services.

Compare pet insurance

Get a pet insurance quote and start saving now

Get a quote

How does it work?

All new medical conditions are covered up to the financial limit in a Time Limited or Lifetime policy. If the limit is reached during the insurance year, the cover stops until the policy is renewed.

When you renew the policy, the limit is fully reinstated and the condition will continue to be covered in the policy the following year.

This differs from ‘Max Benefit’ and ‘Accident Only’ policies. In Max Benefit policies, once the financial limit is reached the condition becomes ‘pre-existing’ and is excluded from future cover.

Accident Only insurance, as the name suggests covers you only for the costs of vet bills in the event of an accident within the 12 months of the policy period.

Is it expensive?

The cost to insure your dog or cat will vary depending on the level of cover you choose. Based on our average premium price in March 2016, prices ranged from £44.54 for Accident Only insurance to £277.97 for Max Benefit for a dog.

For a cat, the average prices ranged from £39.68 for Accident Only to £47.88 for Max Benefit.

Our average premiums are based on all our customer quotes, from people with different breeds, ages, sizes and cover. You may find a cheaper or more expensive quote based on your own pet’s details.

While the lowest price might be appealing, make sure that you get the right level of cover that meets both your and your pet’s needs.

Comparing lifetime pet insurance policies from different pet insurance providers couldn’t be easier. Simply input a few details about you and your pet and we’ll provide you with a comprehensive comparison.