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Coronavirus and pet insurance

Coronavirus and pet insurance

Video consultations, relaxed vaccination rules and covering the costs of medication. The questions related to your pet’s insurance amid the coronavirus crisis are answered below.

David Edbrooke
Sub editor
minute read
posted 22 APRIL 2020

Does pet insurance cover coronavirus?

Pet insurance will cover the cost of treatment and medication if your pet falls ill. While there’s some evidence that the virus can infect cats and dogs, and that they can spread the virus by carrying it on them, experts believe it’s highly unlikely they’ll become unwell with COVID-19.

See more on cats, dogs and coronavirus.

Can I still take my pet to the vet?

All non-essential trips to the vets should be avoided. However, you may be able to arrange a remote consultation with your vet for urgent treatment.

Some insurance providers have vet advice helplines included in their policies and will cover the cost of telephone and video consultations, but you should check to see if your vet is offering the service.

FirstVet has a list of insurance providers who offer the service free through them. If your provider isn’t listed on their website, check your policy documents to find out if this service is included in your policy.

If I get a telephone consultation, will the cost of this be covered by insurance?

Some insurance providers have vet fee-free helplines, offering limited consultations with veterinary nurses. If you need further advice from a vet, some policies are covering the costs of telephone consultations, while others have a maximum amount they’ll pay up to.

Check with your insurance provider or your policy documents for more information.

How can I contact my insurance provider about making a claim?

Insurance providers are much busier than usual with calls related to coronavirus. Checking policy documents should clear up most questions. But if you’re still unsure about making a claim, most providers are publishing advice around the current crisis.

Insurance providers are also offering web chat options and online claim forms, so a phone call about your policy should be your last port of call.

What can I do if my pet needs vaccinations?

Some insurance providers are relaxing their policies to cover the cost of conditions that would have otherwise been vaccinated against - provided your pet was previously vaccinated and/or you’ve followed your vet’s advice during the current restrictions.

Pet insurance policies have different requirements around making a successful claim and you may have to provide evidence that previous vaccinations are up to date or keep your pet at home.

Check with your insurance provider for further details on how coronavirus has impacted their vaccination policies.

Learn more about dog walking during the coronavirus outbreak.

Can I still get pet insurance if I’ve been advised I can’t get routine vaccinations?

With providers relaxing rules for current policyholders, some are offering similar allowances for new customers - provided your pet was previously vaccinated and/or you’ve followed your vet’s advice during the current restrictions.

Make sure you disclose all information about missed vaccinations when arranging cover and check your insurance provider’s website for more details.

Will my insurance policy cover me if I haven’t been able to take my pet to the vet?

Insurance providers are keen to help pet owners during this uncertain time and they won’t invalidate your policy if COVID-19 restrictions have prevented you from taking your pet to the vets.

Are insurance providers covering the costs of medication and consultation?

You may be able to avoid consultation costs completely, as a number of insurance providers have free helplines with veterinary nurses available to answer basic consultation questions.

Many policies will also cover the cost of medications prescribed remotely.

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