Compare pet insurance
Compare pet insurance cover to help ensure you can pay the vet bills for your precious dog or cat and give them the care they need if they fall ill. A pet insurance comparison with us offers you a quick way to find a great deal and peace of mind in minutes.
Find out about the different types of pet insurance for your dog or cat, what it includes and how much it costs with our guide.
What does pet insurance cover?
Pet insurance is designed to help cover vet costs if your pet is ill, gets injured or has an accident.
Without pet insurance you’ll have to pay all the bills yourself – and that could leave you seriously out of pocket, with pet insurance claims often costing hundreds of pounds.
Pet insurance policies vary and can include the following types of cover:
- Vet fees and medical treatment is your pet is ill or injured
- Dental treatment (not routine, but as a result of an accident or illness)
- Compensation if your pet passes away
- Advertising fees and reward money if your pet goes missing
- Boarding fees if you’re temporarily unable to care for your pet
- Third party liability cover if your dog injures someone, causes an accident or damages someone’s property.
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What type of pet insurance is best for me?
The best pet insurance for you depends on a number of factors, including the age of your pet, its susceptibility to illness and how much you’re willing to pay. There are four main types of insurance to look out for when carrying out a comparison of great deals:
- Accident only pet insurance will cover your pet in the event of an accident, but won’t cover long-term illness.
- Time limited pet insurance covers illnesses as well as accidents, but for a limited amount of time only (typically, 12 months from when the condition started).
- Maximum benefit pet insurance covers illnesses and accidents up to a maximum amount per condition. While there’s no time limit on how long you can claim for, once you’ve reached the maximum amount you’re no longer covered for that particular condition.
- Lifetime pet insurance. This is the most complete type of pet insurance available. It covers accidents, injuries or illnesses for the life of your policy, up to a set amount each year.
For all types of pet insurance policy, you’ll have to pay an excess with each claim.
What doesn’t pet insurance cover?
Most types of pet insurance won’t cover:
- Treatment for pre-existing conditions – injuries and illnesses your pet was already suffering from when you took out the policy
- Routine medical treatment – such as check-ups, worming, flea treatments, neutering, spaying, vaccinations and dental check-ups
- Cosmetic treatments – or any other medical treatment not recommended by a vet
- Any condition that could have been prevented by routine vaccinations
- Any international costs – if you take your pet abroad and they need vet treatment.
Frequently asked questions
Can I get cover that starts immediately?
No – there’s usually a waiting period before your pet cover begins. This is to stop people using their new pet insurance policy to cover conditions they already knew their pet had. Cover usually starts around 14 days after the policy start date. Check the terms and conditions of the policy to be sure.
Can I cover more than one pet on the same policy?
Several insurance providers offer multi-pet insurance – so if you insure more than one pet with them, you’ll get a discount. This type of policy can be easier to manage in terms of paperwork. Please note that you currently can’t compare multi-pet policies with us.
How does age affect pet insurance?
As your cat or dog gets older, they’re more likely to suffer from health conditions or dental problems – just like humans. Because of this, insurance providers consider older animals to be more of a risk, and that means pet insurance premiums often go up considerably as pets get older. If you want to insure an older pet, make sure you shop around and remember, cheap pet insurance may not always be best – look for the policy that will give you the level of cover your older pet needs.
Does pet insurance include kennel or cattery fees?
Pet insurance will usually include cover for boarding your pet in a kennel or cattery if you need to go into hospital and are unable to look after them. There might be a minimum number of days you need to be in hospital for to be able to claim. Check the terms and conditions of your policy to be sure.
What do I do if my pet goes missing?
If your dog or cat is microchipped, contact the microchipping company to see if they’ve been handed in anywhere. Contact your local animal rescue centres, ask your neighbours and put the word out on social media. Pet insurance can help if your pet goes missing – some policies offer help with advertising and reward money if your pet goes astray.
Will pet insurance cover life-threatening injuries or illness?
Pet insurance is designed to cover vet fees and treatment if your pet is ill or injured. You should have cover for life-threatening injuries or illness if you have maximum benefit, time limited or lifetime pet insurance – but there will be cover limits and exclusions. Accident only insurance will only cover your pet if they have an accident.
Can I insure a pet with a pre-existing medical condition?
Generally, most pet insurance covers unexpected illness and injury, so policies typically won’t cover pre-existing conditions – that is, conditions your pet had before the policy started, such as diabetes. This doesn’t mean you won’t be able to insure your pet – it just means you won’t be covered for that condition. You might be able to find a policy that covers historical conditions, that is, conditions your pet has suffered from in the past but that they haven’t had symptoms of or treatment for, for a specified period of time.
Will I still be able to travel with my pet after Brexit?
At the moment, you can travel with your pet in Europe using a Pet Passport. You’ll be able to do this until the Brexit transition period ends on 31 December 2020. After that, arrangements for travel with pets in the EU will depend on what deal the UK comes to with the EU.
How can I reduce the cost of pet insurance?
There are a few things you can do to help make pet insurance cheaper. You can pay a higher excess to reduce the cost of your premium, although you’ll have to make sure you can afford to pay the excess when you make a claim. And, of course, you can shop around to find the best deals.
If you’re getting a new pet, do your research carefully. Some breeds can be prone to congenital and hereditary conditions. So try to make sure you choose a healthy pet to start with.
What do I need to compare pet insurance?
To compare insurance with Compare the Market, you’ll need to know:
- your pet’s age, breed and gender
- how much you paid or donated for them
- whether your pet has been neutered or spayed
- whether they’re microchipped.
Pet insurance expert
“It’s not just upsetting if your cat or dog is injured or becomes ill unexpectedly – it can be extremely expensive. Knowing you’re covered financially by pet insurance means you can focus on finding the best care for your pet and getting them well again.”