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What are the best pet insurance policies?
We compared over 25 pet insurance policies and have published our neutral reviews to give you cover and quote information, contact details and opinions.
Discover our trusted providers for pet insurance.
Which pet insurance policy should you choose?
Pet insurance comes in different styles depending on the kind of cover you want. Consult our main guides on pet insurance policy types.
Accident-only cover will pay out if your pet is involved in an accident but not if your pet is ill. This is the cheapest kind of cover, but if your pet develops a health condition or catches an infectious disease, you won’t be covered.
Time-limited cover will pay out only on any claim you make in the year. It also has a limit on the total amount you can claim. If you claim on a condition within the year, you can’t claim for it again next year – so if your pet has a long-term illness like cancer, you won’t be covered.
Maximum benefit cover gives you an annual amount you can claim per year, and, sometimes, per condition. When you reach the claim limit, you can’t claim for it again.
What is pet insurance?
Pet insurance covers the cost of veterinary bills if your pet gets sick or is injured. It should also cover the cost of burial or cremation if your pet dies, as well as advertising and recovery expenses if your pet is lost or stolen.
Do I need to insure my pet?
Yes, definitely. Pet insurance is not compulsory, but is highly recommended.
Your pet, whether it’s a dog, cat or an exotic reptile, will need, at some point in their life, to be taken to the vet. It is hard enough to see your beloved animal getting injured or ill, to then have to worry about the financial resources needed to pay the vet bills, as well. Make sure you won’t have to face unexpected and significant costs by getting covered with the right policy type for your pet.
Unlike medical treatment for you or your relatives, vet bills are not covered (not even partially) by the National Healthcare System! But pets can suffer from all kinds of injuries or illnesses including hereditary or congenital disease. They could also get lost or be stolen.
If your pet gets sick or is involved in a car accident and you are not properly covered, you’ll have to assume vet or surgery fees entirely by yourself. And we all know that vet fees can easily reach thousands of pounds a year, even for a classic pedigree dog or cat.
You’ll find below indicative vet bills you may have to face if you do not purchase the right pet insurance policy.
|Vet bills (average spend)|
|Blood tests||From £100 to £130|
|Ear infection problem||£250|
|Neutering your pet||From £40 to £200|
|Snake bite surgery||£1,750|
|Multiple fractures bill||£2,300|
|Hip dysplasia surgery||£7,000|
According to the Association of British Insurers (ABI), pet insurers paid out over £785 million of claims related to pet diseases or injuries in 2017 (more than £2 million per day). The average pet insurance claim is £794.
How much is pet insurance?
Pet insurance usually varies from £3 per month for accident-only cover to over £40 for a high limit lifetime policy – a quickly accumulating expense when you know that a single vet appointment costs on average £60.
If you are wondering what the average cost of pet insurance is per month, the tables below will give you a quick overview of monthly premiums depending on the type of policy and the limit you choose for your pet.
According to the ABI (Association of British Insurers), in 2018, pet insurance policies cost, on average, £279 per year.
How much is pet insurance for a dog?
Here are some indicative quotes of dog insurance policies.
|Policy type||Vet fees||Monthly premium|
|Accident only||£2,500 per accident per policy year||£4,48|
|Time Limited||Per Condition Limit of £2,500||£11,99|
|Maximum Benefit||Per Condition Limit of £3,000||£19,19|
|Lifetime||£2,000 limit per condition per policy year||£16,68|
|Lifetime||£4,500 limit per condition per policy year||£27,20|
*Premiums above are indicative and for a female one year old pedigree dog.
How much is pet insurance for a cat?
You will find below indicative quotes for cat insurance depending on chosen policy type.
|Policy type||Vet fees||Monthly premium|
|Accident only||£2,500 per accident per policy year||£3,20|
|Time Limited||Per Condition Limit of £2,000||£9,76|
|Maximum Benefit||Per Condition Limit of £2,000||£12,77|
|Lifetime||£2,000 limit per condition per policy year||£13,44|
|Lifetime||£4,000 limit per condition per policy year||£19,24|
*Premiums above are indicative and for a female one year old moggie cat.
As any kind of personal insurance you may purchase, pet insurance will depend on a range of factors such as:
- The type of pet.
- Your pet’s medical condition (if any).
- Your pet’s age and sex.
- Your pet’s family (pedigree, crossbreed etc.).
- If your pet is neutered or microchipped and has up-to-date vaccinations; and of course
- The type and limit of cover you’d like to get.
Many discounts are available when purchasing your pet insurance directly online. You could also save money paying annually (instead of monthly) and insuring several pets at once.
What does pet insurance cover and not cover?
Most pet insurance will cover and exclude the same features as described below.
Pet insurance covers:
- Accidents and injuries (and death by illness or injury)
- Dental treatments
- Vet bills (covers from £500 to £12 000)
- Third-party liability expenses (available for dogs only)
- Behavioural treatments if needed
- Missing pet cover
- Burial or cremation
- Euthanasia (only in high pet insurance cover)
- Overseas travel insurance.
Pet insurance excludes:
- Pre-existing medical conditions (dedicated policy)
- Routine check-ups fees
- Bills links to aggressive pet’s behavior (if not included in policy)
- Notice period (usually 14 days after your policy’s purchase)
- Pet’s pregnancy and birth care
- Preventative care treatments (vaccinations, castrations, teeth treatment not urgent, microchip implant, grooming fees etc).
How much cover you should get for your pet insurance?
Alongside vet bills, a great pet insurance plan should include the following amounts of cover:
|Minimum cover you should get|
|Vet fees||Depend’s on your pet’s age and condition. |
We would recommend to get lifetime policy of at least £2,000.
|Death by illness or injury||Should cover pet’s initial purchase cost|
|Need of behavioral treatment||£500|
|Third-party liability||£1 million|
|Advertising to recover your lost pet||£300|
|Reward for recovery||£300|
|Kennel and cattery expenses||£500|
|Overseas travel cover||£1,500|
What to look for when buying pet insurance?
When buying pet insurance, you must always pay attention to these key features that will affect the price, or you may have to face the expenses yourself.
- Make sure you get the right cover limit. For example, do not get an accident-only type of cover if your pet is old and likely to get a serious illness.
- Opt for a provider that will pay for vet fees directly. You won’t have to pay fees in advance and then claim the money back and wait.
- Carefully check the policy’s pet age limit.
- If your pet has a pre-existing medical condition, take out a dedicated policy, or you won’t be covered for any fees linked to this existing illness.
- Choose the right excess. You can choose a higher claim excess to reduce your premium.
- Consider switching your pet insurance provider if your annual or lifetime premium increases for no particular reason. However, if you’ve made several claims, you may struggle finding another provider.
Be careful, you can not always get immediate cover when insuring your pet. You might have to face up to 14 days delay.
How to get pet insurance quotes?
The above comparison tool will allow you to compare over 25 insurance brands and policies in less than 30 seconds, answering a few questions on your pet only.
Once you’ve found the cover you’d like, you will need to provide your future insurer with:
- Your pet’s type, breed, sex and age.
- Your pet’s medical and behavioral condition.
- Your pet’s purchase price.
- Confirmation that your pet is neutered and microchipped (microchipping is a legal requirement for dogs).
6 tips to get cheaper pet insurance premiums
To get cheaper pet insurance, there are a few tricks you could use.
- Always shop around; never auto-renew: you won’t have to face inflated premiums and will be able to get the latest discount deals, especially if you purchase your policy online. Use our comparator to get the latest promo codes and vouchers from our partners.
- Insure more than one pet and get multi-pet discounts. Most insurers give a 10 to 20% discount when insuring two pets or more.
- Choose the right option for your needs. If your pet has a pre-existing medical condition or is getting old, do not opt for an accident-only basic type of cover, for instance. You’ll still have to face most of the vet bills entirely alone.
- Get your beloved pet microchipped. A microchip is as tiny as a grain of rice and is implanted beneath your animal’s skin. It is painless and will allow you to avoid losing your pet to help avoid any advertising and reward claim in the future (which will reduce your premium).
- Make sure your pet is up-to-date with the latest vaccinations
- Opt for co-payment insurance. This means that after having paid the excess, you’ll still have to pay a percentage of the remaining claim (often between 10 and 20%). It is basically exactly the same as if you would increase your excess and therefore benefit from cheaper pet insurance premiums.
Which pets are covered by pet insurance?
Insuring exotic pets such as lizards and tortoises is much harder. However, as those animals are less common, vet fees and surgery costs are usually much more expensive. It’s definitely worth insuring them. Consult our guides to get the names and information of top insurance policies.
Can I get multi-pet insurance?
Insuring several pets at once is, of course, possible. It is even highly recommended as you can benefit from discounts. Let’s find out which insurers offer discounts when buying multi-pet cover.
|£1 per pet and per (minimum £24 discount)|
|£1 discount per pet per month|
|One month free on each insurance as from 2 pets|
|Up to 5%|
|Up to 5%|
|Up to 10%|
|Up to 10%|
|Up to 10%|
|Up to 10%|
|Up to 10%|
Does pet insurance cover pets with pre-existing medical conditions?
If your pet has a pre-existing medical condition, for example hip dysplasia, these will not be covered by pet insurance unless you purchase a dedicated cover for pre-existing conditions.
You are required to tell your insurer any pre-existing medical condition your pet may have. If you do not, your claim can be invalidated as well as your entire policy.
What is classed as pre-existing medical conditions for pet insurance?
The most common pre-existing medical conditions for pets are:
- Urinary disease, etc.
The table below will give you indicative claim cost for pre-existing medical conditions.
|Average claim cost|
|Cataracts vision treatment||$450|
Insurance for older pets
As older pets are more likely to get ill and need medical treatment, insurance for older animals is often more expensive.
Use our comparison platform to get indicative quotes for older pets.
Check out our guides on the best insurance providers for older cats and dogs.
Older cats insurance
Find out which insurer is best for your older cat.Get to know more >
Older dogs insurance
Check out insurances for older dogs.Get to know more >
Each insurer has its own claim process, usually filling out a claim form and send it together with evidences. We would advise you to opt for insurers allowing claims to be made and followed 100% online.
Be careful, insurers only allow you to make claims up to a certain time limit after the accident or illness occur. Often 30 days.
If your claim is rejected, contact the Financial Ombudsman Service (0300 123 9123) within a 6 months period.
Each insurer has its own cancellation process (as for claims). You usually need to send a cancellation letter, email, or call them to express your wish not to proceed. Be careful, your insurance will automatically be auto-renewed if you do not take any action. You will always have the right to cancel, but you may have to pay some administrative fees, especially if you are not cancelling during the 14 days cooling-off period after the renewal date. Check our reviews on each insurer to know more.
Getting your dog micro-chipped is a legal requirement since 2016. Not for other pets though. We would however strongly advise you to do so as it will help you saving on your premiums.
If you can not afford pet insurance, you may be able to get free treatments contacting charities centers such as:
– The People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals
– The RSPCA – Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
– The USPCA – Ulster Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
– The SSPCA – Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
– The Blue Cross.
Or, you can opt for self-insuring your pet yourself.
Yes you can. You can save yourself a certain amount of money to pay for your vet bills. However, we would strongly advise you to get covered.