Best pet insurance

Trips to the vet can end up being very expensive. It makes sense to get cover for your furry family members.

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Pet owners in the UK spent over £5 billion on veterinary and other pet services in 2018, so it’s important that you’re covered in case your furry friend is ill or injured.

But when it comes to getting pet insurance, it can be hard to know what to look for. Find out how to get the best cover for your pet below.

What makes a good pet insurance policy?

In simple terms, a good insurance policy is one that gives you the level of cover you want for your pet, without breaking the bank.
Like most types of insurance, there are a number of factors that influence which pet insurance policy you are likely to need. Basic insurance will only cover your pet against accidental injury, while other policies protect against illness and other issues.
The age, species and general health of your pet, as well as where you live, will all affect the cost of your pet’s insurance. If you have a rare or exotic pet, you will generally need to get specialised insurance.

Finding the best insurance for your pet

In order to get the best pet insurance, you will need to understand all your options, as well as your budget. There are four main types of pet insurance to consider. These are:

  • Accident-only insurance. This is generally the cheapest type of policy and will help cover the cost of the vet when your pet is accidentally injured. It does not cover your pet in the event of illness or disease.
  • Time limited insurance. If you just want to insure your pet in case of short-term illness, a time limited policy can cover you for up to 12 months.
  • Maximum benefit insurance. This covers any claims for a specific medical condition your pet may have, up to an agreed limit.
  • Lifetime insurance. The most comprehensive type of pet insurance, a lifetime policy covers accidental injury, illness and other vet-related costs. However, you will still have a yearly limit on what you can claim and the cost of your premium will increase as your pet gets older.

Best pet insurance for pre-existing medical conditions

If your pet suffers from a pre-existing condition or disease, it can limit your options when it comes to getting insurance. You are still free to take out insurance, but will not be covered for any costs related to the pre-existing condition.
However, some insurance providers will offer cover for pre-existing conditions if your pet remains symptom- and treatment-free for a certain period of time, which can be 3 months to 2 years.

Best pet insurance for dogs

Your insurance needs will be determined by the type of dog you have, as well as its lifestyle and behaviour.
Dogs are generally more active than other pets, so basic accident-only insurance may be worth considering. If you want comprehensive coverage, a lifetime insurance policy will give you greater peace of mind when it comes to protecting your dog.

Best pet insurance for cats

Cats may be less likely to sustain injuries than dogs, but you can still benefit from insuring your feline friend.
Depending on the breed of cat you have, they may be more susceptible to certain illnesses or diseases, which may only be covered under a maximum benefit or lifetime insurance policy.
Always compare a range of policies and providers to ensure your cat is covered in the event of illness, and to make sure you find the plan that represents the best value for money.

Best lifetime pet insurance

Lifetime insurance is the most comprehensive when it comes to covering your pets. When finding the best policy, you should look for those with higher yearly limits, as well as those with premiums that do not increase too much as your pet gets older.
Some insurance policies may even keep premiums at the same price year on year, provided you insure your pet before they reach a certain age.

Best multi-pet insurance

If you’re a crazy cat person (too much?) or simply have more than one pet, you may save money by insuring them under the one policy.
While a certain policy may be the cheapest when it comes to insuring a single pet, you may find other policies actually offer a better discount when insuring multiple pets. As with any pet insurance, the best policy will be one that offers the level of cover you need for all your animals.

How to compare pet insurance and get the best deal

Once you have an understanding of the type of cover you need, you can compare pet insurance policies here.

Compare pet insurance companies

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Age cover starts from Annual vet fees covered Benefits
4Paws Pet Insurance
6 weeks
£12,000
Lifetime Contribution Policies available
Animal Friends pet insurance
8 weeks
£6000
Free vet video consultants
Agria Pet Insurance
8 weeks
£12,500
£50 Healthcare voucher with every dog and cat policy
Bought By Many Pet Insurance
4 weeks
£15,000
15% multi-pet discount
LV= pet insurance
8 weeks
Up to £10,000
Choose from 5 levels of cover
Vet bills can be paid directly
Pay monthly at no extra cost
10% discount when you buy online
Scratch & Patch Pet Insurance
5 weeks
£8,000
10% multi-pet discount
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