Compare lifetime pet insurance

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Pet owners can tell you how much their furry friend improves their quality of life. Owning a pet can reduce depression, stress and anxiety as well as provide companionship. That said, being a pet owner can also lead to unexpected medical bills should the pet get injured or fall ill. Find out more about lifetime pet insurance to avoid huge veterinary bills.

What is lifetime pet insurance?

A lifetime pet insurance policy provides coverage for any medical treatment your pet might need throughout its lifetime. It’s the most expensive form of pet insurance, but it also provides the most coverage.

However, this doesn’t mean it provides for unlimited cover, which is why it’s important to read the terms and conditions of your policy.

Another feature you must keep in mind is lifetime pet insurance policies must be renewed every year as each policy only covers a 12-month period.

What does lifetime pet insurance cover?

Lifetime pet insurance means you can claim the cost of veterinary treatments your pet has during the term of your policy. Most policies cover treatment resulting from:

  • Accidental injury
  • Illness, including behavioural illnesses if referred by your vet
  • Physiotherapy if referred by your vet

Some policies may even offer coverage for extra treatment your pet may need following an accident and injury. This could include things like:

  • Acupuncture
  • Homeopathy
  • Osteopathy
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Dental
Some insurers can cover you in case your pet dies, or needs to be euthanised due to illness or injury.

Again, it’s always a good idea to check the terms of your policy as some insurers may not cover your pet after it passes a certain age. For example, with cats and dogs, eight years old is the age at which most insurers don’t cover pets.

Lifetime pet insurance can cover the purchase price of your pet if they go missing as a result of theft or straying. This can even cover the cost of advertising if your pet is lost, as well as any reward offered to the person who finds it.

However, you must report your pet is missing to the police and most insurers then pay out if they’re not found within 30 days of being reported.

This coverage only applies to dogs and will cover you if your dog causes damage to someone else’s property or causes someone to be killed or injured.

If someone is seriously injured or killed by your dog and you’re taken to court it could cost you hundreds of thousands of pounds so look for policies with a high level of cover.

Different types of lifetime pet insurance cover

Lifetime pet insurance policies come in two different types:

  • Annual limit per condition. In this version of coverage the insurer sets a limit to the amount you can claim for each condition. For example, the insurer sets the annual condition limit to £5,000. This means if your dog develops arthritis, the maximum you could claim for medical treatment for the disease in any single year would be £5,000.
  • Overall lifetime limit. This version of coverage sets a lifetime limit on the amount you can claim for each condition. For example, if the lifetime limit is £30,000, the maximum you can claim for treatment of your arthritic dog during its lifespan is £30,000. Any extra costs incurred for its treatment would have to be covered by you.

What affects the cost of lifetime pet insurance?

The cost of your lifetime pet insurance policy depends on a number of factors:

  • The age of your pet. The older your pet is the more they’ll cost to insure as older animals are more likely to have medical issues.
  • Pre-existing medical conditions. If your pet has any medical ailments at the time of buying insurance, they’re likely to cost more to insure.
  • Cost of your pet. Pedigree pets cost more to cover than crossbreeds, because they’re more expensive to buy and can suffer from hereditary conditions.
  • Type of pet. Smaller pets such as rabbits or guinea pigs are cheaper to cover as veterinary bills are also lower than those for dogs or cats.

Frequently asked questions

The offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of products we can track; we don't cover every product on the market...yet. Unless we've indicated otherwise, products are shown in no particular order or ranking. The terms "best", "top", "cheap" (and variations), aren't product ratings, although we always explain what's great about a product when we highlight it; this is subject to our terms of use. When making a big financial decision, it's wise to consider getting independent financial advice, and always consider your own financial circumstances when comparing products so you get what's right for you.

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