The Pets & Friends Guide to Pet Insurance The Pets & Friends Guide to Pet Insurance

Posted by Emma Oldroyd, on

The Pets & Friends Guide to Pet Insurance

Here at Pets and Friends, we’re here to help you take the best care of your pet. That’s why we’d always recommend investing in a good pet insurance plan for your best friend to help keep your mind at ease with potential vet bills and know that your pet is covered if the worst should every happen.

dog and owner with medical cones around their neck

What are the benefits of pet insurance?

There are various levels of pet insurance cover to choose from across different pet insurance companies. It's important to look at the different options available to you, every pet is different and therefore you may need different levels of cover. Some of the benefits include:

  • Protection against vet bills if your pet suffers illness or accident
  • Dental treatment, ‘farewell’ cover, lost and found and pets abroad cover
  • Multi Pet Discount - many insurers will offer you a discount for insuring more than one pet
  • Third Party Liability (dogs only) - covers damage to someone or someone else's property

Are there different types of pet insurance?

Yes, much like life insurance and car insurance, pet insurance has different levels of cover for a range of situations. Pet insurance companies usually offer the following options:

Reinstatement or Lifetime Cover:

  • Reinstatement policies (also known as Lifetime policies) offers ongoing cover for illnesses and injuries.
  • Your pet can be covered up to a set amount every year for illnesses and injuries if the insurance policy remains in force. If your pet requires more than the yearly amount, you can contribute to further treatment until the policy is renewed.

Maximum Benefit Policies:

  • Maximum benefit policies provide a fixed amount of money for each illness or injury to help pay for your pet's treatment.
  • Your pet is covered for each illness and injury until the maximum amount has been spent, if the insurance policy remains in force, therefore you must renew your policy each year for cover to remain in place.
  • There is no time limit on reaching the amount however, once the full amount of money has been spent, the treatment of illness or injury will not be covered again.

Time Limited:

  • This covers a set period of time for which each illness and injury will be covered. These policies will typically cover the cost of treating your pet for a particular illness or injury for 12 months from the start of that illness or injury. The time-limit does not relate to the duration of the policy, but to the maximum amount of time an illness or injury is covered for. Therefore, if your policy renewal falls between a 12 month claim period you will need to renew your policy for the cover to remain in place and for your claim to continue to be paid.
  • When the set period has ended, or the fixed sum of money for a particular illness or injury has been reached - whichever comes first - your pet will not be covered for that specific illness or injury again.

Accident Only:

  • Accident only policies provide a fixed sum for each accidental injury to help pay for your pet's treatment.
  • Accident only policies may also include an amount towards the cost of emergency treatment for an illness.
  • Some accident policies will have a 12-month time limit. If cover is limited to a 12-month treatment period, or your pet's treatment will continue past your renewal date, you must renew your policy at the end of the policy period to ensure your pet remains covered for future accidents that may require treatment.

How much does pet insurance cost?

As no pet is the same, no pet policy costs the same. Every factor is taken into account when insuring a pet from their age and breed to where you live so everyone’s costs will differ. Some companies use a risk rating system for example, if you live near a busy road, it may cost more to insure your dog or cat than if you live on a farm.

The cost of your pet insurance will also increase as you increase the level of cover, so you will pay the most for lifetime cover.

If you would like to know more about pet insurance or speak to an expert who can offer advice on which types of cover would suit you and your pet, we would recommend speaking directly to an insurance broker or provider.