Pets are often our best friends, so it's only natural that we want to guard against unexpected bills that might make it difficult to pay for health treatment for them. That's why many people opt to search for pet insurance, but it can be difficult to understand which pet insurance policy will work for you and your pet.
This page helps you find a pet insurance policy that covers everything you need it to. Using our free comparison tool, you can search for pet insurance quotes from dozens of insurance providers to find the one that's right for you.
Choose are an Introducer Appointed Representative (IAR) of Seopa Ltd. Through Seopa Ltd we can provide access to insurance quotations from up to 16 pet insurance providers to help you find a pet insurance policy that meets your needs.
The Choose price comparison service is completely free to use and is designed to make searching for pet insurance as straightforward as possible. We know your primary aim is to find the right pet insurance as quickly as possible, so you can get back to spending time with your pet and enjoying life together.
All the quotes for pet insurance you find when you search via Choose are listed without bias. Like Choose, Seopa Ltd are also independent and aren't owned by or have any investment from any insurance company.
When you click on the links you find on the Choose website, we may receive a small percentage of revenue from the insurance provider. This is how we can keep our comparison tool free, but it doesn't impact on how the quotations are presented.
Choose are also proud supporters of charitable projects in the UK. Every year, we give 5% of our profits to charity, and you can learn more about our current partnerships on this page.
Pet insurance isn't a legal requirement, so many pet owners are uncertain whether they would benefit from purchasing it or not.
Essentially, pet insurance will help you to cover the cost of treatment for your pet if they should fall ill or have an accident. More advanced policies will cover pet death, loss or theft and could also cover any damage they cause to someone else's property.
The best way to work out whether you would benefit from buying pet insurance is to ask whether you could afford an unexpected bill. Veterinary treatment can cost thousands of pounds, and it's often too late once an accident has occurred to think about how you're going to pay for it.
Pets are part of our families, so seeing them injured or in pain can be difficult to deal with. At that point, you're likely to try and pay any bills whether you can afford them or not, so setting up an insurance policy protects against snap decisions and big bills.
Remember, however, that the pets you might want to insure most - older pets or those with existing health conditions - may be trickier to protect. Insurance companies don't want the risk of paying out lots of claims for a pet that's already ill.
As well as this, insurers have different attitudes towards different breeds of pets, such as those dogs with aggressive temperaments or those crossed with such dogs.
Different pet insurance policies will cover different eventualities, so it's always important to read the detail and understand whether a policy is right for you and your pet.
Pet insurance is there to cover non-routine costs such as broken bones or other injuries caused by accidents. Illnesses such as cancer, arthritis and other diseases are also likely to be covered, although there may be exemptions.
Some policies have death cover, although this usually comes with an age limit. If your pet is older than this, insurers may not pay out for death or will require a contribution from you.
If you're worried about your pet going missing, you might want to choose a policy that covers missing pets. Again, read the small print and see whether the benefits of this outweigh the costs. For instance, some policies will cover a reward for the safe return of your pet, but this might be a comparatively low amount that wouldn't act as an incentive.
For dogs, you might want to choose a policy with third-party liability insurance that will pay out if your dog injures someone else or damages someone else's property.
Other common elements of pet insurance policies include overseas travel cover, fees for cattery and kennels, dental cover, and there might be cover for euthanasia, cremation and burial.
As with all insurance policies, there are exclusions to be aware of, and these vary from policy to policy. Remember to read the small print, especially when it comes to age restrictions and exemptions.
You may struggle to obtain pet insurance for older pets and, where it's available, the cover may be dependent on you contributing towards the treatment. Depending on the percentage you'd be expected to contribute, this could make the policy uneconomical.
Pets with any pre-existing medical conditions are unlikely to be covered. These include chronic conditions such as heart and lung conditions or conditions that are historic such as healed bones or illnesses they've recovered from.
Some pedigree breeds of dogs are prone to developing certain health conditions, so you'll likely find there are some policy exemptions based on hereditary conditions. This isn't to say you won't be able to find a policy to cover them, but it may cost more.
Equally, if your pet broke a bone a few years ago, you might find it difficult to get cheap pet insurance for them and be forced to shop around a little more.
Remember that honesty is the only policy when it comes to any type of insurance. If you lie about your pet's age or any pre-existing conditions, they won't be covered if they have an accident or fall ill.
Routine treatment is also excluded, so you'll have to pay for vaccinations, worming, spaying and other similar treatments out of your own pocket. Most policies also exclude pregnancy, so be sure to bear that in mind if you haven't had your pets spayed.
There are generally three types of pet cover: lifetime, non-lifetime and accident only.
Lifetime cover is the most comprehensive pet insurance option, but it is itself split into two categories: per condition per year and annual lifetime cover.
For a per condition per year policy, there are maximum limits for each covered condition. Each year, these limits refresh and so you can claim again within the same condition category the next year. It's also likely the insurance policy will have a maximum claim amount per year - this also resets.
Annual lifetime cover is less complex in that it just has a maximum amount that can be claimed per year, and this resets annually as long as the policy is in force.
Non-lifetime pet insurance cover is broken down into two categories: per condition and time-limit per condition.
Per condition will pay out a limited amount for every condition, and that amount is final. That means you won't be able to claim beyond that amount, even in future years.
Time-limit per condition adds an extra layer of exclusion to the policy. Not only will you not be covered if your pet's treatment goes over the limit, but after a set amount of time (often 12 months) all pay outs in relation to that condition will end.
Finally, accident only pet insurance is the cheapest type of cover on the market and, as the name suggests, it only covers accidents and not illness. If you choose this type of cheap pet insurance cover, you'll be insured if your pet is involved in an accident and the insurer will pay out a fixed amount.
Pet insurance for multiple pets is certainly an option to examine if you have more than one pet in your household.
Some insurers will offer discounts of up to 10% for each additional pet insured with them, as long as the policies are taken out at the same time.
This can be a way of saving time while searching for pet insurance, and it could be especially useful if you buy two kittens at the same time and want to insure them easily.
That said, while the discounts offered by pet insurance companies for multiple pets are attractive, they may not be the cheapest pet insurance option for you and your pets.
You should routinely check whether single policies from different insurers work out to be more economical than a multi-pet policy from one insurer. It might be the case that it's cheaper, but it might also be more expensive to bundle them together.
For instance, if you're insuring two pets of different ages and one perhaps broke a leg a few years ago, checking single policies with different insurers might yield better results.
We all want good deals on pet insurance, so we have to balance that with the convenience of having multiple policies with the same insurer.
Excess within a pet insurance policy is the same as excess within other types of insurance: it's the amount you pay towards any claim.
Insurance companies include a compulsory excess within their policies to deter customers from making minor claims which would be expensive to process. This ensures premiums across the board can be kept low.
However, insurance companies would also like you to pay a voluntary excess above and beyond the compulsory one. This means the amount you'll pay in the case of a claim will go up.
A higher voluntary excess means lower premiums, as you're less likely to make a claim. It's worth working out how much you'd be willing or able to pay in the event of an accident or illness to decide what level of voluntary excess is right for you.
As well as this, be aware that some pet insurance policies will ask for customers to pay a percentage of a claim amount rather than asking for a set voluntary excess limit at the time of signing the policy.
With the potential for veterinary costs to run into thousands of pounds, this could potentially prove to be costly, even if it seems like a good deal at the time.
It's straightforward to apply for pet insurance online. Using the Choose comparison tool, simply select your priorities and search for pet cover from dozens of different UK insurance providers.
If you're searching for insurance for multiple pets, be sure to check both single and combined policy quotes to see if you can save money by bundling them together or whether it's cheaper to choose separate policies.
Once you see a quote you like the look of, simply click through to the insurance provider's website and follow the instructions for getting a more formal quote.
Before you start filling in their forms and formally applying for pet insurance, you'll need to have as many details about your pet available as you can find. It's true this can be difficult for customers with limited prior knowledge of their pets, but always do your best to answer questions.
There are some jigsaw pieces of a pet's life that a vet should be able to help with if you're unsure. For instance, they'll be able to tell if they've broken a bone in the past, or if they've got a breathing condition that might mean you'll struggle to insure them.
Above all, be honest while you're filling out your application for pet insurance. No one wants to reach for their insurance policy at a time of crisis and learn that it doesn't cover their pet for those particular circumstances.
We are independent of all of the products and services we compare.
We order our comparison tables by price or feature and never by referral revenue.
We donate at least 5% of our profits to charity, and we have a climate positive workforce.
Read more about the Choose Promise