Articles

Pet insurance explained

4 minutes

We want to care for our animal friends as best as we can, but surprisingly, many of us don’t factor in pet insurance. With unexpected vet trips often meaning huge bills, it pays to be protected. 

At LV=, we want to help you find the right pet insurance. Find out everything you need to know below. From how much it costs, to how pet insurance works, and what it includes; we’ve got everything covered. 
 

What type of pet insurance do I need?

There’s a variety of pet insurance available, depending on your pet’s age, health and breed. Most providers offer policies that cover cats, dogs and rabbits, but you can find specialist pet insurance for other animals including horses, birds, small mammals and even reptiles.

What does pet insurance cover?

Pet insurance covers a number of things depending on the type of policy you take out.  Generally, it will cover a combination of the below, but it’s always important to check your policy:

  • Travel 
  • Treatment costs
  • Damage to property 
  • Advertising and rewards if they go missing
  • Boarding fees if you fall ill
  • Theft and straying 
  • Holiday cancellations 

How does pet insurance work?

Pet insurance works the same as most other insurance. You take out a policy and make a claim in the event of your pet needing care. The quote you’re given will depend on what level of cover you need. The most common pet insurance policies include:

Lifetime pet insurance

Lifetime pet insurance lets you claim a certain amount every year up to a chosen limit. This is usually the best option for pets with a lifetime condition that need regular treatment, such as skin conditions, arthritis or diabetes, where you’re going to incur vet bills. Lifetime pet insurance costs more than other policies, but it’s worth it if your pet develops or is prone to long-term health issues. 

Usually, you can opt for the highest level of cover against the following:

  • Accidents
  • Illness
  • Lifelong conditions (for each year the condition is active) 

Lifetime pet insurance policies vary in cover levels, with more expensive plans protecting you from a wider variety of mishaps.

Each provider will differ but generally, lifetime cover includes the following:

  • Straying and theft
  • Advertising and rewards
  • Death 
  • Overseas travel 
  • Holiday cancellation
  • Dog walkers
  • Damage to property
  • Boarding fees
 
With pets being such a huge part of your family, it’s always good to ensure you’re protected even if the worst happens.

Time-limited pet insurance

Time-limited pet insurance is a 12-month policy, covering you for all vet fees during this period. Once the policy ends, you will then be responsible for paying for any treatment or vet bills and any conditions your pet has suffered with may be exempt from future policies.

Time-limited policies tend to be best for:

  • Older pets
  • Pets with temporary medical conditions
  • Pets who are not predisposed to long-term health problems

Time-limited pet insurance is a great option as it tends to be less expensive than a lifetime policy. However, there are some considerations to be aware of:

  • You can only claim for 12 months for each condition. If your pet has the same condition return or appear in another area of their body after 12 months the condition was first noted, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to claim again.
  • You will have to choose a set amount to pay. Depending on the policy you take out, there will be an excess to pay within the 12 months.

Multi pet cover

If you have more than one pet, a multi pet policy is probably the best option for you. It means you won’t have to juggle different insurance providers or remember multiple renewal dates. Instead, everything will be in one place, making it much easier to renew or switch.

Many providers offer discounts if you insure more than one pet, however, there are caps on how many pets you can insurance at once, and often limits how much you can claim per animal.

Most multi pet policies only cover cats and dogs, meaning you may have to take out additional policies for other animals. 

Regardless of the level of cover you choose, it is important to remember: 
  • Certain things won’t be covered. This includes pregnancy, worm and flea treatment, vaccinations  and routine health visits.

Is there an age limit for pet insurance?

With some providers, there is an age limit on pet insurance. This is because as your pet gets older, it’s more likely to need care.

At LV=, there are no age limits although if you're looking for new insurance there may be a limited choice of policies available. Once you have a policy with LV=, whatever type of policy you have, as long as you keep paying your premiums, we’ll keep covering you pet long into their twilight years. 

How do I make a claim?

Making a claim for pet insurance is the same as making a claim for any other type of insurance.

  1. Call your insurer as soon as possible 
  2. Give your insurer the details of what has happened and a cost estimate
  3. Fill in a claim form (this should be supplied by your insurer)
  4. Produce the invoice or receipts

Sometimes, you will need to pay the vet fees before your insurer reimburses you. However, this can vary depending on your provider.

Many different factors affect whether you should take out pet insurance or not. It’s important to consider how likely a breed is to develop a certain illness or problem, for example if you plan on taking your pet abroad.

With pets being such a huge part of your family, it’s always good to ensure you’re protected even if the worst happens.