Every pet owner understands that veterinary costs could be large and unexpected. If your pet suffers an illness or injury, the vet bills can run into thousands of dollars.
This is why pet insurance is so crucial. In a time of panic and fear, you should be only worrying about the health of your pet and not the number in your bank account.
With a variety of pet insurance policies on the market that payout in various ways, choosing the perfect cover for your four-legged friend can be a pretty challenging experience.
Our specialists(including a licensed veterinary doctor) reviewed the pet health insurance industry’s biggest names, conduct comprehensive research, and analyzed a lot of customer feedback.
The best pet insurance organizations will provide you and your pet with extensive coverage, affordable prices with add-on features, reliable customer service, and fast and genuine claims. In the section below, we will present our top choices to help you find the most reliable coverage for your pets in the UK.
NOTE: This is merely a selection for reference only and may not represent the best policies for everyone. Individual circumstances vary and so advise readers to conduct their own research, compare multiple quotes and consult a financial advisor if unsure.
Table of Contents
Best Pet Insurance Providers
On the first spot, we have Emerald Life pet insurance, and we will briefly explain why it is the best choice for your animal friends.
Emerald Pet Insurance offers an excellent value for the money, and they are very competitively priced for the high levels of cover provided.
Emerald Life Pet Insurance has four different levels of pet insurance that you can choose from. All of them are lifetime policies, so you will be able to receive a claim for ongoing conditions as long as you continue the cover.
Also, there are various optional extras that you can choose to have in your pet cover (missing pet, emergency boarding, theft or death, holiday cancellation, emergency expenses, quarantine costs, loss of pet passport, legal liability, etc.)
Emerald Life gives you the freedom to pick the extras yourself and build a suitable pet insurance policy for your furry friend.
Another benefit that you will get if you choose Emerald Life is that you can go to your preferred vet. A lot of pet insurance companies have strict rules and will only allow you to go to specific veterinary doctors.
And to top it all up, Emerald Life doesn’t have any maximum age limit. Older pets are prone to more diseases, and most of the insurance companies have an age limit of like 8 years. But Emerald life cares for every dog, and that is why they give you the chance to insure your animal friend even if it’s over 8 years old.
All of this proves that they are pretty connected with their customers and want to give them only the very best.
And speaking of customers, Emerald life has an incredible 4.9 rating out of 5 from 2.760 happy pet owners. Most of the reviews are completely satisfied with their service, customer support, price, and flexibility. We didn’t manage to find any negative feedback.
If you’re interested in getting your pet insured at Emerald Life, you can get a 10% off using the online code EMERALD. Also, click hereto get a quote right now!
In the second place, we got Bough By Many. We have included them in the second place for a couple of reasons:
- They have a website and application process that is pretty simple and straightforward;
- When making a claim, there isn’t any delay, and they are super professional and payout all the claims without making a doubt;
- The customer service is friendly and always available to hear any type of questions or problems you might have.
Statistically speaking, they have a rating of 4.7 stars by over 11,000 customers, which is a great indication that they really care for their customers and do everything they can in order to satisfy their needs. They also have over 200,000 pets covered so far, and the number keeps going up.
All of the Bought By Many policies are lifetime, so that means that the vet fee cover level resets every year you renew so it will be able to cover an ongoing illness and conditions throughout the whole lifetime of your furry friend.
They offer five different policies, including:
Value (a lifetime cover vet fees up to £3,000)
Pre-existing (a cover for existing conditions that will cover fees up to £7,000)
MoneyBack (a lifetime cover for up to £7,000 of vet fees.)
Regular (a lifetime policy with up to £7,000 in vet expense cover)
Complete (The most extensive lifetime pet insurance – up to £15,000 of vet fee cover, dental cover included, and more)
Another great thing about Bought By Many pet insurance is that they don’t have any cancellation fee. So, whenever you want to change the pet insurance policy or switch to a different pet insurance company, you can freely do it without paying anything. You will need to fill out a couple of documents, and you are free to go.
With thousands of pets insured, PetPlan deserves to get a spot on the top 5 pet insurance list. Petplan is among the most reliable and popular pet insurance companies due to its exceptional customer service and excellent coverage.
They feature exclusive customer support and advice through pethood. It has been voted out as the “Most trusted pet insurance provider” at the Moneywise service awards back in 2017. However, with companies like EmeraldLife offering even better options and coverage, PetPlan has surely dropped down significantly.
This award-winning pet insurance includes various types of cover for congenital, hereditary and behavioural conditions, so here are they are:
Essential (a time-limited policy that covers vet fees up to £3,000 for 12 months straight)
Classic (a lifetime cover for both cats and dogs that covers veterinary fees up to £4,000)
Classic+ (a lifetime policy that will cover up to £7,000 of vet fees per year)
Ultimate (this is the most extensive lifetime pet insurance – up to £12,000 of vet fee cover, death from illness, missing pet, and more)
They have paid over 98% of the claims, so that is nearly £5million paid every week to their customer’s pets fees. This proves that they are a pretty serious business and they want to give the customers the very best.
Also, to request a claim, your veterinarian needs to submit a claim online, and Petplan will directly pay your vet without having to go to their office and submit a document. Their plans have no lifetime or ‘per condition’ claim limit, and the Petplan app makes it extremely easy to support claims via iOS and Android. So it is super easy and can be done only in a couple of minutes. All you need is a network connection and a mobile device or computer.
It is rated 4.3 stars out of 5, and over 85% of the customers renew with them each year. So if you’re interested in this pet insurance, they usually have an online discount that will offer you a 10% off if you register online. So don’t forget to grab that discount if it’s available.
John Lewis Finance is a British institution that was founded in 1864, the department store is well-known and widely respected, and the retailer now offers financial services, including home, pet, and car insurance.
John Lewis only insures cats and dogs. Also, they only offer lifetime policies. So if your lovely pet develops an ongoing condition, they will payout year after year. There is no time limit to the length of treatment provided you renew your policy each year.
They will start insuring your pet from only 8 weeks old, and they have no upper age restrictions. This means they will cover even the older pets as well. But if you’re considering getting your older pet insured, just remember that the premiums that you will be paying will be a lot higher.
They offer three levels of cover, so let’s go a little bit deeper:
Essential (a lifetime policy that will cover all vet fees up to £3,000 for 12 months straight, it also features complimentary treatments, lost pets, and dental injury.)
Plus (another lifetime policy that will cover all vet fees up to £7,500, it also features complimentary treatments, lost pets, treatment food, and dental injury.)
Premier (this is the most comprehensive lifetime policy that will cover all vet fees up to £3,000 for 12 months straight, it also features complimentary treatments, lost pets, and dental injury.)
They are pretty attached with their customers and are offering a 24-Hour VetFone Helpline for every cover. So whenever you need them, they will be there for you and your beloved pets.
Also, we have researched what customers are saying about John Lewis, and we have found out that they are mostly satisfied with their overall service. They are rated 4.2 out of 5 stars by over 1.400 customers. When it comes to signing up with John Lewis, we found out that most customers were happy with their sign-up quotes. The main problems that customers usually addressed were a confusing sign-up process and that their renewal price has doubled after the first years, despite not even making a single claim.
John Lewis pays 95% of claims within just five days. They can also pay your vet directly, subject to your vets’ agreement. If you need to make a claim, they seem to make the process easy. Which is exactly what you should be looking for.
MORE THAN pet insurance review can help you lower your vet expenses and keep your beloved pet safe and sound. They offer lifetime and accident-only that is meant specifically for your cat and dog. So if you’re looking to insure another pet, then this isn’t the right insurance for you. When you sign up with them, you will get access to qualified vet nurses, any time, any day,
They have four different policies that can cover annual vet fees, so find a policy to suit your needs:
Accident Only (this is the lowest type of cover that you can get for your pet, it will cover vet fees of up to £2,500 from an accident)
Basic (your pet will be covered for illness or accidents for 12 months or until the vet fees limit has been reached, and the vet fees limit can range be £1,500 or £3,000)
Classic (your pet will be covered for accidents or illness up to £4,000 or £8,000for each condition until the limit is reached. If you obtain a claim or have any remaining cover benefits you wish to use in the next policy year, then you must renew your policy)
Premier (Also known as lifetime, this policy covers your pet from illnesses and injuries, including one-off, reoccurring and ongoing up to £12,000 each year)
When it comes to reviews, they are rated 3.8 out of 5 stars by 860 customers. So this means that some of the customers aren’t really happy with what they got. As we reviewed, the main complaints about this particular pet insurance company were that the first year the price is really affordable and that every year the price goes up hundreds of pounds without even making a claim. And some of the owners have also complained that they were having some trouble with making the final claim. But the rest of the reviews are pretty happy and satisfied that they have chosen this pet insurance company.
On average, they claim 90% of all claims are paid, and they can pay your vet directly if your vet agrees. Or they can be paid in any way that you and your vet agreed on. So you shouldn’t worry too much about getting the claims approved. You can also submit a claim online 24/7.
At the moment of writing, More Than offers their new customers a 25% online discount when they first purchase a policy. Such discounts are an exceptional way for pet owners to save money when buying a new insurance policy, but premiums can rise sharply after the first year when the original discount no longer applies. And that is the reason why most of the customers complain, so it is really important that you carefully read the document you sign.
You can also start earning cash rewards and bonus points that you can then use to help towards the final cost of your pet insurance renewal.
What To Look For in The Best Pet Insurance
Let’s see the most important things that you should take a look for before choosing the best insurance for yourself and your pet.
Types of veterinary bills covered
Some of the pet insurance companies offer accident-only plans as well as more extensive plans covering both illness and accidents.
The most basic level of pet insurance companies works perfectly to cover you against unexpected vet bills for injury and illness. These types of pet insurance cover the cost of medications, any surgeries required, and even physiotherapy to heal your lovely pet.
An accident-only plan will cover treatment of injuries after an accident, such as a car accident or poisoning. And If you have picked an accident-only plan, the insurance company won’t pay a penny if your furry friend gets sick.
However, it’s crucial to note that many pet insurance companies won’t cover the price of regular check-ups, immunizations, anti-flea treatments, and grooming – will not be covered.
Highest payout limits
Most pet insurance plans have a limit on how much they will be able to pay for your vet treatment bill. Here’s where you need to pay attention to the policy specifications. There might be a payout limit for the whole year, for your pet’s lifetime, or for a type of condition or incident. Or there may be a combination of all of these together. So be sure to look for the highest payout limit possible. This might vary from one pet insurance company to another. Most of the insurance companies will have various plans that have different payout limits. So the most comprehensive plan with the highest payout limit will also be the most expensive one.
The best pet insurance companies will also include an element of public liability cover if your animal injures someone or damages their property (including another pet or livestock). This cover is mostly reserved for dogs, but it can be extended to exotic pets as well.
Most of the top-notch pet insurance policies may also cover the cost of boarding your dog or cat at a kennel or cattery if you have to go to the hospital. Often these boarding charges will be only claimable for periods over five days or if the costs exceed a certain limit, such as £1.000.
Some of the best pet insurance policies will also cover your pet for all or some of the above events while you are temporarily abroad. This is excellent if you have business trips frequently or have a second home overseas.
Cover pre-existing conditions
Pet insurance plans usually don’t cover pre-existing conditions. In most of the cases, a pre-existing condition is a serious medical problem that your pet had before you bought the policy. However, some of the plans will even cover past conditions that have been cured for a fixed number of months, so if your pet has serious pre-existing conditions, be sure to stick with pet insurance companies that will be able to support it.
- Dental cover
Most of the most reliable pet insurers will offer a cover if your pet needs dental work. Dental cover usually only covers accidents, but some pet insurance policies may also cover dental illness. This can be a great thing to consider because some of the dental fees can get pretty big.
- Least Exclusions
Besides the pre-existing conditions, some of the plans exclude coverage for a specific type of illness or condition. The best pet insurance companies won’t have many exclusions, so stick with some of the companies that we mentioned on the list. For example, some of the pet insurance companies won’t cover hip dysplasia, a genetic disorder in which the hip joints fail to grow normally; it’s common in large dogs but can also be found in kittens.
Low waiting periods
Pet insurance plans usually have waiting periods for the coverage policy to begin after you sign up. So this can vary depending on the pet insurance company you stick with. The top insurance companies will have shorter waiting periods. This can be pretty beneficial because you will want your cover to start immediately and not wait for weeks. Mainly, the coverage for injuries from accidents begins within a couple of days. The waiting period for illness coverage is longer, and it may take over 14 days or more.
There are also waiting periods of several months to a year or more for orthopaedic problems. In such cases, if your pet needs surgery during that crucial time period, the plan won’t pay anything.
Another thing that you should be looking for in the best pet insurance company is affordable pricing. Just because they offer good services doesn’t mean that they should charge you a bag of money for it. Most of the time, the pricing will depend on the following factors:
- Pet’s age and breed: The older your furry friend is, the more you’ll have to pay. Some of the breeds are more expensive to insure than others because they do have more health problems.
- Your ZIP code: Another thing that can affect the price is the local costs of veterinary care affect premiums.
- Type of coverage: The more the policy covers, the more you’ll be paying annually.
- Insurance company: Prices vary by from one company to another, so that is why we did extensive research in providing you with the best pet insurance policies at the most affordable rates.
Types of Pet Insurance Cover
Lifetime Pet Insurance
Lifetime cover is one of the most comprehensive pet insurance on the market, and it pays out for ongoing issues your pet may have during its lifetime. There are 3 main types of lifetime cover:
- Annual cover – it has a maximum overall limit that includes all conditions your pet may experience, which resets each year.
- Per condition – it has a maximum limit for specific conditions that your pet may have, which resets every year.
- Per-condition lifetime cover – these type of policies have annual individual condition limits and a maximum overall limit across all conditions, i.e. up to £5k per condition and £10k across all conditions per year.
Both per condition, per year, and also annual pet insurance policies will cover any type of ongoing diseases every year unless you cancel your policy.
Accident only Pet Insurance
This is the lowest level possible to obtain for your pet and is the most affordable to get from the pet insurance providers. Accident only doesn’t cover the cost against any type of disease or illness at all; the only thing that it will cover is the treatment of your pet suffers an accident (such as being hit by a car or an individual).
If your dog accidentally damages or breaks a property or causes injury to another person, it’s possible that you might find yourself facing high and expensive legal fees; more and more people are looking for compensation when problems like this arise. So most pet insurance companies will cover you against costs in such a case and help to protect you against financial risk.
So long as your furry friend doesn’t have any history of aggression, then third party liability will cover:
- Vet bills
- Legal fees
- Damage costs
Note: be sure to see how much will the third-party liability cover and if there are any exclusions.
How does pet insurance work?
There are different types of pet insurance, but most of the pet cover works by assisting you with any unexpected vet bills if your pet falls sick or sustains an injury.
What is the best and most affordable pet insurance in the UK?
We’ve run more than 60 pet insurance policies through our rigorous analysis to help you find the best quality policy for your lovely pet. And we have made a list of the 5 best and most affordable pet insurance companies in the UK, and in the first place, we have Emerald Life. We think that Emerald Life offers the most comprehensive plans at the most affordable rates, so they deserve to be at the number one spot.
How do I choose the best pet insurance?
To choose the most suitable cat or dog insurance, think about the amount of cover you need, whether you want both injury and accident to be covered, how much you want to pay as a monthly premium, and how much excess you will be able to cover.
Sot it really is a balancing act between getting the suitable option for you and the best level of cover for your pet. Be sure to consider your options, and read the section above on ‘the best pet insurance for a closer look.