*** Update, July 2017 *** American Express no longer sells insurance in the UK.
All current policyholders will remain covered until the end of their policies.
American Express is a well-known and well-established credit card provider. However, many people don’t realise they also offer other financial products, such as pet insurance and travel insurance. You don’t have to have an Amex card to take out their insurance.
An overview of the policies provided by American Express Pet insurance
American Express cover dogs, cats and rabbits. They have 3 level of cover, with several options within each level.
Time Limited: only the one option here, also called Essential, paying up to £1,000 per condition, over a period of 12 months only. So, the condition will only be covered by the policy until the money runs out, or the 12 months pass, whichever comes first. After that, you will have to fund the treatment yourself. This policy also includes third party liability (dogs only), accidental death, theft, straying, and costs towards finding a missing pet. It is understandably cheaper than the other options when it comes to monthly payments, but you have to be comfortable you will be able to afford to pay for treatment, should your pet incur a condition which requires ongoing treatment for more than 12 months.
Per Condition: two options with this level – Standard and Standard Plus. No time limit here, though the policy will only pay up to a certain amount of money per condition. So, if your pet develops Diabetes and the terms of the policy state the limit per condition is £3,000, then once the treatment goes above that, you will have to fork out the cash. The only difference between the two options is that the Standard Plus offers a higher limit on vet fees per condition (£3,000, compared to £1,000 for Standard). Like the Essential cover, this policy also offers third party liability (dogs only), accidental death, theft, straying, and costs towards finding a missing pet.
Lifetime: as with any other insurer, Lifetime insurance is the most comprehensive option for pet insurance. It offers cover for vet fees up to a certain amount (in total, not per condition), which is reinstated every year. The three levels available here are Premier, Classic and Vital, which offer the following:
• Premier has a maximum benefit of £6,000 which is reinstated each year.
• Classic has a maximum benefit of £4,000 which is reinstated each year but within that limit you can only claim £1,000 for any one condition each year. The £1,000 is also reinstated each year which means that the condition remains covered for the life of the policy.
• Vital has a maximum benefit of £2,000 which is reinstated each year but within that limit you can only claim £500 for any one condition each year. The £500 is also reinstated each year which means that the condition remains covered for the life of the policy.
Again, third party liability (dogs only), accidental death, theft, straying, and costs towards finding a missing pet are also included, as well as a few extra benefits (see the policy terms for details).
For rabbits, things are a little less complicated, with one Lifetime option being the only one available. It includes vet fees up to £2,000 per year, hospitalisation/Boarding fees of up to £250 per year and a set excess of £90 per condition, per year.
How much does cover from American Express pet insurance cost?
With almost all pet insurance companies, the cost of pet insurance varies widely depending factors like the age and breed of your pet, and which part of the UK you live in. But to give you an indication, we obtained the following quotes:
- 5 year old mixed breed medium dog: £13.04 per month (Essential), £13.72 per month (Standard), £15.07 per month (Vital), £20.52 per month (Standard Plus), £20.81 per month (Classic) and £29.41 per month (Premier)
- 5 year old Labrador Retriever: 17.53 per month (Essential), £18.44 per month (Standard), £20.29 per month (Vital), £27.73 per month (Standard Plus), £28.12 per month (Classic) and £39.86 per month (Premier)
- 6 year old mixed breed cat (moggy): £6.52 per month (Essential), £6.70 per month (Standard), £7.24 per month (Vital), £9.05 per month (Classic) and £12.07 per month (Premier)
What the experts say
There aren't many American Express pet insurance reviews available online. However, fairinvestment.co.uk have picked them as one of the 4 recommended providers (along with John Lewis, Petplan and Direct Line). Reviews for Amex’s Travel Insurance are more readily available, with Which? Awarding it a 60% satisfaction rate, placing it at number 33 out of 34 providers.