Lifetime is a term used by pet insurance companies to describe how one kind of vet fee cover works. Other kinds of cover you might have heard of include per-condition, time-limited and maximum benefit.
Lifetime cover has a vet fee limit that resets each year you renew. It allows you to claim the full vet fee limit every year. It's a policy that can provide continued cover for conditions your pet may develop during its life.
We believe lifetime cover is better for owners because it can pay for treatment for the lifetime of a pet, which is why all of Bought By Many vet fee policies are lifetime.
How does lifetime pet insurance work?
If you chose Bought By Many's Complete pet insurance, which comes with £15,000 of lifetime vet fee cover, and needed to claim £14,000 for multiple serious conditions in one year you'd have £1,000 of vet cover left for any further issues that year.
But once you've renewed the vet fee limit would reset to £15,000. You could claim up to that amount for all vet fee claims in your new policy year, including for conditions you'd already claimed for.
So if one of those conditions was cancer and you needed to claim £2,000 in a year for it you'd have £13,000 left for all other conditions. And when you renew you could claim for cancer again each year, along with other conditions, up to the £15,000 limit.
There should be no limit to the number of claims you can make and all claims will be paid until you reach the vet fee limit of your policy.
Be aware that some companies have a per-condition limit within a total lifetime limit.
With time-limited or per-condition policies, the vet fee limit is capped after a set time period or for a particular condition. Once that limit is reached, you won't be able to claim for that condition anymore.
Learn more about what each type of pet insurance offers in our pet insurance FAQs.
How much does lifetime pet insurance cost?
Pet insurance prices can vary and depend on factors such as whether you have a cat or dog, where you live and the age and breed of the pet. Larger breeds such as Great Danes and St Bernards are more expensive to insure than smaller ones and the South East of England is the most expensive region of the UK for pet insurance, due to higher vet fees.
Because lifetime policies often have the most comprehensive cover offered by insurers they can be more expensive.
It is worth noting that with lifetime policies your premiums may increase each year. You will, however, continue to be covered for any conditions you've claimed for in previous years of the policy.
Is lifetime pet insurance worth it?
The answer to this question will depend on your own personal circumstances and what you need from your cover.
Lifetime cover can give you peace of mind that even if your pet gets a serious long-term illness such as arthritis, diabetes or cancer you will continue to be covered. You will not be left thousands of pounds out of pocket and your vet fee limit will reset in full each year you renew your policy.
If you decide to look at lifetime policies on a comparison site, make sure you look at the vet fee limits as well as the prices. Some providers offer policies with as little as £1,500 for vet fees. Lower limits make the policies cheaper but they may not cover more expensive vet fee treatment.