Direct Line Pet Insurance in Summary
Direct Line are one of the most well known insurance companies in the UK. They provide both car, home, and travel insurance as well as insurance for pets.
How does Direct Line Pet Insurance compare to Bought By Many?
All Bought By Many policies are lifetime, which means the vet fee cover level resets every year you renew so it can cover ongoing illness and conditions throughout the lifetime of your pet. Direct Line do not offer lifetime policies and this is one of the main differences between the two pet insurers.
Bought By Many's Complete policy has up to £15,000 of lifetime vet fees and no other insurer offers a higher level of cover than this.
Direct Line by comparison has a maximum vet fee limit of only £8,000 for customers who choose their Advanced policy. Once you've reached this limit in vet fees for treating a condition, you will no longer be covered for that condition. This policy is known as Maximum Benefit and is not as comprehensive as lifetime policies.
Bought By Many believe pet insurance should last a pet’s entire life and only offer lifetime policies.
One other difference between Direct Line and Bought By Many is that all Bought By Many policies cover conditions that ended more than two years ago. They also offer a policy that can cover more recent pre-existing conditions that ended at least three months ago.
Unlike many pet insurers, Bought By Many allow new customers to make an immediate claim if they switch from another pet insurance provider straight to Bought By Many. Direct Line apply a 14 day exclusion period before customers can make a first claim.
At the time of writing, Direct Line offers 12 months pet insurance for the price of nine as an online introductory discount; this is applied over the first 12 months. All discounts are applied consecutively.
Bought By Many do not offer introductory discounts and believe it is unfair that existing customers should have to pay more for premiums than new customers.
Online discounts are a great way for pet owners to save money when buying a new insurance policy but premiums can increase sharply after the first year when the introductory discount no longer applies.
However, if you want to insure more than one pet on the same policy, Bought By Many do have one of the highest multi-pet discounts on the market at 15% which is higher than Direct Line's 12.5% multi-pet discount.
They also have a Moneyback policy where customers can get 20% of their pet insurance premium back if they don't claim in a policy year. Direct Line do not offer an equivalent money back offering.
If you're worried about your pet and need quick advice, Direct Line customers can access free 24-hour online veterinary consultations through their partnership with Pawsquad. Any question or concerns can be discussed via video consultation or text with a UK qualified veterinary professional who will be available to help.
Bought By Many don't offer a vet helpline but have instead partnered with FirstVet who provide 24/7 free unlimited access to video consultations with qualified vets, through the FirstVet app.
We've compared the top levels of cover that we and Direct Line offer. The table uses our Complete policy.
|Bought By Many||Direct Line|
|Highest level of vet fee cover||£15,000||£8,000 (Advanced policy)|
|Video vet calls as standard||Yes||No (24/7 free online vet access with PawSquad)|
|Claims waiting period is removed if you switch to the provider||Yes||No (14 day waiting period applies)|
|Lifetime cover||All policies||No|
|Excess payable||Once a year||Per new claim|
|Multi-pet discount||15% discount for pets insured on the same policy||12.5%|
|Cover for dental accidents and illness||Yes (Complete policy only)||Yes (Advanced policy only)|
Overview of the cover provided by Direct Line Pet Insurance policies
Direct Line offers two pet insurance policies, Essential and Advanced. Both come with 12 months pet insurance for the price of 9 when you buy online.
- Essential is a time-limited policy, allowing you to claim up to a total of £4,000 per condition in vet fees for a period of 12 months, beginning from the first date of treatment.
- Advanced, has no time-limit on claims, and has a higher limit of £8,000 per condition.
If you’re looking for a pet insurance plan that goes beyond medical cover (vet bills), Direct Line also offers a range of optional additional covers. You can select from third-party liability for dogs, overseas cover and a package of 5 additional covers including accidental death and money to pay for advertising and reward fees if your pet strays, gets lost, or is stolen. All optional add-ons are available for both the Essential or Advanced policies.
Do Direct Line have any age restrictions for their Pet Insurance?
Direct Line will insure dogs or cats aged between 8 weeks and an upper age limit shown in the policy document. It may be worth checking upper age limits with Direct Line before you purchase as they may vary by breed.
How much does pet insurance from Direct Line cost?
With almost all pet insurance companies, the cost of pet insurance varies widely depending on factors like the age and breed of your pet, in which part of the UK you live in and whether you buy any extras.
Find out how much your quote is on the Direct Line pet insurance site.
Are there other dog insurance or cat insurance policies you'd like to research?
This article on Direct Line Pet Insurance is part of a series of reviews we are featuring on different pet insurance companies, and the policies they offer for dogs and cats. See our articles on the best pet insurance for dogs and cats for more information on how Direct Line fares against their competitors.