Review: NCI Pet Insurance

Ronny Lavie By Ronny Lavie

Summary

NCI recently bought Axa’s well established pet insurance division, and the change came into effect in September 2014. The move attracted quite a lot of criticism from Axa customers, who were worried their premiums will go up, particularly for pets with existing medical conditions.

NCI previously traded under the name Vets4Pets, but that was changed in 2013.

An overview of the policies provided by NCI insurance

NCI offer three levels of cover:

Standard – “A time-limited low cost policy designed to help with the initial costs of veterinary treatment. This offers cover for up to 12 months per incident.” This offers up to £3,000 in vet fees per incident for 12 months, limited complementary treatment cover and up to £1m in third party liability per year (for dogs only).

Life – “Providing an enhanced level of cover for veterinary fees, as well as a range of other benefits to help you care for your dog/cat throughout their lifetime.” This policy includes up to £4,000 in vet fees per year, up to £750 per year complementary treatment cover, up to £250 per year for boarding fees and advertising and reward, respectively, and up to £1m in third party liability per year (for dogs only).

Life Premium – “Our most comprehensive policy, which provides an extensive range of benefits to ensure your dog receives the very best health care possible throughout their lifetime.” This policy includes up to £12,000 in vet fees per year, up to £750 per year complementary treatment cover, up to £1,000 per year for boarding fees and advertising and reward, respectively, and up to £3m in third party liability per year (for dogs only).

A fourth policy – Life Plus was created for Axa customers who were transferred to NCI, to match the cover customer previously had. There are some differences though, so, as usual, it is important to read the small print.

NCI also offer insurance for Rabbits – only one policy, called Life, is available for this, which provides up to £2,000 per year for veterinary fees, up to £750 per year for complimentary treatment and up to £250 per year for boarding fees and advertising and reward, respectively. The rabbit has to be younger than 7 at the time the policy is taken out, and an excess charge applies.

You can get a quote from NCI pet insurance on their website

How much does cover from NCI 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: £15.06 per month (Standard policy), £17.87 per month (Life policy) and £32.27 per month (Life Premier policy)
  • 5 year old Labrador Retriever: £18.55 per month (Standard policy), £30.24 per month (Life policy) and £41.40 per month (Life Premier policy)
  • 6 year old mixed breed cat (moggy): £6.92 per month (Standard policy), £10.61 per month (Life policy) and £14.43 per month (Life Premier policy)

To find out how much it would cost to insure your pet with NCI insurance click here to get a quote.

What customers say

There are very few customer reviews for NCI pet insurance available online. On public forums, the response to the news that Axa customers will now be covered by NCI has been mixed, as most people have not heard of NCI before and so were distrustful (though we should mention there were no actual first hand reports of them refusing to pay out).

What the experts say

Defaqto, an independent researcher of financial products, offers star ratings for car insurance policies. Their ratings are between 1-star (“a basic product, with a low level of features and benefits”) and 5-stars (“an excellent product with a comprehensive range of features and benefits”). Defaqto gave NCI’s Life Premium policy 5 stars, their Life policy 3 stars (making it “a standard product providing an average level of features and benefits”) and their Standard policy 1 star.

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