Pet insurance FAQs

Digby Bodenham By Digby Bodenham

Do I need pet insurance? Can’t I just self-insure?

Self-insurance is a method people use instead of taking out a policy with an insurance provider. It involves taking on the risk yourself by regularly setting aside money to cover potential costs. Whether or not you do this is totally dependent on your personal circumstances. Our article on whether you need pet insurance offers some more information on this.

How does dog insurance work and what does it cover you for?

Pet insurance is designed to cover the costs of vet bills a pet owner incurs because of their pet suffering from an accident or illness. Usually, the owner will receive treatment from the vet and either pay the bill and claim back the costs from an insurer or contact the insurer to pay the vet directly. Pet insurance is unlikely to cover the costs of routine treatments such as flea treatment and check-ups.

The specifics of what it will cover will depend on the insurer and policy you choose. We cover some of the options below.

How do you choose pet insurance?

We recommend that consumers shop around and find cover that suits their needs, which means you may have to put some time aside to read policy documents. The policy that is right for you will depend on your personal circumstances such as how much you can afford and the age and breed of your pet.

To help people compare providers we've written guides to the best pet insurance for dogs and for cats.

What's the minimum age my pet has to be for me to get insurance?

Generally, insurance companies won't insure your pet until they are eight weeks old. However, some policies will have a lower age limit than this, and some higher. It's best to check the policy documents of whichever insurer you're using to make sure your pet will be covered.

For reference, Bought By Many's insurance products will cover your pet after it is four weeks old. You can find out more about our products here.

What's the maximum age my pet can be for me to get insurance?

Many companies will stop covering your pet when they reach the age of around seven or eight. As pets get older, there is a greater chance there will be issues with their health, and they'll need to be seen by a vet more frequently. This means insurers are more likely to have to pay out, so some won't cover pets over a certain age.

Companies that do cover older pets will often charge higher premiums for pets over eight and may ask for a co-payment for treatment on top of their excess.

Bought By Many offers several policies that don't have a maximum age limit. These include our Regular, Complete, Liability Only, Pre-Existing and Moneyback policies. You can find out more about our insurance policies here.

Can I insure more than one pet?

Yes, although not all insurers offer this option. Read our guide to providers that offer multi-pet quotes here. Some companies that do cover more than one animal offer a multi-pet discount.

We offer a 15% multi-pet discount on all of our policies. Have a look at our policies here.

Can I add a pet to my existing insurance?

Some insurers will allow you to add a pet to an existing policy but this might mean you have to take out a multi-pet policy. We have more information on multi-pet policies here.

Is dental cover included in my pet insurance?

Most pet insurance policies won't pay out for dental treatment, unless your pet's teeth are damaged in an accident. However, we’ve created a list of policies here that include dental cover.

Bought By Many's Complete policy offers dental cover as standard. Find out more about it here.

Are there pet insurance policies that include travel abroad?

Some policies will cover your pet if you take it to another country. However, it may be offered as an extra and it is unlikely it will be included in basic policies, so it is important to check if your insurer will cover it.

Aside from our Liability Only and Value policies, all of our pet insurance policies include travel cover for your pet. Check out the rest of the features of our policies here.

What is accident-only insurance?

Insurers will offer different levels of cover, but generally accident-only policies provide a fixed amount of money if your pet has an accident but will not pay out for ongoing or one-off illnesses. However, some policies may include an amount towards the cost of emergency treatment of an illness. Animal Friends offers a policy like this, and you can find out more about that here. Also, there is more information on our guide to dog insurance article.

What does lifetime pet insurance mean?

Lifetime pet insurance (also called yearly limit pet insurance) is the most comprehensive level of pet insurance. It covers all the possible conditions your pet might be afflicted with in the future (not including any conditions your pet already suffers from when you take out the policy) and usually offers a payout for illness or injury. As long as you renew the policy each year, the level of cover will remain the same, although there is no guarantee the fees will not increase. Lifetime policies can be a good option to explore if you are concerned about your pet developing a long-term or recurring illness. All of our pet insurance partners offer lifetime cover. Find out more about our pet groups here.

What does time-limited cover mean?

Time-limited policies allow pet owners to claim a set amount for certain conditions, usually in a 12-month period. After that, no further payouts will be made for that condition. When the policy ends you will be able to renew but the condition you previously claimed for is likely to be excluded. The policy could pay for treatment such as behavioural therapy or physiotherapy after an injury. It is often used by owners with older pets that might be susceptible to illness.

What is per condition cover?

These policies impose a maximum benefit per condition. So, to take the example of an ongoing illness such as diabetes or dermatitis, once that maximum is reached, that condition will then be excluded from further claims and you will need to fund the ongoing treatment yourself.

Who do you complain to about pet insurance?

It is best to first contact the insurer if you have a complaint about a claim or customer services. They should try to help you resolve it. However, if you are still not satisfied with the company's response you can contact the Financial Ombudsman Services.

What is Fairer Finance?

Fairer Finance is an independent organisation that exists to make financial services, including insurance, fairer to customers.

What is the FCA?

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is an independent financial regulatory body. It regulates financial firms providing services in the UK, ensuring information provided to consumers is fair and accurate. Bought By Many and the partners we work with are all authorised and regulated by the FCA.

This article was independently written by Bought By Many. We were not paid to write it, but we may receive commission for sales that result from you clicking on a link to one of our partners.

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