Understand the different types of pet insurance.
Uncover your pet insurance cover
With so many pet insurance companies to choose from, all with different levels of products and policies, it can sometimes be hard to know what you’re actually covered for.
To help you understand what’s what, this simple guide details what’s typically included in pet insurance policies. You will also find what you may be able to add as optional extras, as well as common pet insurance exclusions.
What does pet insurance typically cover?
The most common reason to take out pet insurance is to cover the cost of expensive vet fees if your pet gets injured or falls ill.
Cover for vet fees is included in all pet insurance policies. The amount you’ll be covered for will depend on the company, product and level of cover you choose.
When you’re doing your research, it’s important to read the policy documents carefully so you know the maximum benefits that’ll be paid out plus any excesses, special conditions and exclusions that apply.
As well as cover for vet fees, most standard pet insurance policies will also typically cover:
- The price you paid for your pet if it dies from an accidental injury or illness
- The price of your pet if it strays or is stolen and can’t be found
- Third party liability if your dog accidentally injures someone or damages their property
What else can pet insurance cover?
Depending on the company, product and level of cover you choose, there are a number of other features and benefits that may be included with your pet insurance.
These may come as standard with a premium policy – or they could be added as optional extras.
Some insurers and policies will provide cover for complementary treatments like acupuncture, hydrotherapy and osteopathy.
This covers some of the cost of dental treatment needed as a result of an accidental injury. Some insurers might help towards cover for the treatment of dental conditions or as a result of illnesses too.
If you or a family member has to go to hospital, and there’s no one else to look after your pet, some insurers will help to cover the cost of your pet’s boarding fees.
Some pet insurance policies will help cover the cost of advertising and rewards you put up to help find your lost pet.
This will help cover the costs if you or any member of your family have to cancel your holiday because your pet goes missing or needs life-saving treatment.
Some pet insurance policies will provide help towards cover if your pet needs vet treatment while abroad – as long as you’re in a country included in the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS).
If it’s recommended by your vet, you may be able to get reimbursed for some of the cost of physiotherapy treatment.
What’s not covered by pet insurance?
While it’s important to get confirmation of what you’re covered for, it’s just as important to double check what’s not included in your policy.
So before you decide what cover is right for you and your pet, look at the policy documents in detail. Make sure you’re fully aware of all the terms, conditions, excesses, exclusions and limitations that apply.
Every pet insurance policy is different, but as a guide, you most likely won’t be covered for any:
- Pre-existing medical conditions or symptoms you’re already aware of before your policy starts
- Amount more than the maximum benefit included with your policy
- Excess you’re required to pay as part of each claim
- Grooming or cosmetic treatments such as cosmetic dentistry or nail clipping
- Illnesses or injuries that first occur or show symptoms within the first few weeks of your policy starting
- Routine or preventative treatments such as neutering, injections and vaccinations
What type of pet insurance should you get?
As well as having various companies and levels of cover to choose from, there are also different types of pet insurance available, including:
- Lifetime pet insurance
- Maximum benefit pet insurance
- Time limited pet insurance
- Accident only pet insurance
Our guide to pet insurance explains the typical types of pet insurance cover – and provides a few pointers on what to consider when choosing a policy.
Other helpful guides
Get the guidance you need to make the right decisions for you and your pet with our go-to pet insurance guides.
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Sainsbury's Bank plc, Registered Office, 33 Holborn, London EC1N 2HT (registered in England and Wales, no. 3279730) is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (register no. 184514). Sainsbury's Supermarkets Ltd is an appointed representative of Sainsbury's Bank plc.
Sainsbury's Bank plc acts as an introducer to Pinnacle Insurance plc who is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (register number 110866). Registered Office: Pinnacle House, A1 Barnet Way, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, WD6 2XX. Sainsbury’s Bank plc and Pinnacle Insurance plc are not part of the same corporate group.