Owning a pet can be extremely rewarding, but also carries financial responsibility. Veterinary care and medications can be costly, so pet insurance is an important consideration for many pet owners. With so many providers available, it can be daunting to choose the right policy. This article will examine the top 10 pet insurance providers in the UK and what they offer, to help you make the best decision for your pet’s needs and your budget.
Founded in 1976, Petplan is the UK’s largest pet insurer, covering over 500,000 pets. It offers comprehensive accident and illness coverage, including veterinary fees, prescription medications, advertising and reward costs for lost pets, boarding fees if you are hospitalized, and more.
Petplan policies have no upper age limits for pets so you can maintain coverage throughout your pet’s lifetime. Its Select policy also includes routine preventive care like vaccinations, flea/worm treatment and health exams. Customizable annual coverage limits are available from £1,000 to £12,000.
2. Animal Friends
Animal Friends is known for its lifetime coverage policies that never exclude pre-existing conditions. Its Maximum Benefit policy offers accident and illness coverage up to £10,000 per condition for the first year, then renewed annually with lower maximum benefits. Its Accident Only plan covers injuries like broken bones, snake bites and other traumas.
Animal Friends offers wellness coverage options for regular vet visits and preventive care too. Its policies are easy to claim through an app or online portal. Customer service is UK-based.
3. John Lewis Finance
John Lewis Finance partners with Petplan to offer John Lewis branded pet insurance policies with the same robust coverage. Its Total policy includes accident, illness, advertising/reward, holiday cancellation and third party liability protection. Veterinary fee limits are from £1,500 to £12,000.
John Lewis pet insurance offers lifetime coverage with aTransferable policy that you can take with you if you need to re-home your pet. Customers can manage policies and claims through an online account. Discounts are to hand if you insure multiple pets.
LV= provides a wide range of pet insurance plans to suit different needs and budgets. Its Premier policy offers extensive accident and illness coverage up to £15,000, including dental treatment. For £6,500 limits, its Essential policy covers vet fees, loss/theft, boarding and holiday cancellation.
LV= covers pets from 8 weeks to 8 years old and will continue coverage for life. Its policies include third party liability insurance in case your pet causes injury or property damage. Customers praise LV=’s fast claims processing and responsive UK call center.
5. Marks & Spencer
Marks & Spencer Bank offers comprehensive pet insurance including accident, illness and surgery coverage. Policies have annual limits from £1,500 to £15,000. Preventive care like worming, neutering and vaccinations is covered under its Vet Fee policies.
For life stage flexibility, Marks & Spencer features adjustable premiums if you add a pet under age 2. Claims can be submitted by phone, post or through its online portal. Discounts are available when you insure multiple pets.
Sainsbury’s partners with Allianz to provide pet insurance policies including Vet Fee and Accident Only options. For accident and illness coverage, its Premier policy offers up to £13,000 per condition for vet fees. Orthodontics like tooth extractions can also be claimed.
Sainsbury’s pet insurance offers benefits like third party liability, boarding fees if you’re hospitalized, and advertising/rewards for lost pets. Routine vet consultations and neutering coverage are also available. Customers praise fast claims payments.
7. Tesco Bank
Tesco Bank offers four tiers of cover from its Accident & Health policy to its top-end Premier policy with £12,000 limits for accident/illness coverage. All plans include personal liability coverage and legal expenses if your pet causes a motor accident.
Policy benefits include boarding fees if you’re hospitalized, holiday cancellation costs, and lost pet advertising. Tesco pet insurance covers pets from 8 weeks old for life. Customers report seamless claims processes and easy online account management.
8. M&S Bank
M&S Bank offers comprehensive cover including up to £15,000 for vet fee treatment related to accidents and illnesses. Its Premier policy also covers prescription diets needed for treatment. Alternative therapies like physiotherapy are covered too.
M&S Bank pet insurance includes advertising/reward benefits for lost pets and third party liability insurance. We cover pets from 6 weeks old for life. Customers praise the provider’s UK call center and fast claims payment timeframes.
Argos partners with Allianz to offer Argos branded Lifetime Pet Insurance covering vet fees, personal liability, advertising costs and more. Its Comprehensive policies include accidents, illnesses, dental injuries, cancer treatments and hereditary conditions.
Argos pet insurance offers coverage limits up to £15,000 per condition. Pets are covered from 8 weeks old for life. Customers report good experiences getting claims approved and fast payouts within 2 weeks, on average.
10. Bought By Many
Bought By Many offers policy customization based on your pet’s breed, age and where you live. Accident and illness coverage includes vet fees, prescriptions, and transportation to the vet. Its Market Premium policy also covers food costs if your pet needs a prescription diet.
Bought By Many covers alternative therapies, dental illness treatment, advertising costs and more. Customers praise fast claims processing and payouts within a week. Multi-pet households can get discounts when bundling policies.
Key Factors to Consider When Choosing a Provider
With this overview of the top 10 pet insurers in the UK, here are some important factors to keep in mind as you choose coverage for your pet:
- Coverage inclusions – Make sure the policy includes the treatments, services, and liability protections you need. Look for accident/illness coverage, vet fees, prescriptions, dental, advertising/rewards and more.
- Coverage limits – Higher annual payout limits allow for more expensive treatments and surgeries. Limits from £6,000 to £15,000 are common.
- Excess amount – This is the portion of the claim you pay out-of-pocket before coverage kicks in. Typical amounts range from £60 to £150. Higher excesses mean lower premiums.
- Lifetime vs limited policies – Lifetime policies continue to cover chronic conditions year after year. Limited policies impose caps on certain claims.
- Preventive care – Some insurers include routine vet exams, vaccinations, dental cleaning and neutering in their coverage.
- Premium costs – Consider your budget and factors like your pet’s breed, age, health and policy limits.
- Discounts – Many insurers offer multi-pet discounts. Some have breed or age-based discounts.
- Claims process – Look for easy online/app claims filing and fast processing times. This makes getting reimbursements quick and convenient.
How to Get the Most from Your Pet Insurance
Once you’ve chosen the right pet insurance policy, here are some tips for making the most of your coverage and keeping costs low:
- Insure pets when they’re young to lock in lower premiums – rates often increase with age.
- Choose higher excess amounts and coverage caps to reduce your monthly premium.
- Stick with one insurer over your pet’s lifetime for continuity.
- Review policies annually and adjust coverage to meet your pet’s evolving needs.
- Keep detailed veterinary records to provide proof of costs for claims.
- File claims quickly – many policies have deadlines between 1-6 months from treatment date.
- Use preventive treatments like flea/tick medication to avoid disease. Get regular dental cleanings to prevent tooth infection claims.
- For predictable costs like vaccinations, compare paying out-of-pocket versus claiming on your policy.
Following these tips can ensure you get the most value from your pet insurance for your furry family member. Comparing the top providers makes it easier to find the right plan at the right price.