Direct Line Pet Insurance

What Does Direct Line Pet Insurance Cover

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Pet insurance can provide invaluable financial protection for pet owners by helping cover the costs of veterinary care. With rising vet bills, having coverage for your furry friend is becoming increasingly important. Direct Line is one of the major pet insurance providers in the UK, but what exactly does their pet insurance cover? This article will provide an in-depth look at Direct Line’s pet insurance coverage options.

Overview of Direct Line Pet Insurance

Direct Line offers three levels of cover for dogs and cats – Basic, Standard and Premier. Each policy includes some core elements:

Veterinary fees coverage – This covers the cost of veterinary treatment, including consultations, medications and surgical procedures. The level of fees covered will depend on the policy selected. 

Third party liability cover – Covers costs if your pet injures someone or damages their property. 

Finding a stray dog cover – Covers costs if you take in a stray dog and need to advertise to find its owner.

Overseas emergency vet treatment – Covers emergency vet treatment while travelling in EU countries and select non-EU destinations.

In addition to these core covers, you can add optional extras for additional premiums, such as theft and straying cover or death from illness cover.

Direct Line Basic Cover

The Basic policy is Direct Line’s most affordable pet insurance option. Here’s what’s included:

Veterinary Fees

Covers vet fees up to £1,500 per condition, per year. This increases to £2,000 for dogs once they reach 8 years old.

15% excess applies, meaning you pay the first 15% of any claim.

Third Party Liability 

Covers costs up to £1 million per incident.

Finding a Stray Dog

Covers costs up to £250.

Overseas Emergency Vet Treatment

Emergency treatment covered up to £1,000 when travelling in the EU. Up to £500 for approved non-EU countries.

The Basic policy can suit pets in good health who need basic cover for vet consultations, medications and minor injuries. However, the fees limit may fall short for surgeries or complex conditions.

Direct Line Standard Cover 

This middle-tier option increases your vet fees cover and includes a few extra benefits:

Veterinary Fees

Covers vet fees up to £4,000 per condition, per year. Increases to £5,000 once dogs reach 8 years old.

15% excess applies.

Third Party Liability

Covers costs up to £1 million per incident.

Finding a Stray Dog 

Covers costs up to £250. 

Theft and Straying

Covers costs if your pet is lost or stolen, up to £1,000.

Overseas Emergency Vet Treatment

Emergency treatment costs covered up to £1,000 in EU and approved non-EU countries.

The higher vet fees limit provides more extensive cover for things like knee operations, cancer treatment and other complex conditions. The addition of theft and straying is also useful for owners whose pets spend time outdoors.

Direct Line Premier Cover

This top-tier policy provides Direct Line’s maximum level of cover:

Veterinary Fees

Covers vet fees up to £7,500 per condition, per year. Up to £10,000 for dogs once they reach 8 years old. 

15% excess applies.

Third Party Liability

Covers costs up to £1 million per incident.

Finding a Stray Dog

Covers costs up to £250.

Theft and Straying 

Covers costs up to £1,000.

Death from Illness

Pays a percentage of the purchase price if your pet dies from an illness. Up to 100% for pets under 1 year old, reducing to 20% for pets aged 8 and over.

Holiday Cancellation

Covers travel costs up to £1,000 if you have to cancel your holiday because your pet needs emergency surgery within 14 days of departure.

Overseas Emergency Vet Treatment

Covers costs up to £1,000 in EU countries and approved non-EU destinations.

The Premier policy offers Direct Line’s highest level of cover, with vet fee limits up to £10,000 and added benefits like death from illness and holiday cancellation cover. It provides very comprehensive protection for pets.

Optional Extra Covers from Direct Line

Pet owners can further tailor their Direct Line policy by adding these optional sections of cover:

Accidental damage: Covers costs if your pet damages someone else’s property, up to £250,000.

Personal accident cover: Pays out set amounts if you die or are injured by your pet. Up to £10,000 for death, £2,000 for loss of limb/sight.

Pet holiday delay: Covers additional kennel/cattery costs if your return from holiday is delayed, up to £250. 

Vet fee excess: Lowers your vet fee excess to just 10% rather than 15%.

Adding extras will increase your premium but can provide protection against a wider range of scenarios.

Key Exclusions to Be Aware Of

While Direct Line policies offer relatively comprehensive coverage, some exclusions apply:

Pre-existing conditions: Any illnesses or injuries that occurred before the policy started are excluded.

Age limits: Coverage ends once pets reach a certain age, typically 8 or 10 years old for dogs and 10 years for cats. 

Routine treatments: Costs like preventative healthcare, grooming and dental procedures are not covered.

Elective treatments: Cosmetic procedures and tail docking/ear cropping are excluded.

Pregnancy and breeding: Costs relating to breeding and pregnancy complications are excluded.

Checking the full policy terms is advised so you understand exactly what is and isn’t covered by your pet insurance.

Are Direct Line’s Premiums Competitive?

Direct Line offers some of the most competitive pet insurance premiums in the UK market. Premiums are influenced by factors like:

Your pet’s breed, age and medical history.

The level of cover you select. Higher cover has higher premiums.

Optional extras added to your policy.

The excess you choose. A higher excess reduces your premium.

Where you live. Premiums vary by region.

To keep premiums affordable, Direct Line has some caps in place. For instance, once your pet reaches a certain age, premiums won’t continue increasing. This prevents policies becoming too costly as pets get older.

Getting quotes from multiple insurers is wise, but Direct Line tends to offer very reasonably priced premiums for the cover provided. Their policies are worth considering if you want comprehensive protection on a budget.

How Do I Claim on My Direct Line Pet Insurance?

Making a claim with Direct Line involves:

1. Seeking treatment

Take your pet to the vet and pay the bill yourself. Make sure you get detailed invoices showing the diagnosis and all treatment costs.

2. Filing your claim 

You can claim online or by post. Submit your invoices, receipts and a completed claim form.

3. Settling your claim

Direct Line will assess your claim and settle accepted claims by bank transfer or cheque. Excess will be deducted.

You have up to one year from the treatment date to make a claim. Keep claims within policy limits and provide all necessary details to avoid delays or rejections.

Is Direct Line Pet Insurance Worth It?

Taking out pet insurance is a very personal decision based on your finances and attitudes to risk. There are a few factors that make Direct Line policies worth considering:

Reasonable premiums: Their premiums are very fair for the coverage provided across their Basic, Standard and Premier policies.

Choice of cover: You can select the level of cover that suits your budget and needs. Lots of add-ons are available too.

Clear policy structure: Everything is laid out in a transparent way so you know what is and isn’t covered. No nasty surprises.

Smooth claims: Direct Line has a reputation for hassle-free claims and prompt payouts. 

Highly rated provider:  Direct Line consistently scores 5/5 on review sites like Trustpilot, with many positive customer reviews.

Before choosing any policy, thoroughly researching the market is advisable. But based on premiums, cover options and service, Direct Line provides strong pet insurance worth considering.

Top Tips for Buying Direct Line Pet Insurance

Follow these tips when buying Direct Line cover:

Use their pet insurance calculator to get an initial premium estimate. 

Consider your pet’s health risks when selecting your level of cover. Higher premiums provide more protection.

Pick an excess you are comfortable paying when claiming. A higher excess reduces your premiums.

Add relevant optional covers to suit your needs – like theft/straying cover for outdoor pets.

Make sure your pet’s pre-existing conditions are noted on your policy documents.

Set up automatic premium payments to ensure continuous cover for your pet.

Update Direct Line if you move house or change your pet’s details. This may affect your premium.

Avoid gaps in cover by renewing your policy in plenty of time each year.


Direct Line offers a strong range of pet insurance policies at competitive premium prices. Their Basic, Standard and Premier covers provide increasing levels of vet fees and other financial protection to suit different budgets and needs. While exclusions apply, their policies can provide valuable peace of mind against hefty vet bills. When purchasing pet insurance, it is advisable to take the time to assess your pet’s risks and clearly understand policy terms. But overall, Direct Line represents a solid option worth considering to keep your furry friend protected.

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