best pet insurance in the UK

What is the best pet insurance in the UK?

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Choosing the right pet insurance in the UK can be a daunting task with so many providers and policies to consider. Getting it right is important to ensure your furry friend receives the best care when they need it most. This article will guide you through the key factors to consider when choosing pet insurance, provide an overview of the top pet insurers in the UK, and make some recommendations on the best options currently available.

What to consider when choosing pet insurance

There are several important factors to weigh up when choosing a pet insurance policy:

Level of cover

Pet insurance policies offer different levels of cover, from basic policies that may just cover vet fees, to more comprehensive plans that also include liability and overseas cover. Think about what’s most important for your pet’s breed, age and health status. Older pets or those with pre-existing conditions usually need a higher level of cover.

Excesses and benefit limits  

The to much is the amount you pay towards each claim. Lower excesses cost more but can be worthwhile for pets prone to illness or injury. Benefit limits cap the maximum payout per condition or year, so choose unlimited or high limits for full protection.

Included conditions and treatments

Make sure the policy covers all common conditions your pet’s breed is prone to. For example, hip dysplasia in larger dogs. Also check it includes cover for cruciate ligament problems, cancer treatment and MRI scans if required.

Annual cost

Premiums vary hugely between providers. Weigh up the cost versus the policy features rather than going by price alone. Multi-pet and loyalty discounts can help reduce premiums.

Insurer reputation and policy transparency 

Go with an established provider who is open and clear about policy terms, exclusions and the claims process. Check customer reviews to see if they deliver on promises.  

Lifetime vs annual policies

Lifetime pet insurance means the condition is covered for the lifespan of your pet, whereas annual policies reset each year. Lifespan cover is usually best but can cost more.

Top pet insurance providers in the UK

Here is an overview of some of the leading pet insurance providers in the UK to consider:


One of the UK’s original pet insurers, known for comprehensive cover and a transparent claims process. Offers lifetime policies, extensive accident and illness cover and a range of annual limits. Excellent reputation but premiums are higher.

Animal Friends

Known for affordable and flexible cover. Offers a choice of accident-only or lifetime cover for both illness and injury. Maximum benefit limits apply but are adjustable. Vet fee policies have a fixed excess.

John Lewis Finance

John Lewis pet insurance offers lifetime cover as standard. Policies feature unlimited benefits, a choice of excesses andcover for pre-existing conditions. Rated highly for customer service and value for money.

Sainsbury’s Bank

Good quality cover from a trusted name. Sainsbury’s pet policies offer lifetime vet fee cover with high annual limits. Includes cover for dental treatment and cruciate ligaments. Monthly premiums available.


Specialist multi-pet insurance. Covers up to 6 pets on one policy with flexible annual vet fee limits per pet. Accident and injury cover comes as standard. Discounts for insuring multiple pets.

Direct Line

One of the UK’s leading insurers. Direct Line offers comprehensive accident and illness cover including all major conditions. Policies have an annual limit which can be adjusted. Higher excesses apply. 

What is the great pet insurance in the UK?

Based on the key factors to look for and the leading insurers currently available, here are my top recommendations for pet insurance in the UK:

Best Overall – Petplan 

Petplan tops my list for offering true lifetime cover across their Grow, Advance and Ultimate policies. Their cover is extensive, with few exclusions and high annual limits. Claims are processed quickly and smoothly. Pricing is at the higher end but justified for the quality of cover. Ideal for pets prone to illness and injury.

Most Affordable – Animal Friends

For budget-friendly premiums, Animal Friends offers great value insurance. Their accident-only Insurance and Bronze lifetime cover balance affordability with essential vet fees protection. Maximum benefits per year do apply so it suits pets in good health.

Best for Older Pets – John Lewis Finance

John Lewis pet insurance is ideal for ageing pets thanks to providing lifetime cover with no upper age limits. Their Gold policy has unlimited benefits to ensure ongoing conditions are fully covered. Pricing is very reasonable for comprehensive cover.

Best Multi-Pet – ManyPets 

Getting cover for several pets under one policy, ManyPets is a top choice for multi-pet homes. Customise cover for each pet and only pay one combined premium. Offers a discount of up to 15% for every additional pet insured.

Best from a Supermarket – Sainsbury’s Bank

For trusted insurance from a leading supermarket, Sainsbury’s Bank offers one of the best pet policies. Provides extensive lifetime veterinary cover including dental treatment. Higher excesses apply but prices are reasonable.


Choosing the right pet insurance gives you peace of mind that your furry friend will receive prompt treatment and the best care well into their senior years. Take the time to fully understand what each policy offers. Opting for lifetime veterinary cover from a reputable provider will provide the highest level of protection. John Lewis, Petplan and Animal Friends stand out as top choices based on cover inclusions, benefits and insurer reputation.


Q1: Which is the best pet insurance provider in the UK?

The best pet insurance provider in the UK can vary depending on your specific needs and your pet’s health. Some popular options to consider are companies like Petplan, John Lewis Finance, and Animal Friends. It’s essential to compare their coverage, prices, and customer reviews to determine which one is the best fit for you and your pet.

Q2: What factors should I consider when choosing pet insurance in the UK?

When choosing pet insurance in the UK, consider factors like the type of coverage (accident-only, time-limited, or lifetime). Your pet’s breed, age, and any pre-existing conditions. Additionally, compare deductibles, annual limits. And customer reviews to find a policy that suits your needs and budget.

Q3: How much does pet insurance typically cost in the UK?

The cost of pet insurance in the UK varies depending on several factors, including your pet’s age, breed, and the type of coverage you choose. On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from £10 to £60 per month for pet insurance. To get an accurate quote, it’s best to contact insurance providers directly and provide them with your pet’s details.

Q4: Does pet insurance in the UK cover routine check-ups and vaccinations?

Most standard pet insurance policies in the UK do not cover routine check-ups and vaccinations. Yet, certain comprehensive plans might include wellness benefits as extras. It’s essential to review the policy details and consult with the insurance provider to understand what is and isn’t covered.

Q5: Can I switch my pet insurance provider in the UK if I’m not satisfied with my current one?

Yes, you can switch your pet insurance provider in the UK if you are not satisfied with your current coverage. Before switching, check your current policy’s terms, like cancellation fees and notice periods. Make sure the new policy suits your pet’s needs and your expectations by comparing other providers.

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