There are so many factors that need to be considered when owning a pet, with the cost of your new addition only being the start of your expenses. Like children, pets can become sick, injured, and even injure other pets out of excitement or fear. These are realities that can cost a fortune and even ruin you financially if you don’t have any financial structures in place.
Thankfully, pet insurance is available to protect you from paying out huge amounts of money when a crisis hits. However, how much you’ll be protected depends on which provider you choose, what they offer, and whether you’ll have to pay any excess. It’s important to insure your pet while they’re still young because the older your pet, the higher the cost.
Listed below are the best pet insurance options in the UK to help you on your way to financial peace of mind.
A Quick Look at the Winners for 2023
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The 10 Best Pet Insurance Providers in the UK
1. Petsure – Best Overall
Petsure is an insurance company that aims to fight for fair insurance for pets, regardless of their age or pre-existing health conditions. They also have great customer service and will take the time to answer your questions and help you through the process of choosing the best plan for your pet.
Petsure offers cover to cats and dogs from the age of 4 weeks and has no upper age limits, unlike many other pet insurances. They also offer cover for pets with pre-existing medical conditions at a higher price. They also offer multi-pet insurance.
They offer tailored cover, which allows you to pick your own limits, excess, and optional extras to suit your pet’s needs. They also allow you to pay your vet directly and don’t have compulsory excess.
They go beyond the typical insurance company and offer unlimited access to video consultations with FirstVet, regardless of the time or day. Of course, no company is perfect, and Petsure could work on improving its attention to detail as a few customers have complained of having to resubmit claims and paperwork. However, with the fairness they strive for, their affordable prices, and tailored cover, we’ve listed Petsure as our best overall pet insurance in the UK for 2023.
2. Agria Pet Insurance – Best Value
Agria Pet Insurance is excellent insurance for those on a budget. They have several lifetime cover options, allowing you to choose the one that fits your budget. Their Lifetime pet insurance covers vet fees up to £12,500, and they are recognized for paying out 97% of their claims.
One thing we particularly like about Agria Pet Insurance is that they have a team full of pet lovers, with the majority of their staff holding an animal-related qualification. This company won the Moneyfacts Consumer Award in 2018, and it was rated as being the most trusted pet insurance provider by the Spring 2021 Fairer Finance Customer Experience Ratings. Unfortunately, Agria doesn’t typically sell new policies to older pets.
3. PetPlan – Best Premium Choice
PetPlan Pet Insurance is a well-loved and popular pet insurance company, coming in as the UK’s top pet insurer. They insure a larger range of pets, including dogs, cats, rabbits, and horses. They also cover exotic animals, which is rare among pet insurance companies.
In 2019, PetPlan paid out £338 million in claims, with the majority of the claims being paid out within 5 working days. They also don’t charge for claiming and can pay your vet directly. This insurance company is a step ahead of most of its competitors and has given around £38 million to animal charities. They are in partnership with many veterinary practices and are highly recommended by many customers.
Although a bit more expensive than other options, PetPlan offers more coverage, making it worth your buck.
4. Tesco Bank
Many pet insurance companies don’t offer new policies to older pets, but Tesco Bank does, and they charge only a little extra to cover your older pet’s needs. They also offer four levels of cover, allowing you to choose the one that works for you. And they don’t charge a cancellation fee, which many other pet insurance companies do.
Unfortunately, they’re quite strict with the kind of pets they cover and won’t offer cover to pets younger than 8 weeks, pets with pre-existing injuries and illnesses, as well as certain pet breeds. However, they do offer discounts for Clubcard members, and you’re allowed to phone or video call a vet if you have any worries about your pet.
You will have to pay excesses and may end up paying higher fees once your pet turns 8 years old.
Previously named BoughtByMany is ManyPets. They’re a pet insurance company for cats and dogs. They cover vet fees for dogs up to £15,000, while cat owners are offered policies that range from £3,000 to £15,000 vet fee coverage. If you have both or a multi-pet household, you’ll receive a 15% discount for the pets that you place on the same policy.
Instead of avoiding pre-existing conditions completely, ManyPets promises to cover conditions that ended longer than 2 years from the start of your policy. They’re also happy for you to pay monthly and don’t charge fees for cancellation or changes to your pet’s policy.
Another affordable pet insurance company is VetsMediCover, which offers a range of cover options listed as Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Diamond. Annual cover for vet fees on the Silver option is £2,000, while they’re happy to cover £10,000 worth of vet fees on the Diamond option—at a higher price, of course.
You’re given access to an online vet, regardless of your policy option, who will offer help, suggest treatment, and even give you a referral to your vet if needed. They don’t cover older pets, but they do offer cover for pre-existing conditions if no symptoms or treatment for it have been present within 24 months. They’re happy with monthly installments and won’t charge extra for it. They offer 12-month and lifetime contract options.
7. Direct Line
If you’ve got a multi-pet household, you may want to look into Direct Line. This pet insurance offers a 12.5% discount to customers with multiple pets on their policy. They also offer home, business, and car insurance, so you’re able to manage all your policies under one umbrella company, which makes things a bit easier.
There is an Essential cover option as well as an Advanced cover option, allowing you to sign up with the right one for your pet’s needs. The basic policy starts at an affordable price of under £7, and they offer cover for up to £4,000. They offer payments directly to the vet, you’re able to submit claims 24/7, and you’ll have access to an online vet via PawSquad.
When you purchase through their partner, Pet Drugs Online store, they will cover prescription fees up to £15, and you’ll have access to discounted pet food, toys, and medication.
8. More Than Pet Insurance
If you’re looking for accident-only pet insurance, take a look at More Than Pet Insurance. An accident-only option is the cheapest, and many other pet insurance companies don’t offer it. If you’re looking for more security, you can choose from their higher options, which are Basic, Classic, and Premier.
A great benefit is that they also offer pets abroad cover, which is included in most of the cover options. If an emergency happens while your pet is away on holiday with you, the vet fees will be covered in certain European countries. As with almost all of the other options, you’ll receive 24/7 vet access via “vetfone”. They offer euthanasia cover and policies for older pets, but those policies come with a higher excess. They also offer a discount on the multi-pet plan.
If you’re on the hunt for good pet insurance for your young pet, Waggel may be the company for you. They offer cover for pets as young as 8 weeks old and cover vet fees of up to £10,000 per year, including reoccurring medical and dental conditions.
Waggel provides 24/7 vet access via video consultation as well as free consultations with a dog nutrition and behavior specialist. They’re also big on perks and rewards, which are always welcomed. Their website is unique and fun, with a personal dashboard that allows you to track your claims once you’ve uploaded them. They respond quickly and provide instant quotes.
Everypaw offers cover for dogs, cats, and rabbits. You’re able to manage everything through their online Pet Portal, rounding up everything to do with your policy into one place to avoid paperwork and emails that can get lost in the process. They offer 24/7 access to a vet team with Petcall, and they offer a discount if you insure multiple pets.
Their lifetime pet cover offers a range of levels that cover your pet’s vet fees to a certain limit, which resets every year. 98% of claims that have been made to them have been paid out. Both therapy and dental are covered by this insurance, but they don’t cover pre-existing conditions.
Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Right Pet Insurance Provider in the UK
What to Look for in Pet Insurance in the UK
People often look for different things in pet insurance, and that is why there are so many different types offering different types of cover. What may appeal to you may not quite be what someone else is looking for according to their pet’s needs. Because of this, it’s hard to directly compare different pet insurances and what they offer, so we’ve created our own ranking criteria to show you how we’ve done it.
We only chose pet insurance companies for our list that offered good prices for decent coverage. Of course, the higher the coverage, the more you’re going to pay. Most pet insurances offer different coverage options, allowing you to choose the one best suited for your pet’s needs at a price you’re comfortable with.
You may have noticed pet insurance companies with cheaper rates, but did you look at how much they cover and what is included? It’ll generally offer less protection.
Among the pet insurance companies we chose, 24/7 vet access via video call was included in all of them. We ranked companies that offered affordable, good coverage higher, along with companies that offered coverage to pets with pre-existing conditions since that’s often not offered by most pet insurance companies. We also listed companies with various coverage options higher, especially those that allowed customers to customize their coverage or offered different features such as pet abroad, euthanasia, or therapy coverage.
We also listed good companies that offer different types of coverage options that may appeal to different needs, such as accident-only insurance, time-limited insurance, and lifetime insurance.
Customer Service & Reputation
Unfortunately, there are many shady pet insurance companies available, and it can be hard to distinguish them from the rest until you experience their underhandedness personally. That’s why it’s so important to read through customer reviews and see what others are saying about the company you’re looking into. We took those customer reviews into consideration when ranking these pet companies.
If you’re involved with a company with terrible customer service and with difficult means of communication, you’re going to encounter a difficult time that could have been avoided when it comes to claims, changes, and even cancellation. We took note of good customer service and easy means of communication when ranking the pet insurance companies listed, along with the achievements they’ve been awarded.
One thing our list of pet insurance companies does not include are companies that have a low percentage of claim repayment—those are insurance companies that you definitely want to avoid because it’s stiffing customers. We won’t recommend such companies, regardless of their benefits.
All the companies listed above have a high percentage of claim repayment, with the highest ones ranking higher on our list. However, we also considered how quickly and easily the process was to get your money, as well as whether they offered the option of paying your vet directly. All these factors affected the company’s ranking in our reviews.
Price of Policy
As we mentioned earlier, you may have stumbled upon cheaper pet insurance companies than the ones we listed, but it’s no good paying for a policy that barely benefits you when you really need it. We ranked companies according to their price in accordance with what they offer. So, although our top-ranked company may not be the cheapest one on our list, we believe it offers the most for its price.
Although we favored companies with lower prices, cheaper isn’t always better. You need to keep in mind that treatment, equipment, and resources surrounding pet care cost money, and all those factors come into play when prices are determined.
However, we did appreciate the companies that were offering multi-pet discounts, perks, and rewards.
We appreciated pet insurance companies that offered tailored or customizable options as some pet owners prefer specific things and like to have a voice in the plan they’re paying for. It’s a valuable characteristic when companies allow you the flexibility to choose your annual limit, add preventative care, add overseas cover, and have the option to pay in monthly installments.
It’s even better when they allow tweaking at no extra fee and offer a platform that makes it easy and quick to do so. However, some people prefer standardized plans because they generally offer everything your pet needs already. Although having the option is great, it doesn’t affect our ranking greatly.
Can I Get Pet Insurance Outside the UK?
Yes, pet insurance is available in most countries around the world. However, they’ll likely be different from the ones listed here as these are UK-based pet insurance companies. If your pet lives in the UK, take out a UK-based policy. If you travel a lot, you can look for a company that offers overseas cover.
Can I Pay for Pet Insurance Annually or Monthly?
Whether you can pay annually or monthly depends on the pet insurance company you’re dealing with, as some are happy with monthly installments while others don’t have this option. If monthly installments are welcomed, there is a high chance that you’ll have to pay interest. Make sure to read through all the information to make the right choice for you without being caught paying more than you expected to.
Is Pet Insurance Worth It?
Many people don’t have large savings to pull from when expensive vet bills come their way due to a sick or injured pet or a pet that has injured another pet. If your pet was in a situation where they needed vet care, and you’re financially unable to pay large sums of money for vet bills, you should consider pet insurance because your pet’s life may depend on it.
Will My Pet Be Covered by Insurance Straight Away?
Although some pet insurance companies market “instant” cover, this generally isn’t the case. The general waiting period is 14 days from the start of your policy. During this time, no claims will be paid.
Which UK Pet Insurance Provider Is Best for You?
Each person’s financial situation and pet’s needs are different, and there is no way of us giving you a definite answer to which UK pet insurance provider is best for you because we don’t know your individual situation. However, all the companies that we’ve listed are reputable and have made thousands of customers very happy.
The higher-ranked companies on our list are the companies we think are best suited for most people. However, if you’re looking for accident-only insurance, for example, our top-ranked pet insurance provider wouldn’t be what you need.
When considering a pet insurance provider, think about your financial situation, your pet’s needs, the type of cover you’re looking for, and what features are important to you, such as overseas cover. Go through our list and read through the different websites to determine which company is right for you.
Pet insurance is often hard to completely wrap your head around and finding a trustworthy one that offers everything you’re looking for at a reasonable price is a challenging task. We’ve listed 10 of the most reputable and trustworthy pet insurance companies in the UK to make your decision-making a little easier. They do differ in their prices, coverage, flexibility, and type, so go through them and choose the company with the coverage and features best suited to your budget and your pet’s needs.
Featured Image Credit: Drazen Zigic, Shutterstock