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Pet Insurance

Compare cheap pet insurance quotes

  • Protect your pet from unexpected vet bills at affordable rates

  • Choose from accident only, time-limited, maximum benefit or lifetime cover

  • Find out exactly how much cover suits you and your pet

How does pet insurance work?

Pet insurance is designed to help you cover vet bills.

You can pay monthly or annually for a pet insurance policy. You can then claim for any treatment costs your pet needs if they develop a condition, or suffers an injury, that's covered by your policy.

You'll normally decide on an excess in advance. This is the amount you'll pay towards any treatment your pet needs.

The rest should be covered by your policy, but there's usually a maximum amount you can claim for.

With vet treatment costs often costing thousands, pet insurance can help ensure your pet can get any treatment they may need.

What's the best type of pet insurance to get?

This depends on what you want your policy to cover, and how much you want to cover your pet for.

There are four main types of pet insurance to choose from:

  • Accident only
  • Time-limited
  • Maximum benefit
  • Lifetime pet insurance

Accident only covers your pet against accidental injury, but not illnesses. Some policies only give you a certain amount of time to seek treatment after your pet's accident. Treatment outside of this time limit might not be covered.

Time-limited covers each illness or injury your pet suffers for a set period of time. So if they break a leg, you may be given 12 months to claim for treatment to fix it. Any treatment needed after this period won’t be covered. You might have a maximum claim amount too, and anything over this amount won't be covered either.

Maximum benefit gives you a set amount of cover for each illness or injury your pet suffers. Once this amount has been reached, any further treatment for that same condition won’t be covered.

Lifetime pet insurance covers long-term conditions or injuries for life, as long as they begin during the cover period. The policy will need to be renewed each year for cover to continue, and you might have a set amount you can claim each year.

How much does pet insurance cost?

How much you'll pay for your pet insurance is based on:

The type of policy you choose, as policies that cover more cost more.

The amount of cover you want, as the higher the cover amount, the more you'll typically pay.

Your pet’s age, breed and species, as older pets, as well as some breeds and types of pet are more prone to health issues than others.

Whether your pet is neutered or spayed, as this can help prevent things like testicular cancer.

Whether your pet is vaccinated, as this can protect them from certain illnesses, and lower the risk to insure them.

The excess on your policy, as the more you're willing to pay, the cheaper your insurance costs could be.

To give you an idea of what you're likely to pay, here's the average monthly insurance price pet owners paid, broken down by the age of their pet.

Pet's age Dog Cat
0-4
£16.10
£7.99
5-9
£19.15
£8.75
10-14
£26.91
£14.01
15-19
£34.52
£21.80
20+
£32.01
£20.39

Prices based on Confused.com data taken between 17/04/2022 – 17/10/2022. Costs shown are based on the average price paid for cover across all cover types, breeds, and in all locations.

How can I get cheaper pet insurance?

Anything that lowers your pet's risk in the eyes of insurers could lead to cheaper pet insurance.

So lowering the chance of them becoming ill could be good for your wallet, as well as your pet.

Here are a few ways that might help reduce the price you pay:

Neutering or spaying can prevent unwanted litters and lower the risk of your pet developing certain health problems.

Vaccinating your pet can help cut the cost as pet vaccinations protect them from certain illnesses.

Keep them at a healthy weight and make sure they're fit as this can reduce their risk of certain conditions.

Choosing a higher excess as the more you pay, the cheaper your policy is likely to be. But make sure your excess isn't so high you can't afford to make a pet insurance claim if you need to.

Multi-pet insurance can work out cheaper than individual policies if you have multiple pets.

Comparing quotes for pet insurance can help you find the best deal for you.

Compare cheap pet insurance quotes

What does pet insurance cover?

Exactly what your pet insurance covers depends on the type of policy you take out.

All policies should cover accidental injury, but the amount you can claim for treatment varies.

Depending on the type you have, your policy might also cover:

  • Treatment for unexpected illnesses, although exactly what illness are covered will depend on your policy
  • Boarding fees for kennels or catteries if your pet has to spend time away from home unexpectedly, if you're hospitalised and unable to care for them, for example
  • Liability cover if your pet causes accidental damage to a third party and they decide to take action against you
  • Advertising and reward if your cat or dog goes missing or is stolen

But as with all insurance, it’s important to read the small print to make sure you know what you're covered for. 

What isn't covered is a little more straightforward, as most policies typically exclude:

 

  • Preventive treatments
  • Dental treatment
  • Pre-existing conditions
  • Routine check-ups
  • Treatment for behavioural problems

Does pet insurance cover neutering and spaying?

Pet insurance won't usually cover any preventative treatment. This includes things like neutering and spaying, so you’ll likely have to pay for this yourself.

But procedures like this can help cut your insurance costs as they reduce the risk of your pet developing certain conditions like testicular or ovarian cancer.

Plus, it'll prevent any unwanted litters. So the cost is worth it in the long run.

How much pet insurance cover do I need?

According to the ABI, the average cost of a pet insurance claim is £848*.

But this is only the cost for a single claim. Complicated issues that require multiple claims could cost thousands. So taking out enough cover is important.

Taking out too much cover is a problem too, as this can leave you with a policy that you can't afford.

To ensure you get the right amount of cover, think about:

  • What you want your policy to cover
  • How much excess you can afford to pay
  • How much you can afford to pay each month

This should help you get the right cover amount when the time comes.

Here at Confused.com, you can select between a cover level of £1,000, £2,000, £3,000 or £4,000 - giving you real flexibility over your pet's cover.

*Association of British Insurers study, looking at 1,029,000 pet insurance claims filed in 2021.

What our pet insurance expert says

Getting the right cover is crucial – for you and your pet. Make sure your policy covers exactly what you need it to, and that your excess isn't so high that you can't afford to claim. Pet insurance is a safety net after all, and being able to fall back on it when you need to is what makes it worthwhile. 
Jac Morris Travel & Pet insurance expert signature

Jac Morris

Pet Insurance Product Executive

Need more help?

Does pet insurance cover vaccinations?

No, pet insurance doesn't cover vaccination. 

But, just like spaying and neutering, vaccinations can help lower your insurance costs, so they're often worth shelling out for. 

This is because vaccines help prevent your pet becoming ill in the first place. Insurers then see your pet as less of a risk to cover, and may offer your cheaper insurance as a result. 

Plus, vaccines will help protect your pet from some nasty illnesses, so it's a win win. 

Which pet insurance covers pre-existing conditions?

A pre-existing condition is any health condition your pet has been diagnosed with before you take out a pet insurance policy.

This can include any health issues you've already claimed for. So if your pet develops a skin issue, which you claim for, future treatment for that issue may not be covered once you renew your policy.

This is unless you take out specialist pet insurance for pre-existing conditions. This usually covers your pet's pre-existing condition fully or in part.

Lifetime pet insurance can also help if your pet develops a long-term condition that's likely to need ongoing treatment, like diabetes. Lifetime pet insurance will continue to cover that condition as long as you keep renewing your policy each year. Standard pet insurance may only cover treatment until you renew.

Common pre-existing conditions include:

  • Diabetes
  • Arthritis
  • Breathing problems
  • Obesity
  • Cancer

Do I need pet insurance?

Vet bills can be expensive. And while you could cover the bill yourself, with some procedures costing thousands, it's not always the most cost-effective move.

Pet insurance can help you ensure your pet gets the treatment they need when they need it most. While a policy might seem like an extra cost you don't need, the peace of mind can often justify the cost.

For a more detailed look at vet bills, check out our guide.

When should I get pet insurance?

Generally, the younger your pet is, the cheaper they'll be to insure – so getting a policy early makes sense financially.

But getting cover sooner rather than later is the smart choice for many other reasons too.

Sadly, there’s no guarantee that a younger pet is a healthier pet, and your cat or dog could need costly treatment at any age.

And as all pet owners know, puppies and kittens are furry bundles of energy, making them more accident-prone than older pets. So getting insurance early is still a good idea.

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Our service is free to use and compares a wide range of trusted household names. Confused.com is an intermediary and receives a commission from theidol.com if you decide to buy through our website. Our commission is based on a percentage of a fixed price per pet insured, but will not increase your premium. We pride ourselves on impartiality and independence – therefore we don't promote any one insurance provider over another.