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Lifetime pet insurance

Compare quotes for lifetime pet insurance

  • Covers your dog, cat or pet for its whole lifetime

  • Get a quote in less than 5 mins

  • Covers accident and illness treatment

What is lifetime pet insurance?

Lifetime pet insurance is the most comprehensive policy you can buy and it will cover your pet for every year of their life.

Every year, you'll be given the chance to renew the policy. If you decide to do this, it will remain in place for as long as you need it.

There are annual limits and you usually can't get cover for any existing condition diagnosed before you buy the policy.

So if you want full protection for your dog or cat (or snake, gerbil, or any other animal), lifetime protection is a good option.

Lifetime pet insurance will pay out for most of your unforeseen vet bills for your pet's entire life. This offers peace of mind as ongoing conditions are covered along with accidents and illnesses.

The number of pet owners buying insurance has recently risen by 4.5% to 3.7million, according to the Association of British Insurers (ABI). But to benefit from lifetime pet insurance, you need to stay with the same insurer. So it's important to choose the right one.

By taking your time and researching your options it's easy to find an affordable policy that works for you and your pet.

Does lifetime pet insurance go up every year?

The cost of lifetime pet insurance, or any type of pet insurance, could go up at any time.

Your price is determined by factors including where you live, how old your pet is and their breed.

As your pet gets older and requires more treatment, the price you pay for insurance may rise. This is because as they get older the risk of them needing vet care, and you making a claim on your insurance, rises.

You're not locked into a policy just because it's called lifetime pet insurance though. If you're given a renewal quote that seems high, shop around to see what other insurers are offering. But remember, if your pet developed an illness during your existing policy, you'll be covered. You could find a new policy which is cheaper however, it won't necessarily cover pre-existing conditions. Prior to buying a new policy we recommend you check the policy wording to ensure it meets your needs.

Is lifetime pet insurance worth it?

Pet insurance isn't something you have to have. Unlike car insurance, which is a legal requirement, pet insurance is something you choose to buy.

The type of pet insurance you buy will depend on the cover you want and your budget. If you have three cats, for example, multi-pet insurance could be your best option. But if you just have one dog and you want basic cover, an annual policy may be best.

When deciding, you'll also want to look at the pros and cons of lifetime insurance. While chronic conditions are covered - and the insurance will pay out for treatment for your pet's life - there are limits.

Think about how much you might have to pay out per year towards vet bills if your pet becomes unwell, could you afford an unexpected fee, or do you have savings if needed, do your research and compare this with the cost of the insurance.

How much is lifetime pet insurance?

The cost of lifetime pet insurance depends on your pet. There's no one set price for policies. When you ask for a quote you'll have to give details about both you and your pet.

Insurers use your details to calculate the risk of you making a claim on your policy. This risk level is used to work out the price you'll pay.

As with any insurance decision, it's best to research and get quotes on different types of pet insurance, weigh up the options and prices between them all and make an informed decision based on your own circumstances.

Compare quotes for lifetime pet insurance

Lifetime dog insurance

Lifetime dog insurance will cover the majority of your vet bills for your dog's life, no matter what breed you have.

Policies vary, so always check the small print. There will also be annual limits on the amount of money you can claim.

Ongoing treatment is also covered, which isn't the case with some other pet insurance policies. Including those which are time-limited or accident-only insurance.

Lifetime cat insurance

Vet bills for cats tend to be cheaper than for other animals, like dogs. But the costs are not to be underestimated. Surgery for a cat’s broken tibia can cost nearly £2,000, while treatment for a cat suffering from soft tissue sarcoma can cost over £12,200, according to the ABI.

If you choose lifetime cat insurance, vet bills are covered (up to a yearly limit). So you'll have peace of mind knowing these costs are taken care of.

Yet, this is only the case if you stick with the same insurer and there are limits to be aware of. The price you pay is also likely to rise as your cat gets older.

What's the difference between annual and lifetime pet insurance?

Both lifetime and annual pet insurance policies are renewed on an annual basis. But with lifetime pet insurance, the policy remains in place for your pet's lifetime. As long as you keep up with your payments and renew the policy every year.

The cover remains the same and your pet is covered for any chronic conditions, such as diabetes or arthritis.

Annual, or time-limited, pet insurance tend to provide the basics and cover conditions up to a limit for 12 months.

If your pet needs treatment for something they've previously been ill with or had treatment for, this usually can't be claimed for on your insurance as it's seen as a pre-existing condition.

What’s included and excluded with lifetime pet insurance?

Lifetime pet insurance provides the most cover but not everything will be included.

You'll usually get cover for:

  • Vet bills up to a limit
  • Cattery or kennel costs
  • Third-party liability cover, if your pet is responsible for damaging another person or property
  • Money if your pet goes missing or is stolen
  • Putting your pet to sleep and cremation costs

You may not be covered for:

  • Routine vet bills - such as for annual injections
  • Any pre-existing conditions that occurred before you took the policy out
  • Dental treatment unless it's because of an accident

What are the pros and cons of lifetime pet insurance?

Before picking a new policy, always weigh up the pros and cons.

Pros of lifetime pet insurance:

  • The majority of your vet bills will be covered
  • Ongoing conditions are included

Cons of lifetime pet insurance:

  • You'll need to stick with the same insurer
  • There are still limits on cover per year
  • Conditions that appeared before you bought the policy won't be included

Alternatives to lifetime pet insurance

We've looked at how lifetime pet insurance works but it's not the only option.

  • Maximum benefit means there's a maximum benefit you can claim in a year. This may be per condition or just an overall amount available.
  • Time limited is where there are limits on the amount you can claim per year and per condition. You also can't include conditions already diagnosed.
  • Accident only is usually the most basic, and cheapest, policy available. It just covers claims for accidents.

How to save money on lifetime pet insurance

There are ways which might help save you money on your lifetime pet insurance policy, you could:

  • Pay a higher excess
  • Pay annually instead of monthly
  • Choose lower cover limits
  • Shop around
  • Opt for a different policy
  • Self-insure your pet

Lifetime pet insurance tends to be the most expensive option, but there are ways to save money.

  • Pay a higher excess to lower your monthly costs - just be sure it's an amount you can still afford.
  • Pay annually instead of monthly to avoid paying interest. If you can afford it, always pay in one lump sum.
  • Choose lower cover limits. You may be able to choose lower limits on cover, which should lower your costs.
  • Shop around and compare prices before you buy. Don't forget to check the small print.
  • Opt for a different policy if the price is too high, shop around or consider a different policy type.
  • Self-insure your pet instead of buying insurance. You could put the same amount of money into a savings account. Then the money is available if you need vet bills but if not it's there for you to spend. However as we’ve mentioned it pays to do your research on the reality of vet bills, and weighing up if you will have enough to cover one. For example according to the ABI an example of a bill was £3,800 to treat a dogs dislocated kneecap. The average cost of a claim compared to 2015 has also risen 13% from £721 to £817 according to the ABI research.

Need more help?

What's the difference between max benefit and lifetime pet insurance?

Lifetime pet insurance covers your pet for their entire life, up to a yearly limit. Ongoing treatment is covered for any conditions that have been diagnosed the previous year (but not before you bought the policy)

Maximum benefit pet insurance has a maximum amount you can claim per year. Once this year has ended, you won't be able to cover any condition that has been diagnosed.

Can you cancel lifetime pet insurance?

Yes you can cancel lifetime pet insurance at any point. However, there might be a cancellation fee and an administration fee to pay if you're mid policy.

Do I need lifetime pet insurance?

The choice to buy lifetime pet insurance is up to you. It provides peace of mind and has many benefits, but there are also limits to look at and it's usually the most expensive option.

Does lifetime pet insurance cover accidents?

Lifetime pet insurance will cover accidents but usually doesn't cover routine costs.

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