Do your pets need travel insurance?

4 January 2022 - 3 min read
A labrador at the beach

Having a pet can add an extra layer of complexity to planning a holiday. Do you leave them with family or friends, take them to a kennel or cattery, or bring them with you?

Taking pets on a long-haul flight (though possible) can be tricky, but trips in Europe, and certainly within the UK, are more than doable.

If you’re planning to bring them along for the trip, it’s a good idea to check whether your pet insurance includes cover for travel abroad.

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Do pet insurance policies cover my pet abroad?

A lot of the big pet insurance companies do offer cover for your pet while abroad, although it's often an optional extra that costs more.

We cover up to 90 days of travel abroad on our Complete policy. And you can add cover for European travel on some of our other policies.

The level of cover offered by different companies varies massively so you need to check the wording of your chosen providers individually.

Third-party liability is often available for dog travel policies, but this won't cover vet treatment if your pet is sick or injured. Some providers limit their cover to travel within Europe, so make sure you read the terms and conditions of your policy.

Pet insurance for longer trips abroad

Most providers will only cover a certain length of time abroad, typically 30-60 days.

Our Complete policy includes 90 days cover for your pet abroad as standard.

A handful of pet insurance companies offer more than 90 days of foreign travel cover, usually as an optional extra.

  • MiPet Cover - only on certain policies - 180 days

  • Agria - travel add-on - 120 days

  • Kennel Club - travel add-on - 120 days

Is pet travel insurance a legal requirement?

It's not a legal requirement to have pet insurance if you're taking an animal abroad but it can make life easier and save you money if something does go wrong.

Do travel insurance policies include cover for pets?

We couldn’t find any standard travel insurance policies that offer cover for pets.

But policies do vary so check the small print, or call your provider to find out whether or not a pet can be covered under your policy.

What about a standalone pet travel insurance policy?

Although specialist insurers have previously offered standalone policies for travelling abroad with your pet, there were none available in November 2021.

If your current pet insurance provider doesn’t have the cover you need, your only option would be to switch to an alternative provider that does.

What is the Pet Travel Scheme?

The Pet Travel Scheme is a set of rules that allows you to travel within the EU with your pet dog, cat or ferret without having to spend time in quarantine when you come back to the UK.

Since Brexit in January 2021, the rules for travelling with your pets have changed. The main difference is that you can no longer use a pet passport issued in Great Britain. Instead, you’ll need to get an animal health certificate.

You can get an animal health certificate through your vet, but your pet must also:

  • Be microchipped

  • Be vaccinated against rabies

  • Have treatment for tapeworms and ticks (and have an official certificate to show for it)

You’ll also need an animal health certificate to travel to Northern Ireland, even though it’s part of the UK.

Rules about travel with pets between Great Britain, Northern Ireland and the EU may continue to change so it's worth checking what they are when you plan to travel.

You can see the latest guidelines for cats and dogs on the Government's site.

How about travel within the UK?

If your dog becomes unwell and needs to see a vet near where you’re staying, your UK pet insurance should cover this just as they would if you went to your usual vet.

Read your policy document or call your provider to make sure.

At ManyPets, we include 24/7 online vet access with all our policies so you can get help and advice, wherever you travel to.

There are lots of great dog-friendly destinations in the UK. PetsPyjamas even offers dog-friendly holidays. You can compare hundreds of places to stay around the UK, and even a few locations in Europe, that allow dogs.

There are hotels for everything from beachfront holidays to city mini-breaks and romantic getaways in the country.

Before you set off, make sure you know the laws about how your pet should be secured in your car - bon voyage!

Ronny Lavie
Content creator

Ronny Lavie is a former content creator for ManyPets. She has gone on to write for a number of financial services sites, including the Fintech Times and Finder.