Pet insurance FAQs

19 May 2023 - 5 min read

We don't want pet insurance to be confusing but with so many companies and policies and companies out there we know pet parents are bound to have questions.

At its core, pet insurance is there to help cover the cost of treating a pet if they suffer from an accident or illness. However, policies work in different ways and there are limits and terms and conditions that determine what is and isn't covered.

Hopefully, this page will answer some of the most common questions about pet insurance and help you choose a policy that is right for you.

If you have questions about ManyPets policies, why not try our ManyPets help centre.

Do I need pet insurance? Can’t I just self-insure?

Self-insurance is when people put money aside to cover potential vet costs rather than paying for an insurance policy.

The risk with it is that you don't know when your pet might need treatment and how much it will cost.

If you've only been saving for a few months and your pet has an expensive operation it's unlikely you'll have enough set aside. And if your cat or dog needs regular treatment it can quickly chip away at any savings.

If you have a lifetime pet insurance policy your vet fee limit will reset every year you renew. Our Complete policy would give you £15,000 of cover every year.

Even common issues like cuts and vomiting can cost hundreds of pounds to treat and more serious conditions can easily cost thousands. This is why many people choose to insure their pets.

There is information about self-insurance in our article on whether you need pet insurance.

How does a pet insurance excess work?

The excess is an amount taken by an insurer when they pay out a claim.

The reason insurers take some of the claims is to keep the cost of policies down and ensure they don't lose money on claims so they can continue to cover more pets.

Many companies take an excess payment from every claim but at ManyPets we only take an excess once a policy year.

We have a range of excess options depending on the policy you choose and age of your pet. For pets under nine you have the option of a £69, £99, £130 or £160 excess.

Changing the excess will influence your premium. In general, a higher excess will lower your premiums.

So if you choose our £99 excess and your first claim in a policy year is £199, we could pay out £100 and then you do not need to make any other excess payments when you claim in that policy year.

Insurers also often give a co-payment options or make it compulsory for older pets. It's not quite the same as an excess. A co-payment is a percentage of the claim the customer will pay (aside from any excess payments). Having a co-payment can lower your premium but it will mean you have to pay for some of the treatment.

To help people compare providers we've written guides to the best pet insurance for dogs and for cats.

What's the minimum age my pet has to be for me to get insurance?

Most insurers won't cover pets until they are a few weeks old. Although you can get a quote before they reach that age and buy a policy in advance to start on the date your pet is old enough.

ManyPets policies cover pets that are at least 4 weeks old.

Other insurers may have different minimum age limits.

Find out more about our pet insurance.

Does pet insurance have a maximum age limit for pets?

Most of our policies have no upper age limit and will cover pets of any age.

However, some companies may not offer new policies to older pets.

If you already have a policy, you may find it has a compulsory excess and co-payment to keep premium costs down when your pet reaches a certain age. This usually happens when your pet turns nine.

Can I insure more than one pet?

Yes, many companies offer a multi-pet discount if you insure more than one pet with them.

We love being there for all your cats and dogs so our multi pet insurance offers a discount of up to 15% when you insure more than one pet with us. You can mix-and-match plans, choosing the level of cover suitable for each of your pets. (Our multi-pet discount is not currently available on our Value 2k policy).

No all companies offer a multi-pet discount but they should still let you insure multiple pets with them.

Is dental cover included in my pet insurance?

Dental cover for accidents is often included in pet insurance policies. However, dental illness, such as tooth rot or gum disease, tends only to be covered by the most comprehensive policies.

These kinds of conditions can be more common among pets as they get older so some policies exclude dental illness because there's more chance the owner will claim for it.

Our Complete policy includes cover for dental accidents and illness as standard as part of the £15,000 annual vet fee year as standard.

We’ve also created a list of pet insurance policies that include dental cover for illness.

What is accident-only insurance?

Accident-only pet insurance pretty much does what it says on the tin. It will only cover vet treatment related to accidents.

This kind of policy is not that common and it tends to be cheaper. But obviously, it excludes a large number of conditions that pets can develop.

And remember, if your pet develops a condition while you have this policy and you then try to switch to a policy that covers other issues, the condition will be classed as pre-existing and won't be covered.

What does lifetime pet insurance mean?

Lifetime (or yearly limit) insurance covers vet fees up to the stated limit every year. When you renew your policy the vet fee limit resets. So if your pet develops a condition while it's covered, you can claim up to the yearly limit for the lifetime of your pet if you stay with your insurer.

With a lifetime product, it is important to note that your premiums may increase each year at renewal.

Most of our policies are lifetime:

  • Complete - our most comprehensive pet insurance policy. It comes with £15,000 of vet fee cover for all conditions each year and includes dental as standard

  • We have a Regular policy that comes with £7,000 for vet fees that includes cover for behavioural treatment when needed as a result of illness or injury when referred by your vet

What does time-limited cover mean?

Time-limited policies allow pet owners to claim a set amount for a condition within a set time period, usually 12 months. After that time period or when you reach the vet fee limit (whichever comes first), no further claims can be made for that condition.

What is per condition cover?

These policies impose a vet fee limit per condition. So long as you renew the policy there is no limit to the length of time you can continue to claim for a condition but once the vet fee limit amount has been reached for that condition, it will be excluded from your cover.

So, to take the example of an ongoing illness such as diabetes or dermatitis, once that maximum is reached that condition will then be excluded from further claims and you will need to be prepared to fund the ongoing treatment yourself.

Digby Bodenham
UK engagement team lead

Digby is an experienced journalist in various fields but has specialised in insurance for more than six years. Before joining ManyPets in 2013 he was part of the editorial teams of various magazines, including Retail Week and Drapers. He has a degree in journalism and a cat called Potato.