Best Dog Insurance

Let us introduce you to the 6 best dog insurance to reduce vet costs to keep your pet healthy.

Updated: May 18, 2024
Matt Crabtree

Written By

Matt Crabtree

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As the saying goes, a dog is a man's best friend. Many people treat their pets as family members, and when our furry friend is hurting or needs a vet appointment, sometimes the first thing that comes to mind is hefty vet fees.

By paying for pet insurance coverage, you can make sure your dog is well looked after without having to worry too much about the cost of the vet trip.

In this article, you'll learn all about dog insurance and pet insurance in general, and we'll introduce you to the best dog insurance providers in the UK.

ProviderScoreDetails
1. Petplan★★★★★Click Here
2. Animal Friends★★★★★Click Here
3. ManyPets★★★★★Click Here
4. Waggel★★★★Click Here
5. The Insurance Emporium★★★★Click Here
6. Direct Line★★★★Click Here

What Is Pet Insurance?

Pet insurance helps with treatment costs for your pets.

You can insure your pets at any age. However, insurance for older pets may be more expensive as they're prone to recurring illnesses. Some insurers may set an age limit for insuring pets.

Pet insurance policies differ between providers. Different policies fall under different pet insurance cover and will vary in price. Veterinary fees can get expensive, and pet insurance lowers this cost dramatically. Pet insurance typically ranges from £1,000 to £18,000; you can pay monthly or annually. Insurance costs will depend on your dog's age, breed, and where you live.

There are three types of pet insurance cover levels:

  • Lifetime policy: Lifetime policies provide continuous cover for any illness or injuries that your furry friend may have over its lifetime. There are two-lifetime policies: annual cover with the maximum overall limit that includes all conditions your pet could experience. The other type is per conditional per year, with a maximum limit for specific conditions. Both policies limit resets every year.
  • Non-lifetime policies: Non-lifetime policies exclude certain conditions after you hit the limits of a claim. There are two types of non-lifetime cover. The other is the per-condition cover, which pays a limited amount for each condition. The other is time-limited cover, which has a time limit (usually 12 months) and per-condition limits.
  • Accident-only pet insurance: Cheaper than other policies, and this is because it covers only accidental injury and excludes illness. There is usually a fixed sum for each accidental injury to help pay for treatment.

What Does Pet Insurance Cover?

You may be wondering what exactly is covered by pet insurance, and it will vary between the different types and insurers. However, there are standard issues and events that most pet insurance providers cover. 

Pet insurance covers the following:

  • Death: If your pet dies, you can claim an amount reflecting what you paid for it and its financial value.
  • Dental cover: If there is any emergency dental work, you can claim it on your pet insurance.
  • Missing pet cover: If your pet goes missing, most providers will contribute to the cost of finding them again. The insurance company will cover the advertising costs for your lost pet posters and may even pay for a reward for the safe return.
  • Veterinary bills: Pet insurance will fully or partially cover vet bills if your pet suffers from an injury or illness.
  • Legal liability (dogs only): If your dog causes harm to another animal or creates accidental damage to someone else's property, some covers include cover for legal liability to help with legal costs or paying for any pet damages.
  • Purchase price: If your pet is lost or stolen, some providers cover the cost of what you paid for the pet or will cover the market price if you didn't. The death of a pet due to illness or injury may be covered, too, depending on the policy you've gone with.
  • Hospital visits: Some providers will help pet owners care for their furry friends, say if you need to stay in the hospital for two or more nights. Some providers cover the boarding fees for your pet whilst you cannot look after them.
  • Pet therapy: If your pet needs alternative treatment, such as acupuncture or hydrotherapy, some policies cover it.

Although pet insurance covers a lot, it doesn't cover everything, and there is a cover limit. It's only right that after showing what is covered, we share what it isn't. Coverage will be between insurers.

Pet insurance doesn't cover the following:

  • Pre-existing medical conditions: If your pet has any pre-existing conditions when you apply for pet insurance, they won't be covered. Only new illnesses and injuries will be included in the policy.
  • Vaccinations: You can't claim vaccinations on your pet insurance. But you should always get your pet's vaccinations to prevent any related illnesses further in the future.
  • Banned dog breeds: Any dog breeds banned in the UK are almost always uninsurable. Any dogs that need to be registered under the Danger Dog Act or used for security, guarding, or track race are unlikely to be covered.
  • Preventative treatment: Pet insurance doesn't cover routine preventive care such as flea or worming treatment.
  • Pregnancy and giving birth: If you use your female pet to breed or purposely avoid getting them spayed, insurance won't cover any injuries, illness, deaths or hospital visits that occurred from the pregnancy or birth.

Pet Insurance: Pros and Cons

There are pros and cons to getting a pet, especially dog insurance cover.

We've compiled a list of them all to help you make sure that pet insurance coverage is needed for your furry friend.

Pros

✔️ Financial relief: Pet insurance helps alleviate the financial burden on vet fees. Depending on your insurance policy and coverage, most pet insurance providers cover most of the costs, and some may even cover the whole expense.

✔️ Customise coverage: Most pet insurance coverage allows you to customise your insurance policy to your pet's needs. Cat and dog insurance are different prices and have different coverages.

✔️ Visit preferred veterinarian: Most pet insurance will let you choose which vet you take your pet to, so if you have one closer to home or a preferred place, you can do so.

✔️ Pet protection: Knowing you don't have to worry about the cost of vet fees and knowing that you can claim for them can make you feel less worried about your pet getting into an accident. You can feel confident knowing you've got protection.

✔️ Multi-pet discount: If you have multiple pets, some insurance companies will offer a discount on additional pets you add to your insurance policy.

Cons

❌️ Not all costs are covered: As you saw in our coverage section, most insurers won't cover pre-existing conditions of your pet, so you won’t be able to claim for them only new illnesses or injuries. 

❌️ You may not use all of the benefits: You may not ever use the insurance if you look after your pet. Healthy pets who stay healthy may not ever need any vet treatments so you could lose money. However, it's better to be safe than sorry and be prepared just in case any accidents or unexpected health conditions happen to your pet.

❌️ Waiting period: There is usually a waiting period when you first apply for the insurance, usually up to two weeks, and during this time, there is no coverage for your pet.

Best Dog Insurance — Reviews

Without further ado, here are the top 6 dog insurance providers:

1. Petplan: The UK's No.1 Pet Insurer

  • Maximum vet fee cover: Up to £12,000.
  • Policy types: Lifetime and time-limited policies.

Petplan offers award-winning pet insurance and has over 40 years of experience helping to keep pets healthy.

There are some policies Petplan covers that other policies don't, such as physical and online consultations, diagnostic tests, prescription medicine, hereditary conditions, behavioural conditions and more.

There are two plans you can choose from: the Essential plan, which helps with short-term vet bills. You will get a £3,000 treatment allowance per illness and injury for a 12-month period.

With the Covered for Life Plan, it is long-term help with vet bills, and you can get up to £12,000 every year for treatment allowance. You can get in touch with Petplan to discuss your dog further and get a quote to get a rough idea of what to pay for your dog insurance.

2. Animal Friends: PupStart Insurance for Your Puppy

  • Maximum vet fee cover: Up to £18,000.
  • Policy types: Lifetime, time-limited and accident-only policies.

Animal Friends offers a dog insurance cover for pre-existing cover, which is uncommon for pet insurers.

To be eligible for pre-existing medical condition coverage, your dog has to have been symptom and treatment-free for more than two years before the start date of your coverage.

There are five types of dog insurance policies available to choose from with Animal Friends, starting with cover from £2,500.

If you're looking to get a puppy or insurance for a puppy, Animal Friends over PupStart, a puppy insurance that gives you access to puppy clinics and online puppy first aid trading. You can contact Animal Friends to get a quote for your insurance.

3. ManyPets: Extra Pet Health Perks With Your Policy

  • Maximum vet fee cover: Up to £15,000.
  • Policy types: Lifetime.

ManyPets's dog insurance covers behaviour cover, pre-existing conditions, dental treatment, third-party liability and more.

You can pay your dog insurance policy monthly at no extra cost to help you make insurance more manageable. If you don't claim within a policy year, you will get 20% of your premium paid back to you. ManyPets offer multi-pet discounts.

There are only lifetime policies at ManyPets, but there are different price ranges and policy coverage. There are four options: complete, regular, pre-existing and value. All of which range from cover of £3,000 up to £15,000.

4. Waggel: Flexible Cover That You Can Adjust

  • Maximum vet fee cover: Up to £10,000
  • Policy types: Lifetime.

Waggel is a straightforward pet insurer that offers flexible cover.

You can adjust your annual coverage and claims contributions at the start of your first policy and every year at renewal. So, if you decide to change up your pet's plan, you can do it each year accordingly. Vet fees, dental, travelling abroad, purchase price and more are covered in the lifetime policy.

Waggel only provides lifetime policies, so they’re around for the duration of your dog’s life to ensure it lives a happy life for longer. You can apply online, get an instant quote or make a claim via the Waggel website. The insurance is online and trackable to see your claims and payments in real-time.

5. The Insurance Emporium: 20% Introductory Discount

  • Maximum vet fee cover: Up to £8,000.
  • Policy types: Lifetime, time-limited, accident-only, and liability-only policies.

The Insurance Emporium offers a 20% introductory discount for pet owners using their policies for the first time.

If you've got more than one pet, you will receive an additional 10% multi-pet discount. Plans start from £5.34 per month, and the price will vary between their policies. You can get a quote from their website before you sign up.

If you've got an older dog that you want to get insured, The Insurance Emporium specialises in dog insurance for dogs above a certain age. There is coverage for younger dogs available, too.

6. Direct Line: 12.5% Multi-Pet Discount

  • Maximum vet fee cover: Up to £8,000.
  • Policy types: Lifetime and time-limited policies.

With Direct Line, their dog insurance policies cover the essentials to ensure your dog's basic needs are met, including cover for injuries, disease and accidents.

There are two customisable cover levels to choose the right cover for your dog: essential cover with up to £4,000 per condition and advanced cover with up to £8,000 cover per condition.

If you've got more than one dog, you can benefit from 12.5% multi-pet discounts. An additional perk of using Direct Line's dog insurance is that you can get discounts on your pet's medication via Pet Drugs Online.

Leading Pet and Dog Insurance: The Verdict

Taking care of pets is a major priority of pet owners, and having pet insurance can bring you ease with it, bringing you vet fee coverage so you won't have to worry too much about the total cost of veterinary treatment. Dog insurance isn’t compulsory, but it could help you save money if anything happens to your pet in the near future.

Related Guides:

FAQs

What Is the Best Age to Get Dog Insurance?

Who Is the Biggest Pet Insurer in the UK?

How Much Insurance Cover Should I Get for My Dog?

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