Our Top 10 Tips for Choosing Dog Insurance

We love our dogs! Come rain or shine, whilst out and about or at home, for adventures or chill time, we want our pooches to be protected and health and happiness are number 1.

Dog insurance can be complicated and expensive, and lots of new companies have launched consumer products in recent years so the choice is abundant.

Here’s our 10 tips for finding the right pet insurance for you and your canine companion:

Don’t delay, do it today!

We don’t know what’s around the corner, and even though your furry friend is happy and healthy, it’s great to be prepared for when you might need some assistance, so we recommend getting your dog insurance as soon as possible. It’ll give you peace of mind too. 

Make sure you have a pet insurance policy that is right for your pooch 

Consider your dog’s age, breed and routine healthcare when you’re on the search for pet insurance. Different breeds have different medical needs, and some providers will charge higher pet insurance premiums if yours has a specific breed history. If you have a bounding puppy, you might want your pet insurance to cover accidents, whereas for seniors you might seek out a policy with no age limit. You might also need routine vaccinations, and flea, tick and worm treatments to see if they’re covered in your health plan with your chosen insurance provider.

Consider extending beyond health and vet fees

Some pet insurance policies will also cover unexpected situations for your furry friend like theft, missing pups (and advertising a finder’s reward!), kennel fees if you’re incapacitated, and just in case your dog gets into an altercation with another pooch because as you know, pooch friends can get into all sorts of mischief! We recommend taking a look to see if third-party liability insurance is included.

Shop around and compare pet insurance

As we shop for our own travel, house and car insurance, so should we for our Pet Insurance as there’s a range of policies, premiums and coverage to ensure we’re covered for exactly what we need, at a price that’s right for us and our four-legged friends. Don’t feel pressured and shop around for multiple quotes to make sure you get the best pet insurance cover. 

The cheapest might not be the best

The pet insurance cost will inevitably play a factor in making a decision. It’s tempting to go for an option that’s easier on the purse strings, but look out for monthly premiums, out-of-pocket expenses, and medical procedures that aren’t covered. At the end of the day, you want to keep your pet healthy and happy!

Read the small print of the different pet insurance policy types

Yes, it won’t be the most riveting read, but it’s an important one so you know exactly what is (and isn’t!) covered. Pay particular attention to exclusions for pre-existing conditions within the pet insurance quote, as well as pet insurance premiums.

Get familiar with the pet insurance policy 

So you’ve chosen your provider, and before the day you need to call in the experts, it’s worth familiarising yourself with key processes, for example, what your deductible is, how reimbursement works, and when you’ll receive it. Knowing exactly what is included and how your pet insurance cover works will save you a lot of stress, should a tricky situation arise.

Check the Vet 

Most insurance companies will be able to pay your vet directly, but not all vets accept direct payments from all providers. It’s good to talk to your local practice to suss out how they manage claims and if they will accept your pet insurance provider. Also, see if there are countrywide vets that will accept it too for any potential emergency moments when you’re out and about on adventures.

Remember when to renew your pet insurance

You and your dog’s needs will change over time so make sure you remember to renew (or compare pet insurance to get a new deal!) but for what will cover you best. Before you switch make sure to double-check those pre-existing conditions cases.

Save for a rainy day

It’s a good idea to have a backup fund in the off chance something happens, and you missed that you’re not covered for it under your pet insurance. And if you don’t end up using the savings in the year, use it for your next PetsPyjamas trip together!

Our top picks for pet insurance

If it’s time to choose Pet Insurance for your furry best friend and you’re not sure where to start, here’s our round-up of our favourite pet insurance providers and their perks…

Products: Lifetime cover
Highlights: Free vet video calls, cover for common conditions, no increase in premiums when you claim, up to £20,000 towards annual vet bills, behavioural treatment, lost & stolen, a Which? Best Buy. 
Perks: 5% multi-pet discount, Agria Rewards, Agria Vet Guide (24/7 video vet service)

ManyPets Pet Insurance
Products: Lifetime policies include Complete with £15,000 of lifetime vet fee cover; Regular with £7,000 of lifetime vet fee cover; Value with £3,000 of lifetime vet fee cover
Highlights: 24/7 video vet calls with FirstVet at no extra cost; 20% MoneyBack optional extra
Perks: DNA Analysis; First Aid Course; up to 15% discount on multi-pet mix-and-match plans

Animal Friends
Products: Accident only, Time-limited, Max Benefit, Lifetime Per Condition, Lifetime Annual Limit.
Highlights: Free vet video calls, every policy supports animal charities, flexible excess, PupStart puppy programme, Older dog insurance.
Perks: Treat Tin offers, Biscuit wellbeing app 

John Lewis
Products: Lifetime cover
Highlights: 24/7 vetfone included, no upper age limit, annual online health checks, dental, treatment foods, complementary therapies and behavioural treatment, third party liability, boarding kennel fees, lost & stolen, multi-pet discount 
Perks: none 

Products: Single Lifetime policies only 
Highlights: Complimentary vet video calls, a personally assigned customer champion who are all K-based veterinary nurses, unlimited behaviours and nutrition consultations, dental coverage, and flexible excess options.
Perks: Free Amazon voucher per pet (selected websites) on a policy, bespoke reward discounts 

Products: Lifetime Cover
Highlights: Free vet & behaviourist video calls, standard low excess for all policies, dental, physiotherapy, behavioural, travel, emergency boarding, missing pet, third party liability, multi-pet discount, Comprehensive XL Bully cover
Perks: Puppy Academy advice & classes

Pets in a Pickle
Products: Lifetime cover, Time-limited 
Highlights: 24/7 FirstVet access, choose your own excess, dental, death, loss, reward, boarding, overseas cover & treatment
Perks: Pickle Perks discounts and offers 

Products: Time-limited, Maximum benefit, Lifetime
Highlights: 24/7 Vet Assistance, multi-pet cover, 99% of claims paid within 5 days, holiday cover, physiotherapy, dental, behavioural, overseas treatment, death, loss, theft, emergency kennel, multi-pet 
Perks: Extra discounts for Nectar members incl. +7,000 points

Products: Essentials Plan, Covered for Life Plan
Highlights: Claims pricing guarantee meaning you’ll never be charged more for claiming; plus standard cover for consultations, diagnostics tests, prescriptions, specialised care and physiotherapy, hereditary conditions, dental and cancer treatments 
Perks: 10% off first year discount 

Products: Standard, Extra, Premier
Highlights: 24/7 vetfone included, lost pet, multi-pet discounts, pet travel, death, loss, theft, physiotherapy, hydrotherapy 
Perks: Extra discounts for Clubcard members