There's no NHS for pets so if yours suffers illness or injury it can cost £100s or £1,000s in vets' bills - leaving some owners with the horrid choice of putting it down, or paying out.
This step-by-step guide shows how to speedily compare and find the cheapest, best, pet insurance for your dog, cat or other wee pal - whatever its species, breed or age.
In this guide
Pet insurance DOs and DON'Ts
DON'T forget to speak to PDSA about free vet treatment
Pet insurance, or putting money aside in a savings account, could prove expensive if you're short on cash. However, the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA) may be able to help.
The charity provides free veterinary services for your sick or injured animals if you receive means-tested support with your council tax, or if you receive housing benefits. Visit the PDSA site to see if you're eligible.
The PDSA has centres across the UK, so even if you're in a far-flung corner you still may be able to get help.
Most popular pets – cats, dogs and other small furries – are treated but the PDSA can only cover one pedigree pet per household. If you can afford to make a small donation to the PDSA you should – as it relies on the kindness of the public to keep services like this running.
However, if you need more than just veterinary treatment, you may still need cover, such as public liability cover in case your dog causes a mishap.
DO check your pet isn't excluded (dangerous breed, working dogs are)
Like any kind of insurance, always read the policy carefully and check nothing you may need is excluded. Once a policy has started, you normally can't claim for any illness arising within the first 10 to 14 days.
Dogs bred for their aggressive nature often can't be insured, such as Irish Staffordshire bull terriers, pit bulls, Japanese tosa and bull mastiffs. If your dog's own breeding has been crossed with any of these, it also won't qualify. If you know of any insurers that will cover these breeds, please email us.
Another area to be aware of is working dogs. Pets used for commercial purposes - racing, hunting, or sheep dogs - are normally excluded from cover.
Also decide if you're happy to pay for complementary or altenative therapies such as physiotherapy, acupuncture, homeopathy, herbal medicine or hydrotherapy, as insurers are starting to include them. Some policies also provide cover for animal behavioural conditions.
DON'T think you'll always lose by switching, due to previous claims
Most insurers won't insure your pet for pre-existing conditions or anything they've already been treated for, such as cancer or arthritis.
You might expect this when first taking out an insurance policy. But if you stick with many policies, you won't be able to claim again for an illness once you've reached its specified limit - most insurers cap either the time or money you can claim for conditions such as cataracts.
Just as with human medical insurance - which usually allows you to continue claiming on the same ailment for life as long as you don't switch provider - switching pet insurer carries the risk of a price hike or exclusions.
The all-important exceptions to the rule
There are a couple of serious exceptions to note. Be very wary and think carefully before switching if...
You are still claiming for a particular treatment on your current insurance policy, and haven't yet hit the maximum amount or 'length of time' payout, or...
You have a top-end 'lifetime' policy which does not have these exclusions.
DO check your pet's not too old to be insured
The older your pet, the pricier your policy, as an ageing animal is more likely to incur injury or illness. Some policies impose an upper acceptable age limit as well as additional contribution costs should you make a claim.
Therefore, always double-check the small print or ask, as some insurers restrict the level of cover available once your pet reaches a certain age.
For example, many pet policies say you must contribute 20 per cent of any treatment cost - beyond the excess - once your dog or cat reaches a set age. The AA says it applies from the age of six, Churchill and Virgin are from seven. At M&S, the threshold is nine years old. Some insurers don't state an upper age limit, although death from illness is excluded when the pet reaches a certain age. At Debenhams it's nine for dogs, and John Lewis is at eight.
If your pet is less than eight weeks old, you'll have to wait before getting full cover as a rule, though some insurers will provide full cover for dogs or cats from six weeks old, with the possibility that cover may only be restricted to accidents.
DON'T ignore third party cover - it could cost you £1,000s+
If you've a dog who causes a road traffic accident which ends up hurting other people, or he or she is inexplicably keen on destroying property, your pet can be held responsible and an expensive personal injury or liability claim could be lodged against you.
In a worst-case scenario, your pet's behaviour could cost you thousands. If a man in his 40s is badly injured in a crash caused by your dog and unable to work again, a legal claim could see you pursued for 20 years' loss of earnings as well as for injury compensation.
So make sure your insurer provides liability against property damage or injury to third parties, and the cover limit is at least £1m. Most basic policies will insure you for third-party at this level while more expensive 'lifetime' policies will give you £2m.
Another option to look into is if you have a home contents policy. The liability section of the policy normally includes cover for your pet, but it's definitely worth a call to check. There is additional information in our Cheap Home Insurance Tricks guide.
DO work out the smallest amount you'd claim (and set your excess)
Changing the amount of excess you pay - the amount you immediately contribute towards any claim - can cut the cost. Pay a higher excess, and your willingness to foot a greater part of the bill means the insurer will reward you by charging a lower premium.
To decide on your excess, consider this: "How much would it have to cost me before I was happy to claim on the policy?" If you wouldn't bother claiming for less than £200, for example, then paying for a £50 excess is pointless.
Though beware of policies where you must pay a share of any claim, usually about 10%, rather than a fixed limit such as £200. If your pet gets seriously ill, this can turn very costly very quickly.
Remember, some policies will charge you a share of the claim beyond the excess once your pet reaches a certain age.
DON'T lie - it can make your policy worthless
With insurance, remember - the golden rule is:
If you've read these tips and thought, "it's easy to lie about this", then of course you're right. Yet lying on your insurance form is fraud. It can lead to your insurance being invalidated and, in the worst case, a criminal prosecution. Don't do it.
When applying for a policy, be sure to disclose EVERY scrap of your pet's medical history. This may well push up your premiums in the short term, but will save you big money in the long term as providers won't pay up if they suspect your pet's problem already existed.
DO be aware pedigree pets cost more due to risk of illness and theft
If you've a posh pooch, certain pedigree breeds are more likely to develop hereditary conditions. For example, some pedigree dogs suffer from hereditary weak joints or hips due to generations of inter-breeding. These can require regular support and treatment.
Some policies specifically exclude treatment for hereditary conditions, so check to see whether this is the case. Many insurers also exclude conditions that the animal was born with.
As a rule, buy a pedigree and you'll pay more as insurers factor in their tendency to run a higher risk of long-term conditions, plus their heightened appeal to pet-burglars. Never lie about your pet's origin to save money on monthly premiums; declaring a dog as a mongrel when it's anything but can void your claim.
DON'T forget annual injections - it could mean you aren't covered
Always ensure your pet has the proper vaccinations, supplied by a vet, and you are provided with certificates. If you don't bother, or forget to keep your furry friend up to date with routine jabs, it could mean you aren't covered when you come to claim. It could even invalidate your insurance.
Your pet doesn't have to be vaccinated to get a quote, but if you claim for a condition which would have been prevented by a routine vaccination, then it may not be met if your pet hasn't been given that vaccination.
Remember to keep your vaccination certificates in a safe place - you might need to produce them if you need to make a claim.
DO try multi-pet policies to increase the savings
Many insurers will often offer a 5%-10% discount if you take two policies out at the same time. However, don't let it stop you shopping around for a better, cheaper policy elsewhere. After all, 10% off is no good if you can get a rival policy elsewhere for 12% less.
Our top comparison sites below don't do this yet, but try Confused.com* which will let you get quotes for up to five pets. It allows you to combine cats and dogs on to one policy, and includes any multi-pet discounts. You won't be guaranteed the cheapest premium using Confused.com's system, but it'll help make life easier.
Others to try - who give multi-quote discounts - are Argos*, Aviva*, Direct line*, Esure, Homebase, More Than and Petplan*. Then use the full comparison system for each pet to contrast the overall cost.
DON'T forget to find out what happens if the insurer goes bust
Pet cover is like home, car, travel, life or even PPI loan insurance - if the provider goes into default, then the Government-backed FSCS scheme kicks in.
There are two main ways in which it protects you.
If you need to claim from a bust insurer
The FSCS's main objective is to 'maintain continuity'. If your insurer goes bust, it will try to find another provider to take over your policy, or issue a substitute policy.
If you have any ongoing claims, or need to make a claim before a new insurer is found, the FSCS will cover these.
If it goes bust and you paid upfront
If you've paid for cover for a year, but the company goes bust after a month or two, then you would lose out.
To protect you, if the FSCS can't transfer your policy to another provider, you'll be given a period of time to take out alternative insurance, and any money you've already paid will be refunded as compensation via the FSCS.
The limits of the compensation depend on whether the policy is compulsory or not.
Compensation for policies such as third party car insurance, which you're required by law to have, are unlimited, so you get 100% of the premium back.
Non-compulsory policies, such as pet, home, travel, life and PPI, cover 90% of the money paid. So it's posssible, in the worst case scenario, you could lose 10% of the money you paid out (though it's more likely you'll be transferred to a new insurer).
DO consider getting your pet microchipped
To chip or not to chip? It's not compulsory, but microchipping does help owners get reunited with their favourite pet. A scannable chip is inserted under your pet's fur, then registered. It means the pet can be returned to its owner if it gets lost and is then found by a stranger.
This usually costs £20-£30 per pet, but an increasing number of insurers are starting to give discounts on premiums if your pet has been fitted with one, making it worth bearing in mind.
Vets' fees are already expensive and rising by as much as 12% each year, making the cost of pet ownership potentially huge. If you're lucky, you won't have faced fees for out-of-the ordinary treatments, so here are some examples of what you could be looking at:
To be brutal, if you don't have insurance this means a horrible choice between finding the medical fees or putting down a cherished pet. Even if you've got the cash stashed away, in many cases insurance can work out cheaper (in the event that you actually need to claim).
What does pet insurance cover?
Think what car insurance covers. Unexpected accidents or its theft are protected by insurance, but routine maintenance such as replacing old tyres or the MOT aren't.
Pets are similar - the treatments which are required come rain or shine are excluded by insurers, but any unexpected accidents or illnesses should be covered.
The following lists aren't exhaustive, and depend on your specific policy, so never assume you're covered - always check.
- Broken bones/ injuries from accidents
- Many illnesses, from cancer to asthma, skin infections to bone diseases and arthritis
- Possibly the cost of overseas emergency vet treatment on a foreign trip or holiday
- The cost of advertising and a reward if you fall victim to dog/cat-napping
What isn't covered?
- Routine injections - flu, tetanus, parvovirus, annual boosters. Plus check-ups
- Worming treatments
- Anti-flea medications
- Whelping costs
Is self-insurance worth it?
Self-insurance is where, instead of paying premiums, you regularly - preferably monthly - put money into a pet fund; so if your moggie or doggie gets poorly, there's money ready to pay for it and meanwhile it's in your hands, not the insurers'.
To earn some interest, put money aside in an easy access savings account each month to pay for any potential pet emergency, rather than getting an actual policy. And if there are no problems, you get to keep the cash.
However, there are two big dangers to consider:
The problem strikes before you've built up cashSelf-insurance relies on having enough cash to hand when the vet needs paying. This makes the first few months or years of self-insurance pretty precarious - with expensive treatment meaning you either go into debt or face the sad choice of putting the pet down.
Another option is to go for a policy with high excess - the amount you have to pay of any claim before the insurer chips in - then save to cover anything that costs less than that.
You get sued...
Consider 'third-party only' cover
A halfway house for dog owners is to become a member of The Dogs Trust - a charity which offers third-party only cover among the perks for a £25 a year membership fee, or £12.50 if you are over 60. Anybody over the age of 18 can become a member.
This covers you up to £1 million for any damage or injury caused to other people, their property or pets by ALL the dogs you own (though if you own a 'dangerous dog', it's very likely to be excluded).
Before getting a policy, first decide what you want it to cover - there are seemingly endless options.
WARNING! The old "read the small print" adage really applies here. If you buy the wrong policy that doesn't provide the cover you thought it did, you could be faced with the awful decision of losing a pet or getting into expensive debt if you can't afford it.
Pick your policy type
Pet cover can be broken down into three different types and - in essence - simply needs you to think about the amount of cover you want for vet fees. To get past the hideously complex names and policy types, we've divided the types of insurance up as follows.
Basic annual cover: 'per condition, with
BEST FOR: One-off injuries, small surgery after
accident, short-term illness such as a mild skin condition
This tends to be the cheapest cover, but offers the least insurance as it puts a time bar on how long you can claim for a particular condition or ailment - usually 12 months once the pet's been diagnosed and started having treatment - and a cap on how much in vets' fees you can reclaim.
A common basic policy typically covers £1,000 of vet fees with a 12-month limit. This means treatment for an injury, illness or disease would be covered for bills up to £1,000 or until 12 months have passed. Insurers tend to call this 'condition in total cover'.
After the cut-off, or the sum insured (eg, £1,000) has been reached, no further treatment is available for that particular condition. So you'll either have to pay out of your own pocket or abandon the care. But if your pet picked up a different condition, it would qualify for a new round of care.
Note also that most insurers refuse to let you claim for the same condition again once it's been treated - it will count as a pre-existing condition and be excluded.
cover - 'per condition, no time limit'
BEST FOR: One-off
injuries, surgery, short/medium-term illness
Like the basic cover, this policy limits vets' fees for any one illness, but doesn't apply any time limit on how long the treatment lasts. A £3,000 vet fees policy could pay for treatment over any number of years until you exhaust the financial limit. Some policies renew the limit each year, although these are likely to cost you more.
If your pet picked up a different condition, it would qualify for a new round of care.
Again, in most cases, once your pet's been treated, if you change insurer, most of these policy types won't then allow you to claim again for the same condition.
cover - 'lifetime policies'
BEST FOR: Long-term illnesses
such as diabetes, arthritis or some cancers that require constant regular
Though you pay a bit more for these policies, they do offer the most comprehensive cover. They insure your pet for illness or injury up to a pretty high maximum amount per year - eg, £9,000 - or to an overall high sum, £40,000 say, throughout its life.
However, it's important to note the 'lifetime' element of this refers to cover limits — the insurance itself is still likely to be a 12-month contract. Insurers can technically refuse to renew it, as Lloyds and Halifax did, to huge uproar in February 2012.
In addition to the increased vets' fee sum insured, the following extra cover may be included: dental fees, behaviour cover, cremation or burial expenses.
There are two normal types of 'lifetime' policies, and they offer different types of cover limits (the maximum you can claim) depending on the insurer, so it's vital you know which yours is.
'Per condition per year' limit
Not every lifetime policy has this. A £5,000-a-year cover limit means each individual condition or illness your pet developed would be covered, in each year of its life, for up to £5,000 in bills. An illness claimed for in one year does not become a 'pre-existing condition' once the 12 months are up.
As long as you renew your policy annually, the £5,000 cover is rolled over. So if your pet were to suffer severe arthritis that cost £4,750 a year to treat and he or she lived for 10 years, you wouldn't have to pay a penny (except the excess) of the £47,500 in vet fees - just the annual cost of your premium.
Others offer an overall 'lifetime' sum per condition - £40,000, say - during the animal's life to cover treatment for it. This means that if you reach the limit before your pet dies, you'll have to start paying the bills out of your own pocket.
What to watch out for
Ensure you know exactly what you're paying for. Pet policies can exclude all sorts of claims, impose plenty of limits and even leave you exposed unless you add extra bits on.
Here are the key pet cover checks to make.
Pre-existing conditions aren't always covered
A dog is for life, not just for Christmas - and unfortunately, this is often the case with pet insurance too. The reason? Since most providers exclude pre-existing conditions, this means you can normally only claim for each illness once.
Most insurers won't insure your pet for any ailment or illness they've already been treated for - cancer, say, or arthritis - unless you pay a huge hike in premiums.
You might automatically expect this when taking out an insurance policy for the first time. But even if you stick with the same policy, you may not be able to claim again for a particular illness once you've reached the limit.
Most insurers either cap the amount of time or money you can claim for a condition - eg, cataracts - although some are now starting to only apply this cap for each period of insurance.
Sadly, cancer is a blanket exclusion. This means if your poor pet has had one type, they are excluded from being covered for any other type should they subsequently get it.
What if my pet has a life-threatening accident or illness?
More insurers will pay for your pet to be put down, if a life-threatening accident or serious illness means this is the kindest option. A few will also cover the cost of cremation or burial expenses (up to limits, with the most generous using the current market rate for your pet). This latter add-on suits those who have invested a lot of money in an exotic or high-pedigree pet.
The Government's pet travel scheme
These rules allow your cat or dog to travel with you overseas to other EU countries, without any need for quarantine, where some pet insurers extend their cover abroad. If you regularly travel with your pet, it'll be worth considering this add-on, which offers vets' fees of up to £1,000.
Some insurers will also cover the cost of a replacement or quarantine costs incurred as a direct result of you losing a pet passport.
Can I cancel my holiday?
It's no surprise pets pick the choicest moments to get tangled up in an accident or damaging incident - such as before or during a holiday! In the event you want to completely cancel your trip, or curtail it and come home, a number of policies offer holiday cover to help with the cost of travel and accommodation expenses.
Cover for missing pets
More and more policies provide loss or theft cover - often as much as £2,000 towards the cost of advertising a missing pet in the local press, making flyers and posters, and even to cover the cost of a reward.
Kennel and cattery fees
A greater number of insurers now provide cover for kennel and cattery fees, with the sums insured ranging from £250 up to £1,500. This can help if you're needed for an emergency - or have to go into hospital, say - and there's nobody else available to look after your pet.
Some policies even provide the option to have dog-walking cover, if injury or an illness means you can't do this yourself.
Usually your stay in hospital needs to be longer than four consecutive days for this to pay out - though some policies are a bit more lenient.
Accidental damage - am I covered?
Cats clawing your furniture to death are a fact of life! Dogs are also partial to an expensive bit of chewing - carpets, shoes, you name it - but finding an insurer to provide this cover is difficult.
For instance, Saga's Super Cover Pet policy states "accidental damage caused by your pet to personal property that you and/or your family own" is provided. But it also says "damage caused by biting, scratching, fouling or urinating" is excluded - so most things they'd do aren't covered!
However, you may already be covered for accidental damage on your home contents policy, so give your provider a quick call to check.
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STEP 3. Compare and find the cheapest
What you'll pay as a premium will vary hugely, depending on variables including your pet's age, its pedigree and where you live (vets' bills are higher in London and the south east of England). Once you've decided which cover suits you and your pet, you're ready to compare prices.
Jump to your pet
The most commonly-owned pets - there are over seven million of each, according to the Pet Health Council - are also the simplest to insure, with dedicated comparison sites.
Comparison sites zip your details to hosts of insurers' websites, scraping their data to report back the cheapest - though surprisingly few of the big names include pet insurance.
We've picked out the two that maximise the quotes you get in the quickest
time possible. Note, all comparison sites may feed your personal info to
insurers - see
- Good pick 'n' mix panel as you fill in details, allowing you to compare and customise your quote results to get the best policy for your needs.
- Exclusive offers available.
- If you don't want it to contact you afterwards, ensure you click on the relevant section's link on the last page. Plus always check the excess quoted is correct for you.
- You can list your quotes in order of preference, ie, accident only, lowest excess, highest vets' fee or premium.
- Clear option to opt into having marketing calls, emails, texts.
- Very limited room to tailor your policy, eg, you can't choose how much
vets' fees cover you want.
Two competitive insurers refuse to be included by any comparison site, and sometimes have special offers so are worth checking separately.
Aviva*: Buy online and you can currently get 10% off pet cover. Insure more than one and get an extra 10%.
Direct Line*: Buy a Direct Line* policy online and get 10% off. Insure more than one pet and you'll get an additional 15% discount. Also see Direct Line Together for details on getting an extra discount on any other Direct Line product in your household.
The other big players in the comparison market who offer pet comparison quotes are:
Quotezone* has good editing features and provides quotes for rabbits.
Multi-pet (collections of cats and dogs)
If you have cats, dogs or a few of both, comparison site Confused.com* will let you get quotes for up to five pets. It allows you to combine cats and dogs on to one policy, and incorporates any multi-pet discounts. You aren't guaranteed the cheapest premium here, but it will help to make life easier.
If you use this multi-pet comparison, please send us your feedback. Was it easy to use? Did it give you a competitive premium? We'd like to know how you found using it.
Rabbits, budgies, horses, guinea pigs, chinchillas...
There are no comparison sites for all of these pets, so it's a question of elbow grease and getting the quotes yourself. We've listed a number of insurers below. Please tell us about your experiences with them or other insurers.
While it's not a pleasant thought, given the type and cost of the animals in this category, it's worth considering in the cold light of day what your attitude would be if it became ill, no insurance was in place and you had to make a decision about putting the animal down. One alternative here is self-insurance.
This is why you need to carefully consider the costs involved in ensuring a pet's welfare before taking one on.
Exotic Direct* gives quotes for a wide range of not-so-exotic pets, including rabbits, guinea pigs, chinchillas, gerbils, ferrets, birds and more.
Big name pet insurer Petplan*, which provides cat and dog quotes, also insures rabbits - the next most popular pet - and is worth a look. Buy online and you'll get a 10% discount.
Quotezone* features good editing features and provides comparison quotes for rabbits, cats and dogs.
Helpucover* is another provider which insures bunnies.
There are over 600,000 horses and ponies in the UK, and given the initial cost and length of their life, insurance is definitely worth considering.
By becoming a Gold member of The British Horse Society, you will automatically be covered for up to £10m of public liability cover and various levels of personal accident cover.
If it's more than public liability you want, SEIB is an option as it offers quotations for horses, ponies, trailers and horseboxes.
Petplan Equine* is a branch of the big pet insurer Petplan, focusing specifically on horses, and offers different policies for younger or 'veteran' animals.
As its logo suggests, Animal Friends* is another insurer focused on horses, and offers cover that can be tailored to different circumstances. Make sure you read the terms carefully to get what you want.
After we published the first incarnation of this guide, we asked for your feedback on insurers. NFU Mutual inspired many MoneySavers to report good stories - it covers horses (including 'veterans') and is worth a check.
The following insurers have also been suggested by users. We haven't checked them out too deeply - though all are FCA-regulated. If you try them, let us know how you get on: KBIS, Stoneways Insurance, Shearwater Insurance.
Snakes, pot-bellied pigs, tarantulas: exotic pets
From skunks to sugar gliders and possums to pot-bellied pigs, you'll need to try a specialist operator - in particular, to protect against burglars targeting rare or valuable creatures.
If you've a python worth £2,000, for example, pay extra special attention to what gets paid out on death or theft. If you have a tarantula, and like to show it off, perhaps consider third party insurance in case it takes a chomp out of one of your guests. Or then again, ensure the tank is very secure (Martin's sister wishes she'd taken this advice!).
Exotic Direct* offers cover for a huge array of out-of-the-ordinary critters, including parrots, cockatoos, snakes, lizards, terrapins, vultures, pot-bellied pigs and loads more.
Always keep an eye out for some of the same policy tricks as for more mainstream pets - different levels of excess, payout limits and pre-existing conditions. Read above in the guide for more details.
Always double-check the quotes
After doing the comparisons and finding the cheapest quote that suits your requirements, it's crucial you double-check the quotes directly with on the insurer's own website. To speed up searches some comparison sites can make assumptions, which may not fit your profile.
Check special deals, grab cashback & haggle
Plenty of insurers pay out cashback if you sign up to them via the specialist cashback shopping sites. This means you can grab even more off the price.
These sites carry paid links from some retailers and financial services providers. In other words, if you click through them and buy a product, they get paid. They then give you some of this cash which means you get the same product, and a cut of its revenue too.
When we checked in October 2013, you could get £73.50 by taking out More Than pet cover, £60 with Sainsbury's and £55 with Churchill.
Yet don't choose based only on cashback, see it as a bonus once you've picked the right cover...
Those new to cashback sites should ensure they read the Top Cashback Sites guide for pros and cons before using them. Otherwise use the Cashback Sites Maximiser tool to find the highest payer for each insurer.
Things you need to know before doing this...
Never count the cash as yours until it's in your bank account. This cashback is never 100% guaranteed, there can be issues with tracking and allocating the payment, plus many cashback sites are small companies with limited backing, and you've no protection if anything happens to them.
Withdraw the cashback as soon as you're allowed. Money held in your cashback site account has no protection at all if that company went bust, so always withdraw it as soon as you're eligible.
Clear your cookies. While it shouldn't be a problem, if you've used comparison sites beforehand, there is a minor risk that the cashback may not track due to cookies - so it's good practice to clear those first (read About Cookies).
For more details on these sites, read the Top Cashback Sites article.
Check special deals
To tweak savings even further, you can get quotes directly from a few companies who have special deals which aren't always mentioned by comparison services. These currently include (listed alphabetically):
If you choose to insure more than one pet with Animal Friends, you'll be entitled to a 10% multi-pet discount. This excludes the Basic policy.
Buy online from Aviva* and you can get 10% off its pet cover policy. Insure more than one pet and get an extra 10% discount.
Appropriately enough, with a nodding dog as its mascot, Churchill* is worth checking for pet insurance, offering 20% off if you buy online.
Until 2 Jan 2014, the Co-operative* is giving a 20% discount if you buy online. We’ve heard Co-op plans to sell its insurance arm in the future, so be aware your policy may be transferred to a different insurer. This won’t change your premium, at least for this year.
If you have a dog over nine years of age, or a cat over 11, this Debenhams* pet insurance policy may be worth considering though death from illness does not apply.
Buy a Direct Line* policy online and get 10% off. Insure more than one pet and you'll get an additional 15% discount. Also see Direct Line Together* for details on getting extra discount on any other Direct Line product in your household.
By choosing Esure, you'll receive a 5% online discount as a new customer, a 10% discount if you insure more than one pet and if your pet has been microchipped, a further 5%.
Until 31 Dec 2013, buy a Homebase* policy and use the code PETH2 to get a £20 Homebase giftcard. Insure more than one pet online and you'll get a 20% discount.
Buy online from M&S* and you can get 15% off its pet cover.
Buy online at Pets at Home and you'll receive a 5% discount, plus another 5% if your pet is microchipped and a 10% discount for an additional pet. You'll also get a Pets at Home voucher for up to £20.
Big name pet insurer Petplan* is giving a 10% online discount if you insure your dog, cat or rabbit with it.
Until 26 Dec 2013, Sainsbury's* Nectar cardholders who buy a new policy online will get a 25% discount.
Choose to buy by phone and Nectar cardholders buying the Premier or Premier Plus will get a £50 Sainsbury's giftcard. You have until 26 Dec 2013, though balance this against the online discount. Non-Nectar cardholders get 20% off.
Armed with the right information, you are now in a position to ring up and haggle. Take the best quote to other insurers and brokers and haggle to see if a better price is available. You'd be surprised how often they'll reduce the price if they're about to lose a customer.