How to claim on your pet insurance

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Image of a man looking at his dog with pet insurance documents in hand

Pet insurance offers a safety net for owners. If you’re suddenly faced with a large vet bill due to illness or injury, the costs will be covered if you choose the right policy.

Here’s what you need to know about making a claim so you don’t end up out of pocket.

What can I claim for on my pet insurance?

Pet insurance covers the costs of vet treatment if your pet becomes ill or suffers an injury. It’ll usually cover complementary treatments too – such as acupuncture or hydrotherapy – if they’ve been recommended by your vet.

Policies will also often cover the cost of emergency holiday cancellation, special diets, third-party liability, behavioural referrals and compensation following the death of a pet.

What can’t I claim for on my pet insurance?

Cover exclusions vary between policies, so check your policy book to find out what you can’t claim on.
Pet insurance won’t normally cover the costs of routine veterinary care like:

  • vaccinations
  • flea and worming treatments
  • dental treatment (unless accidental damage)
  • neutering
  • pre-existing medical conditions (identified or investigated by a vet or otherwise known about before your cover start date)
  • complementary treatments that weren’t recommended by your vet

Our Lifetime Platinum Pet Insurance covers dentistry as a direct result of an illness up to £2,000.

How much can I claim?

It depends on the type of policy you have. 

With lifetime cover you can claim up to the policy limits each year.

A time limited policy covers vet fees for 12 months from the start of symptoms or until you reach your limit. A time limited policy won’t reset at renewal so any vet fees relating to that illness or injury after renewal aren’t covered. 

When should I claim?

The sooner you inform your insurer, the better. Some insurers have a 30 day time limit on making a claim so check your policy book.

How to make a claim

You’ll either make your claim by filling in an online claim form or phoning your insurer. You’ll need to give as much detail as possible about what you’re claiming for, including receipts or invoices of treatment costs.

What you need to claim 

In addition to a completed claim form (which is likely to have a section to be completed by your vet) here's the supporting evidence you’ll need to provide for different claims:

Vet fees

An invoice from your vet. Your vet may also need to provide details of your pet’s medical history (including vaccination status).

Death of your pet from illness or injury

A death certificate from your vet, a receipt for the price you paid for your pet and a pedigree certificate if you have one.

Theft of your pet or straying

Your pet needs to have been reported missing to local rescue centres and vets before you can make a claim.

You need to provide receipts of any advertising paid for to help find your pet, a receipt for the price you paid for your pet and a pedigree certificate if you have one.

Third party accidental damage

If your pet has injured or caused damage to a third party, they can claim against your policy.

You need to notify your insurer as soon as possible if this is likely to happen and send any documents you receive from the third party to your insurer.

How is the money from a pet insurance claim paid?

Insurance providers can pay vets directly, but this is at the vet’s discretion so you may have to settle your bill and then claim the money back.

If your claim is accepted, it should take five to 15 working days to get your money back.

Will my pet insurance premium increase if I make a claim?

Your insurer may raise your premium at renewal if you’ve made a claim. This may not be due to your claim, as premium increases as your pet ages as the risk of them becoming ill increases.

What should I do if my claim is rejected?

Your insurer should explain why they’ve rejected the claim. It may be due to insufficient supporting documents or simply because the claim isn’t covered by your policy, so read your paperwork carefully before making a claim.

If your claim is rejected and you disagree, you should contact your insurer to make a formal complaint. If you’re still not satisfied, you can contact the Financial Ombudsman Service.

I’ve spent 20 years writing about pets and exploring the wonderful relationships they have with their owners. I started as a staff writer on Dogs Today magazine, working my way up to become deputy editor in 2008. In 2010, I left the office to pursue a freelance career, relocated to north Norfolk and started a family. 

Over the years I’ve contributed thoughtful human-interest features, celebrity interviews and investigative news stories to publications including The Sunday Times, Dogs Today, Dogs Monthly and Your Cat. I’ve also ghost-written veterinary books and press releases for the pet industry.

When I’m not writing, I enjoy long walks in the Norfolk countryside with my rescue lurcher Popsie. These are always followed by tea and cake.

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