Lifestyle Guides

Should I choose lifetime or time-limited pet insurance?

Image of an older dog with a puppy.

When choosing pet insurance for your cat or dog, you’re likely to have two options: lifetime and time-limited.

Here we look at the difference between time-limited and lifetime pet insurance, and the benefits of each.

What is lifetime pet insurance?

With lifetime pet insurance, you’re covering you pet for the long haul.

Lifetime policies are usually bought when a pet is young or new and renewed annually. They generally offer a more comprehensive level of cover and are intended to last for your cat or dog’s whole life (if your insurer offers renewal each year and you continue to pay the premiums).

One of the main advantages of lifetime pet insurance is that your pet should be covered if they develop any claimable conditions over their lifetime such as arthritis, diabetes, and heart or kidney conditions.

If you’re buying a new policy, pre-existing conditions are often excluded by insurers. For this reason, many people who buy a lifetime policy keep them rolling year on year.

What’s covered with Admiral Lifetime Pet Insurance?

There are four policy options available, with varying levels of cover. Blue is our most affordable package, followed by Silver and Gold cover, with Platinum as the top option. The cover limits shown are for the year covered, except where stated otherwise.

What’s covered

  • Veterinary fees up to a value of £2,000, £4,000, £5,000 or £10,000. This includes dental treatment, provided it’s required due to an accident
  • Complementary medicine and treatments up to £500
  • Third-party liability for dogs, up to £1 million per incident (Blue & Silver) or £2 million per incident (Gold & Platinum). This covers injury to other people or property where the dog owner is found legally liable
  • If your pet dies due to illness before the age of 6, or accident at any age, you’ll be covered for its purchase price up to £1,500, £2,000 or £3,000 depending on your policy
  • Advertising and reward costs up to £250 if your pet goes missing (or up to £500 with a Platinum policy)
  • If your pet is lost due to being stolen or straying, you’ll be covered for its purchase price up to £1,500, £2,000 or £3,000 depending on your policy.
  • Emergency pet boarding fees at a kennel or cattery up to £750 (or up to £1,500 with a Platinum policy)
  • If you have to cancel a holiday due to a veterinary emergency, you’ll be covered for up to £1,000, £1,500 or £2,000 depending on your policy

What isn’t covered

  • Any pre-existing conditions that your cat or dog has This includes injuries, or illnesses that your pet has been diagnosed with or showed symptoms of
  • Dentistry as a result of an illness  (except with our Platinum policy, up to £2,000)
  • Third-party accidental damage (except with our Platinum policy, up to £1,000)
  • Behavioural treatment (except with our Platinum policy, up to £2,000)
  • Standard procedures such as vaccination, defleaing or worming treatment
  • Grooming, bathing or nail clipping

Find out everything you need to know about lifetime pet insurance here.

For more information about what standard policies provide, read our guide to which vet bills pet insurance covers.

What is time-limited pet insurance?

Time-limited pet insurance policies are usually taken out if cover is needed for the essentials over a shorter period or where premium costs are a consideration. You might take out this kind of policy if you’re homing an older cat or dog, for instance.

That’s not to say it’s basic cover. Your pet can still be insured against injuries and short-term illnesses it’s just that the duration of benefit is limited to the maximum of 12 months or the sum assured.

What’s covered with Admiral Time-Limited Pet Insurance?

We offer two policy options, with different levels of cover. Essential is the standard package, with an option to upgrade to our Extra package at renewal each year if required.

What’s covered

  • Veterinary fees up to a value of £2,000 (or £4,000 with the Extra policy) per condition
  • Complementary medicine and treatments up to £500
  • Third-party liability for dogs, up to £1 million per incident. This covers injury to other people, or damage to property
  • If your pet dies due to illness before the age of 6, or accident at any age, you’ll be covered for their purchase price up to £1,000, or £1,500 with the Extra policy
  • Advertising and reward costs up to £250 if your pet goes missing
  • If your pet is lost due to being stolen or straying, you’ll be covered for their purchase price up to £1,000, or £1,500 with the Extra policy
  • Emergency pet boarding fees at a kennel or cattery up to £750
  • If you have to cancel a holiday due to a veterinary emergency, you’ll be covered for up to £1,000, or £1,500 with the Extra policy

What isn’t covered

  • Dentistry as a result of an illness
  • Third-party accidental damage
  • Behavioural treatment
  • Standard procedures such as vaccination, defleaing or worming treatment
  • Grooming, bathing or nail clipping

Find out everything you need to know about time-limited pet insurance here.

Which type of pet insurance should I choose?

There are usually several considerations when it comes to choosing your pet insurance.

Most owners tend to buy a lifetime policy for young pets as this is when premiums are most affordable, but usually opt for a time-limited policy if it’s an older cat or dog as starting cover in later life is often more expensive.

What we can guarantee is that whichever policy you choose, you’ll be putting your furry buddy in safe hands.

Give your cat or dog the cover they deserve

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