Compare Cheap Pet Insurance
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Agria Pet Insurance is one of our favourite pet insurers. Compared to the dozens of insurers we've researched, they provide the kind of cover you'd want for a beloved pet—their terms and conditions seem very sensible (e.g., out-of-hours treatment is covered for an illness that first shows signs during the night, even if it turns out not to be life threatening), plus their prices are very competitive. If you're looking for Lifetime cover for an older pet, you might want to consider Tesco Pet Insurance or LV= Pet Insurance instead.
In This Review
- Overall Review
- Policy and Coverage Options
- How to Claim and Other Useful Info
- Comparing Agria to the Competition
There is no one "best" pet insurance—the best for you will depend on factors like price points and features that you might find valuable. Please use the information in this review to help you learn about pet insurance and narrow down your choices.
Agria Pet Insurance Review
Agria offers some of the best value pet insurance plans in the market today. They only insure pets using Lifetime cover—arguably the best type of pet insurance. Agria's Lifetime plans are just about the most comprehensive in the market, and include dental illness AND injury, a 24-hour vet line advice, euthanasia, farewell cover, EU travel, prescription food, advertising & reward, travel expenses to see a referral vet and third party liability. If you're interested, you'll need to pay extra for optional features such as Death and Loss, Travel, Boarding and Holiday Cancellation, however. Agria are Pet Insurance specialists with 125 years of experience, a UK-based staff and industry partnerships.
In addition to offering solid cover to help pay the vet fees when your pet is injured or falls ill, we found that, generally speaking, Agria's exclusions are less restrictive than some other insurers. For instance, take the situation where your pet falls ill late at night outside of your vet's normal hours but you're worried enough to take him/her to a 24-hour vet. Agria's terms & conditions basically state that they'll cover this scenario (details below), versus many insurers that state out-of-hours treatment is only covered if your pet falls ill with a life-threatening condition. When your pet falls ill at 11 p.m. you shouldn't have to wonder if your insurance will cover for veterinary treatment.
While of course there are exclusions, there is nothing highly unusual that we noticed relative to other pet insurers. It's always a good idea to read through the terms & conditions yourself, however, to pinpoint any exclusions that may apply to you and your pet. Like most pet insurers, Agria will pay your vet directly, provided your vet is in agreement.
Out of Hours Care: We really like Agria's approach to out-of-hours care. They will pay vet fee claims arising from an injury or illness that happens/shows the first clinical signs or significantly deteriorates after 6 pm and before 8 am, during a weekend or during a bank holiday.
Time to Claim: Agria gives policyholders a generous amount of time to submit claims—the latter of 6 months from treatment or the end of your policy period. This means you'll have between 6 months and a year to submit claims, depending upon when a treatment falls in your policy cycle.
Excess/Copay: The excess and copay/variable excess are the amounts you pay toward a claim. With an Agria policy, you have a few options. Their standard online plans include a fixed excess and a 10% copay/variable excess:
The 10% copay amount is calculated after the fixed amount has been deducted, for example:
|Agria Excess/Copay Example|
|10% Copay||10% of £405 = £40.50|
|You Pay||£95 + £40.50 = £135.50|
If you're trying to decide which fixed excess amount is more suitable, consider how many times you expect to claim a year and the amount you'll save in premium by choosing the higher £160 excess amount. Generally speaking, we've found that if you'll claim once per year (or not at all) then it ends up cheaper to go for the higher fixed excess/lower premium option; if you'll claim 2 or more times per year then you'll save more with the lower excess/higher premium option.
Apparently you can call to negotiate a 0% or 20% variable excess instead, which would serve to raise or lower the premium, respectively.
Older Pets: Older pets may face restrictions on signing up to new policies. While at times Agria may offer age amnesties during which they'll offer new policies to pets of any age, generally speaking once dogs hit 9 years of age and cats 10 years of age (i.e., they become "older" pets), they won't be eligible for a new policy. Like many other insurers, some breeds might face even lower "older" pet age cut offs.
|Age Limits for New Agria Policies||Dogs||Cats|
|Agria Lifetime Pet Insurance||9 years (for most breeds)||10 years (for most breeds)|
Pets already insured with Agria before they hit these breed-dependent age limits can continue to renew their cover but the premiums may rise, there may be a mandatory 10% or 20% variable excess imposed and death due to illness cover will be discontinued. (Death due to injury or loss by theft/straying are still covered regardless of your pet's age.)
Effective Date: It is common that pet insurance doesn't start right away—that is, illnesses and injuries that show signs in the first few days or weeks after your policy started are not covered. This means your pet isn't covered if they become ill or injured during this waiting period, even though you have insurance. Of the dozens of pet insurance plans we've looked at, Agria offers amongst the shortest waiting periods, with illnesses being covered after 10 days and injuries covered immediately. (Healthy Pets offers the same shorter-than-average waiting periods.)
Agria Pet Insurance Key Facts
- Occasional Promotion: 50% off first two months
- Choice of two Lifetime plans: £6,500 or £12,500 of vet cover
- Dental injury or illness covered (dental exam within past 12 months required for dental/gum disorders)
- 9/10 claims paid (direct to vet possible)
- 6+ months to submit claims (the latter of 6 months and the end of your policy year)
- A copay/variable excess (standard is 10% but you can also choose 0% or 20% by calling) taken after fixed excess of £95 or £160
- Euthanasia covered
- 24-hour Pet Health Helpline
Agria Price Comparison
We've researched prices from dozens of pet insurance policies, and found that Agria policies offer very good value for money. Here are some sample prices for Lifetime cover for a young, healthy cat and dog for Agria's two Lifetime plans and the market average, for comparison purposes.
|Agria Lifetime £12,500||Agria Lifetime £6,500||Market Average Lifetime (~£6,500 of cover)|
|Excess/Copay||£85 (cat)/£95 (dog) + 10%||£160 + 10%||£85 (cat)/£95 (dog) + 10%||£160 + 10%||£133|
|Dog - Annual Premium||£449||£360||£344||£276||£390|
|Cat - Annual Premium||£398||£318||£323||£259||£358|
Keep in mind that Agria's standard 10% copay means you'll pay more out of pocket towards any reimbursable claims. So while Agria premiums are lower than the average cost of pet insurance for dogs and cats, Agria will contribute less towards vet fees. It's a trade off that may or may not work for you.
If Agria plans are outside of your budget, there are many cheap Lifetime pet insurance options available in the UK that you may find more suitable.
Agria Notable Features
Below is a brief overview of the more notable features of Agria dog and cat insurance. For a complete rundown of the details and exclusions, please refer to the policy documents.
|Agria Pet Insurance Features|
|Dental Cover||Cover for dental injuries and illnesses, provided your pet had a dental exam by a vet in the 12 months leading up to the injury/illness|
|Holiday Cancellation||OPTIONAL Cover for the cost of travel and accommodation expenses you lose up to £1,000 or £3,000, depending on plan, if you have to cut short/cancel a trip because you pet needs emergency lifesaving treatment and/or surgery while you're on holiday or in the 7 days before your holiday starts|
|Boarding Fees if You're Unwell||OPTIONAL Boarding costs up to £1,000 or £2,000, depending on plan, if you or an immediate family member are in hospital for 3 or more consecutive days, excluding: |
|Death and Loss||OPTIONAL cover for the purchase price up to £1,500 or £2,500, depending on plan, if your pet strays or is lost, stolen or sadly dies from illness or injury|
|Travel||OPTIONAL Cover for up to 120 days per policy year when travelling to member countries in the EU through the PETS travel scheme; provides up to £2,000 for emergency expenses, money towards a replacement pet passport and quarantine costs.|
|Congenital & Hereditary Diseases||These are not excluded, so long as your pet showed no signs before your policy started or in the first 10 days of the policy|
|Prescription Diets||50% of the cost, up to £250 per injury/illness over life of pet|
|Cremation and Burial||Up to £150|
|Pet Health Helpline||Agria's 24-hour vetline can be reached at 0333 0332 1947 when you need advice regarding your pet's health|
To give you an idea of the costs of the optional extras, we've gathered sample quotes for a healthy, young animal.
|Approximate Additional Annual Costs|
|Death and Loss||Overseas Travel||Boarding Fees/Holiday Cancellation|
Agria Coverage Amounts
|Policy Name:||Lifetime £12,500||Lifetime £6,500|
|Veterinary Fees, up to||£12,500||£6,500|
|Third Party Liability, up to||£3,000,000||£2,000,000|
|Advertising, up to||£1,500||£1,000|
|Travel or Accommodation, up to||£300||£300|
How does Agria Insurance Compare to Competitors?
To better understand the value of Agria pet insurance you need to look at it in the context of other available options. We compared it to other plans in the market so you can see which may be more suitable for you.
Agria Insurance vs PetPlan Pet Insurance
PetPlan Pet Insurance is the largest insurer of dogs and cats in the UK. Due to this, many vets are accustomed to submitting claims on behalf of pet owners, which might make getting reimbursed a bit easier. PetPlan policies include dental illness and injury but don't cover euthanasia. However, older pets (i.e., dogs aged 5 or 8 depending on breed, cats aged 10) are not eligible for new Lifetime policies and can only sign up for a Time Limited policy.
Bottom Line: If you want a lower upfront premium, Agria can be a good option with its 10% variable excess—but you'll have to pay a larger share of any vet bills that arise as a result.
Agria Insurance vs John Lewis Pet Insurance
John Lewis Pet Insurance offers comprehensive Lifetime plans with £3,000, £7,500 or £12,000 of vet cover. Pet owners have a long time to submit claims and have their choice of excess—so those hoping for a lower excess can choose one as low as £60. The excess will rise for older pets, however, becoming the higher of your fixed £ excess and 20% of the vet bill for each condition each year. Other features include travel for up to 3 trips up to 60 days each with your pet to EU countries that are part of the PETS scheme, dental injury (but not illness), a 24-hour vetfone, euthanasia cover, cover if your holiday is cut short due to your pet being ill and boarding cover if you are hospitalized unexpectedly. Expect to pay around £375 for £3k of cover with a £60 excess or £550 for £7.5k of cover. A higher excess will bring the price down.
Bottom Line: Another solid option but you may prefer Agria if you want a pet specialist.
Agria Insurance vs Animal Friends Pet Insurance
Animal Friends Pet Insurance is another specialist pet insurer, whose plans stand out for lower-than-average premiums (partially achieved through per condition limits, even on Lifetime plans) and they publicly state on their website that they don't penalize for claims by increasing premiums upon renewal. Those with older pets can insure their cats and dogs, as there is no upper age limit for new policies, even Lifetime cover. They don't have dental cover or a vet line to call with queries, however, plus claims need to be submitted more quickly, within 90 days. Our price check showed a range of £130 to £390 for Lifetime cover for a healthy, young crossbreed dog, significantly lower than average.
Bottom Line: Those looking for a lower-priced Lifetime plan might also want to consider Animal Friends, or those looking to insure an older pet—if you're comfortable with per-condition annual limits on Lifetime plans.