Best Lifetime Pet Insurance Companies for Dogs and Cats

We've analyzed UK pet insurance options to find some of the best Lifetime plans for your pet. Check out our recommendations, which we tailored to specific categories and consumer needs (e.g., older pets, lower premium, etc.). In each, we identify a few Lifetime plans based on the best features. If you're not sure where to start check out What is Pet Insurance and How Does it Work?

The guidance on this site is based on our own analysis and is meant to help you identify options and narrow down your choices. We do not advise or tell you which product to buy; undertake your own due diligence before entering into any agreement. Read our full disclosure here.

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Pet cover can help with vet bills. Protect your dog or cat today.

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  • Learning
    What is Lifetime Pet Insurance?
  • Comparing
    Summary of the Best Lifetime Pet Insurance
  • Choosing
    How To Pick a Lifetime Pet Insurance for You and Your Pet

According to our analysis of a broad selection of pet insurers, the following products stand out as objectively the best for certain purposes. The best pet insurance for you will depend on your individual situation and spending patterns.

Best Lifetime Pet Insurance Overall

Here are a few pet insurers offering Lifetime plans with good reputations and solid cover.

Bought By Many Pet Insurance

Consider this if you want unique cover for pre-existing conditions, to pay cash back if you don't claim or to fix the premium for the life of your dog or cat.

Range of Vet Cover £7,000 or £15,000
Types of Plans Time Limited, Max Benefit, Lifetime and Third Party Only
Dental Cover depends on the plan
Excess Standard excess is £69 or £69 plus 20% of claims; Regular plan has an option of no excess; Pre-existing Condition plan is £99 or £99 plus 20% of claims. Older pets must pay the plus 20% of claims.

Bought By Many has a unique approach to pet insurance, where plans are based on feedback from over 40,000 pet owners and they aim to fix problems with the pet insurance market. Bought By Many have an option to cover pre-existing conditions, fix your premium for life or pay 20% of your premium back if you don't claim. Liability Only plans are also available.

They offer vet fees cover £3,000 to £15,000 and have a zero excess option on their regular policy. For owners with multiple pets they offer a 15% multipet discount. They have been rated 5 stars by over 4,000 of their customers.

Pros
  • A plan to cover for pre-existing conditions
  • A plan to fix the premium for life
  • A plan to get money back if you don't claim
  • Euthanasia, Travel and Dental cover available
  • Option to change excess to suit
  • New Lifetime policies open to older pets
Cons
  • No vetfone to call with health queries

Best Lifetime Pet Insurance: PetPlan Pet Insurance

Consider this if you want comprehensive cover from the largest UK pet insurer.

Range of Vet Cover £3,000 - £12,000
Types of Plans Time Limited and Lifetime
Dental Cover Dental illness and injury covered
Excess £75 - £120

As one of the largest providers of dog and cat insurance in the UK, PetPlan is well known to vets and has a solid reputation. Lifetime policies offer either £4,000, £7,000 or £12,000 of vet cover, with a higher-than-average fixed excess of £120. Dental cover provides reimbursement if your pet is injured or if affected by gum disease or tooth decay—but your pet must have an annual dental exam.

Older pets (dogs over aged 8 and cats over aged 10) are not eligible to take out new Lifetime policies, although pets who are insured on a PetPlan Lifetime policy before they hit the upper age cutoff may continue to renew their Lifetime policies as they age. Pet owners of harder-to-insure breeds may have to look elsewhere, with the upper age limit of 5+ for dogs like Bulldogs and German Shepards.

PetPlan states that 97% of claims are paid and that 90% are settled within 5 working days. Additionally, they claim that your premium won't increase because you make a claim. That's not to say your premium won't increase from year to year—other factors such as increasing age of your pet may result in a higher premium when you renew.

Distinguishing Features

  • 12 months to submit claims
  • Vetfone
  • £120 excess (+20% copay for older pets)
  • Dental cover (injury and illness)
  • Dogs aged 5+ or 8+, cats aged 10+ not eligible for new Lifetime policies

Best Lifetime Pet Insurance: Agria

Consider this if you want a premium plan for less.

Range of Vet Cover £6,500 or £12,500
Types of Plans Lifetime
Dental Cover Dental illness and injury covered
Excess £85 - £160, plus 10%

We really like Agria plans for getting solid Lifetime cover for reasonable premiums with lower-than-average prices for dogs and cats. They're able to do this because as standard they expect the pet owner to contribute a bit more towards vet fees, should a claim arise. In addition to a fixed excess (£85/£165 for cats or £95/£165 for dogs, your choice), you'd be responsible for paying 10% of vet fees after the fixed excess has been deducted. (Apparently you can opt for a variable excess of 0% or 20% if you prefer, but 10% is the standard offer available online.) In addition, some features are available as add-ons, keeping the price of cover lower—e.g., you don't need to pay for EU travel cover if you never take your pet abroad.

Agria's terms and conditions feel like they were designed by real pet owners. Not only are terms sensible but plans offer good value. Expect to pay around £450 for the £12,500 Lifetime Plan or £350 for the £6,500 Lifetime Plan for a young, healthy crossbreed dog; the premium for a British shorthair cat would cost around £400 or £325, respectively.

Pros
  • Higher vet limits
  • Dental injury and illness
  • 6+ months to claim
  • Optional Extras: Boarding if You're Unwell, EU Travel, Death and Loss and Holiday Cancellation
Cons
  • 10% copay on top of fixed excess

Best Lifetime Pet Insurance for Older Pets

These insurers will sell a new Lifetime policy for an older pet—not all pet insurers will do so. The definition of "older" varies from insurer to insurer but is typically around 8/9 years for a dog and 10/11 years for a cat.

John Lewis Pet Insurance

Consider this if you want a Lifetime policy with euthanasia cover that is open to older pets.

Range of Vet Cover £3,000, £7,500 or £12,000
Types of Plans Lifetime
Dental Cover Dental injuries/accidents only
Excess £60, £80, £100, £140, £250 or £500 (or 20% for older pets)

John Lewis pet insurance offers three Lifetime plans, with cover of £3,000, £7,500 or £12,000 of vet cover per year. Dental only covers injuries due to accidents; there is no cover for tooth decay or gum disease.

With no upper age limit for new policies, older pets are welcome to sign up. The excess you pay towards vet claims is higher with older pets, however—for each condition each year for an older pet, you'll pay the greater of your fixed £ excess and 20% of the associated vet fees.

Before opting for one of the higher excess amounts, we'd recommend reading our discussion of Higher Excess vs. Lower Excess for pet insurance to understand the pros and cons, to help decide what is best for you.

Distinguishing Features

  • Long time to submit claims (no official deadline but we recommend within 12 months)
  • Vetfone
  • Choice of excess (£60 up to £500)
  • Dental cover for injuries due to accident only

Tesco

Consider this if you want a vetfone, comprehensive cover and no change in excess for older pets.

Range of Vet Cover £3,000, £4,000, £7,500 or £10,000
Types of Plans Accident Only, Time Limited, Max Benefit and Lifetime
Dental Cover Depends on the Plan
Excess £60, £120, £200, £300 or £500

Tesco pet insurance's Lifetime plan (called "Premier") offers £7,500 or £10,000 of vet fee cover for your dog or cat, with dental cover for both accidents and illnesses (e.g., tooth decay, gum disease) provided your pet has an annual vet dental exam. While Tesco offers pet owners a choice of excess amounts, we'd recommend reading our discussion of Higher Excess vs. Lower Excess for pet insurance before choosing a higher excess.

Tesco will accept older pets onto new policies—there are no upper age limits. In addition, the excess is the same for older pets as it is for younger pets. As usual, pet owners should expect that premiums drift higher for older pets.

Tesco's vet referral network must be used for any specialist treatment (e.g., cardiology, opthalmology, etc.) or else there is a £200 excess due.

Distinguishing Features

  • 12 months to submit claims
  • Vetfone
  • Choice of excess
  • Dental cover (injury and illness)
  • No upper age limit for new policies
  • No change to excess for older pets

Cheapest Lifetime Pet Insurance

Some insurers specialize in offering more affordable Lifetime cover with lower premiums, but you may give up on features like dental illness, euthanasia and a vet hotline. In addition, cheaper plans might have a higher excess or a limit on the amount you can claim each year per condition.

Cheapest Lifetime Pet Insurance: Animal Friends

Consider this if you want to pay a low premium; also good for older pets.

Range of Vet Cover £500 to £6,000 per condition
Types of Plans Accident Only, Time Limited, Max Benefit and Lifetime
Dental Cover No
Excess £99 (plus 20% for older pets)

According to our pricing analysis, pet owners will typically pay the least out of pocket for Lifetime cover from Animal Friends insurance. Animal Friends charges less primarily by offering plans with lower vet fee cover. While each of their plans has an annual or lifetime limit anywhere from £3k to an unlimited amount, reimbursements are restricted by further annual limits per condition. Plus there's no euthanasia cover, no vet hotline and no dental cover for injuries or illness.

For instance, Animal Friends' cheapest Lifetime policy, the "Super Plan", has an unlimited annual limit but a per condition limit of £1,000 per year. While you could claim for many conditions each year, your reimbursement for each condition would be capped at £1,000 annually. A serious condition requiring thousands of pounds of vet treatment would therefore not be fully covered.

Pros
  • Low premiums
  • Open to older pets
  • Premiums may not rise if you claim
Cons
  • No vetline to call with queries
  • No dental cover
  • Prescription food not covered

Cheap Pet Insurance with Dental, Vet Hotline and Euthanasia: M&S

Consider this if you want a cheaper Lifetime plan with dental.

Range of Vet Cover £3,000, £4,000 or £7,000
Types of Plans Time Limited/Max Benefit and Lifetime
Dental Cover Injury & Illness on Standard & Premier Plans; Injury only on Essential
Excess £50, £100 or £150 (or £150, £200 or £250 for pets 9 years of age or older)

Pet owners willing to pay a little more can get access to a vet hotline, euthanasia cover and dental injury/illness cover with M&S Standard Lifetime Plans. For a cost around £240 with a £50 excess (or £200 with an excess of £150), you can get £4,000 of annual Lifetime vet cover for a healthy, young dog. Like Animal Friends policy discussed above, there is a £1,000 per condition limit per year.

Pros
  • Lower premiums
  • £30 M&S voucher with new Standard/Premier policies
Cons
  • Per condition limit of £1k on Standard Lifetime plan

Cheap Pet Insurance with Dental & Euthanasia: Pet Protect

Consider this if you want a cheap pet insurance deal with more vet cover.

Range of Vet Cover £4,000 or £6,000
Types of Plans Lifetime
Dental Cover Dental illness and injury covered
Excess Increases with pet age - starting at £95 plus 5% under 1 year old

Pet Protect Lifelong Extra Plans seem to offer better value, providing £6k of annual vet cover for around £210 per year with a £95 excess. Pet Protect gives dental illness/injury and euthanasia, but there's no vet hotline to call with health queries about your pet. Note that the excess steadily rises with your pet's age, reaching £150 plus a variable excess of 25% - 30% for pets over 10 years old.

Pros
  • Euthanasia cover
  • Travel cover
  • Dental cover
  • Prescription food
  • Having a longer time to claim
Cons
  • No Death Due to Illness Cover
  • No vetfone
  • No new policies for older pets (not available to dogs 6+ or 8+, breed dependent, or cats 10+)
  • Excess rises as pets age
  • Copay in addition to fixed excess

Lifetime Pet Insurance Explained

Of the many types of pet insurance, Lifetime pet insurance offers the most extensive vet cover for dogs and cats, because there are no time limits on vet fee cover and the vet limit cover resets each year when you renew the policy. Lifetime plans are generally the most expensive option, with an average cost per month of £32.51 for dogs.

Policies may also offer holiday cancellation, unwell boarding cover, some level of EU travel cover for vet fees while abroad in PETS Travel Scheme countries, dental illness and/or injury, euthanasia cover and a vet hot line to call with queries about your pet's health.

Comparison of Pet Insurance Lifetime Cover

Below is a summary of vet fee cover for Lifetime plans from many of the UK pet insurers. There are other pet insurers and products available that we do not mention here.

InsurerTime to Submit ClaimsPETS Travel Scheme Trip LengthDental CoverAnnual Vet Cover

Animal Friends
90 days3 trips up to 30 days eachn/aunlimited

Argos
12 months90 days Silver, unlimited trips on Gold and Platinumaccidents only£7,000

Asda
60 days30 days or 365 days (Superior)accidents only£2,000, £4,000 or £7,500

John Lewis
12 months (unofficial)3 trips up to 60 days each (PETS) under Plus and PremierAccidents only£3,000, £7,500 or £12,000

Kennel Club
By the end of the period of insurance or within 6 months from the first date of treatment, whichever is the latter120 days per policy yearAccident and Illness£7,500 or £15,000

LV=
12 monthsCovered with no time limitAccident and Illness£3,000, £5,000 or £10,000

M&S
60 daysTrips up to 60 daysAccident and Illness£4,000 or £7,000

More Than
60 daysOptionalAccident and Illness£4,000 or £12,000

PDSA
60 days30 days or 90 days (Ultimate Plus)Accidents only£1,500, £3,000, £4,500 or £8,000

pet-insurance.co.uk
12 months (Lifetime)n/aAccidents only£3,500

PetPlan
one year90 days per yearAccident and Illness£4,000, £7,000 or £12,000

Pet Protect
6 months31 days per yearAccident and Illness£4,000 or £6,000

Sainsbury's
1 year90 daysAccident and Illness

Tesco
12 months3 trips up to 30 days eachAccident and Illness£7,500 or £10,000
Chart showing price comparison of Lifetime Dog Insurance
Here's how prices compare across Lifetime pet insurance plans

Choosing the Best Lifetime Pet Insurance for You and Your Pet

When it comes to Lifetime pet insurance, there is no one "best" plan because different insurance policies cater to different needs. Your choice will depend on how much vet cover you want and whether you want cover for an older pet, dental cover, cover for hard-to-insure breeds, cover to take your pet abroad, no annual per condition limits, etc. Additionally, price may play a large part in your decision. The plans discussed on this page range in price from around £133 up to £733 per year, suiting a wide range of budgets.

Erin Yurday

Erin Yurday is the CEO, Co-founder and Editor of NimbleFins. Prior to NimbleFins, she worked as an investment professional and as the finance expert in Stanford University's Graduate School of Business case writing team.

Comments

The guidance on this site is based on our own analysis and is meant to help you identify options and narrow down your choices. We do not advise or tell you which product to buy; undertake your own due diligence before entering into any agreement. Read our full disclosure here.