Debenhams offers Accident Only, Time Limited and Lifetime pet insurance for dogs and cats, but is it any good? Prices seem to be competitive and they include some nice features such as cancellation, emergency boarding, EU travel, etc. But there are some drawbacks to consider, such as no dental illness cover and a shorter time to submit claims (90 days).
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In This Review
- Our Thoughts on Debenhams Pet Insurance
- Debenhams Pet Policy and Coverage Options
- How to Claim and Other Useful Info
- Comparing Debenhams 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.
Debenhams Pet Insurance Review: What You Should Know
Debenhams offers five pet insurance policies, with your choice of Accident Only, Time Limited and Lifetime.
|Plan Name||Type of Plan||Vet Cover Limit|
|ACCIDENT ONLY||Accident Only/Time Limited||£2,750 per condition|
|ESSENTIAL||Time Limited||£2,500 per condition|
|BASIC||Lifetime||£1,000 per condition, per year|
|EXTRA||Lifetime||£3,500 per year|
|ELITE||Lifetime||£8,500 per year|
Debenham's plans are quite comprehensive—in addition to vet fees, and liability, they include dental injury (but not illness), euthanasia, holiday cancellation, emergency boarding, advertising & reward, EU travel, etc.
However there's no cover for burial or cremation, no dental illness cover and no 24-hour vet advice line to call with questions.
Be aware that the time to submit claims is on the short side: within 90 days, or before your renewal date (whichever comes sooner). In addition, if the total Veterinary Fees are likely to exceed £1,000 you must inform Insurance Factory Limited immediately on 0333 234 0580 for pre-authorisation; they may wish to obtain a second opinion from their veterinary advisor.
Another detail to take notice of—the annual Benefit Limit for Debenhams' cheapest Lifetime plan ("Basic") has a per condition limit. This £1,000 Benefit Limit is applied separately to every unrelated injury, illness or condition claimed for per policy period. (Meaning, you can only claim up to £1,000 each year per condition, but you could theoretically claim for multiple conditions each year, up to £1,000 for each.)
Other Key Debenhams Pet Insurance Facts
- Dental injury due to accident covered only (not dental illness)
- Euthanasia covered if to alleviate incurable and inhumane suffering and your vet has recommended it
While the offer may change, at the time of writing you could get a Debenhams' gift card for signing up (we've seen offers for £10 and £30 gift cards).
How to Buy Debenhams pet insurance: You can buy a Debenhams pet insurance policy from a comparison site like our pet insurance comparison partner Compare Cover or directly from Debenhams. When we checked, policy premiums were the same from both places.
Older Pets: In addition to the addition of a 10% variable excess for older pets, be aware that once your pet reaches 8 years of age, there is no longer cover under the Death of a Pet from Accident or Illness section of your policy.
Debenhams Pet Insurance Customer Reviews
We haven't been able to find a good source of Debenhams pet insurance customer reviews online. If you have experience with them, please leave us your opinion in the comments section at the bottom of this review.
Their car insurance is rated 3.5 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot, but that doesn't say much about the pet insurance experience, unfortunately. There, 55% rated the company as "excellent" but a third have had a "bad" experience.
In terms of other ratings, Defaqto has rated Debenhams pet insurance policies with score between 3 and 4 out of 5 stars, depending on the policy:
|Debenhams Pet Insurance Defaqto Ratings|
|Basic and Essential||3 stars|
|Elite and Extra||4 stars|
Debenhams Price Comparison
We've researched prices from dozens of pet insurance policies, and found that Debenhams policies offer average value for money. Here are some sample annual costs for a young, healthy cat and dog Debenhams's 5 different plans, for comparison purposes.
Annual Cost of a New Debenhams Pet Policy, by Pet Age
Debenhams premiums seem to be around the average cost of pet insurance for dogs and cats. Prices will go up with your pet's age, as with most pet insurance plans, as you can see in the following chart.
Debenhams Pet Insurance Notable Features
Below is a brief overview of the more notable features of Debenhams dog and cat insurance. For a complete rundown of the details and exclusions, please refer to the policy documents.
|Debenhams Pet Insurance Features|
|Dental Cover||Cover for dental injuries only|
|Holiday Cancellation||Cover for the cost of travel and accommodation expenses you lose up to £500 or £1,500, depending on plan, if you have to cut short/cancel a trip because you pet needs emergency lifesaving treatment/surgery while you're on holiday or in the 14 days before your holiday starts|
|Boarding Fees if You're Unwell||Boarding costs up to £500 or £1,500, depending on plan, if you or an immediate family member are in hospital for 4 or more consecutive days, subject to some exclusions|
|Death and Loss||Cover for the purchase price from £500 to £1,500, depending on the plan, if your pet strays or is lost, stolen or sadly dies from illness or injury|
|Travel||Cover for up to 30 days per policy year when travelling to member countries in the EU through the PETS travel scheme (or 90 days for Elite and Extra plans) made up of no more than 2 Holidays in total per Policy Period; provides up to the standard vet fee cover for emergency vet expenses (not for any conditions that were present before you left the UK)|
|Congenital & Hereditary Diseases||These are not specifically excluded; as long as your pet showed no signs before your policy started or in the first 14 day waiting period, we think they'd be covered subject to other exclusions|
|Prescription Diets||Up to a maximum of £100, for up to 60 days per Policy Period, as long as it is prescribed by your vet and can only be bought from a veterinary surgery or online pharmacy and it is to dissolve bladder stones or crystals in urine and for no other purpose. They will deduct 53p a tin and £1.00 per kilo as your normal feeding costs for your pet. They will not be liable for any other dietary costs under this policy. Once resolved, they will not continue to pay as a preventative measure to stop the stones re-occurring.|
|Cremation and Burial||n/a|
|Euthanasia||Covered to alleviate incurable and inhumane suffering and your vet has recommended it; always excluding the costs of your pet being euthanised for financial reasons or because of behavioural problems; reimbursement depends on age|
|Pet Health Helpline||n/a|
Debenhams Coverage Amounts
|Policy Type||Lifetime||Lifetime||Lifetime*||12 Month||12 Month|
|Vet Fees||£8,500 per year||£3,500 per year||£1,000 Per Condition, per year||£2,500 Per Condition||£2,750 Per Condition|
|Death from illness||£1,500||£1,000||£750||£500||n/a|
|Death from accident||£1,500||£1,000||£750||£500||£500|
|Third party legal liability (dogs only)||£1,000,000||£1,000,000||£1,000,000||£1,000,000||£1,000,000|
|Third party legal liability excess||£100||£100||£100||£100||£100|
|Advertising and reward||£1,500||£1,000||£750||£500||£500|
|Loss by theft or straying||£1,500||£1,000||£750||£500||£500|
|Overseas travel||90 days||90 days||30 days||30 days||30 days|
|Pet minders helpline||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Pay vet direct||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Find a vet helpline||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Bereavement counselling helpline||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
^ Note: MRI, CT, Cruciate limits are sublimits within the overall vet fee limits, not in addition to the vet fee limit.
Wondering how the 10% copay amount works for older pets? It's calculated after the fixed amount has been deducted. Here's an example:
|Example of Debenhams Excess for Dog Age 5+|
|10% Variable Excess||10% of £415 = £41.50|
|You Pay||£85 + £41.50 = £126.50|
How does Debenhams Pet Insurance Compare to Competitors?
To better understand the value of Debenhams 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.
Debenhams Pet 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. Also, be aware that the excess increases for older pets through the addition of a 20% copay, but at potentially a higher pet age—8 years for most dogs (5 for some breeds) and 10 for cats.
Bottom Line: If you want euthanasia cover to help with the financial burden of end-of-life care should your vet decide that you pet should be put to sleep to alleviate suffering, Debenhams may be a better option. (Costs of cremation/burial aren't covered on either plan, however). If your priorities are dental illness cover, a longer time to claim or insurance from a pet specialist, then PetPlan may suit you better.
Debenhams Pet 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 pet insurance option.
Debenhams Pet 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 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. But beware of lower per-condition limits.
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.