John Lewis offers UK Lifetime pet insurance for dogs and cats, with cover options of £3,000, £7,500 or £12,000 per year.
In this review we try to clarify some features of John Lewis's pet insurance plans, but be sure to read the policy wording before you sign up. Choosing the best policy for you and your pet will depend on your individual situation. There may be other cat or dog insurance policies with better features available in the marketplace.
- No official deadline to submit claims for reimbursement
- Lifetime cover with no upper age limit
- Dental injury covered
- 10% discount for online applications
- Can choose excess amount to suit
- Dental illness not covered
- Owner's contribution to vet bills goes up for pets aged 9 and older
In This Review
- Overall Review
- Older Pets
- John Lewis Pet Insurance Price Comparison
- Policy and Coverage Options
- Customer Experience Ratings
John Lewis Pet Insurance Review
Underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance, John Lewis pet insurance offers one type of pet insurance—Lifetime dog and cat insurance with varying levels of cover (e.g., annual vet cover of £3,000, £7,500 or £12,000) and choice of excess amount (from £60 up to £500). With a lifetime John Lewis policy, conditions which recur or are chronic will be covered over the years, so long as you keep renewing the policy. The ability to tailor the excess amount means you can customize the policy to suit your individual financial situation—by choosing a lower excess, your annual premium will rise but you'll pay less out of pocket per condition each year.
According to our research, John Lewis prices seem in line with comparable lifetime policies from competing insurers, as you can see below in our price comparison. By applying online, you can save 10%. Please note that all prices quoted in this review were obtained online, reflecting the 10% online discount.
Quite unusually, there is no official deadline for submitting claims. Having spoken in depth with customer service, we discovered that John Lewis has paid for vet bills on a policy that was no longer active—of course, at the time the vet bills were incurred, the policy was in force and paid. We wouldn't recommend abusing this "no deadline" policy, however, and, of course, the biggest motivation to submit your claim form in a timely manner is getting paid!
Cover must be purchased when your pet is healthy. Policyholders can't claim for vet fees as a result of an accident in the first 48 hours of cover, or for any changes in their pet's health or behaviour in the first 14 days of cover.
John Lewis Pet Insurance Insurance for Older Pets
John Lewis will sell their Lifetime insurance policies for pets throughout their lives—there is no maximum age limit for new policies so even "older" pets can obtain Lifetime cover.
However, older pet owners should be prepared to make larger contributions towards health care costs. Once your pet falls into the "older" category, the amount you pay towards vet bills increases. Owners of older pets are responsible to pay £60, £80, £100, £140, £250 or £500 of each condition each policy year, depending on the level of excess chosen, OR 20% of the treatment costs—whichever is greater.
John Lewis treats both dogs and cats aged 9+ years as "older." It is also worth noting that Death for Illness cover is not available for older pets—that is, owners of older pets won't be reimbursed for the purchase price upon death due to illness or accident.
The excess changes for older pets, to be either your fixed £ excess or 20% of the vet fees, whichever is greater for a condition (as illustrated in the following section).
Choice of Excess
|Lowest Excess||...||up||to||...||Highest Excess|
|Younger Pets (under 9)||£60||£80||£100||£140||£250||£500|
|Older Pets (aged 9 or older)||greater of £60 or 20%||greater of £80 or 20%||greater of £100 or 20%||greater of £140 or 20%||greater of £250 or 20%||greater of £500 or 20%|
With a range of excess options on offer, deciding which is the best insurance policy for you can be confusing. If you're not sure whether or not it's a good idea to opt for a higher excess in order to achieve a lower premium, check out our analysis of Higher Excess vs. Lower Excess.
John Lewis Pet Insurance Notable Features
- Older Pet Lifetime Cover: While JL imposes higher contributions from the policy holder towards vet bills for older pets, they will accept older pets for their Lifetime policies
- Complementary Therapy: Acupuncture, homeopathy, Chiropractic manipulation, osteopathy, physiotherapy and hydrotherapy (performed by or on recommendation of a vet)
- Dental Cover: Cover for dental injuries (but not illnesses)
- Vetfone: Pet owners can call the John Lewis vetfone to speak with a UK qualified veterinary nurse 24 hours a day, 365 days a year (John Lewis vetfone phone number: 0800 316 7119)
- Travel: Travel for up to 3 trips up to 60 days each with your pet to the EU (countries that are part of the PETS scheme) is covered under the Plus and Premier plans
- Cover for Holiday Cut Short: Cover if you have to cancel or curtail your holiday because your pet goes missing, dies or has to be put to sleep by a vet or needs emergency life-saving surgery. Cancellation covered for life-saving treatment within 7 days of departure
- Boarding Cover When You're Unwell: Boarding fees when you're an inpatient at hospital for at least 4 days
- Euthanasia: Covered up to £100
John Lewis Pet Insurance Quote Comparison
In order to compare the price of John Lewis pet insurance to other options in the market, we've gathered quotes across 44 lifetime policies from ten popular UK insurers for a 3-month-old male cockapoo.
Our research showed that John Lewis quotes averaged: £429 annual premium for £6,833 annual vet cover with a £120 excess. These statistics compare favourably to the average cost of lifetime pet insurance—while the average JL premium was a negligible 2% lower than the average of £419, the £120 average John Lewis excess was a noticeable 14% lower than the average excess of £137. As the average amount of vet cover was nearly the same (£6,833 for JL vs. £6,875 average), the lower John Lewis excess implies that JL policyholders will pay around £17 less per reimbursable claim than with other comparable Lifetime policies.
Annual Quotes for Lifetime Policies for 3-Month-Old, Spayed Male Cockapoo
|Insurer||Excess||£3k - £4k Vet Cover||£7k - £7.5k Vet Cover||£10k - £12k Vet Cover|
Here's How the Premium Changes with a Higher Excess
With John Lewis you can select an excess that best suits your financial situation. Policyholders can choose between paying an excess of £60, £80, £100, £140, £250 or £500 per condition, per year. Changing the excess amount will impact the cost of your annual premium. For instance, the annual premium will be higher when you select a lower excess (the fixed amount you pay towards a claim), because the insurance company pays more of your vet bills.
When deciding upon the excess amount, carefully consider your needs. While choosing a high excess will lower your premium significantly, there are drawbacks to a high excess. For example, a policy with a £500 excess will be useful to help cover the high, unexpected costs of a surgery (which can run into the thousands of pounds) but you likely won't be reimbursed for vet bills related to common ailments like ear infections, skin rashes or stomach trouble. With a £500 excess, you pay the first £500 of each condition, each year—insurance will only reimburse for costs beyond the £500 excess, per year, per condition.
Types of John Lewis Pet Insurance Policies
John Lewis only offers one type of pet insurance: Lifetime cover. Lifetime policies are generally the most expensive as they cover both illnesses and accidents/injuries, with vet cover resetting each year. Lifetime policies will reimburse you year after year for vet bills related to recurring or chronic conditions, such as ear infections, up to the total vet cover limit per year.
While the amount of money you can use each year resets when you renew the policy, please be aware that the excess resets as well—that is, you'll pay the excess again for each condition claimed, in each year you submit an associated claim.
John Lewis dog and cat insurance can be purchased in three coverage levels: up to £3,000, £7,500 or £12,000 of vet bills, with further differences in cover detailed in the table below.
John Lewis Pet Insurance Coverage Amounts
|Vet fees - treatment limit per year||up to £3,000||up to £7,500||up to £12,000|
|Behavioural treatment||up to £250||up to £250||up to £500|
|Treatment food||up to £250||up to £250||up to £250|
|Complementary treatment - such as physiotherapy*||up to £500||up to £1,000||up to £2,000|
|Third party liability (dogs only)||up to £1m||up to £2m||up to £3m|
|Accidental damage - damage to other people's property||up to £250||up to £500||up to £750|
|Lost or stolen pets||up to £500||up to £1,000||up to £1,500|
Customer Experience Ratings
John Lewis pet insurance's overall customer rating is 4.4 out of 5 stars, according to 217 reviews on the John Lewis website. It is worth noting that many of the reviews were submitted just after they were purchases, without customers having had any claims experience on their policies.
Defaqto has rated John Lewis's higher coverage policies (i.e., Plus and Premier) 5 out of 5 stars.