John Lewis offers our favourite type of pet cover (Lifetime pet insurance) for dogs and cats. Lifetime plans provide more peace of mind because they'll cover chronic or recurring conditions throughout your pet's life.
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In This Review
- Overall Review
- Policy and Coverage Options
- Comparing John Lewis Pet Insurance to Other Insurers
Choosing the best policy for you and your dog or cat will depend on your individual situation. You may also like to look at our article, Best Pet Insurance, for other pet insurance options like pet specialist insurers such as PetPlan, Pet Protect and Agria.
John Lewis Pet Insurance Review
Underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance, John Lewis pet insurance offers some key features, including Lifetime cover for older pets. We found their Premier plans with £12k of cover offer the best value for money, but you can potentially save £100 a year or more by opting for their mid-range plans, although these have lower vet fee limits.
Unfortunately, John Lewis pet insurance is likely to increase if you claim. In fact, they say your premium can double at renewal if a claim is paid. Why? They say that once a pet has taken ill, they're usually more likely to fall ill again. This can be very frustrating for pet owners who are unsure if they should make a claim or not.
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 only sells one type of pet insurance—Lifetime dog and cat insurance, with varying levels of cover (e.g., annual vet cover of £2,000, £3,000, £5,000, £7,500 £9,000 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. Plus by applying online with John Lewis Finance, you can save 10%. Please note that all prices quoted in this review were obtained online, reflecting the 10% online discount. It appears you'll get nearly this same discount by applying through a comparison site.
Claiming: You have 90 days from the first treatment for each new accident or illness to submit the claim form. This is a good, long time (some competitors only give pet owners 60 or 90 days, in contrast). They say that if your pet continues to need ongoing treatment, you can send in further claims including updated medical records, invoices and receipts every 3 to 6 months.
Excess: For pets under age 9, you pay a fixed excess and, if you want, a voluntary % copay (opting to do so would reduce your premium). When your pet turns 9 all pet owners will pay the standard £ excess and a co-payment of 20% which replaces any voluntary % co-payment you might have previously chosen. 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 Key Points
- Choice of six Lifetime plans (£2,000, £3,000, £5,000, £7,500 £9,000 or £12,000)
- 90 days to submit claims
- Lifetime cover with no upper age limit
- Dental injury and illness covered (stc, e.g. need checkups every 12 months)
- 93% of claims paid within 5 days
- Can choose excess amount to suit
- Owner's contribution to vet bills goes up for pets aged 9 and older
John Lewis Pet Insurance Ratings and Reviews
|John Lewis Pet Plan||Which? Policy Score||Which? Customer Score||Which? Policy Score||Which? Customer Score|
John Lewis used to display a rating on their website specifically for pet insurance—and when we last checked this, John Lewis pet insurance's overall customer rating was 4.5 out of 5 stars, according to 277 reviews. It's worth noting that most of the reviews were submitted just after purchase, so this rating reflected the sales process and value for money more than the claims process. And they no longer show pet insurance reviews on their website.
We can look to Trustpilot reviews for John Lewis Finance, but the drawback is that there we get an overall customer star rating across all finance products, not just pet insurance. Nonetheless, that rating is 4.0 out of 5 stars from over 4,500 customers. A look through the reviews about pet insurance specifically identifies some pros and cons. One thing we think John Lewis could do better is emailing customers their policy documents immediately after purchase. It seems that instead the post the documents and it can take 5 or so days for them to arrive, and there's no email confirmation, so customers are left uncertain over whether or not their pet is actually covered until the documents arrive in the post. It seems most customers are very pleased with the price, cover and overall purchase experience, however!
"I bought this a few weeks ago after being with another company much better value.""Good price for the ages of my dogs."
"Delighted with our new pet insurance policy and the price tag ! Easy to navigate the website and fully understand the policy details/small print."
"This company were fantastic! Firstly I wanted to be able to speak to a human and sort out my pet insurance. They were so helpful and all was arranged over the phone. The cover is what I wanted too."
"Very competitive pricing for a comprehensive insurance for our dog."
"I did a lot of research to find the best insurance for my dog. This is the best"
"Best price on the market for the amount of pet insurance cover we wanted. Easy to purchase. Really pleased"
"I wanted another John Lewis pet insurance policy because they were so amazing when my last dog got sick with cancer and died earlier this year. It’s not the experience of buying insurance that matters as much as what happens when your pet gets ill."
"Took out a pet insurance policy, no email of confirmation, so thought it had not gone through, went through it again, this time made a note of the reference number, still no email acknowledgement. Waited 4 days, and took a policy out with another company, day after, two policies came through letter box. In this day, you would expect and email confirmation for a purchase."
John Lewis Pet Insurance Quote Comparison
John Lewis pet insurance is not the cheapest on the market, but you are getting a pretty good set of features which costs a bit more. To see how their quotes vary by coverage limit, we ran sample quotes for a one-year-old mixed breed dog. As you can see, their Lifetime cover starts from around £250 a year which is just under the average cost of pet insurance in the UK and goes up to around £470. Quotes for your pet may be quite different depending on factors like where you live and the age and breed of your pet.
John Lewis Pet Insurance Insurance for Older Pet
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 at 9 years old, the amount you pay towards vet bills increases. Owners of older pets are responsible to pay the fixed excess (once per condition per year) and 20% of the treatment costs.
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.
John Lewis Pet Insurance Notable Features
|John Lewis Pet Insurance Features|
|Older Pet Lifetime Cover||While JL expects a higher contribution from the policy holder towards vet bills (through a variable excess) for older pets, they will accept older pets for their Lifetime policies unlike many other insurers|
|Complementary Therapy||Acupuncture, homeopathy, Chiropractic manipulation, osteopathy, physiotherapy and hydrotherapy (performed by or on recommendation of a vet)|
|Dental Cover||Cover for dental injuries and illnesses (pet must have a physical dental check by your vet every 12 months)|
|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 and Cremation or burial||Covered up to £150|
Types of John Lewis Pet Insurance Policies
John Lewis only offers one type of pet insurance: Lifetime cover. Lifetime policies are generally the best and 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 £2,000, £3,000, £5,000, £7,500 £9,000 or £12,000 of vet bills, with further differences in cover detailed in the table below.
John Lewis Pet Insurance Coverage Amounts
|John Lewis Pet Insurance Limits|
|Vet fees - treatment limit per year||up to £2,000, £3,000, £5,000, £7,500 £9,000 or £12,000|
|Dental care||up to £2,000, £3,000, £5,000, £7,500 £9,000 or £12,000|
|Behavioural treatment||up to £300|
|Treatment food||up to £300|
|Complementary treatment - such as physiotherapy*||up to £1,500|
|Third party liability (dogs only)||up to £2m|
|Death from illness (up to nine years old)||Up to £1,500|
|Death from accident||Up to £1,500|
|Boarding kennel and cattery fees and daily minding||Up to £1,500|
|Advertising||Up to £300|
|Offering a reward||Up to £300|
|Lost or stolen pets||up to £1,500|
|Travel cover||Up to 60 days each trip, max 3 trips|
How does John Lewis Pet Insurance Compare to Competitors?
To better understand the value of John Lewis Pet Insurance you need to look at it in the context of other available options. We compared this insurer to other similar insurers so you can see which may be more suitable for you.
John Lewis Pet Insurance vs PetPlan
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 can save you a lot of hassle. 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.
Quick Takeaway: John Lewis's top and bottom-tier Lifetime Plans tend to cost less for a lower excess and more annual vet cover. But if you're after mid-range cover of around £7k in vet fees per year, PetPlan's Classic+ Plan might come in a bit cheaper. Both offer long claim windows. The best deal for you will depend on the needs of you and your pet.
John Lewis Pet Insurance vs Tesco Pet Insurance
Tesco offers quite comprehensive cover, but you'll have to pay up for their Premier Plan if you want dental illness cover (e.g., tooth decay or gum disease). Lifetime plans provide £7.5k or £10k of vet cover a year; there's no low-tier Lifetime offering (e.g., around £3k of vet cover each year) so Lifetime prices start around £500 for a healthy, young dog.
Quick Takeaway: According to our analysis, John Lewis prices come in a touch lower than Tesco, but this will vary from pet to pet.
John Lewis Insurance vs Agria Pet Insurance
Agria Pet Insurance offers comprehensive Lifetime plans for lower-than-average prices. They're able to charge lower premiums by having the pet owner pay a 10% copay in addition to the fixed excess (of £95 or £160 for dogs, £85 or £160 for cats). We like that Agria is a specialist pet insurer with a long history. Agria plans offer some desirable features, such as dental, euthanasia and cremation/burial, plus congenital conditions are not specifically excluded from cover. The cost for a young, healthy crossbreed dog is around £350 per year for a plan with £6,500 of vet cover and a £95 fixed excess + 10% copay; a British shorthair with an £85 excess + 10% copay would cost around £325 for the same level of cover.
Bottom Line: If you want a lower annual premium, Agria can be a good option—but you'll have to pay a larger share of any vet bills that arise.
Other Useful Information
- John Lewis Pet Insurance Policy Wording
- John Lewis Pet Insurance Claim Form