LV= Pet Insurance Review: Good Value Plans for Your Pet?

LV= Pet Insurance Review: Good Value Plans for Your Pet?

Good value Lifetime policies but premiums may rise if you claim; Great for new policies for older pets and for taking your pet on long trips to Europe.

Good for

  • 10% discount when you buy online
  • New policies for older pets
  • Having a long time to make claims
  • Travelling to the EU with your pet
  • Dental cover
  • Free 24/7 access to vets

Bad for

  • Anyone wanting prescription food cover
  • Those worried about premiums rising after you claim
  • Anyone wanting euthanasia cover

Editor's Rating

3.8/5.0

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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Did you know that popular insurance company LV= offers pet insurance? They do! But how do their plans compare on coverage and price, especially compared to other pet insurance specialists in the market? In this review we'll discuss the most important aspects of pet insurance and how LV= compares.

We'll do our best to clarify some features of LV='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 better pet insurance policies with more beneficial features available in the marketplace.

In This Review

LV= Pet Insurance Review

According to our analysis of the market, LV= offers pet owners decent value for their money—even when it comes to Lifetime cover for ever-popular French Bulldogs and English Bulldogs, which are quite expensive to insure. This is especially true the first year as they offer a 10% discount for policies bought online (but remember your premium will then go up the next year without this discount).

They offer two types of policies: Time Limited and Lifetime. Besides choosing between either Time Limited or Lifetime pet insurance there are five levels of pet insurance offering vet cover ranging from £1,500 up to £10,000. While more expensive, if a Lifetime plan fits in your budget, it will provide more comprehensive and longer lasting cover—lifetime pet insurance is generally considered the 'best' type of cover because the limits reset each year and recurring or chronic conditions will be covered.

While LV= might not seem like a pure 'pet specialist' like Agria Pet Insurance or Petplan, keep in mind that LV= started offering pet insurance in 2013 so they are well established in the pet insurance industry now.

The standard, compulsory excess (i.e. the amount the policyholder contributes towards a claim) on LV= pet insurance is a reasonable £75, which we like (with some insurers it's over £100). We also like that policyholders can add a voluntary excess on top to lower their premium if they wish. Keep in mind that older pets also have a 20% variable excess to pay on top of the fixed excess. While this might sound like a negative at first, incorporating a variable excess like this is quite common and can help keep pet insurance prices from rising as rapidly as a pet ages—because premiums do increase with pet age, no matter which company you use.

It's also important to point out that on lifetime plans (again, regardless of which company you buy from), the excess is owed on the first claim of a condition in each policy year. So, for example, if you claim for treatment of an ear infection in two consecutive policy years, you'd have to pay the excess on the first ear infection claims in each of those years.

Regardless of the plan you choose, you'll get free access to a vet 24/7 through their vetfone.

What's missing

Policies are missing a few features such as cover for euthanasia and cremation or burial expenses, however, and older pets aren't eligible for new Lifetime cover (but, of course, you can keep renewing Lifetime cover year after year as your pet ages, so long as the policy was first purchased when your pet was eligible—which of course they would have been when LV= sold you a policy!). If you want dental illness cover to protect against tooth decay or gum disease in your pet, you'll need to get one of LV='s Lifetime policies.

Quick overview of Time Limited policies

Time limited policies provide up to 12 months of vet cover for accidents or illnesses for dogs and cats, with up to £1,500 or £2,500 of vet fee cover per condition. With Time Limited policies, you're only reimbursed for a certain condition for up to 12 months or once you've reached the vet fee limit, whichever comes first. Time Limited policies therefore are quite restricted in nature as they don't provide long-term cover for recurring or chronic conditions.

Quick overview of Lifetime policies

LV= also offers three Lifetime policies with vet cover of £3,000, £5,000 or £10,000 (and their £5k and £10k Lifetime plans are both rated 5 stars by Defaqto for good features!). Lifetime policies are generally considered the best, because there is no time limit imposed on covered treatments—that is, you can keep claiming for a condition year after year (so long as the policy remains valid). The only limit is the amount you can claim in total across all conditions over each policy year. When you renew, the amount you have available for the next year resets to the policy limit again.

Quick overview of dental cover

LV= Lifetime policies cover dental treatment for your pet as long as regular check-ups and preventative measures have been taken. Their Time Limited policies cover dental work provided that it was caused by an accident. If your pet was insured with LV= before they were 16 weeks old and your pet is now over six months old, if needed, they'll also cover dental work to remove their first set of teeth. In line with other pet insurance providers, routine check ups and preventative treatments such as descaling are not included.

LV= Pet Insurance Key Facts

  • EU Travel cover (no time limit on trip duration)
  • Holiday cancellation and unwell boarding cover available
  • Prescription food not covered
  • Premium may increase according to claims history
  • Dental cover includes disease/decay only on Lifetime plans
  • Excess increases with age (through addition of 20% vet bill copay)
  • Euthanasia not covered

LV= Pet Insurance Customer Reviews

LV= online customer reviews are generally strong. For example, LV= pet insurance has been awarded 9 out of 10 stars by close to 2,000 reviewers at reevoo. And more than 50,000 customers have left reviews on Trustpilot, giving the company a very high 4.7 out of 5 stars for LV= products overall (not specific to pet insurance—most comments related to their car insurance).

We scoured hundreds of customer comments to see what customers have to say about their overall experience with LV. Here are some real customer reviews:

"Does what it says on the adverts, quick, easy and convenient cover at the right price."

"Good value pet insurance, with optional levels of cover"

"You also have the added confidence that LV is a trusted, solid household name."

"Comprehensive policy, high claim limit in relation to price and excess"

"Didn’t receive an email to confirm I’d bought the policy. I don’t know if I’m insured or not."

"We travel extensively each year and the policy gives overseas (EU) cover for 365 days per year."

"Online quote beat renewal quote by £140! No reward for loyalty here!"

Here is a summary of Trustpilot and Defaqto ratings for LV= pet insurance:

LV= Customer Reviews and Ratings
Trustpilot customer reviews4.7 out of 5
Defaqto Feature Ratings (out of 5)
Time Limited3 stars
Lifetime (£3,000)4 stars
Lifetime (£5,000 and £10,000)5 stars

LV= Quote Comparison

According to our research, LV= prices are in line with the average cost of pet insurance.

To compare pet insurance prices for LV, we obtained sample quotes for a healthy, young, medium-sized crossbreed dog. For our test case, LV= pet insurance prices started from around £24 a month for Lifetime cover, or £291 a year. Older dogs and certain breeds can cost significantly more to insure.

chart comparing pet insurance quotes by policy type for LV= vs the market average
How Do LV='s Prices Compare?

Since LV= lets you add a voluntary excess on top of the compulsory excess, we also tested quotes for a £150 total excess (£75 compulsory plus £75 voluntary). How much can you save with the higher excess? It looks like quotes are around 8% to 10% cheaper with the higher excess.

Is it worth it? It depends. Generally speaking, we find that if you'll claim at least once in a year, most pet owners would be better off with the lower excess/higher premium combination. This is because the change in premium is usually not enough to make up for a higher excess.

Consider the financial impact a higher excess should you need to claim. Consider that on average choosing a total excess of £150 (instead of £75) would save around £33 in annual premium for a Lifetime policy for a healthy, young, mixed breed dog. But, should you need to claim, you'd pay an additional £75 in excess, more than offsetting the premium savings you achieved. A further claim in a year would make the higher excess option even more expensive. But again, keep in mind that prices will vary from person to person so you'll have to see how your premium varies with the choice of excess.

LV= Notable Features

Here are some highlights of features available on LV='s pet insurance policies. For more complete details and exclusions, please see the policy documents.

LV= Pet Insurance Features
DentalTime Limited policies cover injury and removal of first teeth under some conditions; Lifetime policies also cover other conditions subject to annual dental exam/maintenance
Cover for Holiday Cut ShortCover if you have to cancel (less than 7 days before you were due to leave) or curtail your holiday because your pet needs emergency life-saving surgery or goes missing (full details can be found in the Policy Wording
Boarding Cover When You're UnwellCover for boarding fees when you're an inpatient at hospital for at least 4 days
Complementary TherapyAcupuncture, homeopathy, herbal medicine, Chiropractic manipulation, physiotherapy, osteopathy and hydrotherapy (max 5 sessions on Time Limited policies; max 10 sessions on Lifetime)
Travel CoverLV= policies provide cover in the EU (Pet Travel Scheme) with no limit on the trip length. The amount of cover while travelling is the same as if you were in the UK
Death due to IllnessReimbursement of purchase price of your pet (up to £1,500), if he/she dies due to illness. Only available for dogs up to 9 years old and cats up to 11 years old. You must provide evidence of the amount you paid/donated for your pet
Death due to AccidentReimbursement of purchase price of your pet (up to £1,500), if he/she dies due to accident. You must provide evidence of the amount you paid/donated for your pet

Types of LV= Dog and Cat Insurance Policies

LV= offers two types of pet insurance—Time Limited and Lifetime, with vet cover ranging from £1,500 up to £10,000.

LV= Time Limited

An LV= Time Limited plan can be purchased with either £1,500 or £2,500 of vet cover. With Time Limited cover, vet bills are reimbursable for up to 12 months per condition, up to the vet cover limit. Once either 12 months have passed since your vet was first treated or you have claimed up to the limit, whichever is sooner, you can no longer claim for that condition.

Before choosing a Time Limited plan it's important to understand the repercussions of how bilateral conditions are treated. Bilateral conditions are conditions affecting a body part of which your pet has two (e.g., ears, eyes, ligaments, etc.). For insurance purposes, bilateral conditions are treated as one condition—meaning if you pet has an infection in one eye, then both eyes are excluded from cover 12 months after the first treatment of the infected eye.

LV= Lifetime

LV= offers three levels of Lifetime cover, with either £3,000, £5,000 or £10,000 of vet cover per year. Each year when you renew the policy the vet fees cover is reinstated, providing that amount of cover again for the next year.

Lifetime insurance plans continue to reimburse for vet fees associated with recurring or chronic conditions, year after year, so long as the policy remains in force.

LV= Coverage Amounts

Product TypeTime Limited - £1,500Time Limited - £2,500Lifetime - £3,000Lifetime - £5,000Lifetime - £10,000
Vets feesup to £1,500 per conditionup to £2,500 per conditionup to £3,000 per policy yearup to £5,000 per policy yearup to £10,000 per policy year
Third Party Liability (Dogs)up to £2 millionup to £2 millionup to £2 millionup to £2 millionup to £2 million
Third Party Liability Excess£250 per claim£250 per claim for property damage£250 per claim for property damage£250 per claim for property damage£250 per claim for property damage
Death from illness or accidentup to £1,500 (up to age 9 dogs, age 11 cats)
Advertising / Rewardup to £1,500 (max £500 reward)
Accidental damage to third party propertyn/an/an/an/aup to £750
Loss by theft or strayingup to £1,500
Boarding or pet minding feesup to £1,500
Holiday cancellationup to £1,500up to £1,500up to £3,000up to £3,000up to £3,000
Additional Travel Cover
Quarantine costsup to £1,500up to £1,500up to £2,000up to £2,000up to £2,000
Loss of pet's passportup to £250up to £250up to £500up to £500up to £500
Repeat tapewormup to £1,000up to £1,000up to £1,000up to £1,000up to £1,000

FAQs

LV= pet insurance policies are underwritten by Liverpool Victoria Insurance Company Limited (LV=) and administered by Insurance Factory Ltd.
Yes, LV= sells pet insurance as part of their product line. They offer a Time Limited product and a Lifetime product, with cover ranging from £1,500 up to £10,000.
Yes, you can get a 5% multi pet discount when you insure your pets together with LV=.
LV= tries to pay pet insurance claims within 7-10 working days of receiving the claim form and all supporting documentation.
Out-of-hours charges to see a vet outside their normal surgery hours are covered, but you must have written confirmation from the vet explaining why treatment couldn’t wait until normal surgery hours. Similarly, house calls are covered if your vet provides written confirmation that taking your pet to the surgery would have seriously worsened your pet's condition.
All of LV='s pet insurance policies cover dental treatment for damage due to accident as well as the removal of milk teeth as long as your pet was first insured with LV= before 16 weeks of age. Additional coverage of decay and disease is available through the Lifetime plan—provided your pet has an annual dental exam with the vet and you follow up with any recommended treatment.
The standard excess on LV= pet insurance policies is £75. On Time Limited policies, you would pay this once per condition. On Lifetime policies, the excess is paid once per condition per year. In addition, policyholders can choose an additional voluntary excess of £75 or £125, which you pay in addition to the mandatory £75 excess, bringing your total excess to either £150 or £200. Raising your excess should have the effect of lowering the premium. Finally, for dogs aged 8+ and cats aged 10+, you also pay a copay of 20% of all remaining vet bills (after the fixed £ excess is paid) on Lifetime policies.
No, LV= won't cover any pre-existing conditions (e.g. illnesses or injuries that showed any signs or existed before the start date of the policy). If you need pre-existing pet insurance, read more about the options in the UK market here.

Example of How Excess and Copay Work for Older Pets with LV=

Vet Fee£1,000
Fixed Excess-£75
Remainder£925
20% Copay-£92.50
Amount LV= will Pay£832.50
Total Amount Paid by Policyholder£167.50

How does LV= Pet Insurance Compare to Competitors?

To better understand the value of LV= 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.

LV= Pet Insurance vs Argos Pet Insurance

Argos Pet Insurance may be another decent option for those with older pets, since they're eligible for Lifetime cover regardless of age and there’s no change to excess when your pet ages. You’ll get euthanasia cover and there’s a 24/7 vet helpline to call with questions, but you don’t get vet cover for the treatment of tooth decay or tooth/gum disease. To get an idea of price, our sample quote for a young, healthy dog showed a cost of £360 for £7,000 of Lifetime cover with a £135 fixed excess.

Bottom Line: If you're attracted to LV= for a new Lifetime policy for your older pet, Argos plans can be another good option to consider if you don't want a higher excess for older pets (but as a consequence, the premium might increase more with Argos as your pet ages).

LV= Insurance vs Agria Pet Insurance

Agria Pet Insurance offers comprehensive Lifetime plans for lower-than-average prices and is one of our favourite pet insurers. Many features are offered as extras, which means that you don't need to pay for certain features if you don't want to—if you never take your pet abroad to Europe, then you don't need to buy the Travel cover. Another way that Agria keeps prices lower is through a 10% copay/variable excess so pet owners contribute more towards vet fees—the pet owner is responsible for the fixed excess (£95 or £160 for dogs, £85 or £160 for cats) than another 10% of vet bills. We like that Agria is a specialist pet insurer with a long history, offering some desirable features such as dental, euthanasia and cremation/burial, sensible out-of-hours reimbursement and cover for congenital conditions. 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: Agria can be another good option for those wanting euthanasia and dental illness cover—but keep in mind you pay a standard 10% copay after the fixed excess is taken out, regardless of the age of your pet.

LV= Pet Insurance vs Animal Friends Pet Insurance

Animal Friends Pet Insurance is a specialist pet insurer, whose plans stand out for lower-than-average premiums (partially achieved through per condition limits, even on Lifetime plans). Those with older pets can insure their dogs and cats with Animal Friends, as there is no upper age limit for new policies, even Lifetime cover—but there is a 20% copay (in addition to the £99 fixed excess) for dogs aged 8+ and cats aged 10+. Animal Friends doesn't have dental cover on some plans, but not all, plus claims need to be submitted 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. Another plus is that the company is big and has an efficient claims system called Pawtal, which most vets are accustomed to working with, so they can submit claims on your behalf.

Bottom Line: If you're very price conscious, you might find a lower premium with an Animal Friends plan. But on a cheaper plan the cover will probably be lower, so it's a trade off.

Other Useful Information

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. Read more on LinkedIn.

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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.