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LV= offers pet owners decent value for their money, especially when it comes to Lifetime cover for ever-popular French Bulldogs and English Bulldogs, which are quite expensive to insure. Customers have a choice of either Time Limited or Lifetime pet insurance with five levels of pet insurance offering vet cover ranging from £1,500 up to £10,000. If you'd rather go with a pet specialist insurer, read our review on Agria Pet Insurance.
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
- Overall Review
- Policy and Coverage Options
- Comparing LV= to the Competition
LV= Pet Insurance Review
LV= offers solid value plans and, when we did a price check, stands out for reasonable prices for notoriously-expensive-to-insure Bulldogs. They offer two types of policies: Time Limited and Lifetime. If a Lifetime plan fits in your budget, it will provide more comprehensive and longer lasting cover.
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.
LV= also offers three Lifetime policies with vet cover of £3,000, £5,000 or £10,000. Lifetime policies are 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.
The standard, compulsory excess on LV pet insurance is a reasonable £75, but policyholders can add a voluntary excess on top to lower their premium; older pets also have a 20% variable excess to pay on top of the fixed excess.
Policies are missing a few sought-after features such as cover for euthanasia and cremation or burial expenses, however, and older pets aren't eligible for new Lifetime cover. 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.
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
- No vetfone to call with queries
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 over 750 reviewers at reevoo. And more than 13,000 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 reviews||8.9 out of 10|
|Defaqto Feature Ratings (out of 5)|
|Time Limited||3 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.
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? 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) will 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.
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|
|Dental||Time 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 Short||Cover 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 Unwell||Cover for boarding fees when you're an inpatient at hospital for at least 4 days|
|Complementary Therapy||Acupuncture, homeopathy, herbal medicine, Chiropractic manipulation, physiotherapy, osteopathy and hydrotherapy (max 5 sessions on Time Limited policies; max 10 sessions on Lifetime)|
|Travel Cover||LV= 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 Illness||Reimbursement 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 Accident||Reimbursement 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= 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 Type||Time Limited - £1,500||Time Limited - £2,500||Lifetime - £3,000||Lifetime - £5,000||Lifetime - £10,000|
|Vets fees||up to £1,500 per condition||up to £2,500 per condition||up to £3,000 per policy year||up to £5,000 per policy year||up to £10,000 per policy year|
|Third Party Liability (Dogs)||up to £2 million||up to £2 million||up to £2 million||up to £2 million||up 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 accident||up to £1,500 (up to age 9 dogs, age 11 cats)|
|Advertising / Reward||up to £1,500 (max £500 reward)|
|Accidental damage to third party property||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a||up to £750|
|Loss by theft or straying||up to £1,500|
|Boarding or pet minding fees||up to £1,500|
|Holiday cancellation||up to £1,500||up to £1,500||up to £3,000||up to £3,000||up to £3,000|
|Additional Travel Cover|
|Quarantine costs||up to £1,500||up to £1,500||up to £2,000||up to £2,000||up to £2,000|
|Loss of pet's passport||up to £250||up to £250||up to £500||up to £500||up to £500|
|Repeat tapeworm||up to £1,000||up to £1,000||up to £1,000||up to £1,000||up to £1,000|
Example of How Excess and Copay Work for Older Pets with LV=
|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 since the excess won't go up over time.
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 10% copay after the fixed excess is taken out.
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) 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 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 or a vet line to call with queries, however, 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.
Bottom Line: If you're very price conscious, you'll probably find a lower premium with an Animal Friends plan.