NEWS: Paws + Claws pet insurance is no longer selling new policies, but their sister company Purely Pets is now selling Lifetime cover from £1,000 to £15,000 with a flexible excess starting from £60.
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Paws and Claws offers reasonably-priced Accident Only, Time Limited and Lifetime pet insurance for dogs and cats. Find out how Paws and Claws policies differ from competitors, to help you decide if the coverage suits your needs.
In This Review
- Overall Review
Choosing the best policy for you and your pet will depend on your individual situation. There may be other cat or dog policies with better features available in the marketplace. You may want to read about other options in our article on Cheap Dog and Cat Insurance.
Paws and Claws Pet Insurance Review
Paws and Claws is a UK pet insurance company offering coverage limits and prices towards the lower end of the market. While prices might be a touch higher than some competitors, the lower-than-average £60 standard excess may save you a bit of money should you need to claim. The very budget conscious might want to compare prices for similar plans before buying, for instance from Animal Friends, which you can do from our partner Compare Cover.
Customer ratings of Paws and Claws are generally positive, with many citing reasonable prices, but the exclusions catch some pet owners unaware so be sure to read about the limitations of their policies before buying. For example, not all Lifetime plans cover CT/MRI scans.
Lifetime plans are structured a bit differently than Lifetime plans offered by other pet insurance companies. For instance, Paws and Claws Lifetime plans do not have an overall annual limit but instead impose limits per condition—meaning you can claim only up to a limit for any given condition but can claim for many conditions each year if necessary.
With Paws and Claws you can visit any registered vet in the UK, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man—there are no restrictions on which vet you can visit for treatment.
What to Look Out For
- If total vet fees for treatment of a condition are likely to exceed £1,000, you must call 0330 102 5747 for pre-authorisation.; you may need to obtain a second opinion from their veterinary advisor
- Death benefit limits are capped at £75 for a cat and £150 for a dog if you don't have proof of purchase
- Inner limits on cruciate ligament treatment
- Inner limits on CT/MRI scans
Time to Claim: Pet owners are supposed to submit claims as soon as possible, but definitely within 90 days of the incident occurring or your renewal if sooner. Claims submitted after this time may not be paid.
Insurance for Older Pets: Pets aged 8 years or over incur an additional 15% co-payment to each claim payment in addition to the deduction of the standard excess. There's no age limit so pets of any age can get a new policy, although prices will be higher for older pets.
Excess: The standard excess is £60. An excess is deducted for each accident or illness claimed for during each policy period. For One and Two Paw policies the excess is deducted once per Condition.
Bilateral Conditions: For policies with a benefit limit (e.g., 12 months or annual per condition limits), bilateral conditions are considered as one condition if there is evidence that your pet has had symptoms in the last 24 months and/or your vet records indicate that the conditions are related. For example, if your dog has hip dysplasia in both legs they'd be treated as one condition, with only one condition limit to use for both legs.
Paws and Claws Key Facts
- Fully UK based contact centre
- 24-hour Vet Helpline
- Manage your policy online
- Claims should be paid within 5 working days
- Vets fees cover up to £5,000 per condition
- Lifetime, Time Limited and Accident Only cover available
- Overseas vet cover
- Dental injury cover up to £1,000
- £1m+ Third Party Liability cover for dogs included with Lifetime and Time Limited plans
- Pay yearly or monthly with no interest charges
Customer Experience Ratings
Paws and Claws is rated "Great" by customers, achieving 4 out of 5 stars on TrustPilot from close to 500 customers. Customers praised the company for competitive prices offering good value for money, quick claims processing and easy to buy online—even for multiple pets. Negative reviews included some customers experiencing problems accessing their accounts online, not receiving documentation and premium hikes. However, rising premiums are common across the UK pet insurance industry as pets age, because medical treatment usually costs more for older pets. Here are some real customer comments:
"Paws and Claws give a reasonably priced insurance for pets... The one occasion I made a claim, it was paid promptly and with no problem."
"This is my 3rd year renewing with Paws and Claws. I was really happy with my renewal quotation this year and found the process of renewing very quick and easy.""Best insurance company around, very professional and always happy to offer advice and support."
"Affordable prices and always updating me on offers and various other changes. They automatically renewed my insurance so I didn't have to worry about missing any cover"
"I have found you very helpful and have supported me through a very hard time when my dog was very ill"
"Took 2 months to clear my claim and doubled my premium after the first year."
"After 3 years with Paws and Claws my insurance premium continues to increase year on year despite never having made a claim"
On Reviews.com, Paws and Claws receives lower ratings of only 2.73 out of 5, with only 45% of customers recommending the company. While a number of customers remarked on prompt settling of claims and reasonable prices compared to other insurance companies, other customer complaints include inability to see policy online, premiums rising, claims forms being lost or other delays in settling claims.
Paws and Claws has not been rated by Defaqto.
Paws and Claws Quote Comparison
According to our research, Paws and Claws Four Paws Lifetime plan with up to £3,500 of vet cover per year is their best value plan—it's just a few pence per month more than the Three Paws plan and charges a lower excess than the competition. Direct quote comparisons can be tricky for pet insurance, since coverage levels and excess amounts vary across insurers, but we've compared two of their Lifetime policies to other similar plans from Animal Friends and Debenhams which are similar in structure (i.e., Lifetime cover with a per condition limit each year).
Annual Quotes for Lifetime Policies for 5-Month-Old, Spayed, Male Mixed-Breed Dog
|Insurer||Plan Name||Per Condition Per Year Limits||Standard Excess||Monthly Cost|
|Paws and Claws||Three Paws||£2,500||£60||£24.53|
|Paws and Claws||Four Paws||£3,500||£60||£24.67|
Paws and Claws Notable Features
Below is a brief overview of the more notable features of Paws and Claws dog and cat insurance. For a complete rundown of the details and exclusions, please refer to the policy documents.
|Paws and Claws Pet Insurance Features|
|24 Hour Vet Helpline||Pet owners can call the Paws and Claws Vetline with queries (Paws and Claws Vetline phone number: 0333 332 6420)|
|Complementary Therapy||Physiotherapy, hydrotherapy, acupuncture, osteopathy, chiropractic, homeopathic or herbal medicines or laser Treatment (performed by a recognised party on recommendation of vet) covered up to limits of £200 or £500 on all but One Paw plans.|
|Dental Cover||Cover for dental injuries only on Two Paws, Four Paws and Five Paws plans; No cover for dental illness|
|Holiday Cancellation||Cover for reasonable travel and accommodation expenses incurred if you have to cancel or cut short your holiday because your pet needs immediate life saving surgery while you're away or up to 14 days before you leave|
|Boarding if You're Unwell||Boarding costs if you're registered as an in-patient of a hospital for 4 or more consecutive days and there is no other responsible person who can care for your pet for Two Paws, Two Paws Plus, Four Paws and Five Paws plans|
|Travel||Cover for emergency treatment for up to 30 days per year in European union countries covered by the PETS scheme made up of 2 trips per policy year, for Two Paws, Two Paws Plus, Four Paws and Five Paws plans|
|Congenital & Hereditary Diseases||Covered|
|Euthanasia||Covered if recommended by vet for humane reasons|
Types of Paws and Claws Policies
Paws and Claws offers three types of policies—lifetime, Time Limited 12 month and Accident Only. Generally speaking, Lifetime policies are best for younger pets to protect the owner against the financial strain of recurring/chronic injuries/illnesses over the course of the pet's life. Time Limited cover can be purchased for a lower price, but will only cover any illness or accident for up to one year.
Paws and Claws Lifetime Cover: Three Paws £2,500, Four Paws £3,500 and Five Paws £5,000
Lifetime pet insurance is considered the best type of cover, because there are no time limits on treatment and your limits reset each year. Paws and Claws Lifetime plans are structured differently from many other Lifetime plans in the UK market, so it's important to understand how they work. With Paws and Claws, Lifetime plans have a limit that applies per condition per year (i.e., £2,500, £3,500 or £5,000) but no limit on the total amount you can claim per year. (Most other Lifetime plans in the UK have a total annual cap but no per condition limit.)
It's worth noting there is no cover for CT/MRI scans, dental injury, death, overseas travel, etc. on the Three Paws plans.
Paws and Claws Time Limited Cover: Two Paws Plus £2,000
Time Limited cover is available with up to £2,000 of cover for each accidental injury or illness, with a maximum cover of £10,000 per year to cover multiple conditions. Be aware that claiming for a condition that affects one side of the body will start the clock ticking for both sides. For instance, claiming for an ear infection in the left ear means you only have 12 months of cover for ear infections in both ears. Time Limited cover is not great for covering bilateral conditions or recurring/chronic illnesses.
Paws and Claws Accident Only Cover: One Paw £1,000 or Two Paw £2,000
Accident Only plans are available with £1,000 or £2,000 of cover to treat an injury due to an accident. Each year, the plan would cover multiple injuries, providing up to £10,000 of cover annually—the £1,000 and £2,000 limits apply to each individual accident. These plans will not cover treatment of any illnesses, which are the primary reason for visits to the vet.
Paws and Claws Coverage Amounts
|One Paw||Two Paws||Two Paws Plus||Three Paws||Four Paws||Five Paws|
|Type of Cover||Accident Only 12 Month||Accident Only 12 Month||12 Month||Lifetime||Lifetime||Lifetime|
|Veterinary Fees||£1,000 per incident||£2,000 per incident||£2,000 per incident||£2,500 per condition, per policy year||£3,500 per condition, per policy year||£5,000 per condition, per policy year|
|Maximum Benefit Limit||£10,000 Per Year||£10,000 Per Year||£10,000 Per Year||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|CT/MRI Scans and Associated Costs||-||-||£500||-||£750||£1,000|
|Dentistry as a direct result of an accident/injury||-||-||£200||-||£500||£1,000|
|Death of Pet||-||£200||£200||-||£500||£1,000|
|Loss by Theft or Straying||-||£200||£200||-||£500||£1,000|
|Advertising and Reward||-||£200||£200||-||£500||£500|
|Third Party Liability (Dogs Only)||-||£1,000,000||£1,000,000||£1,000,000||£2,000,000||£2,000,000|
Other Useful Information
How does Paws and Claws Insurance Compare to Competitors?
To better understand the value of Paws and Claws 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.
Petplan 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 higher coverage levels, Agria can be a good option—but you'll have to pay a larger share of any vet bills that arise due to the 10% variable excess.
Paws and Claws Insurance vs Pet Protect Pet Insurance
Pet Protect Pet Insurance is another specialist pet insurer whose low-priced plans offer a host of features such as euthanasia cover, travel cover, dental illness and injury, prescription food and cover for congenital & hereditary conditions (e.g, heart murmur or hip dysplasia), plus owners have up to 6 months to submit claims. There are no per-condition limits. Owners of older pets should be aware that new policies are not available to dogs 6+ or 8+ (breed dependent) or cats 10+, plus the fixed excess and copay amount rise steadily as your pet ages. Our price check showed a range of £180 to £210 for £4k to £6k of Lifetime cover, respectively, for a healthy, young crossbreed dog, significantly lower than average.
Bottom Line: Those looking for a lower-priced Lifetime plan might want to consider Pet Protect since there are no per-condition limits and wide-ranging features, but be sure you're comfortable with the copay (which rises with age up from 5% to 25%).
Paws and Claws 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 buy new policies with Animal Friends, 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 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: Those looking for a lower-priced Lifetime plan can probably find suitable cover with Animal Friends, but those looking for dental injury, a vet helpline or a lower excess might prefer Paws and Claws.