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Pet Protect offers quite good value pet insurance for dogs and cats, with your choice of two Lifetime cover options: Lifelong Plus with £4,000 of vet cover and Lifelong Extra with £6,000 of vet cover. If you want access to a vetfone or Death Due to Illness cover you may want to consider Agria or PetPlan, or to insure an older pet, check out LV=—some of the Best Pet Insurance plans available.
In this review we try to clarify some features of Pet Protect's pet insurance plans, but be sure to read the policy wording before you sign up. Choosing the best policy for you and your dogs or cats will depend on your individual situation.
Pet Protect Key Facts
- Holiday cancellation and unwell cover available
- Euthanasia cover
- Travel cover
- Dental (subject to annual exams)
- Prescription food
- 6 months to make claims
- No Death Due to Illness Cover
- Premium may increase according to claims history
- No vetfone to call with queries
- Upper age limit on new policies (not available to dogs 6+ or 8+, breed dependent, or cats 10+)
- Excess increases with age
In This Review
- Overall Review
- Policy and Coverage Options
- Customer Experience Ratings
- Comparing Pet Protect to the Competition
Pet Protect Pet Insurance Review
Pet Protect offers some of the Best Value Dog and Cat Insurance, with their two Lifetime dog and cat insurance policies: Lifeline Plus and Lifeline Extra, with £4,000 and £6,000 of cover, respectively.
Pet Protect helps keep prices lower by having pet owners contribute towards vet bills with both a fixed excess and a variable excess, which starts at 5% and increases with pet age up to 30%. While some other insurers employ the same method, the variable excess with Pet Protect will be higher by around 5 to 10% for most of your pet's life than, say, with Agria Pet Insurance.
Prices may increase if you claim. When it comes to renewal, your new premium may reflect your claims history over the past year. On page 28 of the Terms & Conditions, under the Policy Renewal section, it states that premiums may increase according to claims history (as well as pet's age and your location).
Time Limit to Claim: All claims must be submitted within 6 months of the treatment start date. For ongoing treatment, interim claims can be submitted—this is a benefit over some other insurers who require you to submit a claim for each treatment.
Excess: The excess on a Pet Protect policy is composed of a fixed £ amount excess and a % copay. When you claim for a new condition, you pay the fixed £ excess and then you pay a percentage of any remaining vet bills for that condition. Each year, you'll need to pay the fixed £ excess again for each condition for which you are still claiming.
The excess will increase as your pet ages, as shown in the table below.
|Pet Age||Fixed Excess||Copay|
|Under 1 year old||£95||5%|
|1 - 5 years old||£95||15%|
|5 - 10 years old||£100||20%|
|Over 10 years old||£150||25% - 30%|
Pet Protect Insurance for Older Pets: Pet Protect only offers new policies to younger pets. Older dogs aged 8+ and cats aged 10+ are not eligible for new Pet Protect insurance policies. Once your dog or cat is insured with Pet Protect, however, you can continue to renew regardless of age. (But you should expect your premium and excess to increase with age.) Specified breeds of dogs are further limited and must be aged 5 or less in order to get a new policy. There are dozens of breeds of the "specified breeds" list, including: Bulldogs, Basset Hounds, Dobermans, Mastiffs, Sheepdogs, etc.
Inner Limits: Within the vet fee limits of your policy, you'll notice that some conditions are subject to a maximum reimbursement amount. In some cases, these limits may not cover your vet fees:
|Condition/Treatment||Maximum per policy year|
|Cruciate ligament tear, rupture or damage||£750|
Referral or Emergency Vet Cover: If your pet is referred to a specialist vet (e.g., cardiology, ophthalmology, orthopaedics, etc.) then you MUST obtain pre-authorization from Pet Protect prior to your appointment. Without authorization your claim won't be covered. There is no "network"—you are free to visit the referral vet of your (and your regular vet's) choice unlike, say Tesco Pet Insurance. House call charges are covered so long as the vet confirms it would be life threatening to move your pet.
Pet Protect Quote Comparison
To try to get an idea of how pet insurance premiums may change as your pet ages, we quoted Lifetime Pet Protect policies for various dog ages. This is not necessarily an indication of how your premiums may rise if you renew a Pet Protect policy.
Also remember that the excess increases at certain age milestones as well.
Pet Protect Notable Features
|Pet Protect Pet Insurance Features|
|Dental||Non-cosmetic and non-preventable dental problems that are related to a covered illness/disease or medical condition are covered (e.g., tooth decay, gum/tooth disease). Your pet must have had a dental exam in the 12-months prior to injury/illness, as well as every year prior.|
|Prescription Food||Up to £100 as prescribed by your vet to treat conditions like heart disease, liver disease, joint problems, arthritis, digestive problems, bladder stones and skin diseases (but not for weight loss). Pet Protect will pay up to half of the cost of a clinical diet your dog is prescribed, for life.|
|Congenital & Hereditary Conditions||Congenital/hereditary conditions are covered, so long as the condition was not present or apparent at the start of the policy. Examples include: hip dysplasia and heart murmurs.|
|Euthanasia Cover||If your pet is put to sleep as recommended by your vet for humane reasons up to £50.|
|Travel Cover||Up to £1,000 a year in emergency vet bills abroad, for up to 31 days a year.|
|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. Trips booked last minute, within 28 days of departure, are excluded.|
|Boarding Cover When You're Unwell||Cover for boarding fees when you're an inpatient at hospital for at least 48 hours (cover starts after 48 hours)|
|Death due to Accident||Reimbursement of purchase price of your pet (up to policy limits), if he/she dies due to accident. Death due to illness is not covered. You must provide the purchase receipt and pedigree certificate (if applicable) within 6 months—without these, the max payout if £35 for a cat and £70 for a dog.|
|Complementary Therapy||Acupuncture, homeopathy, herbal medicine, Chiropractic manipulation, physiotherapy, osteopathy and hydrotherapy (max £450)|
Types of Pet Protect Dog and Cat Insurance Policies
Pet Protect offers two levels of Lifetime pet insurance cover, which provide cover for both accidents and illnesses over the course of your pet's life. There is no time limit on treatment cover. Ongoing and recurring conditions are reimbursable, so long as the policy remains in force. Each year when you renew, the limits reset.
For more information on pet insurance cover in general, please see our article on What Does Pet Insurance Cover in the UK.
Pet Protect's Lifelong Plus insurance plan provides up to £4,000 of Lifetime vet cover per year.
Pet Protect's Lifelong Extra insurance plan provides up to £6,000 of Lifetime vet cover per year. Additionally, cover limits for Recovery Costs, Kennel/Cattery Fees, Holiday Cancellation, Loss by Theft/Straying, Death due to Accident and Travel Cover are higher with the Extra plan than with the Plus plan, as you can see in the table below.
Pet Protect Coverage Amounts
|Policy Name||Lifelong Plus||Lifelong Extra|
Prescription Diet Foods
Third Party Liability (dogs only)
|£1 Million||£1 Million|
Loss by Theft or Straying
Recovery Costs (Advertising & Reward in UK)
Pet Protect Pet Insurance Customer Experience Ratings
According to trustpilot.com, 457 customers rank Pet Protect pet insurance at 7.5 out of 10.
How does Pet Protect Pet Insurance Compare to Competitors?
To better understand the value of Pet Protect 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.
Pet Protect Pet Insurance vs Argos Pet Insurance
Argos Pet Insurance is a good option for those with older pets. Not only are older pets eligible for Lifetime cover regardless of age, but 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 Pet Protect for a new Lifetime policy for your older pet, Argos plans can be another good option as there's no change to the excess as your pet ages.
Pet Protect Insurance vs Agria Pet Insurance
Agria Pet Insurance offers 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: If you're after a good, value plan, Agria can be a solid option—but you'll have to pay a larger share of any vet bills that arise due to the 10% copay.
Pet Protect Pet Insurance vs Animal Friends Pet Insurance
Animal Friends Pet Insurance is another 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, plus you may prefer Animal Friends' approach to how claims affect premiums.