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In This Review
- Overall Review
- Paws and Claws Policy and Coverage Options
- Comparing Paws and Claws to Competitors
Choosing the best policy for you and your pet will depend on your individual situation. There may be other policies with better features available in the marketplace. Read about other options in our article on Cheap Dog and Cat Insurance.
Purely Pets Pet Insurance Review
Purely Pets is a UK pet insurance company offering Lifetime cover with generally attractive prices and some good features such as extended EU cover, euthanasia and cremation cover, plus dental injury and illness—but some coverages aren't available until you've been with Purely Pets for a minimum time. For example, cremation is only covered (up to £100) after your policy has been active for 36 months. And dental illness is covered after 12 months of cover.
The lower-than-average £60 standard excess may save you a bit of money should you need to claim—or you have the option of a higher excess for a lower premium. You can choose an excess between £60 and £160 in increments of £20, but you'll roughly save only £1 or so a month for every £20 you increase the excess. Also, there's a 20% mandatory copay once your pet turns 6. Adding this copay an option for younger pets can help you bring down your premium, too.
You should also know that claims need to be submitted within 60 days of your pet receiving treatment, which is a relatively short period of time compared to other options in the market.
The very budget conscious might be tempted by their Bronze plans, but these don't cover any bills related to specialist diagnostics like MRIs or CT scans.
If your pet's breed is known to suffer from cruciate ligament damage, Purely Pets might not be a good choice for you. They limit the total cruciate vet fee cover to £1,000 on Bronze plans and £2,000 on Silver and Gold plans. Fees for MRI or CT scans required to diagnose a cruciate problem count towards this amount, leaving very little (if any) left for surgery. Purely Pets plans are not likely to cover cruciate injury sufficiently.
If you have a Labrador Retriever, Golden Retriever, German Shephard or another breed prone to cruciate ligament problems, you may want to consider getting a quote from a company that doesn't impose inner limits like Animal Friends, which you can do from our partner Compare Cover, or Petplan.
Customer reviews of Purely Pets are generally positive, with many citing cheap quotes relative to other options, but the exclusions catch some pet owners unaware so be sure to read about the limitations of their policies before buying.
With Purely Pets 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. And for those who like to go abroad with their pet, Purely Pets includes up to 180 days of emergency cover abroad in PETS countries in Europe.
What to Look Out For
- The Bronze plan doesn't include any cover for specialist diagnostics like MRIs or CT scans.
- Dental illness only covered after policy in force for 12 months.
- 20% copay mandatory for older pets (6+) and optional for younger pets.
- If you opt for the 20% copay for a younger pet you can't remove this later.
- Cruciate injury cover limited to just £1k or £2k in total (including diagnostic MRIs or CT scans).
- Cremation limited to £100 (and only available after 36 months with Purely Pets)
- Inner limits on CT/MRI scans
- £100 euthanasia limit
- Only 60 days to claim
Purely Pets Customer Experience Ratings & Reviews
Purely Pets is rated "Excellent" by customers, achieving 4.4 out of 5 stars at TrustPilot by over 1,600 customers. Customers praised the company for competitive prices offering good value for money and and easy to buy online, even for older pets. Negative reviews included difficulty getting insurance documents in a timely fashion and frustration getting logged into online accounts, £30 cancellation charges, long waits to have claims settled and high renewal premiums. Here are some real customer comments so you can get a feel for the pros and cons of Purely Pets from the customer perspective:
"The best cover for the best price. Easy to contact. Queries dealt with quickly and in a friendly way. Claims dealt with efficiently."
"I was sent a notice at the end of my policy with a renewal that was a 20% increase on the previous years premium despite no claims."
"I cant register/log on therefore I cant see my policy documents. I asked for them to be posted and they haven't been.""Good quote, just what I was looking for. Able to adjust cover and excess to suit."
"... When I went back to cancel this policy later, they charged me £30 in admin fees plus the policy cost."
"I cancelled the product after one day because I discovered the hidden cruciate injury cap of £2000 buried in the policy documents. A £2000 cap to cover all four legs is obviously insufficient and should be made clear when purchasing ‘lifetime’ cover."
"We have been with Purely Pets for a couple of years now, without severe price Increases, despite one of our dogs now being 8."
In terms of features, Defaqto has rated Purely Pets Gold and some Silver policies (£8k+ cover) with the highest possible rating, 5 stars. The rest of the Silver policies are rated with 4 stars. Bronze policies are mostly 4 stars, except the £1,000 cover option which is only rated 3 stars.
Purely Pets Quote Comparison
According to our research, Purely Pets is relatively cheap compared to the average cost of pet insurance in the UK market—where £2,000 to £5,000 of Lifetime cover starts from around £27.50 a month or £330 a year. Direct quote comparisons can be tricky for pet insurance, since coverage levels, inner limits and excess amounts vary across insurers, however.
That said, as you can see in the chart below, if your debating between say the top level of Bronze cover (£5k) and the bottom level of Silver (£6k) it seems like the Silver plan can create much better value—in our sample quote, you'd pay just less than 50p a month to jump up to Silver, which not only increases your overall vet fee limit but also the inner limits on many categories PLUS gives specialist diagnostic cover. It's a similar situation for the top level of Silver (£10k) vs. bottom level of Gold (£11k).
You can also see how choosing a higher excess and adding the 20% copay can lower your premium. It may not be worth it though. While a lower premium is enticing, you'll probably only save a few quid a month in premiums and potentially be responsible for hundreds or more in vet bills due to a higher excess and copay, should you need to claim.
Types of Paws and Claws Policies
Paws and Claws offers three tiers of Lifetime pet insurance, generally considered to be the best type of pet insurance you can buy. Lifetime policies can protect the owner against the financial strain of recurring/chronic injuries/illnesses over the course of the pet's life, with no time limits on cover.
Purely Pets Bronze
Purely Pets Bronze cover is Lifetime cover available with £1,000 to £5,000 of vet limits that renew each year for each accidental injury or illness. This is Purely Pets "budget" Lifetime option, so while prices may be lower there are some limitation to be aware of. For example, there's no cover for special diagnostics like MRIs or CT scans. Given the average cost of an MRI for a dog starts from around £1,900, this restriction can leave you out of pocket for a lot of money if your pet needs a scan.
Limits for things like cruciate injury treatment, death, advertising and reward, etc. are lower than on the other tiers.
Purely Pets Silver
Purely Pets Silver plan gives you £6,000 to £10,000 of Lifetime cover, and will cover specialised diagnostics like CT scans and MRIs (up to £1,500 a year). The overall limit and many inner limits are higher than the Bronze plan, as you can see in the table below.
Purely Pets Gold
Purely Pets Gold is their highest tier of Lifetime cover, with £11,000 to £15,000 of annually renewing vet fee limits. On this plan you get the highest inner limits as well, as you can see below. This cover will cost more and may be more than many pet owners need.
Purely Pets Coverage Amounts
|Lifetime Bronze||Lifetime Bronze||Lifetime Silver||Lifetime Gold|
|Vets fees||£1,000 - £5,000||£6,000 - £10,000||£11,000 - £15,000|
|Excess starting from||£60||£60||£60|
|Co-Payment (Optional for pets under 6, complusory from the day your pet turns 6)||20%||20%||20%|
|Specialised diagnostics (CT or MRI scans) N/A||n/a||1,500||1,500|
|Third party liability (dogs only)||1M||2M||2M|
|Death from illness||£1,000||£1,500||£2,000|
|Death from accident||£1,000||£1,500||£2,000|
|Loss by theft/straying||£1,000||£1,500||£2,000|
|Advertising and reward||£1,000||£1,500||£2,000|
|Overseas treatment||£1,000 - £5,000||£6,000 - £10,000||£11,000 - £15,000|
Other Useful Information
How does Purely Pets Insurance Compare to Competitors?
To better understand the value of Purely Pets 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.
Purely Pets 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 you won't face inner limits for congenital conditions.
Bottom Line: If you want fewer inner limits, quicker coverage and a longer time to claim then 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.
Purely Pets Insurance vs Scratch & Patch Pet Insurance
Scratch & Patch Pet Insurance is another specialist pet insurance brand whose lower-priced plans appeal to those on a budget. However, Scratch & Patch also imposes inner limits on categories such as MRIs, cruciate ligaments, alternative treatment, etc. There's no dental illness or cremation cover, and euthanasia is only covered on top tier plans. Owners have up to 60 days to submit claims.
Bottom Line: Scratch & Patch can be another attractive lower-cost Lifetime option, just beware of the inner limits and shorter time to claim.
Purely Pets 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 might also find suitable cover with Animal Friends, which gives you a longer time to claim and better end of life cover, but there's no protection for dental illness.