Sainsbury's Pet Insurance Review: The Features and Price for You?

Sainsbury's Pet Insurance Review: The Features and Price for You?

Good features like dental illness and injury and a long claims window.

Good for

  • Dental illness & injury cover
  • Having a long time to claim
  • Euthanasia cover
  • 24/7 Vet helpline

Bad for

  • Those with older pets needing a new policy

Editor's Rating


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.

Best pet insurance deals for your pet

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We are very glad to report that over the past few years Sainsbury's Bank has improved their pet insurance offering, first by adding Lifetime cover and then a Maximum Benefit plan. Now pet owners can choose between Time Limited, Max Benefit and Lifetime cover for their cats and dogs, all of which include dental illness & injury, euthanasia and EU cover as standard. While we always prefer Lifetime or Max Benefit cover, their time limited type of pet insurance offers a massive perk compared to other time limited plans due to how Sainsbury's starts the 12-month clock ticking.

Compare quotes from Sainsbury's Bank against 25 providers by clicking the blue "Get Quotes" button below to see how much you can save:

In This Review

Choosing the best insurance policy for you and your dogs or cats will depend on your individual situation. There may be other pet insurance policies with better features available in the marketplace, such as those highlighted in our Best Pet Insurance article. Please be sure to read the terms and conditions before buying.

Sainsbury's Pet Insurance Review

Is Sainsbury's pet insurance any good? Sainsbury's can be a good option for pet insurance because Trustpilot customer reviews are generally positive, most policies offer a strong set of features, their prices are typically competitive and you get attractive features like dental injury & illness, euthanasia and cover in the EU. Let's dig into their offerings and customer ratings so you can decide if one of their policies might be a good option for you.

Customers have the choice of two types of pet insurance:

  • Time Limited pet insurance plans in which each illness or injury is covered for up to 12 months or up to the vet fee limit of £3,000 (whichever comes first)
  • Maximum Benefit pet insurance which provides up to £3,000 or £6,000 per condition, with no restriction on time so long as the policy is renewed each year.
  • Lifetime pet insurance which provides up to £2,500, £5,000, £7,500 or £10,000 of cover per year, which renews each year and can be used to treat new or ongoing/chronic conditions.

Here is an overview of features available on Sainsbury's pet insurance plans, and how they compare to features you should look for from a good policy (as indicated by the Money Advice Service).

Sainsbury's Pet Insurance Features

FeatureA good policy includesDoes Sainsbury's Deliver?Sainsbury's Lifetime Coverage
"Must Have" Features
Vet fee limit£4,000+
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Lifetime cover: £2,500, £5,000, £7,500 or £10,000; Max Benefit cover: £3,000 or £6,000; Time limited cover: £3,000
Vet cover for accidentsIncluded
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Vet cover for illnessesIncluded
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Vet cover for long-term and ongoing conditionsIncluded
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If you buy Lifetime cover
Hereditary and congenital conditionsIncluded
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No exclusions for hereditary or congenital conditions
Dental care for illnessIncluded, if pet has regular dental checks and advice followed within 6 months
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"Pet needs annual check-ups and recommended actions taken within 6 months; treatment to relieve suffering."
Dental care for injuryIncluded, if pet has regular dental checks and advice followed within 6 months
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Alternative treatmentsHomeopathy, acupuncture and physiotherapy as recommended by vet
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Time to claimAt least 6 months
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Submit within 12 months of treatment
Out-of-hours emergenciesIncluded
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As long as vet confirms that moving your pet or waiting until normal surgery hours would either endanger its life or significantly worsen the condition
24/7 vet helplineIncluded
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0303 334 0796
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Included for dogs
"Should Have" Features
Fixed excessIncluded
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Fixed £99 for dogs up to 8 years old, cats up to 10 years old
No change to excess for older petsIncluded
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Excess for older pets is greater of £99 or 20% of claim
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Holiday cancellation and unwell boarding coverIncluded or add on
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Prescription FoodIncluded
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Up to 25% for a maximum of 6 months per condition; treatment of obesity excluded
Death due to accident or illnessIncluded or add on
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Included for dogs up to 5 or 8 years old, cats up to 10 years old
Lost or stolen coverIncluded or add on
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"Could Have" Features
Vet cover for pre-existing conditionsCover for pre-existing conditions after a healthy period
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Not covered
New policies for older petsAvailable
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Policies available up to a dog's 8th birthday (5th birthday for some breeds) or cat's 10th birthday
Multi-pet discountAvailable
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£1 per-pet, per-month discount
Cover abroadIncluded or add on for £1,500 of cover up to 90 days travelling to PETS countries
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Included up to 90 days

Excess and Claims

Time Limit to Claim: Policyholders have up to 12 months after treatment date to submit all claim forms and accompanying documentation. Claims submitted after 12 months will not be reimbursed.

Excess: Pet owners of younger pets will pay a £99 excess towards each new condition. Those with older pets—that is, dogs aged 8+ years or cats aged 10+, or 5+ years for some select breeds—pay the greater of £99 or 20% of all remaining vet fees.

Pet ageExcess
Dogs under 8 and cats under 10 (or 5 years for some breeds)£99
Dogs 8+, cats 10+ (5+ for some breeds)either £99 or 20% of remaining vet bills, whichever is greater

Owners of older pets looking for new insurance will have to look for pet insurance elsewhere. However, older pets who are already covered by a Sainsbury's policy are not booted out once they hit the age limit—but be aware that premiums may increase as your pet ages due to higher expected vet costs. as with all pet insurance.

Out of Hours: Cover of fees for visiting a surgery out of regular hours is covered only if the vet confirms an emergency consultation was necessary. It may be worth calling the Vet Assistance line if you're uncertain to get advice. If you ever decide to take your pet to another vet for a second opinion, be sure to contact Sainsbury's Bank before you make the appointment—they may not cover any related costs. Furthermore, if Sainsbury's decides that the original diagnosis or treatment was correct, they probably won't pay any costs related to the second opinion.

Why Sainsbury's Time Limited plans are better than the competition

If you're in the market for a Time Limited plan (which do have significant limitations), the Sainsbury's plans stand out from the competition with a massive benefit to pet owners. Most Time Limited policies start the 12-month cover clock ticking from the time the condition was first treated. Sainsbury's delays the start of the clock, essentially giving the pet owner longer cover, by instead starting the 12-month clock when your pet is first treated (as in, seen by the vet). Treatment is defined by Sainsbury's as "any examination, consultation, advice, tests, X-rays, medication, surgery, nursing and care." If you delay between noticing a condition and seeking advice or treatment from a vet, this seemingly-small detail can provide months of extra cover.

Sainsbury's Pet Insurance Discounts

  • Multi-pet discount: For up to 6 pets, receive £1 per pet per month discount (so a minimum discount of £24 per year saved for two insured pets)
  • Up to 12.5% discount for Nectar card holders: Rate may be less and depends on previous transactions made at Sainsbury's supermarkets

Types of Sainsbury's Dog and Cat Insurance Policies

BenefitTime limitedMaximum benefitLifetime
Covers each condition for up to 12 months or up to max amount belowCovers up to the max amount per conditionCovers up to max amount each year
Treatment period12 monthsunlimitedunlimited
Treatment basisper condition/time limitper conditionper year
Veterinary fees limit£3,000£3,000 or £6,000£2,500, £5,000, £7,500 or £10,000
Dental Coverup to the vet fee limitup to the vet fee limitup to the vet fee limit
Complementary Treatmentup to £500up to £1,500up to £1,500
Physiotherapyup to £500up to £1,500up to £1,500
Behavioural illnessesup to £3,000up to £6,000up to £10,000
Veterinary helplineIncludedIncludedIncluded
Holiday coverIncludedIncludedIncluded
Overseas veterinary treatmentup to the vet fee limitup to the vet fee limitup to the vet fee limit

Sainsbury's Pet Insurance Customer Experience Ratings

Sainsbury's Pet Insurance Ratings & Customer Reviews
Trustpilot customer service rating3.8 out of 5
Reviewcentre.com1.8 out of 5

At Trustpilot, Sainsbury's Bank is rated 3.8 out of 5 stars by close to 8,000 customers.

We read through hundreds of reviews to find comments specific to their pet insurance offering. Here is a selection of real customer comments, some of which related to the claims experience (which is what people often care about the most!):

"My recent pet insurance claim was dealt with quickly and efficiently. Simple process to make a claim and receive payment."

"Easy to make a claim online which is dealt with promptly. The online portal is easy to use and updated regularly to keep you informed of the claim. On contact via phone, the customer service was excellent and very helpful. I would highly recommend Sainsburys pet insurance and would like to personally thank all the staff that has recently been involved with my recent claim. Thank you."

"Sainsbury’s Bank Pet Insurance have been a lifesaver for us! We got a puppy almost 2 years ago and, unfortunately, he has been very unlucky. Making a claim is easy online and you can track the process through the portal - payouts are quick too. Everyone I’ve spoken with in the call centre are friendly and professional."

"Pet Insurance was very easy to organise - very competitive rates - and easy to link my 2nd pet."

"Very easy to navigate and arrange per cover for our pets as first time pet insurance buyers. The terms and conditions were very easy to read unlike other insurance providers."

"Really quick and easy to setup and the nectar points reward was a nice touch... online portal for documents is really easy to setup and has everything you need."

"... the Petplan cover I've always had has now just become so expensive. When I realised Sainsbury's offered better cover with lower excesses it became a no-brainer. I wish I'd checked ages ago!"

Another 100+ customer reviews at rank Sainsbury's pet insurance 1.7 out of 5 stars, with most complaints about difficulty having claims approved (e.g., denying claims due to pre-existing conditions) and premium increases. However, most of those complaints hailed from when Sainsbury's was working with a different underwriter. More recent reviews (e.g. those on Trustpilot) seem to reflect a vastly different claims process now. (Policies are now underwritten by Pinnacle Insurance plc.)


Sainsbury's pet insurance has solid customer reviews, and even positive claims stories on Trustpilot. Plus competitive prices and a solid set of features.
Sainsbury's pet insurance is typically competitive, but the cost of pet insurance will vary depending on factors like the age and breed of your pet. To compare Sainsbury's against other pet insurance companies, UK Pet Insurance plans or click the button below to click here to get quotes from our partner Compare Cover in under two minutes—their panel includes Sainsbury's
Yes, you can cancel your Sainsbury's pet insurance by calling 0344 543 1032. For full details see their Policy Wording but, put simply, if you haven't claimed then you'll get a proportionate refund and if you have claimed then you won't get a refund and if you pay monthly you'll still owe the remaining payments (unless your claim is for death, theft or straying).
To claim with Sainsbury's pet insurance, complete your vet fees claim online via My Pet Portal or speak to their Claims Department by phoning 0344 543 1032.
Claims and all supporting documents should be submitted within 12 months of treatment.
Sainsburys pet insurance is sold, underwritten and administered by Pinnacle Insurance plc.
Yes, Sainsbury's can arrange to pay most vets directly, but not all vets are happy to wait for payment from an insurance company. Ask your vet to find out.
Sainsbury's pet insurance covers dental injury and illness to alleviate suffering, provided your pet has had a dental check within the 12 months before the issue that you are claiming for started and any recommended treatments were carried out within 6 months.
Claims are not covered if they result from an accident within the first 3 days or any changes in your pet's health (e.g., illness) within the first 14 days.
We're so sorry to hear of your loss. To claim on the death of your dog or cat, call their claims team on 0344 543 1032. You can learn more about claiming for the death of a pet with Sainsbury's pet insurance here.

How does Sainsbury's Pet Insurance Compare to Competitors?

To better understand the value of Sainsbury's 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.

Sainsbury's Pet Insurance vs PetPlan

PetPlan Pet Insurance is the largest insurer of dogs and cats in the UK. Due to this, many vets are accustomed to submitting claims on behalf of pet owners, which can save you a lot of hassle—plus you get a full 12 months to submit claims for reimbursement. PetPlan is reliable but you may pay a bit more for their insurance. PetPlan policies include dental illness and injury but don't cover euthanasia. However, older pets (i.e., dogs aged 5 or 8 depending on breed, cats aged 10) are not eligible for new Lifetime policies and can only sign up for a Time Limited policy. Additionally, owners of older pets must contribute more towards vet bills, through the addition of a 20% copay.

Quick Takeaway: PetPlan has some very solid plans, with their mid-range, most-competitive Classic+ plan providing £7k of cover. If you're very conscious of keeping your premium low it might be worth checking both companies to see how prices compare.

Sainsbury's Pet Insurance vs Tesco Pet Insurance

Tesco offers quite comprehensive cover, but you'll have to pay up for their Premier Plan if you want dental illness cover (e.g., tooth decay or gum disease). Lifetime plans provide £7.5k or £10k of vet cover a year; there's no low-tier Lifetime offering (e.g., around £3k of vet cover each year) so Lifetime prices start around £500 for a healthy, young dog. Tesco features include access to a vetfone, no upper age limit for new policies, no change in excess for older pets and 12 months to submit claims.

Quick Takeaway: Tesco can be a good option for comprehensive Lifetime cover, but Sainsbury's Bank has some lower-coverage plans that might prove to be more affordable; plus Sainsbury's includes dental illness.

Sainsbury's 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.

Quick Takeaway: Agria can be a sensible way to get comprehensive Lifetime cover from a specialist for a lower premium, but be aware that you'll have a 10% copay in addition to the £95 fixed excess. If you don't want a copay then Sainsbury's might be a better fit.

Sainsbury's 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 need a new Lifetime policy for your older pet, Argos plans may be a more viable option.

Other Useful Information

Erin Yurday

Erin Yurday is the 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.


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.