Scratch & Patch pet insurance offers a range of cheap pet insurance options for financial protection in case your beloved dog or cat is injured or falls ill, but are they any good? Find out what features are missing and what customers have to say, and learn about their new product line for pre-existing conditions.
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In This Review
- Overall Review
- Scratch & Patch Policy and Coverage Options
- Comparing Scratch & Patch to Competitors
Scratch & Patch Pet Insurance Review
Not only does Scratch & Patch offer a wide array of pet insurance plans at relatively competitive prices—but they are also very innovative, having recently introduced a new market-leading product offering covering pre-existing conditions. This can be a huge benefit for pet owners looking to change pet insurance companies (say if their renewal premiums are too high).
We applaud this step, because the shortage of pre-existing cover plans in the UK makes it very difficult to switch pet insurance if you want to (e.g., if your premium rises significantly at renewal). Not only that, but you can disclose and get approval for some pre-existing conditions online when you get a quote. They're the only company doing this in the UK.
We also really like Scratch & Patch's waiting period policy, which stands out from the crowd. Treatment of an illness typically won't be covered if your pet showed any signs of during the initial 14-day waiting period. Scratch & Patch (which is also available through our pet insurance partner Compare Cover), is the only pet insurance company we know of which will waive waiting periods to give you immediate cover IF your pet was insured for veterinary fees under another policy of insurance up to the start date of insurance with them. Proof is required.
Prices are generally very competitive from Scratch & Patch, however there are a few terms that pet owners should be aware of before deciding if this is the right pet insurance company for them.
- You must notify Scratch & Patch of a new claim within 60 days
- There's no dental illness cover
- There are inner limits on consultation fees, etc.
Scratch & Patch Key Facts
- Choice of Accident Only Time Limited (£2,250), Time Limited (£3k), Max Benefit (£4k) or Lifetime cover (£4k or £8k)
- Dental injury only (not illness)
- Notify claims within 60 days
- Scratch & Patch Careline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year at 0333 332 1926
- Pre-existing conditions may be covered on Champ Products
- Starting excess of £75
- Higher £200 excess for older pets (dogs 8+ and cats 10+)
- Euthanasia covered on Premier and Premier Plus plans only
- Inner limits on consultation fees, out of hours fees, alternative therapies, histoloy and cystology
Scratch & Patch Insurance Customer Service Reviews and Ratings
There are not very many online customer reviews Scratch & Patch, so it's hard to draw a firm conclusion of the typical customer experience. We read through the reviews left at Trustpilot and SmartMoneyPeople to see if we could learn anything. Here's what we found:
Scratch & Patch Trustpilot
Scratch & Patch has earned 4.5 stars out of 5 at Trustpilot, with nearly 8 out of 10 customers giving Scratch & Patch an "Excellent" 5-star rating and only 7% of reviewers leaving 1 star indicating a bad experience. Here is a sample of the more common complaints and positive remarks:
"Great customer services and great price!"
"Scratch and Patch have been very prompt in paying for these bills for which we are very grateful. Thank you."
"... I let them know of a move of address and they wanted £20. I cancelled: £30."
"Good insurance for French Bulldog... The premium was initially around £30 per month compared to petplan who quoted in excess of £100 per month meaning this was the cheapest on the market. The premium almost doubled in year two however considering it was the cheapest on the market and the fact I had made significant claims I expected a sharp rise. In year two I made further claims and expected another sharp rise however the premium went up by less than £10 per month..."
Scratch and Patch SmartMoneyPeople
Only two customers have left reviews at Customer reviews of Scratch & Patch pet insurance, with an average of 4 out of 5 stars—both praising the 24-hour nurse support helpline and the claims process. Here is one of them:
"VETERINARY NURSE support, when I called about my dog Ted. Claim Form sent by post a few days later. Submitted claim with vets report. Claim paid out in full minus policy excess. All within a few weeks. You can't get better service than that."
How Much is Scratch & Patch Pet Insurance?
Scratch & Patch pet insurance prices start from around £140 a year for dogs and are even less for cats—but this price will only get you an accident only policy. It's best to buy an accident & illness policy, ideally offering Lifetime cover if it fits in your budget.
Scratch & Patch lifetime policies start from around £300 a year for dogs, but prices will depend on the level of vet fee cover, your dog's age, breed and size, etc. And if you want cover for pre-existing conditions this will add to the premium as well. To give you a rough idea of prices with Scratch & Patch, we've run some quotes for a sample 3-year-old mixed breed dog. Here's what we found:
|Scratch & Patch Cost Estimates (3-year-old mixed breed dog)||Type||Cover Limits up to||Annual Premium|
|Accident Only||Accident Only||£2,250||£140|
|Silver||Time Limited||£3,000 per year||£225|
|Gold||Max Benefit per Condition||£4,000 per condition||£306|
|Prime||Lifetime||£2,500 per year||£309|
|Premier||Lifetime||£4,000 per year||£439|
|Premier Plus||Lifetime||£8,000 per year||£459|
If you're interested in their Champ products for pre-existing conditions, they will cost more, depending on the health history of your dog or cat. We've done a comparative analysis of pricing for different pre-existing conditions like ear infections, allergies, tumors and hip dysplasia in our article on Pre-Existing Pet Insurance.
Types of Scratch & Patch Policies
Scratch & Patch offers four types of policies—accident only, 12 month, max benefit and lifetime. 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 that aren't eligible for new Lifetime cover due to age.
|Time Limited (12 months), up to per accident||Time Limited (12 months), up to per injury / illness||Maximum benefit, up to per injury / illness||Reinstatement, Per policy year|
Reinstatement, Per policy year
|Veterinary Fees* up to||£2,250||£3,000||£4,000||£4,000||£8,000|
|Inner Limits (included within total vet fees) up to|
|MRI / CT Scan||£nil||£500||£1,000||£1,500||£2,000|
|Covered in UK / EU PETS Scheme Area||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Accidental Death up to||£250||£500||£1,000||£1,500||£1,500|
|Death due to Illness up to||£nil||£500||£1,000||£1,500||£1,500|
|Third Party Liability (Dogs Only)||£1,000,000||£1,000,000||£1,500,000||£1,500,000||£2,000,000|
|Loss & recovery||£250||£750||£1,000||£1,500||£1,500|
|Emergency boarding and pet minding fees||£250||£750||£1,000||£1,000||£1,000|
Champ Products for Pre-Existing Conditions
In addition, they've recently introduced a set of policies that may cover pre-existing conditions. Scratch & Patch's pre-existing policies are called "Champ Products" and come with either £2.5k, £4k of £8k of Lifetime vet cover. You can find out if your pet's pre-existing conditions will be covered by filling out an application for a quote directly with them.
Scratch & Patch does not accept all pre-existing conditions, but here is a list of conditions that Scratch & Patch has recently accepted for cover (provided by Scratch & Patch):
- Back pain
- Broken bone
- Cerebral hypoplasia
- Corneal ulcer
- Cruciate ligament injury
- Diarrhoeae and vomitting
- Ear haematoma
- Elbow dysplasia
- Eye infection
- FIV (Feline)
- Food allergy
- Haemorrghaigc gastroenteritis
- Heart murmur
- Hip replacement
- Liver shunt
- Otitis (ear infection)
- Patellar luxation
- Retinal atrophy
- Sarcoptic mange
- Skin allergy
And here are the details of coverage limits under the three different Champ options:
|Champ Cover||Champ 2.5||Champ 4.0||Champ 8.0|
|Reinstatement, Per policy year||Reinstatement, Per policy year||Reinstatement, Per policy year|
|Veterinary Fees* up to||£2,500||£4,000||£8,000|
|Cruciate Ligament (Inner Limit) - up to||£1,000||£1,500||£2,000|
|MRI / CT Scans (Inner Limit) - up to||£1,000||£1,500||£2,000|
|Alternative Medicine & Treatment - up to||£400||£750||£1,000|
|Dental Cover - Accident & Injury only - up to||£2,500||£4,000||£8,000|
|Diet Food - up to||£100||£100||£100|
|Behavioural problems - up to||£100||£250||£500|
|Excess per injury / illness||Dogs up to 8 = £75||Dogs up to 8 = £75||Dogs up to 8 = £75|
|Dogs over 8 = £200||Dogs over 8 = £200||Dogs over 8 = £200|
|Cats up to 10 = £75||Cats up to 10 = £75||Cats up to 10 = £75|
|Cats over 10 = £200||Cats over 10 = £200||Cats over 10 = £200|
|Death of Your Pet up to maximum age of 8 years for dogs and 10 years for cats|
|Accident - up to||£1,000||£1,500||£1,500|
|Illness - up to||£1,000||£1,500||£1,500|
|Euthanasia - up to||£100||£100||£150|
|Third Party Liability (Dogs Only) up to||£1,500,000||£1,500,000||£2,000,000|
|Loss and recovery (includes advertising and reward) up to||£1,000||£1,500||£1,500|
|Emergency Boarding & Pet Minding Fees - up to||£1,000||£1,000||£1,000|
|Holiday Cancellation - up to||£1,000||£1,500||£2,500|
|Accidental damage - up to||£250||£500||£750|
|Pre-Existing Conditions||These policies may be able to cover Pre-Existing conditions following a full medical screening of your pet|
What are Scratch and Patch Inner Limits?
Inner limits are a maximum amount they'll pay for certain procedures or charges, resulting in pet owners potentially getting reimbursed for less than you'd expect. This is especially true if your vet charges higher-than-average fees.
- Up to £45 towards consultation fees for each visit to the vet
- Up to £110 towards additional out of hours fees for each necessary out of hours visit
- Up to £70 towards histology fees (including any handling and interpretation fees)
- Up to £70 towards cystology fees (including any handling and interpretation fees)
- Up to £35 per session towards hydrotherapy, physiotherapy, accupunture, chiropractic, osteopathy or laser treatment
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. If your priority is paying a low premium, you may want to read about other options in our article on Cheap Dog and Cat Insurance.
To read the full terms and conditions and features of Scratch & Patch pet insurance policies, read through the Policy Document.
How does Scratch and Patch Pet Insurance Compare to Competitors?
To better understand the value of Scratch and Patch 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.
Scratch and Patch 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. 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.
Quick Takeaway: PetPlan is the UK's largest insurer—which means most vets will submit claims on your behalf.
Scratch and Patch 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.
Quick Takeaway: According to our analysis, Scratch and Patch prices come in a touch lower than Tesco, but if dental illness cover is important to you then Tesco's Premier plan may be a better option.
Scratch and Patch 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 don't want to pay a copay, Scratch and Patch could be a better option, but beware of the inner limits.