VetsMediCover Review: The Right Cover for Pre-Existing Conditions?

VetsMediCover Review: The Right Cover for Pre-Existing Conditions?

No frills pet insurance company that covers your dog or cat's previous illnesses and injuries if they are no longer suffering or susceptible, and have been healthy from that condition for two years.

Good for

  • Previous conditions may be covered (see conditions)
  • Euthanasia cover
  • Hereditary and congenital defects cover
  • Travelling with pet abroad

Bad for

  • Covering out-of-hours treatment unless life threatening
  • No vet help line
  • No holiday cancellation cover
  • 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.

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VetsMediCover is one of the few UK pet insurance companies to provide cover for pre-existing conditions. VetsMediCover offers sensible terms for cats and dogs, but they may not be the cheapest. Read our review to learn about VetsMediCover features and how their coverage compares to competitors, to help you decide if VetsMediCover is best for you and your pet.

In This 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.

VetsMediCover Review: Our Thoughts

VetsMediCover is one of just a few pet insurance companies for pre-existing conditions in the UK, along with ManyPets and Lifetime Pet Cover.

VetsMediCover offers three lifetime plans (with £4,000, £6,000 or £10,000 of cover) and a time limited plan (with £2,000 of cover). Their lifetime plans are better for treating recurring or chronic conditions as the vet cover limits reset each year, plus the lifetime plans cover pre-existing conditions so long as your pet has been symptom and treatment free for 24 months. There is no cover for pre-existing conditions on the time limited plan.

Our pricing data analysis showed that you'll typically pay more for cover from VetsMediCover—but this may be worth it for cover for pre-existing conditions if your pet has been ill or injured in the past.

We like that plans include cover for euthanasia, hereditary and congenital defects, plus solid cover if you travel abroad with your pet. As typical with pet insurance, coverage from VetsMediCover does not start immediately. Illnesses occurring within the first 14 days are not covered; injuries from accidents occurring within the first 5 days are not covered.

Time to Claim: Pet owners need to submit claims within 3 months of an accident or injury.

Excess: The excess is the amount of each new claim/condition that is paid by the pet owner. The standard VetsMediCover excess for pets under 4 years of age is £90. Once your pet turns 4 you'll also need to pay a 10% percentage excess (that is, you pay the £90 for a new condition and then 10% of all remaining claims for that condition). After pets turn 6 the percentage excess increases to 20%. For more information on how a variable excess works, please see our article Pet Insurance: Here's How a Variable Excess Works.

What to Look Out For with VetsMediCover

Here are some exclusions and conditions which stood out to us either because a pet owner could be caught out or because they differ from what you might find on other plans. This is not a full list of exclusions and conditions—for full information please see the policy documents.

  • You must keep your pets vaccinations and boosters up to date, as recommended by your vet (i.e., distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis and parvovirus for dogs; cat flu, feline enteritis and feline leukaemia for cats).
  • No cover to treat conditions due to your pet being overweight, except weight gain as a result of a diagnosed illness.
  • No cover for treating your pet outside normal surgery hours, unless the vet confirms consultation was essential to save your pet’s life.
  • VetsMediCover will not cover complications arising from a standard neutering unless the spaying or castration was deemed necessary by your vet to treat an injury or illness. (It is typical that insurance won't cover normal spaying or castrating—however any complications arising from these procedures are sometimes covered by insurance.)
  • No cover if your pet’s injury or illness occurred whilst in the care of a Boarding Kennel, Dog Walker, Dog Day Care Facility or a Dog Groomers, which you were paying for their services.
  • No claims for dogs used as gundogs.

Pre-Existing Conditions

VetsMediCover is one of a handful of UK pet insurance companies which may provide coverage for a condition, illness, injury or bilateral condition which occurred or first showed signs before your policy start date. In essence, your pet will be covered for a previous condition if he or she has been healthy (e.g., symptom free and treatment free) for 2 years. Specifically, the VetsMediCover policy wording states that a condition will cease to be a pre-existing condition if for twenty four consecutive calendar months:

  • a) your pet has shown no symptoms of the condition
  • b) you have not consulted a vet with respect to the condition
  • c) your pet has not received treatment for or in connection with the condition
  • d) it is not chronic in nature (e.g. heart murmur, diabetes, hip dysplasia, mast cell tumours, complications arising from a fracture, etc.)
  • e) it is no longer known or observed by you

VetsMediCover Key Facts

  • Upper age limit for acceptance of 8 years old (5 years old for some breeds)
  • 3 months to submit claims (from onset of illness or injury)
  • Vets fee cover from £2,000 up to £10,000 per policy year
  • Lifetime and time limited cover available
  • Vet cover abroad up to 3 months
  • Dental covered, subject to conditions
  • Up to £1,000,000 Public Liability Limit of Indemnity
  • Pay yearly or monthly
  • Will pay your vet direct subject to vet's approval

VetsMediCover Quote Comparison

According to our research, VetsMediCover is more expensive than the average cost of pet insurance for both dogs and cats. This is somewhat to be expected, as VetsMediCover offers a feature not found on the vast majority of pet insurance plans in the UK—cover for pre-existing health conditions that your pet suffered from in the past.

For example, insuring our sample 5-month-old, spayed, medium-sized, crossbreed dog with £6,000 of vet coverage costs around £700 per year from VetsMediCover—noticeably higher than the market average which mostly reflects plans that don't provide any cover for pre-existing medical conditions. For an in-depth analysis comparing VetsMediCover prices to other pet insurance plans for pre-existing conditions (i.e., Lifetime Pet Cover and ManyPets), see our article on UK Pet Insurance Plans for Pre-Existing Conditions.

Annual Quotes for Lifetime Policies for Young Crossbreed DogLifetime Vet CoverAnnual Price Estimate
ManyPets Regular£7,000£432
VetsMediCover Platinum£6,000£696
Lifetime Pet Cover Level 4£6,000£712
UK Market Average£6,300£402
chart showing how Lifetime Pet Cover dog insurance quotes compare to the average in the market
Lifetime Pet Cover price analysis

It can also be useful to see how prices compare to other companies. In the chart below, we've compared VetsMediCover plans to other lifetime pet insurance options in the market. These prices are as of April 2023 for a 3-year-old lab. As you can see, VetsMediCover is priced in line with popular Petplan and Agria. Given some of the features on offer with VetsMediCover (e.g. treatment of pre-existing conditions) we think they provide good value, even if premiums are towards the higher end of the market.

chart showing how VetsMediCover dog insurance quotes compare to the average in the market
Comparing VetsMediCover prices to other pet insurance options

VetsMediCover Notable Features

Below is a brief overview of the more notable features of VetsMediCover dog and cat insurance. For a complete rundown of the details and exclusions, please refer to the policy documents.

VetsMediCover Pet Insurance Features
24 Hour Vet Helplinen/a
Dental CoverCover for necessary medical dental treatment up to £350 per annum, but there is no cover for a scale and polish, as usual. Treatment must be carried out within six months of the recommendation of the vet.
Holiday Cancellationn/a
Boarding if You're UnwellUp to £200 for boarding fees at a licensed kennel if you go to hospital and there no one else who can look after your pet
TravelCover for travel within permitted EU countries for up to three months during your period of insurance provided you have the correct PETS certification
Congenital & Hereditary DiseasesCoverage includes defects and abnormalities your pet was born with or were passed on by its parents so long as they were not diagnosed or visible before the original policy inception date
EuthanasiaCovered in order to relieve incurable and excessive suffering due to an illness, injury or accident, however costs for cremation, burial or disposal of your pet are not covered
Complementary TherapyUp to £750 of cover for complementary therapy per annum

Types of VetsMediCover Policies

VetsMediCover offers two types of pet insurance: 3 levels of lifetime cover and one time limited plan. Generally speaking, Lifetime policies are the best, most comprehensive cover for pets as they'll help protect the owner against the financial strain of injuries and illnesses that are chronic, requiring ongoing treatment, or that recur during a pet's life. Time limited plans are generally less expensive but will only cover treatment of a condition for one year.

VetsMediCover Lifetime Cover: £4,000, £6,000 and £10,000

VetsMediCover's most comprehensive offerings are their lifetime plans. With a lifetime pet insurance plan there are no time limits on treatment and the vet limits reset each year. As long as you keep paying your premiums, a lifetime policy will cover injuries and illnesses throughout your pet's life. For example, a dog's recurring ear infections would all be reimbursable illnesses. These lifetime plans offer cover for pre-existing conditions.

Those looking for lifetime cover from VetsMediCover should purchase a policy before their pet hits the "older" pet cutoff of 8 years of age (5 for some breeds). "Older" pets are not eligible for new lifetime policies; however pets who joined VetsMediCover under a lifetime policy before the age cutoff can continue their lifetime cover as they age.

Levels of Cover: VetsMediCover's offers 3 different levels of lifetime cover, providing vet cover up to £4,000, £6,000 and £10,000 per year. Further details and inner limits can be found in the Coverage table below.

VetsMediCover 12 Month Cover

VetsMediCover's time limited, 12-month insurance option provides up to £2,000 to treat an injury or illness for up to 365 days only from the date of the occurrence. As a result, time limited cover is suitable only for short-term problems; recurring or chronic health issues will not be reimbursed beyond one year.

Level of Cover: The VetsMediCover time limited plan covers vet bills up to £2,000 per condition, up to 12 months from initial occurrence.

In addition to the overall vet limits, VetsMediCover plans have the following inner limits, which as usual are subject to conditions.

VetsMediCover Coverage Amounts

VetsMediCover Policy summariesSilverGoldPlatinumDiamond
Cover type12 monthsLifetimeLifetimeLifetime
Vets fees£2,000£4,000£6,000£10,000
Complementary therapy£500£750£750£750
Death benefit£250£350£500£750
Third party liability (Dogs only)£500,000£1,000,000£1,000,000£1,000,000
Dental care£350£350£350£350
Dental treatment (as a direct result of an accident)£2,000£4,000£6,000£10,000
Hereditary and congenital defects coverYesYesYesYes
Euthanasia coverYesYesYesYes
Prescription foodNo20% of the cost up to £15040% of the cost up to £20040% of the cost up to £200
Emergency boarding fees£200£200£200£200
Advertising and reward£62.50£87.50£125.00£187.50
Loss by theft or straying£250£350£500£750
Standard Excess£90 per condition per policy period (+10% pets aged 4+; +20% pets aged 6+)
Cover abroadUp to 3 months

VetsMediCover Customer Experience Ratings

Lifetime Pet Cover is rated "Great" by customers on TrustPilot, achieving 3.7 out of 5 stars—this rating is based on 91 reviews, which is a relatively small set of customers. But usually with such a small number of reviewers, we notice the rating is generally quite poor (because the ratings are from people seeking a place to rant/complain); surprisingly in this case, the rating is quite good. Negative comments related to claims being difficult to make or taking longer to pay. But we wouldn't put too much into the reliability of the overall figure as its based on such a small data set.

On, VetsMediCover received service ratings of 4.7 out of 5, based on 21 reviews in the past year. Many comments mentioned good value for money and quick, friendly and helpful customer service.

Other Useful Information

How does VetsMediCover Insurance Compare to Competitors?

To better understand the value of VetsMediCover 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.

VetsMediCover vs ManyPets

ManyPets Pet Insurance offers comprehensive Lifetime plans with £3,000 to £12,000 of cover. They stand out for offering unique policies where you can get some money back if you don't claim, or you can fix your premium for life so it doesn't rise as your pet ages or you claim. They also have a plan covering pre-existing conditions that are are recent as 3 months old and treat all older previous conditions favourably (on all plans, a condition is no longer pre-existing once your pet has been clear for two years).

Bottom Line: If you want euthanasia cover, competitive prices and unique plans (e.g., cover for more recent pre-existing conditions), ManyPets can be a great option to consider.

VetsMediCover vs Petplan Pet Insurance

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 might make getting reimbursed a bit easier. 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.

Bottom Line: If you want cover for pre-existing conditions or lifetime cover for older pets, VetsMediCover may be more suitable for your needs.

VetsMediCover vs Lifetime Pet Cover Pet Insurance

Lifetime Pet Cover is a specialist pet insurer that offers cover for pre-existing conditions, so long as your pet has been healthy (e.g., symptom and treatment free) of those conditions for at least 24 months. As the name suggests, they only sell lifetime plans which are available with £2k, £3k, £4k, £6k or £10k of annually-renewing vet fee protection. There is no upper age limit so dogs and cats of any age can apply for a new policy.

Bottom Line: If you need cover for a pre-existing condition, it is certainly worth checking prices with both VetsMediCover and Lifetime Pet Cover which you can do quickly through our comparison tool here.

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.