The Pet Insurance

Guide 2016

Independent Unbiased Information
for Fellow Pet Owners
As Featured On BBC1's Rip Off Britain Consumer Programme

The Pet Insurance Guide Blog

Here you will find details of recent articles added to the Guide.   If you are looking for information about a particular insurance company or topic then use the search box in the sidebar for a full list of available articles. 

Pet Insurance Multi-Pet Discounts: Don’t Make the Same Mistake as I did!

Multiple Pets Insurance

When I got my second springer spaniel – Kofi- nearly  9 years ago –  I searched for pet insurance policies which offered discounts for multiple pet households.   It seemed perfectly logical to me that these companies would offer me the best value policies.    Don’t make the same mistake as I did! 

RSA Pet Insurance – Preferred Referral Network Launched

Pet owners who have pet insurance policies underwritten by The RSA Group will find that in future if their pet needs to be treated by a referral vet other than for emergency treatment, they will have to pay an additional charge if they are referred to a vet which is not part of the RSA Preferred Referral Network

Pet insurance companies which are underwritten by RSA include More Than, Tesco, John Lewis, Homebase, M&S and Argos. 

Press Release: Pet Insurance Survey Shows Not All Dogs Are Created Equal

A recent survey by The Pet Insurance Guide shows startling differences in the cost of insuring different dog breeds with the average cost of insuring some breeds three times as much as other breeds.  With many pet owners now paying several hundred pounds a year to insure a single dog,  anybody thinking of getting a dog would be well advised to check out pet insurance costs before they do so!

The survey, conducted in September 2015, investigated the costs of insuring the most popular 50 pedigree dog breeds and mixed breeds of various sizes.   Quotes were obtained from 16 leading pet insurance companies.

Pet Insurance – Dog Breeds Premium Survey

bulldog thumb

Which is the cheapest breed of dog to insure?   And the most expensive?   Are some insurers cheaper than others for certain breeds of dog?  And are mixed breeds really cheaper to insure that pedigree dogs? 

The Pet Insurance Guide has just conducted an extensive survey covering more than 50 different breeds and 16 leading pet insurance companies. 

Firstly though it is important to be aware that all pet insurance policies are different strengths and limitations so it is very important to do your research thoroughly before deciding which is the best option for you and your pets.   The premium though is always going to be an important consideration. 

Tesco’s New Lifetime Pet Insurance – Our Independent Verdict!

tesco pet insurance

Tesco have recently introduced their first ever lifetime pet insurance policy!  Up until now they have only offered accident policies, or policies with condition limits.    Their new lifetime “Premier Cover” comes with a choice of a £7,500 or £10,000 annual cover limit.

Having reviewed this policy in detail (including the small print) we found a lot to like about the lifetime cover on offer.  

Whilst the maximum  cover limit of £10,000 is lower than that offered by some other providers such as Petplan (£12,000) and The Kennel Club (£15,000),  many pet owners will feel that this may adequate without being excessive. 

In common with their other policies the minimum excess is very low at just £60 per condition per year (Petplan is currently about £100,   More Than is £75).    Tesco, unlike many other policies, also offer you the opportunity to increase the excess to either £120 or £200 in return for a lower premium.   Nor do they require you to pay a percentage of the vet fees for pets of any age.  

Press Release: Puppy Love becomes Puppy Power as Pet Owner Launches Independent Pet Insurance Guid

Puppy Love becomes Puppy Power as Pet Owner Launches Independent Pet Insurance Guide

The UK is a nation of pet lovers, but we’re also pretty savvy when it comes to finding a good deal. However, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find the time to research every single purchase. From home to car insurance, from electricity providers to pension solutions – the list is endless. Things are changing in the world of pet insurance. Frustrated with the amount of time and energy it was taking to find the right pet insurance policy for her dogs, pet owner Sally Hayward from Basingstoke, has developed a website to make it easier for pet owners to understand their options.

Pet Insurance Tip: Don’t be a boiling frog if you can avoid it!

Pet Insurance Tip Boiling Frog

If a frog is placed in boiling water it will jump out.  But if it is placed in cold water it will not notice that the water is being gradually heated and will eventually be boiled alive.  Or at least that is how the story goes! 

The parable is is often used in insurance circles to illustrate the fact that many people, once they have found a good initial deal, will not really notice a the premiums rising each year.  Thus many insurers find the strategy of starting with a low premium and then increasing it steadily a profitable one!    

Many people just automatically renew each year without checking that the premium is still competitive.   And rarely do they even bother to try and negotiate a lower premium, or look for alternative quotes.  And thus they, without realising it, have become another of the UK pet insurance industry’s boiling frogs!   

Lifetime Pet Insurance: Is it Really for Life?


Many pet owners opt for lifetime pet insurance cover because they want the reassurance that should their pet go on to develop a long term illness or chronic condition they will be covered by the insurance policy for the rest of their life.  But an increasing number of pet owners are finding themselves forced out of lifetime policies leaving them with expensive vet bills to pay! 

The primary reason that pet owners opt for lifetime cover is that pet insurance policies do not generally pay for the treatment of any conditions which started before the policy was taken out (known as pre-existing conditions). 

This makes its particularly difficult to change pet insurance providers as conditions that first started whilst under cover with your existing insurer will probably be excluded from any cover offered by another company.

Lifetime pet insurance policies should though continue to cover health conditions (which started after the policy was taken out) indefinitely providing the policy stays in force.   This is why a lifetime pet insurance policy is the preferred choice of many pet owners.

Unfortunately most pet owners do not realise that their lifetime pet insurance policy is in reality just an annual contract.  And although it is customary to renew the policy in subsequent years, this does not always happen.

RSA Vet Referrals Update – No Changes to Policy Conditions

RSA Pet Insurance

11 June 2015  

In a statement issued to The Pet Insurance Guide this morning,  The RSA Group have said that despite what their recent letter to vet practices said, policy conditions have NOT changed! 

They have also apologised to their customers and the veterinary community for any confusion their communication caused.

RSA Letter to Vet Practices 

The RSA Group are the underwriters for More Than, Tesco, M&S, John Lewis, Argos and Homebase.   On 22 May 2015 they wrote to vet practices in the West Midlands and the North West to inform of “important changes to policy conditions“.  

The letter said that if vets needed to refer pets which were insured under their policies on a non-emergency basis then their customers should be asked to contact their insurer before any appointment was made.  

The RSA letter went on to explain “We will then agree which of our preferred specialist or referral practices our customer should go to dependant on individual circumstances”  and then said that if the customer did not get in touch or they have not agreed to the visit this could mean “the customer suffering a financial impact“.

Pet insurance companies to restrict choice of referral specialists?

RSA Pet Insurance

9 June 2015  

Please see RSA Vet Referrals Update – No Changes to Policy Conditions which is an updated article incorporating the statement the RSA Group made to The Pet Insurance Guide this morning. 

Updated: 7 June 2015

Pet owners and some veterinary surgeons have expressed concern at the recent move by RSA Group pet insurance companies which appear to place restrictions on which referral practices they can use. 


The RSA Group wrote to vets in the Midlands and North West last month telling them that as from 25th May 2015, if they needed to refer any pet insured by More Than, John Lewis, Tesco, Argos, Homebase or M&S, the following new procedures needed to be followed.

These require pet owners to contact their pet insurance company, before the referral is made, so that they can “agree” which of their “preferred specialist or referral practices the customer should go”.

Furthermore they go on to say that if the pet owner does follow this procedure then they may suffer a “financial impact”. 

This does not apply to emergency referrals which are defined as situations that if not resolved immediately will lead to a loss of life or cause a serious threat to the present or ongoing health of the pet.