The Pet Insurance

Guide 2016

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

Our Top Five Pet Insurance Providers

Best Pet Insurance Providers - Top 5“Who is the best pet insurance provider?” is a question that you will often see asked on various pet forums or on social media.   And you will often get many different suggestions.  

There are many factors to consider when buying a pet insurance policy – and do remember that what is important to you may not be important to someone else.  

This is why you will find lots of information about pet insurance providers and their policies on this website –  including strengths and limitations – customer review links  – policy details (including small print) and details of how we have assessed each provider against a number of ranking factors. 

We would therefore suggest that you use this list of our top five providers simply as a starting point in your research – and bear in mind that you may well find other providers suit your particular needs better. 

Ratings are necessarily somewhat subjective but in arriving at the ratings we have considered five key areas:-

Full details on how we arrived at the ratings for each provider can be found in the provider ratings section.   

Top Rated Provider

Petplan – 4.2/5

Petplan pet insurancePetplan are undoubtedly the most popular pet insurance provider, and in our opinion they are probably the best all-round provider.  

Not that they are perfect by any means – when we got quotes we found their excess to be on the high side.  You should also note that they only pay for very limited prescription food and they don’t pay for euthanasia.

But they do offer a good range of policies (including lifetime policies),  and in our opinion the small print is relatively “clean”,  by which we mean that the vast majority of exclusions are the same as those you will find in almost all policies.

Many people find that the initial premium quotes are expensive (although not all as it depends on the breed and postcode).  But it is important to note that Petplan, unlike many other providers,  do not raise premiums just because you have made claims or your pet has developed a conditions which will require ongoing care.  Most feedback we have read suggests that renewal increases are generally small whether or not you have made claims. 

Petplan Policy Review

Petplan Provider Rating Details

Petplan Customer Reviews

The Best of the Rest

John Lewis – 4.0/5

John Lewis Pet InsuranceJohn Lewis also offer a good range of policies and also have “clean” small print.   They do pay for euthanasia, and up to £250 for prescription food but only pay for dental treatment required as a result of accidents.   

From what we have seen they have one of the best reputations in the industry for customer service and claims management.  The excess is just £60 but you can increase this in return for a lower premium if this suits you better. 

But.. and this is quite a big but… we have read several customer feedback comments complaining about substantial premium hikes which could mean that the policy becomes unaffordable if your finances are tight. 

John Lewis Policy Review

John Lewis Provider Rating Details

John Lewis Customer Reviews 


The Kennel Club 4.0/5

Kennel Club Pet Insurance ThumbThe Kennel Club only have one policy – a lifetime policy with a choice of either a £7,500 or £15,000 annual cover limit. 

Most customer service reviews we have read are very positive.   The small print is mostly quite standard but you need to be aware that unlike most other policies you cannot cancel the policy during the policy year,  and that you will have to pay 10% of treatment fees for dogs aged 5 or over. 

Dental cover for illnesses as well as accidents is included, and they will pay up to 50% of prescription food costs up to a maximum of £250 for each illness or injury. 

Kennel Club Policy Review

Kennel Club Provider Rating Details

Kennel Club Customer Reviews


Argos Pet Insurance 4.0/5

argos pet insuranceArgos only have one lifetime policy but it has an annual cover limit of £7,000.   They pay for up to 4 weeks prescription food but only pay for dental treatment required as a result of accidents.  Again in our opinion the small print is relatively “clean”. 

Most of the feedback we have seen is good and they do have a low excess of just £65.  

Unlike most other pet insurance providers,  Argos do not require you to pay a percentage of vet fees for older pets.

Argos, like John Lewis, are underwritten by RSA.   It is not therefore surprising that we have also seen customer reviews with reports of premium hikes for Argos policies.

Argos Policy Review

Argos Provider Rating Details

Argos Customer Reviews


More Than Pet Insurance 3.8/5

More Than Pet InsuranceMore Than pet insurance also have a good range of policies and their Premier policy provides lifetime cover with a £12,000 annual limit.   Many people find that their premiums are very competitive.

The More Than small print is also “clean” in our opinion.   The Premier policy will pay for dental costs for illness as well as accidents,  up to £500 for prescription food, and euthanasia.  However be aware that these benefits are not included in all their policies. 

The excess is not particularly high (£75) and their current policies do not require you to pay any percentage of vet fees (although you can opt to pay 10% in return for a lower premium.  The premium doubles for older pets. 

Most of the recent customer feedback is very positive about claims experiences.  However More Than, like John Lewis and Argos, is also underwritten by RSA.   And we have unfortunately seen many reports of renewal premium hikes, which may make the policy unaffordable for some people in the longer term. 

More Than Policy Details

More Than Rating Details

More Than Customer Reviews


The policies on offer from UK pet insurance providers differ in many important respects.  But as we said above, remember what is important to you may be different from what is important to other pet owners!

So please do also explore the links above and below to find more details on individual providers and policies before deciding which policy best meets your needs. 

Other Provider Ratings

Animal Friends 3.2

Direct Line 3.7

E&L  1.3

Healthy Pets 2.8

Helpucover 3.7

LV= 3.7

M&S 3.7

Purely Pets 2.8

Sainsbury’s 3.5

Tesco 3.7


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Your Experiences and Opinions!

Your experiences and opinions are just as valid as ours – so please do share them below so other pet owners can benefit from them! 
Please note all comments are moderated, so that we can keep this website spam-free.  So they will only appear once approved.

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  1. The initial quote for More Than policies is very competitive and if you’re unlucky enough to claim, they offer a good service. However, the price rise the following year is eye-watering! Having a young rescue dog I have no option but to stay with them and hope for a few years without claims so that I can shop around.

    1. This is really disappointing Ann. As you will see from the above comments that we are very concerned about the number of reports we have read about premium hikes. In fact if you check out the More Than Ratings page you will see that we give them 0/3 for renewal premium increases.

    2. Hi Ann sorry you had to make a claim for your Puppy , i hope that he/she is doing ok now . This also concerns me . As having just taken out 3 cat insurances with More Than Insurance , why do you have no option to move somewhere else ? are you in a contract with them ? .
      Someone needs to keep an eye on the insurances , may be the ombudsman need to look into this as insurances should not be increasing there renewals so high , they no better than the vets themselves .hope you have some good luck next year,
      Trish .

      1. Unfortunately if your pet develops an ongoing condition then it will be classed as as pre-existing condition by any new insurance policy you take out and therefore excluded. This is why pet owners feel trapped by their insurance policies.

        Many people have complained to Financial Ombudsman about premium increases but unfortunately they take the view that premium increases “are a matter for commercial judgement” and therefore not something they can rule on .. unless a particular customer has been treated unfairly in comparison to others.

        In my opinion this is totally unfair as this effectively means that pet insurance companies can charge what they like and pet owners have to choose between paying exorbitant premiums or losing cover for what can be potentially very expensive vet treatment for ongoing conditions.

  2. i insured my 2 year old Bichon with John Lewis when the renewal was due the policy had increased by £100 for the following year, although i have never claimed with them or any other company. i really dont understand why there was such a huge price hike, i have since renewed with Argos at a much more affordable premium

    1. Renewal premiums increase for a number of reasons but premiums hikes do seem to be more common with certain underwriters. So always a good plan to check out our reviews before you make a final decision.

  3. I obtained a premium quote from Tesco Pet insurance at £18.58 per month and saved it with a guarantee that the price would be held for a month. The following day I retrieved the quote to proceed and it had increased by £2 per month.

    On phoning them they said it could happen and nothing the customer service team could do about it. SHARP PRACTICE or what??

  4. I have been with Pet Plan, which was recommended for my rescue dog by the vet. Every year the price has been hiked up, which I would expect to some extent but not around 25% each year. I have never claimed (thankfully)but feel trapped by the scheme as my pet is a large dog. This shouldn’t be allowed to occur that insurance companies can basically charge you what they want to exploit your custom.

  5. I joined Tesco Pet Insurance July 2016 and felt very disappointed and let down when this years renewal came through with seventy two percent increase when I had only claimed once. Then I changed my address which was exactly 1.1 miles down the road with the same pre fix postcode and they increased it by a further 240.00 per year giving me an overall increase of 132 percent!!!! How on earth can that be a fair practice, although their complaints department thought it was perfectly fine!!! Needless to say I cancelled my policy as it was totally unaffordable to me, how can large companies like Tesco get away with this???

  6. I can totally understand why more than has got 0/3 for renewal premiums. My premium has gone up by the amount I claimed in the previous year, so basically it’s just an expensive loan service

  7. I have recently moved from Harrogate to North Leeds. Its a much better area for my dogs as I can now walk them around the fields at the back of the house as opposed the roadside at the old house. I could not believe it when I informed More Than Pet Insurance and they hiked up the premium immediately from £52 to £75 per month. On questioning this with them they stated its because local vets in Leeds are more expensive.. interesting as I still use the same vets in Harrogate. I remain unsure how they justify a 44% increase for a postcode change, I’m fairly sure that had I moved from Leeds to Harrogate, then they wouldn’t have offered a 44% discount.

  8. More Than renewals 02 Feb 2018 1643hrs

    Operator (agency staff) Sean

    I said that I had rung to confer that the renewal of £7,410.58 was correct as it had trebled?

    Sean replied that although £7,410.58 was high it was correct, however whist he had seen one higher at around £11.000 that was for three dogs and mine was certainly the highest for two dogs he had ever seen!

    I asked if there was the option to perhaps change the present “Premier “£12000 cover to the lower level of £4000 as suggested under “Control the cost” in the leaflet that was sent out with my renewal. (See attached)

    Sean said that they had been given strict instructions from “More Than” head office that this lower level option was not available or to be offered to bad risks such as in my case.

    Sophie and Harry are now regarded as bad risks as they are diabetic so there is no chance of reducing the cover level.
    He could however offer a £100 loyalty discount if I took the £7,410.58 premium this year.

    Or he could offer me the “Premier” £12.000 lifetime cover for both dogs with the following amendments in terms & conditions for 2018 @ £5966 plus amendments below –
    1. One off yearly excess per dog of £100 total £200
    2. Plus I would have to pay the first 20% of each and every claim.

    Or further option

    Cancel existing premier £12000 cover
    Go online and take out new cover for Sophie & Harry and I would be entitled to a one off 25% discount on the premium; however this cover would exclude any medical conditions they were suffering from now or that had been claimed for in the past.

    I replied that this wasn’t really an option as so many future medical conditions may be linked to the diabetes that the new policy would be virtually useless.

    I informed Sean that I was not at all satisfied with either the renewal premium or the way I was being treated by More Than and that I had already spoken to the Ombudsman’s office and they had said that I should ask for a detailed explanation of how such an increase in my insurance premium could be justified.

    Sean said that More Than would not disclose that sensitive information

    I then asked Sean as matter of urgency to submit a formal complaint on my behalf expressing my dissatisfaction with the trebled renewal price and requesting the criteria and reasoning used to justify that price,

    I stated that I had every intention of asking the Ombudsman to investigate my complaint if I remained dissatisfied with More Thans reply.

    Sean assured me that he would send my formal complaint to the appropriate person at More Than.