What does pet insurance cover?

dog and cat cuddling under blanket

Accidents and diseases which may once have been unsurvivable for a cat or a dog have long been the focus of advances in medical technology. By improving techniques and developing specialist equipment, vets have become far more able to nurse a pet through illnesses and injuries. That said, the cost of treating a cat or dog using both veterinary skills and tools is getting ever more expensive.   

If you are considering adopting a cat or dog, pet insurance may not sit too highly on your shopping list. There are reasons why you might choose not to insure your pet, however, it serves a purpose when the unexpected happens.

If you did decide to take out a pet insurance policy, depending on your chosen level of cover, there are many things it could help to protect your furry friend from. Here’s how pet insurance through Healthy Pets breaks down:

Accident Only

Cover your pet for accidents - up to £1,000 per incident.

This type of policy covers vet fees only in the event of a sudden or unexpected injury. You can claim for up to 12 months from the start of the first treatment. Claims can be made for an unlimited number of injuries, and policy holders would be covered up to the maximum amount for every injury. Ongoing treatments following an accident would be covered for 12 months.

This policy is available with 1 level of vet fee cover:

Accident only: vets fees up to £1,000

Maximum Benefit

Cover your pet up to the policy limit for each separate accident or illness.

Cover your pet for every new condition up to the limit specified on your policy documents. Once the limit has been reached, it will be considered a ‘pre-existing’ condition, and your pet will no longer be covered for it. When the policy renews, your pet won’t be covered for any pre-existing conditions.

This policy is available with 3 levels of vet fee cover:

Bronze: vets fees up to £1,000
Silver: vets fees up to £4,250
Gold: vets fees up to £7,500

Lifetime Benefit

Cover your pet for accidents, illnesses, and ongoing conditions with a reinstating annual policy limit.

All new conditions are covered up to your policy limit. When your limit is reached, the policy will no longer cover conditions until it is renewed. Once the policy is renewed, you can claim for the same condition, plus any additional new conditions.

This policy is available with 2 levels of vet fee cover:

Extra: vets fees up to £2,000
Premier: vets fees up to £4,250

Understanding Inner limits

Each policy type has vet fee limits which are determined by the level of cover you have chosen.

Within those vet fee limits, there are what are called ‘inner limits’ which tell you how much of your vet fee limit your insurer will put towards certain treatments.

Inner limits will apply to complementary treatments (such as osteopathy), cruciate ligament treatment, special diets, CT/MRI scans, and dentistry. They also apply to many other areas of pet insurance policies, including boarding kennel fees, holiday cancellation payouts, and incidents of theft or straying.

For example, an Accident Only policy with an annual vet fee limit of £1,000 will pay out up to £500 each year for cruciate ligament damage. In comparison, a Lifetime Premier policy with a £4,250 annual vet fee limit will pay out up to £1,500 per year for cruciate ligament damage.

Lifetime Reinstatement Extra policies have an annual vet fee limit of up to £2,000, however no single condition can exceed £1,000 per year in claims. Whereas, a Lifetime Reinstatement Premier policy has a yearly vet fee limit of £4,250, and a maximum of £3,250 of that can go towards each illness or injury in each period of insurance.

See the table for further details of policy benefits, vets fees, and the inner limits that apply per policy.

Policy Benefits

Accident Only






Cover for Accidents


Cover for IllnessNoYesYesYesYesYes
Vet's Fees up to£1,000£1,000£4,250£7,500£2,000 pa£4,250 pa
of which    £1,000 max each condition each year3,250 max each condition each year
- Complementary Medicine£400£400£500£750£500£750
- Cruciate Ligament Total£500£1,000£1,500£1,500£1,000£1,500
- Special DietNo£100£100£100£100£100
- CT/MRI Scans and Associated CostsNo£500£875£1,875£875£1,875
- Dentistry as a direct result of an accident or injuryNo£1,000£4,250£7,500£2,000£4,250
Cover for Ongoing Conditions12 months*YesYesYesYesYes
Accidental DamageNoNoNo£500No£500
Death from IllnessNoNo£500£1,000£500£1,000
Death from AccidentNoNo£500£1,000£500£1,000
Advertising & RewardNoNo£500£1,000£500£1,000
Theft or StrayingNoNo£500£1,000£500£1,000
Boarding Kennel FeesNoNo£500£1,000£500£1,000
Holiday CancellationNoNo£500£2,000£500£2,000
Overseas TravelNo30 days30 days12 months30 days6 months

Important Notes

  1. Accidental Damage Excess is £100.
  2. Death From Illness does not apply to dogs 9 yrs and over and cats 11 yrs and over.
  3. Ongoing Cover for eligible new conditions is subject to cover remaining in force and the original policy limit.
  4. Please note that the benefit limit, for complementary medicine, special diet, CT/MRI scans and associated costs, cruciate ligament and dentistry is included within the maximum veterinary fees benefit limit as per the cover you have selected.
  5. For all claims, the excess you pay is for each unrelated injury or illness in each policy year. If your pet receives treatment for the same injury or illness in separate policy years, we will deduct the fixed excess from the first claim(s) for each in each policy year

* For the costs of treatment for up to one calendar year from the date of the first treatment after your pet is hurt in an accident.

What won’t pet insurance cover?

As with any insurance, it’s just as important to be aware of what is not covered by your policy. Here’s a breakdown of what wouldn’t be covered per cover level:

Accident Only

If you take out accident only cover, your pet would not be covered for illnesses or pre-existing conditions.

Maximum Benefit

If you take out maximum benefit cover, pre-existing conditions are not covered.

Lifetime Cover

New policies will not cover pre-existing conditions.

Peace of mind with pet insurance

Healthy Pets, an award-winning online broker, focuses exclusively on Cat Insurance and Dog Insurance. Healthy Pets can offer a range of policies from Accident Only and Maximum Benefit to Lifetime, with the aim of helping customers find cover that may suit them and their pet.

Our cover can be offered for pets from five weeks old and can include vet fees for illness and injury up to £7,500, as well as ongoing cover for eligible new illnesses. Pre-existing conditions are not covered. 

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