What is pet travel insurance?

It is an extension of pet insurance that can be added to cover trips abroad.

Some policies include this cover as standard, but others offer it as an optional extra. You will only be covered in countries listed in the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS).

What does it cover?

You get some of the same cover as you do in the UK:

  • Vet's fees: You will have the same level of cover as you would at home, but you will only be covered if your pet was in good health before you went away.

  • Advertising and reward: You must report your pet lost in the country they go missing. Insurers will not pay a reward claimed by anyone travelling with you.

  • Holiday cancellation cover: This covers you if you cancel your trip or cut it short because your pet dies, or needs emergency treatment and can no longer travel.

You also get extra benefits specific to travelling abroad with your pet:

  • Quarantine costs: This covers the cost of quarantine kennelling if your pet is unable to travel due to illness, as long as you have complied with the PETS regulations. Most policies cover quarantine costs up to 1,500.

  • Repeat tapeworm treatment: You can claim for the cost of getting repeat tapeworm treatment while abroad if you have to stay longer because your departure back to the UK is delayed.

  • Emergency repatriation: This covers the extra cost of getting your pet home if they are ill or injured while you are away. You can also claim for the cost of accommodation if your departure is delayed because your pet is too ill to travel.

  • Loss of your pet's passport: Your insurer can pay the cost of replacing your pet's passport or healthcare certificate if you lose it while on your trip.

How long is your pet covered for?

This varies between insurers, but most will cover your pet for a maximum of 90 days overseas per year.

Some only allow a certain number of trips each year, for example a maximum of three trips which last no longer than 60 days each.

Pet Travel Scheme regulations

To take your pet abroad you must comply with all the Pet Travel Scheme regulations:

  1. Your pet must be microchipped

  2. Your pet must be vaccinated against rabies after they have been microchipped

  3. You must wait 21 days from the date of the vaccination before travelling

  4. Your pet must have a pet passport issued by an authorised vet

  5. Dogs must have tapeworm treatment no less than 24 hours and no more than five days before entering another country

  6. You must complete a declaration confirming you are not going to sell your pet

  7. You must use an approved transport company and route, unless you are travelling between the UK and Ireland

If you do not follow these rules most insurers will not cover your pet overseas.

If you are travelling to a country outside the EU you must check their individual rules before you travel.

How to get a pet passport

Your pet must have a passport before you take them travelling within the EU.

To get a pet passport, your pet must be:

  • Microchipped

  • Vaccinated against rabies

  • Treated for tapeworms*

* Dogs only

You will need to take your pet, its identity and vaccination records and any rabies blood test results to your vet who will issue your pet's passport.

When you get a pet passport it will show:

  • All the treatments your pet has had in order to meet the PETS regulations

  • Your details, including your name, address and signature

  • Description of your pet, including species, breed and colour

  • Details of your pet's microchip, including the location and code of the chip

  • Name and address of your vet

How to find the right pet travel cover

If you already have a pet insurance policy check to see if overseas travel is covered as standard. If not, contact your insurer to see if you can add it as an extra benefit.

If you cannot add it to your policy, or you are looking for a new policy, you can compare pet travel insurance here.

You should look at:

Make sure the policy you choose also gives all the cover you need at home. Here is everything you need to know about pet insurance, including what it should cover.