If your pet becomes ill, injured or lost, the right insurance policy could help you cover the costs.

Every pet is different so you need to make sure you get insurance that will cover them throughout their life, whether you have a dog, cat or a more exotic pet.

Choose the right level of cover

How much cover your pet has for vet treatment depends on what type of policy you buy, so think carefully about which one you need:

  • Accident only: Your pet is only covered for treatment needed after an accidental injury. Some also offer low levels of cover for vet fees, but not all.

  • Time limited: You can claim for a specific condition for a set time period only, usually 12 months. After this you have to pay to treat that condition yourself.

  • Maximum benefit: A condition will be covered up to a set limit, for example £8,000. Your insurer will not pay out for that condition once you reach the limit.

  • Lifetime: This is the most comprehensive policy because it lets you claim up to a set amount, for example £12,000, each year of your pet's life for any condition.

If you have a pedigree pet think about getting a high level of cover because they can suffer from hereditary diseases as they get older.

Look at what cover you can get for things like theft, straying and third party liability. Here is everything you need to know about what is covered by a pet insurance policy.

Always check the exclusions

Pet insurance policies come with exclusions that could mean your claim is rejected, so think about:

  • How old your pet is, because some policies will not cover older animals.

  • Your pet's health, because most policies will not cover existing medical conditions.

  • If your pet is used for monetary gain, because most insurers will not cover working animals or pets used for breeding.

Here is how to make sure your pet insurance policy pays out, including all the exclusions to look out for.