How to claim on your pet insurance policy

If your pet needs to see the vet or goes missing, claiming on your pet insurance can help cover the cost. Here is a step by step guide to making a successful claim.

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What you can claim for

Most pet insurance policies will cover:

  • Vet fees, including elective treatment like acupuncture

  • Death of your pet through illness or injury

  • Loss through theft or straying

  • Third party liability*

* Dogs only

You may also be covered for emergency boarding, taking your pet abroad and holiday cancellation if your pet falls ill or is injured.

Some insurers set a time limit on making a claim, such as 31 days from your vet telling you treatment is needed, or no longer than 60 days after treatment starts.

The sooner you start the claims process, the quicker your insurer can pay out.

You can usually download a claims form from your insurer's website, or request one when you call them.

How to make a claim

  • Call your insurer on their claims line* to let them know you want to claim

  • Complete a claims form, which may include a section for your vet to complete

  • Get all relevant evidence and paperwork

  • Send the claims form and paperwork to your insurer

* The number can be found in your policy document

What will you need to claim?

This will depend on what you are claiming for:

Vet fees

Your vet will need to complete some parts of the claims form on your behalf. You will also be asked to provide:

  • Invoices from the veterinary practice which shows what you are claiming for

  • Your pet's full clinical history if it is the first claim you are making

You will be able to request these documents from your vet. If your pet has also seen a different vet in the past you will need to contact them to get a full clinical history.

Most insurers will pay the vet directly to cover the cost of treatment.

Death of your pet from illness or injury

  • A completed claims form

  • A death certificate issued by the vet

  • A receipt for the original purchase or donation price you paid for your pet

  • A copy of your pet's pedigree certificate*

* Pedigree pets only

If you are claiming against the cost of cremating your pet, you will need to send the invoice showing the cost.

Theft of your pet or straying

You must report your pet missing to local rescue centres and vets first before you send your insurer:

  • A completed claims form

  • Evidence, including receipts, of any advertising carried out to try and find your pet

  • A receipt for the original purchase or donation price you paid for your pet

  • A copy of your pet's pedigree certificate*

* Pedigree pets only

If your policy covers the cost of a reward for whoever finds your pet you must contact your insurer to agree an amount before you advertise it.

Third party liability

If your dog causes an injury to a member of the public third party liability can cover the damages.

This claim will come from someone other than yourself, but you will still need to:

  • Notify the insurer as soon as anything happens that could lead to a third party liability claim, for example, if you pet injures someone or causes and accident.

  • Send any documents you receive from the third party to your insurer, for example a court summons.

Never admit responsibility or agree to pay any compensation following any incident. Always contact your insurer first.

Paying an excess

When you make a claim on your pet insurance you will have to pay towards the cost, this is called the excess.

The amount you pay can vary depending on the type of claim, for example:

  • Getting your vet fees covered could cost you an excess of £110*

  • If your pet causes an accident and you are taken to court you could claim against your third party liability cover and pay an excess of £250*

* Figures from Pet Plan January 2019

Some insurers also charge an additional excess of up to £200 if you use a vet that is not on their approved list. Find out more about using an approved vet here.

If you have an older pet over eight years old some insurers will charge you a higher excess for any vet fee claims.

If you are claiming for vet fees you will usually have to pay the excess to the vets, for other claims it will be deducted from the amount paid out.

Should you complain if your claim rejected?

If you have checked your policy and still feel your claim is valid, you should contact your insurer by phone or by letter to make a formal complaint.

Make sure you outline exactly why you are complaining and why you think your claim was unfairly rejected.

If they do not change their decision, you can go to the financial ombudsman, who can look into your claim for you.

A claim might be rejected because:

This guide looks at all the exclusions that could stop your pet insurance paying out.

Here is how to complain to your insurer

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