What Does Dog Insurance Cover?

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As a responsible pet owner, you want to make sure your animal is protected in case of an emergency, but what does dog insurance cover? Let’s take a look.

Is there any living being more loyal than your four-legged family member? Dogs are always excited to spend quality time with you whether it be a warm cuddle on the sofa or a refreshing walk in nature.

There’s no better way to reward their companionship than by giving them the best life possible. Complementing your dog’s balanced diet and exercise routine with pet insurance protects its health and wellbeing throughout its life.

With the rising cost of living, you might be asking yourself; is pet insurance worth it and how much cover should I get for my dog in the UK? Learn what is and isn’t covered below and compare what options you have to protect your pup whatever its age.

What is pet insurance for dogs?

Pet insurance is designed to cover your dog against unexpected costs that arise due to an emergency, like vet bills for injury and illness.

Depending on the type of policy you choose to protect your pet, you may also be able to claim if your dog is lost or stolen and for other sudden expenses. You get more coverage for your animal when you opt for the most comprehensive plans.

What does dog insurance cover in the UK?

Pet insurance policies can cover your animal for a variety of medical expenses. The plans can pay out for vet fees from as little as £1,000 and up to £15,000, like our Purely Pets lifetime dog insurance policy.

What can I use my pet insurance for? With a comprehensive policy in place, you get the most coverage and can expect to protect your pet against some or all of the following:

Vet bills: Dog insurance policies cover unexpected vet fees in case your pet has an accident or falls ill.

Dental cover: If your dog needs dental treatment as a result of injury or illness, you can get it covered. You usually need to have proof of dental check-ups and an ongoing pet insurance policy for over 12 months to claim.

Death: When your animal dies, you can claim back the price you paid for it or what it could sell for. Some pet insurance plans have an age limit to this.

Farewell costs: The most comprehensive plans include coverage for part of the cost of putting your pet to sleep and its cremation or burial.

Lost or stolen: If your pup goes missing, the pet insurance provider may contribute to costs to help you find them, like the cost of printing posters or paying the reward if found.

Third-party liability: This part of the policy pays out compensation if your dog insures someone or damages property. It can also cover any legal costs involved.

Boarding fees: If you get hospitalised and have no one to care for your animal during your stay, the pet insurance provider can pay for kennel costs. This often only applies if you’re in hospital for at least 2-4 days.

Travel overseas: When you take your pet on holiday your policy can cover them if they get injured or fall ill while abroad. Some may also pay for any lost travel costs if you need to cancel a holiday due to your dog becoming seriously ill.

Alternative treatments: Certain insurers cover your dog for hydrotherapy, homeopathy, physiotherapy, and other alternative care when a vet recommends it.

Prescription food: If your dog has specific dietary requirements as described by your vet, you may be able to get help towards the cost of its food.

What does pet insurance not cover?

While pet insurance policies pay out for various unexpected costs, there are also a few times when a trip to your vets isn’t covered.

It’s important to note that coverage is different with each provider, so make sure you read the details carefully before committing to a certain plan to see what is and isn’t included.

When searching for the right dog insurance policy for your pup, you likely won’t find coverage for a few conditions and treatments.

Pre-existing conditions

This term refers to any illness or injury your dog has before taking out pet insurance policies and can be broken into two categories:

  • Chronic conditions – ongoing issues like arthritis or heart problems
  • Historic conditions – past illnesses or injuries your dog no longer suffers from like healed tissue

Most dog insurance policies don’t cover pre-existing conditions of any type. However, they may include them in your plan if your pet hasn’t had treatment for them for a certain length of time – usually at least two years.

Routine care and preventative treatments

There are certain visits to your vet that pet insurance providers regard as costs you should budget for when getting a dog. These don’t come under emergency or unexpected costs and include:

  • Neutering (spaying and castrating). For more information, read our blog on whether pet insurance covers spaying.
  • Vaccinations
  • Microchips
  • Flea, worm, and tick treatment
  • Grooming and claw clipping

Pregnancy and giving birth

Most pet insurance policies exclude any costs arising from getting pregnant and giving birth. This means that if your pup experiences difficulties during gestation, you may need to cover the cost yourself.

Any pet owner considering breeding their dog needs to understand what it involves and make sure they have the funds to pay for any eventuality. You also may be interested in how long a dog will be pregnant for and you can read about this over on our blog.

A waiting period

When you take out a dog insurance policy, check how long the waiting period is – it’s usually the first 10-14 days of your coverage. Your plan won’t cover any illness that begins in this time frame, however your provider might waive this aspect if you're switching from another company.

Want to find out more about our Dog Insurance Product? 

We’ve listed our key benefits below and you can also take a look at our cover levels, customer reviews and awards.

Ready to get started? Click here to get a quote.

Why choose Purely Pets

Free 24 hour Vet Helpline for all customers

Free 24 hour Vet Helpline for all customers

There’s no upper age limit

There’s no upper age limit

Easy online claims process

Easy online claims process

Payments made direct to vet

Payments made direct to vet

15 levels of Lifetime cover

15 levels of Lifetime cover

Lifetime Cover up to £15,000

Lifetime Cover up to £15,000

Choose an excess starting from £80

Choose an excess starting from £80

Manage your policy online

Manage your policy online

Award winning Pet Insurance

Award winning Pet Insurance

What do the different types of pet insurance policies cover?

We’ve shared what can be covered by a dog insurance policy, but they don’t all include the same considerations. You can find cover from anywhere between £1,000 and £15,000, and there are four main types of policy to compare and choose from.


Sometimes called reinstatement cover, a lifetime plan is the most comprehensive choice for your four-legged friend. As long as you renew your policy every 12 months, you get ongoing protection for your pet throughout its entire life.

What should pet insurance include if it’s lifetime coverage? As this policy provides the most protection, you can expect it to include vet fees and most of or all the additional factors mentioned above.

Maximum benefit

This policy also covers your dog for an illness or injury, but only up to a fixed financial limit per condition. If you reach this cap, your pet is no longer covered, and you’ll have to fund its care and treatment.


This is similar to maximum benefit pet insurance but rather than setting a financial cap, it only provides protection for accidents and injuries for a certain period of time.

Most pet owners only consider this choice for younger animals that may have a short-lived condition. With chronic issues or injuries in older dogs, it’s usually not worth it as the time limit will run out and you’ll need to pay the fees.


What’s covered in dog insurance at the most basic level? As the name suggests, this simple cover only includes injury-related issues, not illness.

If your pet has an accident, you get a fixed amount to pay vet fees and treatment. Most insurers won’t pay out for more than a year after an injury.

Can my older dog get covered by pet insurance?

As your older dog is more likely to suffer from illness or an injury and make a claim, it can be hard to find them the protection they deserve.

Canines are considered senior after they reach 7 years old, so finding an insurer who’ll look out for them as they enter their golden years is essential to make sure they get the right treatment when they need it most.

At Purely Pets, we believe every pet deserves to live its best life, which is why we have no upper age limit to our lifetime pet insurance policies.

Do you need pet insurance in the UK?

Covering a pet isn’t a legal requirement in the UK, and if you’re trying to stick to a budget, you might wonder, “is it worth insuring my dog?”. There are many benefits to protecting your animal in case of an emergency, for both your wallet and their wellbeing.

Before committing to a policy, compare both the advantages and disadvantages of pet insurance.


Pros Cons
Your pet gets the treatment it needs without you having to find emergency funds Preventative measures like neutering and some pre-existing conditions aren’t covered Preventative measures like neutering and some pre-existing conditions aren't covered
Covers you before serious medical conditions arise Limits mean you may still need to pay for treatment out of pocket Limits mean you still need to pay for treatment out of pocket
Can save you thousands in vet bills throughout its lifetime May feel like a waste if you don’t use all the benefits of the plan May feel like a waste if you don't use all the benefits of the plan
Protects you and your pet in case of legal issues due to third-party injury or damage  
You won’t be forced to choose between your bank balance and your beloved pet  
You get to choose which vet to go to  


The Purely Pet Promise

At Purely, we’re here to support you. That’s why we offer a 24 Hour Vet Helpline free of charge to all of our customers. Our easy to use online portal ‘Manage My Policy’, enables you to access to your policy 24hrs a day. This provides greater flexibility, allowing you to manage your policy at a time that suits you, so that you can spend more time with your furry friends, and less time managing your insurance. Get a quote

Our Dog insurance cover levels

As award winning pet insurance specialists we’ve designed 15 cover levels to give you the freedom to choose the right level of cover for you and your dog. Just click the options below to find out more.

What insurance cover can I get if my pet isn’t vaccinated?

If your dog isn’t up to date with its vaccinations, you can still get coverage but there’ll be more exclusions. When a pet becomes ill from a condition that a vaccination could have prevented, insurers may not cover the costs of treatment.

What are the alternatives to dog insurance?

If you’re concerned about the cost of dog insurance, you might want to consider other options and compare the benefits to your individual circumstances.

Your pet needs protection in some form or the other to make sure they get the health care they deserve. Check the following options to see if they can help you.


This term means you put money aside in an account to pay for potential vet bills. You need to be well disciplined to manage this option and consider how much you can realistically afford to save in a protection fund for your furry friend.

This plan works well for younger pets who are less likely to need substantial treatment. As your dog grows older, so should the funds, allowing you to save for more care when the time comes.

The risk of this method is if your pet becomes seriously injured or ill and the vet fees are more than the amount you saved. Certain conditions and surgeries can cost thousands of pounds, which isn’t always affordable at short notice without a pet insurance policy in place.


If dog insurance and saving the funds yourself are both unaffordable, you can check to see if you’re eligible to apply for free treatment with animal charities, like The Blue Cross.

These organisations usually means-test applicants and can help individuals who receive certain state benefits, have a low income, or are retired to get support towards paying for vet care.

Pet health plans

This type of plan is sometimes offered by veterinary practices to pay for non-essential treatments like vaccinations, grooming, and neutering. The idea is to help their clients spread the cost of paying for pet care over the course of a year rather than in a lump sum.

What does pet insurance cover that health plans don’t? An insurance policy protects your dog in an emergency, which a pet health plan doesn’t.

You shouldn’t take out a health plan to replace pet insurance but rather use it as an additional way to afford all the essential treatment your beloved dog needs.

Why protect your pup with lifetime pet insurance from Purely Pets?

Your canine companion sticks by your side through thick and thin and deserves only the best protection in return. By choosing one of the lifetime pet insurance policies offered by Purely Pets, you make sure your dog has coverage when they need it most.

Whether your furry family member is a fun loving youngster or laid back senior, you can find a lifetime plan to fit your needs and budget. We insure pups as young as 8 weeks old and there’s no upper age limit.

Choose from our range of lifetime policy options for up to £15,000 worth of cover and manage your plan easily online.

If you’re worried about your dog and need some quick advice, you get access to our 24-hour vet video consultation service.

To find out more about our award-winning pet insurance policies for your dog, contact the Purely Pets team today.

Customer reviews

We’re committed to improving our Pet Insurance products wherever possible, which is why feedback from our customers is so important to us. We’re incredibly proud of our Excellent Trustpilot rating and you can read the latest reviews from our fantastic customers below.

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Our Pet Insurance awards

British Claims
Insurance Choice Awards
Moneyfacts Consumer
Uk Brooker Awards
British Claims
Insurance Choice Awards
Moneyfacts Consumer
Uk Brooker Awards
British Claims
Insurance Choice Awards
Moneyfacts Consumer
Uk Brooker Awards
British Claims
Insurance Choice Awards
Moneyfacts Consumer
Uk Brooker Awards

Find out more

You can find out more about our Dog Insurance product below and there’s more help available on our FAQs page.

According to the Association of British Insurers report, the average cost of Pet Insurance in 2019 has gone down £8 to £271 annually whilst the average claim has gone up by £29 to £822.

Depending on the type of pet cover you choose, you can be covered for vets bills for accidents, illness, or both up to a fixed monetary amount. Many policies will give you added benefits such as cover for dentistry, loss of pet, third party liability and overseas travel.

We provide dog insurance & cat insurance - at a variety of different levels to suit yours & your pets needs. 

Pet insurance doesn’t normally cover you for any conditions that already exist before you purchase, so always check this if are looking to move to a new provider or if you are taking out insurance for the first time but your pet has pre-existing medical conditions.

There will also generally be an excess (a fixed amount that you contribute to any claim) or a co-payment excess (normally a percentage of the total claimed amount that you will contribute to any claim) on your policy that you will have to pay.

Other common exclusions for pet insurance are breeds listed under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, cover for elective, routine or cosmetic treatment and cover for illness or accidents within a specified waiting period

So you have decided to get your pet insured, but now you are faced with a number of policies to choose from! Here at Purely Pets we offer 15 levels of Lifetime Cover - allowing you to choose the policy that suits your budget and requirements.

These policies offer cover for accidents and illnesses for the pet’s lifetime. This is dependent upon you renewing the policy each year and keeping up to date with premiums. These are usually the most expensive policies, because they provide the most comprehensive cover.

All of our Lifetime policies offer you a pot of money per year that will cover all accidents and illnesses. We only offer Lifetime cover to our customers as we believe it is the most comprehensive cover available.

Like humans, our pets are more likely to be affected by illness as they get older. This means that every year your insurance premium will increase even if you haven’t made a claim. This increase will be significant if you have claimed.

Purely Pets can provide you with an online quote for your pet in minutes.

With a range of lifetime options available offering vets fees cover from £1,000-£15,000 and the option to choose your excess we can help you find the right cover for you and your pet at a price that suits you.

We also have a specialist Pet Insurance team that you can call to get a quote or discuss your options in more detail.