Can you claim straight away on your pet insurance

how long after taking pet insurance can you claim on your policy

Is your pooch under the weather? Your cat suddenly off her food? You can never tell when your pet is going to need to see the vet outside of routine checks, whether it's for illness or accident. But when it happens, knowing your insurance is ready to help with the financial cost of a vet visit or treatment it super helpful. It can really give you peace of mind. Pet insurance covers you fairly quickly once you've bought your policy, but there are some 'quirks' - sorry, exclusions - worth being aware of. Here's a useful guide for you on how soon you can claim on your pet insurance policy after contracting it. 

How long after taking your policy can you submit a claim?

With all twelve of the pet insurance policies we compared in the UK, there is an initial exclusion period for claims related to an illness. It's generally 14 days from the date you purchase your initial policy, although a couple of policies offered cover from just 10 days after purchase date. 

With injuries, some of the insurance policies stated a 48h initial exclusion period but not all. Where we couldn't find any evidence of an exclusion period for injury stated in the policy document, we gathered that the cover was immediate*. However, you should always check specific facts like these with your chosen insurer before purchasing your policy. 

With all the standard policies however, pre-existing medical conditions are all excluded from any claim. 

Here's how the pet insurance brands compare:


More Than (basic or classic)
exclusion period for illness - 14 days
exclusion period for accident or death by accident - 48h

Bought By Many (Money Back)
exclusion period for illness - 14 days
exclusion period for accident or death by accident - 48h

John Lewis pet insurance
exclusion period for illness - 14 days
exclusion period for accident or death by accident - 48h

Pet Plan 
exclusion period for illness - 14 days (first policy, not at renewal)
exclusion period for accident or death by accident - immediate

Direct Line
exclusion period for illness - 14 days
exclusion period for accident or death by accident - immediate

LV=
exclusion period for illness - 14 days
exclusion period for accident or death by accident - 48h

The Kennel Club pet insurance
exclusion period for illness - 10 days
exclusion period for accident or death by accident - immediate

Tesco Bank Pet Insurance
exclusion period for illness - 14 days
exclusion period for accident or death by accident - immediate? (unclear)

Churchill insurance
exclusion period for illness - 10 days
exclusion period for accident or death by accident - immediate

Sainsburys pet insurance
exclusion period for illness - 14 days
exclusion period for accident or death by accident - immediate

4Paws
exclusion period for illness - 14 days
exclusion period for accident or death by accident - immediate

M&S pet insurance
exclusion period for illness - 14 days
exclusion period for accident or death by accident - immediate


Can you get pet insurance after diagnosis?

Of course you can buy pet insurance after diagnosis. However, any pre-existing condition won't be covered by a standard pet insurance. A pre-existing condition means an injury or illness that:

  • happened or first showed clinical signs before your pet's cover started
  • has the same diagnosis or clinical signs as an injury, illness or clinical sign your pet had before your pet's cover started
  • is caused by, relates to, or results from, an injury, illness or clinical sign your pet had before your pet's cover started

Which means that it includes conditions you might have noticed even if you haven't taken your pet to the vet about it yet. 

Are there pet insurance solutions covering pets with pre-existing conditions? 

Bought By Many offers a pet insurance policy that includes pre existing medical conditions, as long as you have not claimed for it over the past 3 months. During your first year of policy, you'll be covered for up to £500 for the pre existing condition. If you don't claim that first year, your cover ceiling will go up. 

Other pet insurance providers state that they offer cover for pets' pre existing medical conditions. However, the policy wording often states that your pet will need to be free of any treatment for the condition for at least 2 years. Check policy wording carefully before deciding which solution is right for you and your pet. 



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* (all facts correct at time of printing 26.02.2019 and to the best of our knowledge. ClaimScore cannot be liable for any errors that might be present in guides and content. Please check all facts and policy terms with your insurer).

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