Lifetime Insurance Guide

Understanding the benefits of lifetime insurance

Adopting a cat or dog into your family is a long-term commitment, giving them a loving home for life and giving you a companion that will brighten up your days. Insuring your pet is something that owners should look into in order to ensure that you can afford to give your cat or dog is able to get the care they may need. Lifetime insurance can offer the highest level of cover out of the available types of pet insurance, making it a great option for owners who want an ongoing pet insurance policy with the greatest level of support.

What is a lifetime pet insurance policy?

Unlike accident only pet insurance, for example, taking out a lifetime pet insurance policy means that your cat or dog will have rolling coverage which is renewed every year, providing you continue to pay for the policy. The advantage of lifetime pet insurance cover is that since you’re staying with the same insurer and policy, new conditions your pet is diagnosed will be factored into the policy. This means you can get help paying vet fees for ongoing issues that your pet may experience during its lifetime.

There are two main types of lifetime cover – the first where you an claim up to the policy amount per condition per year, and the other where you can claim up to the total policy amount for all conditions combined over the course of the year.

What’s the difference between annual (12 month) and lifetime pet insurance?

While lifetime pet insurance can give your pet cover year on year, taking into account new conditions and any other incidents your pet may experience – 12 month cover gives you cover for 12 months or until the benefit limit is reached (whichever is sooner) and reviews your pet’s conditions annually.

This means that with 12 month pet insurance, new conditions will be covered for a maximum of 12 months before becoming pre-existing conditions and won’t be covered once it comes time to renew the pet insurance policy.

This is one of the main benefits of lifetime pet insurance policies, as they are able to provide cover for on-going conditions your pet has, unlike 12 month policies which exclude conditions after a year of cover where they’re then seen as pre-existing conditions.

How much does lifetime pet insurance cost?

The amount that lifetime insurance costs will be dependent on several factors, including your pet's breed and age and where you live.

It is worth remembering that prices will vary depending on what level of lifetime insurance policy you chose, as they will offer different cover limits. This is on top of the variation in price when insuring different breed of cats and dogs, as some breeds can cost more to insure than others.

Does the cost of lifetime pet insurance increase each year?

You’ll likely find that the cost of Lifetime pet insurance can go up each year when it comes to renewing your policy.

The reason for this is typically because your pet is getting older, and older pets run a higher risk of being diagnosed with something that requires treatment, but there are other reasons lifetime pet insurance cost can go up. If insurance costs go up across the market then your policy may also increase in price, while making claims on your policy or coming to the end of an introductory offer will also see an effect on the price of your policy.

However, while you might be tempted to shop around for better deals, you may lose out on the cover your current lifetime pet insurance policy offers you if your pet already has a pre-existing condition covered.

Is it best to get lifetime pet insurance?

While it’s important to look at some form of insurance for your pet so that you can afford to get medical treatment when required, it’s up to you as to what type of insurance is best for you and your pet.

If you have a younger pet then you might be tempted to go for a 12 month policy if there's a significant price difference. But it’s worth considering the extra cover lifetime pet insurance can offer you and your pet, as it may help to safeguard your finances and your pet for the future if they do develop new conditions. You can learn more about how to compare types of cover with our handy table.

A quick ‘paws’ for thought…

With pet insurance, as part of the cost, your premium will increase each year at renewal as your pet gets older. We’ll limit the amount it goes up by, but your renewal price will also be impacted by:

  • Any claims you make – this could significantly increase your premium
  • Rising vet fees
  • Insurance Premium Tax increasing
  • Changes you make to your policy
  • Changes we make to our pricing

You can, of course, shop around at renewal. Just bear in mind that any existing conditions your pet’s developed, whether diagnosed or not, may not be covered elsewhere.