Pet Insurance Jargon Buster

We want to make getting pet insurance easier, so we've put together this jargon busting glossary filled with all the terms you might stumble across when getting cover for your pet.

Young couple at home buying pet insurance on laptop smiling and looking at their Labrador dog

Disclaimer:  More detailed definitions are available in the Policy Wording document for policyholders, these detailed definitions are the basis of how claims are assessed.



An accident is an event that happens unexpectedly which results in physical injury, harm or even the death of your pet.


Alternative medicine

Alternative medicine refers to the use of herbal or homoeopathic remedies that may be recommended by your vet if your pet has a condition that doesn’t need or respond to prescription medicine.



Behavioural treatment

Behavioural treatment or therapy is the term used for methods that treat behavioural and mental health disorders in pets. This will be carried out by a trained behaviourist recommended by your vet, or your vet themselves if they are qualified and will help to investigate and reduce any unwanted or destructive habits or behaviours in your pet.



Co-insurance is where you are required to contribute a specified percentage towards vet fees in addition to the fixed excess.


Complementary medicine/therapy/treatment

Complementary medicine refers to additional treatments such as acupuncture, hydrotherapy, osteopathy, physiotherapy and chiropractic therapy that may have been recommended by your vet and is carried out by a suitably qualified person.


Commercial breeding

Any pet that has had more than 2 litters in its lifetime.



A condition typically means a health problem in your pet that has specific symptoms, this could include an illness, injury, impairment, or any kind of physical or mental issue that requires care or treatment.



Any treatment of the teeth, gums, or mouth.


Fixed excess

A fixed excess on a pet insurance policy is a compulsory, fixed amount of money that you will be required to pay towards each claim made for illness or injury.



This means pets used for commercial security work or those which have been trained to attack.



Means a pleasure trip outside of the UK, which starts from and ends at your address as shown in your policy schedule.



Changes in your pet’s state of health that are not caused by an accident..



Any event that occurs that results in a sign of injury or illness in your pet.



Physical harm or damage that has affected your pet due to an accident or event.


Monetary pet value

If you do not have proof of your pet’s purchase price, this is the average monetary value of your pet’s breed at the date of death that is used, which is determined based on the age, breed, pedigree, and breeding status of your pet.


Period of insurance

The period for which the premium has been paid and for which your pet is covered as shown on your policy schedule. Each renewal is the start of a new period of insurance.



The dog or cat specified in your policy schedule, who you will be getting insurance for.



A document which explains the details and terms of conditions of your chosen pet insurance.


Policy schedule

The policy schedule is a document included with your insurance, contains details about you, your pet, policy limits and excesses that apply to the specific type of cover that you have chosen.


Policy wording

The terms and phrases used to describe and detail the terms of your policy.


Pre-existing condition/pre-existing conditions

This refers to any illness, injury or health complication that has developed due to another injury or illness, whether diagnosed or undiagnosed by your vet or is otherwise known to you prior to the start of the insurance.


Recurring illness/illnesses

This is a medical condition that your pet may suffer from, which happens on a recurring basis and requires them to see the vet multiple times. Several injuries being caused by or resulting from the same accident will be treated as one illness.



Any examination, consultation, advice, tests, x-rays, ultrasound, CT scan, MRI scan, drugs, or medication administered or prescribed surgery, nursing, or care provided by, or under the direction of, a vet.



Any occasion where your pet is left alone or out of sight.


Vet/Veterinary/Veterinary Surgeon

A member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons actively working as a veterinary surgeon in the UK or a veterinary surgeon registered and actively working outside the UK.


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