Co-op pet insurance review

21 min Read Published: 02 Jun 2021

co-op pet insurance review

In this independent review, we take a look at Co-op pet insurance including what it covers, how much it costs and how it compares to other pet insurance providers. We recommend that you read the review in full, but if you wish to jump to sections of the review you can do so using the following links.

What is Co-op pet insurance?

Co-op Insurance Services offers pet insurance as well as a range of other insurance policies for your home, life and car. Co-op pet insurance is underwritten by Allianz Insurance plc, the same company that underwrites Petplan's pet insurance policies. We compare Co-op's pet insurance policies to Petplan later on in this article but to read more about Petplan read our 'Petplan pet insurance review'.

Co-op pet insurance features

  • Free pet hamper for new customers (for customers who buy direct only and offer ends 31/08/21)
  • Lifetime and time-limited pet insurance policies
  • Up to £5,000 of vet fee cover per year (policy dependant)
  • Cover for dental treatment (exclusions apply)
  • Fixed policy excess
  • Multi-pet discount
  • Online claims process
  • Vet can be paid directly for claims
  • First 3 months pet insurance free for Co-op members
  • 24/7 Legal helpline
  • 20% online discount for new customers for the first year

What does Co-op pet insurance cover?

Co-op pet insurance offers Lifetime and Time-limited pet insurance policies and we explain what the different policy types mean below. For a more in-depth comparison of the Co-op pet insurance policies, take a look at our comparison table.

Co-op Select Plus policy (Annual limit lifetime pet insurance)

Co-op's Select Plus pet insurance is an Annual Limit lifetime pet insurance policy which means your vet fee cover renews annually. An annual limit lifetime policy will insure your pet for a set amount each year, meaning you can claim for more than one condition in the policy year up to the vet fee limit. Once the vet fee limit has been reached in the policy year any further treatment will need to be self-funded. The vet fee cover then renews the following policy year, should you choose to renew your pet insurance policy. For more information on lifetime pet insurance policies and how they work, read our article 'Lifetime pet insurance explained'.

It is worth considering that any condition you have previously claimed for will be classed as pre-existing with another insurer and may therefore not be covered under a new policy should you choose to switch provider.

Co-op Classic policy (Time-limited pet insurance)

Co-op's Classic pet insurance is a time-limited pet insurance policy which means that your pet is insured for a set amount for up to 12 months from when the condition is first noticed. This means that you can claim up to the vet fee limit for up to 12 months from the onset of the condition or until the condition limit is reached, whichever comes first.

With a Co-op Classic policy, it is worth considering that your pet is only insured for 12 months from when the injury or illness was first noticed, not when the condition was first treated, so this could potentially reduce the amount of time that your pet is insured for. For more information on time-limited pet insurance, read our article 'Time-limited pet insurance explained'.

Co-op pet insurance policies

In the below comparison tables we compare the levels of cover you can expect with a Co-op lifetime and time-limited pet insurance policy. To find out how much it costs to insure your pet with Co-op, jump to 'How much does Co-op pet insurance cost?'

Select Plus Classic
Policy type Annual limit lifetime Time-limited
Maximum vet fee cover per policy year £5,000 N/A
Maximum vet fee cover per illness/injury N/A £2,000
Complementary treatment £750 per year
Dental cover (injury and illness)* £5,000 per year £2,000
Death from illness/injury cover Up to £1,500 (Optional)
Up to £1,500 (Optional)
Euthanasia (due to incurable illness)
Cremation
Advertising & Reward Up to £1,000 (Optional)
Up to £1,000 (Optional)
Loss or Theft Up to £1,000 (Optional)
Up to £1,000 (Optional)
Emergency boarding Up to £1,000 (Optional)
Up to £1,000 (Optional)
Pet travel cover Up to £5,000 (Optional)
Up to £2,000 (Optional)
Holiday Cancellation Up to £2,000 (Optional)
Up to £2,000 (Optional)
Legal helpline
Third-party liability (dogs only) Up to £1m (Optional)
Up to £1m (Optional)

* dental treatment is covered if your pet has been examined by a vet within the last 12 months and any recommended treatment was carried out within 3 months

Co-op pet insurance exclusions

Pet insurance policies usually include a number of exclusions, detailing the conditions in which a claim will not be paid. Below we list some of the key policy exclusions with a Co-op pet insurance policy. This is not an exhaustive list and so it is wise to check your policy documents carefully so that you know exactly what is covered.

A Co-op pet insurance policy will not cover:

  • Pets under 6 weeks of age (8 weeks from licensed breeders)
  • Illnesses within 14 days of the policy start date
  • Policy excess
  • Cats over 10 and dogs over 8 for new pet insurance policies (some dog breeds will not be insured from 5)
  • Pre-existing conditions
  • Vet fee claims 12 months after the treatment date
  • Death due to illness once your pet reaches 8 years old (from age 5 for some pet breeds)
  • Dogs listed on the Dangerous Dogs Act (or crossed with dogs on the list)
  • Pets used for a trade or profession
  • Dogs used for guarding and security, track racing or coursing

Co-op imposes an upper age limit on selected dog breeds and so won't offer new policies on some dogs from the age of 5. Selected dog breeds that are already insured may have a percentage co-payment applied from the age of 7 when it comes to renewal. An example of some of the breeds that are deemed as 'Select breeds' by Co-op pet insurance are:

  • Bernese Mountain Dog
  • Bulldog
  • Pyrenean Mountain Dog
  • Deerhound
  • Estrela Mountain Dog
  • Great Dane
  • Irish Wolfhound
  • Leonberger
  • All Mastiff breeds
  • Newfoundland
  • Old English Sheep Dog
  • Dogue de Bordeaux
  • Rottweiler
  • St Bernard
  • Beauceron
  • Shar Pei

How much does Co-op pet insurance cost?

In the below comparison tables we compare the cost of Co-op's pet insurance policies for a mixed breed 1-year-old cat and dog. The quotes are based on a pet living in a South East postcode and with no underlying health conditions. The cost of your pet insurance may vary depending on the age, type and breed of your pet. Where you live may also affect the cost of your pet insurance premium due to the cost of veterinary care in your local area.

Co-op pet insurance policy cost comparison

Select Plus Classic
Policy type Annual limit lifetime Time-limited
Maximum vet fee cover £5,000 per policy year
£2,000 per condition (12-month limit applies)
Excess £99 £99
1-year-old dog (monthly cost) £22.43 £11.36
1-year-old cat (monthly cost) £13.10 £8.48

(Quotes correct as of 25/05/21) 

Co-op pet insurance policy extras cost

The following comparison table highlights the cost of the optional extras that can be added to your Co-op pet insurance policy. The cost is based on quotes for a 1-year-old mixed breed dog and cat so may vary depending on the age, type and breed of your pet.

Dog (monthly cost)
Cat (monthly cost)
Third-party liability (dogs only) £0.26 N/A
Pet travel cover £0.94 £0.85
Additional benefits (including death cover, emergency boarding and loss and theft cover) £1.24 £1.19

Co-op pet insurance policy excess

You do not have the option to select your preferred policy excess with Co-op pet insurance and so the amount you pay is determined by the age, type and breed of your pet. When gathering quotes for a 1-year-old mixed breed cat and dog the fixed policy excess for both Co-op pet insurance policies was £99.

On its website, Co-op says that your pet insurance policy excess can be subject to change when it comes to renewing your pet insurance policy and when pets reach a certain age a co-payment will be added to the policy in addition to the fixed policy excess amount.

When your pet reaches 10 years old you can expect to pay an additional 20% on top of your excess when you make a claim for veterinary fees. The co-payment can also be added to policies from the age of 7 for some breeds of dog but you will be notified at least 12 months prior to the co-payment being added to your policy.

How to make a claim with Co-op pet insurance

If you need to make a claim with Co-op pet insurance, in most instances, Co-op pet insurance can deal directly with your vet via the claims portal 'Vet Envoy'. If your veterinary practice is signed up to Vet Envoy it is able to notify Co-op pet insurance via the portal that you wish to claim at the point of treatment. Your vet practice will need to complete an authorisation form which is accessed via either Vet Envoy or on the Co-op pet insurance website. If your vet practice is not able to use the Vet Envoy portal you can download a regular claim form online. There are separate claim forms for different claims such as veterinary fees, loss and theft and holiday cancellation.

Co-op pet insurance customer reviews

Co-op pet insurance has a limited amount of reviews on comparison sites and Co-op Insurance is only rated 1.5 out of 5 stars on review site Trustpilot. This score is, however, across all of Co-op's insurance policies and is therefore not specific to pet insurance.

Upon looking through the reviews there are only 7 for Co-op pet insurance with the latest review being left in March 2021 and others dating back to 2018. Those that rated Co-op pet insurance as bad had problems with claims being paid, pre-existing conditions and a rise in premiums. Some commented on conditions not being covered due to earlier signs of illness/injury before claiming. Those that rated the insurance as good cited great customer service and successful claim payouts.

It is important to check your policy documents carefully to avoid being caught out, particularly with time-limited policies as you have a limited time in order to claim for conditions and illnesses. Co-op's time-limited pet insurance insures your pet for 12 months from the first signs of the condition and not from when you first decide to make a claim.

Co-op pet insurance pros and cons

Pros

  • Multi-pet discount
  • Free pet hamper with new policies (Until 31/08/21)
  • First 3 months pet insurance free for Co-op members
  • Two different types of policy to choose from
  • 20% online discount for the first year

Cons

  • 20% co-payment, in addition to the policy excess, for pets over 10 (over 7 for some breeds)
  • Time-limited policy can restrict how long you are covered for veterinary fees
  • Does not cover pre-existing conditions

Alternatives to Co-op pet insurance

In this section of the review, we compare Co-op pet insurance to alternative pet insurance providers.

Co-op pet insurance vs Petplan pet insurance 

Co-op and Petplan pet insurance are both underwritten by Allianz plc, which means that should you need to claim, your claim will be dealt with by the same insurance company. Petplan offers both lifetime and time-limited pet insurance policies, similar to Co-op however you have three annual limit lifetime pet insurance policies to choose from with Petplan, with veterinary fee cover ranging up to £12,000 each year.

The policies differ between providers but there are similarities between the levels of cover for the likes of death from illness/injury and loss and theft cover. The key difference between Co-op and Petplan insurance is that Co-op pet insurance allows you to tailor your policy to suit your needs by selecting additional cover options for events such as death and loss and theft.

In the below comparison table we have compared Co-op's 'Select Plus' annual limit lifetime policy to Petplan's 'Classic' annual limit lifetime policy as the policies are similar in terms of the veterinary fee cover on offer. For a fair cost comparison, we have added the optional extras to the Co-op policy. For more information on Petplan's pet insurance read our 'Petplan pet insurance review'.

A comparison between Co-op and Petplan pet insurance

Co-op Petplan
Policy type Annual limit lifetime
Annual limit lifetime
Policy name Select Plus Classic
Maximum vet fee cover (per policy year) £5,000 £4,000
Excess £99 £110 dogs
£95 cats
Complementary treatment (e.g hydrotherapy) £750 £1,000
Dental cover (injury and illness)
Death from illness/injury Up to £1,500 (Optional)
Up to £1,500 (Optional)
Advertising & reward Up to £1,000 (Optional)
Up to £1,500
Loss or Theft Up to £1,000 (Optional)
Up to £1,500
Emergency boarding Up to £1,000 (Optional)
Up to £1,500
Travelling with your pet Up to £5,000 (Optional)
Up to £4,000
Holiday Cancellation Up to £2,000 (Optional) Up to £1,500
Third-party liability (dogs only) £1m (optional) £2m
1-year-old dog (monthly cost) £24.86* £37.72
1-year-old cat (monthly cost) £15.14* £17.29

*To make the quote a fair comparison the Co-op quotes include the optional extras. Without these added the monthly cost is £22.43 for a 1-year-old dog and £13.10 for a 1-year-old cat

Co-op vs Animal Friends vs Bought by Many

We have also compared Co-op's lifetime pet insurance to other leading lifetime pet insurance providers such as Animal Friends* and Bought by Many*. The following quotes are based on a 1-year-old mixed breed dog with no underlying health conditions and living in a South East postcode. If you would like to find out more about the insurers read our reviews.

For a fair comparison, we have compared Co-op's Select Plus lifetime pet insurance policy to similar policies with the other insurers. With both Bought by Many* and Animal Friends* you are able to insure your pet for a higher veterinary fee amount with some of its other policies. More information about the different policies can be found in the reviews above.

A comparison between Co-op, Animal Friends and Bought by Many pet insurance

Co-op Animal Friends
Bought by Many
Lifetime pet insurance type Annual limit Annual limit Annual limit
Policy name Select Plus Lifetime Assure Plus Regular
Excess £99 £99 £99
Mixed breed dog (monthly cost) £22.43* £21.52 £26.53*
Maximum vet fee cover (per year) £5,000 £5,000
£7,000
Public liability £1million (optional) £2million £2million
Loss & theft £1,000 (optional) £1,200
£1,500 (optional)
Death of pet cover (if pet dies through illness or injury) £1,500 (optional) £1,200
£1,500 (optional)
Emergency boarding £1,000 (Optional) £1,200 £1,500
Pet travel cover £5,000 (Optional) £2,000
£1,000 (optional)
Vet video calls

*Monthly cost does not include optional extras

Summary

Co-op's pet insurance policies may suit those that are Co-op members as the initial online discount and first 3 months free can help to significantly reduce the overall cost of the cover. The level of veterinary fee cover the policies offer is lower in comparison to other providers on the market and you may be able to get more for your money elsewhere. Co-op pet insurance allows you to tailor your pet insurance policy to your individual needs, so it could be a good option for those that do not want to pay for additional benefits such as loss and theft cover and public liability.

 

 

If a link has an * beside it this means that it is an affiliated link. If you go via the link Money to the Masses may receive a small fee which helps keep Money to the Masses free to use. But as you can clearly see this has in no way influenced this independent and balanced review of the product. The following link can be used if you do not wish to help Money to the Masses or take advantage of any exclusive offers - Animal Friends, Bought by Many

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