Pet insurance is an insurance policy designed to cover the costs of veterinary fees should your pet become ill or injured. There are four main types of pet insurance and in this article, we take a look at lifetime pet insurance which is the most comprehensive pet insurance policy for your pets. We also take a look at the best lifetime pet insurance providers as well as how much a lifetime policy costs.
What is lifetime pet insurance?
Lifetime pet insurance is the most comprehensive pet insurance policy for your pet as it offers the most vet fee cover for the longest period of time. Lifetime pet insurance works in four different ways, annual limit, annual limit per condition, lifetime limit and lifetime limit per condition. The most popular types of lifetime pet insurance are annual limit and annual limit per condition.
- Annual limit - this type of lifetime pet insurance insures your pet for a set limit per year. For example, if your pet is insured up to £15,000 per year, you can claim for multiple conditions up to the total limit of £15,000. Once the limit has been reached any additional treatment will need to be self-funded until the limit renews the following policy year.
- Annual limit per condition - this type of lifetime pet insurance insures your pet for a set amount, per condition, per year. For example, your pet may be insured for £6,000 per condition per year which means that you can claim for multiple conditions up to the limit of £6,000 per year and the limit will then reset the following policy year.
Some lifetime pet insurance policies may have a maximum limit on how much you can claim throughout the duration of your policy so be sure to check your policy documents carefully for any restrictions on your cover. For more information on lifetime pet insurance and how it works read our article "Lifetime pet insurance explained".
The best lifetime pet insurance policies
There are numerous lifetime pet insurance policies available but in the below comparison table, we compare 7 of the leading lifetime pet insurance providers. If you would like to find out more about each of the providers you can read our independent reviews by clicking on the review section of the table.
Lifetime pet insurance feature comparison
(scroll to view the full table)
|ManyPets||Animal Friends||Waggel||Petplan||Scratch & Patch||Agria||
The Insurance Emporium
|Excess||£0/£69/£99/£130/£160||£99||£0 - £250||£110 dogs
|£125/£275 (age dependant)||
£95 - £170 plus 10% co-payment
|£115 - £135 plus 5% co-payment|
|Number of lifetime policies offered by insurer||4 (other policies may be available over the phone)||8||6||3||3||3||3|
|Lifetime pet insurance type||Annual limit||
Choose between Annual limit per condition or Annual limit
|Annual limit||Annual limit||Annual limit||Annual limit||
Annual limit per condition
|Maximum vet fee cover (depending on which lifetime policy you choose)||Up to £15,000 per year||Up to £6,000 per condition or up to £18,000 per year||Up to £10,000 per year||Up to £12,000 per year||Up to £8,000 per year||Up to £12,500 per year||
Up to £8,000 per condition per year
|Loss of pet cover|
|Multi-pet discount||15% discount||£12 per year per pet||10% discount||5% discount||10% discount|
|Video vet calls||Phone line||Phone line|
|Best for...||Multi-pet discount||Vet video calls||Exclusive member benefits||Paying out claims||No co-payment||Breeders||Senior pets|
|More information||ManyPets review||Animal Friends review||Waggel review||Petplan review||Scratch & Patch review||Agria review||The Insurance Emporium review|
How much does lifetime pet insurance cost?
The cost of pet insurance varies depending on the age, breed and type of your pet. Pedigree pets are usually more expensive to insure as they are more susceptible to certain illnesses and conditions than some mixed or crossbreed pets. The level of cover you choose and where you live will also affect the cost of your pet insurance.
Below, we compare the most comprehensive lifetime policies from 7 of the most popular pet insurance providers. The quotes are based on a 1-year-old medium-sized male mixed-breed dog with no underlying health conditions and living in a South East postcode. As some of the policies have the option to choose the excess on the policy, we have chosen excesses as close to £100 to make the comparison as fair as possible.
You can also compare the cost of lifetime pet insurance with a comparison website such as Compare the Market* and MoneySuperMarket*. Comparison sites allow you to compare multiple insurers to find the best cover and price of pet insurance for your pet. One thing to remember though is that not all comparison sites are whole of market and you may be able to get a better deal with another provider.
Lifetime pet insurance cost comparison
A comparison between the most comprehensive pet insurance policies from 7 of the leading lifetime pet insurance providers. For more information on pet insurance and how much it costs read our article 'How much does pet insurance cost?'
|ManyPets*||Animal Friends*||Waggel*||Petplan||Scratch & Patch||Agria*|
|Excess*||£99||£99||£100||£110||£125||£105 plus 10% co-payment||
£135 plus 5% co-payment
|Policy name||Complete||Prestige||Lifetime||Covered for life||Premier Plus||Lifetime Plus||Lifetime Gold|
|Lifetime Policy type||Annual limit||Annual limit||Annual limit||Annual limit||Annual limit||Annual Limit||Annual limit per condition|
|Vet fee cover||£15,000 per year||£18,000 per year||£10,000 per year||£12,000 per year||£8,000 per year||£12,500 per year||
£8,000 per condition per year
|Monthly Cost (1-year-old dog)||£38.24||£47.68||£33.98||£70.87||£22.95||£56.47||£22.14|
(Quotes correct as of 17/03/23)
*The excess chosen on the policies is the excess amount closest to £100 as this is the average excess across all of the policies in the table.
Pros and cons of lifetime pet insurance
Pros of lifetime pet insurance
- Most comprehensive pet insurance policy
- Covers lifelong and chronic conditions
Cons of lifetime pet insurance
- One of the more expensive pet insurance policies
- If you claim, you are unlikely to be covered for the condition by another policy if you choose to switch provider
Alternatives to lifetime pet insurance
Lifetime pet insurance is the most comprehensive pet insurance policy but there are other types of pet insurance available that you may prefer for your pet.
Maximum benefit pet insurance
Maximum benefit pet insurance insures your pet for a maximum amount per condition for the duration of your policy. Once the limit has been reached you will have to self-fund any further treatment. For more information on maximum benefit pet insurance read our article 'Maximum benefit pet insurance explained'.
Time-limited pet insurance
Time-limited pet insurance insures your pet for a set amount per condition or for a set period of time (usually 12 months) from the onset of the condition or from the first date of treatment. For more information on time-limited pet insurance read our article 'Time-limited pet insurance explained'.
Accident-only pet insurance insures your pet for veterinary treatment for injuries from accidents. Your pet is not insured for any treatment due to illness. For more information on accident-only pet insurance read our article 'Accident-only pet insurance explained'.
Public liability (dogs only)
Whilst this type of insurance does not cover the cost of any vet fees it will insure your dog if it damages property or injures a person. It usually includes legal cover which will help cover the costs if you are sued due to the damage your pet has caused.
If you want to know more about the different types of pet insurance read our article 'What are the different types of pet insurance?'
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. 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, ManyPets, Waggel, Agria, MoneySuperMarket, Compare the Market