Maximum benefit pet insurance offers cover for veterinary fees for a maximum amount per condition. Once this limit has been reached the condition is classed as pre-existing and will need to be self-funded. In this article, we take a look at maximum benefit pet insurance including how it works, how much it costs and how it compares to other pet insurance policies.
What is maximum benefit pet insurance?
Maximum benefit pet insurance is a pet insurance policy that provides cover for veterinary fees up to a set amount per condition. There is no time limit on when you can claim for the condition like time-limited pet insurance so you can continue to claim for treatment until the limit has been reached. After this point, the condition is deemed as pre-existing and will no longer be covered by your pet insurance provider. It is also unlikely to be covered by any other insurance provider once you have already claimed for a condition.
Maximum benefit pet insurance is fairly comprehensive and sits somewhere between a time-limited pet insurance policy and the most comprehensive type of pet insurance, lifetime pet insurance. It provides more cover than time-limited pet insurance in that it offers cover for veterinary fees for a longer period of time but it is not as comprehensive as a lifetime policy as the policy limit does not renew each year for the lifetime of the pet.
How does maximum benefit pet insurance work?
With a maximum benefit pet insurance policy you pay an annual or monthly insurance premium to cover your pet for any veterinary treatment it needs due to illness or injury. If you need to claim for an illness or injury that your pet has sustained you can do so up to a set limit for each condition. With a maximum benefit pet insurance policy, you are not restricted to time scales but you are restricted to a limit per condition that you claim for.
Maximum benefit pet insurance policies typically cover you for the following:
Veterinary fees for illness or injury
Death and euthanasia (some policies have this as an optional extra)
Third-party liability (some policies have this as an optional extra)
Loss or theft of your pet
Dental cover (some policies have this as an optional extra)
Maximum benefit pet insurance will not typically cover you for the following:
Long term illnesses
How much does maximum benefit pet insurance cost?
How much maximum benefit pet insurance costs will vary depending on the breed, type and age of your pet as well as the level of cover you wish to insure your pet for and where you live.
In the below table, we have compared the cost of maximum benefit pet insurance policies for a 1-year-old mixed breed dog and cat from three maximum benefit pet insurance providers. For more information on the cost of pet insurance and for a wider comparison of pet insurance policies, check out our articles 'How much does pet insurance cost?' and 'The best and cheapest pet insurance'.
Another way to compare the cost of maximum benefit pet insurance is via a comparison site such as Compare the Market* and MoneySuperMarket*. Comparison sites allow you to compare more than one insurance policy to find the best cover and price for your pet. One thing to consider is not all pet insurance providers are featured on a comparison site so you may be able to get a better deal elsewhere.
Maximum benefit pet insurance policy cost comparison
The following quotes are designed to give you an understanding of the monthly cost of a maximum benefit policy. Each policy offers a different level of cover so you will need to check what your policy covers (e.g third-party liability or death of pet) before taking out a policy.
|Direct Line||Animal Friends*|
|Excess||£80 per condition for cats
£95 per condition for dogs
|£99 per condition||
£115 per condition for cats
£125 per condition for dogs
|Cover amount per condition||£8,000||£4,000||£7,500|
|1-year-old mixed breed cat||£15.90||£13.01||£14.28|
|1-year-old mixed breed dog||£22.75||£17.63||£19.88|
(Quotes correct as of 20/03/23)
Pros and cons of maximum benefit pet insurance
Pros of maximum benefit pet insurance
- Covers your pet if it needs ongoing treatment or medication
- No time limit
- Cover for multiple illnesses/injuries
- Extensive cover but cheaper than a lifetime policy
Cons of maximum benefit pet insurance
- Doesn't cover pre-existing conditions
- Only covers conditions up to the maximum limit (after this the condition is deemed pre-existing and will need to be self-funded)
- Not suitable for long-term illnesses
- Could meet the limit quickly if your pet requires expensive treatment
Alternatives to maximum benefit pet insurance
There are 3 other types of pet insurance and we summarise the key differences in the table below. Some providers also offer a public liability only pet insurance policy which helps with legal proceedings in the event that your dog damages property or bites someone. Public liability only insurance does not offer cover for any illnesses or injuries.
What are the different types of pet insurance?
The below comparison table summarises the different types of pet insurance policies available.
|Lifetime pet insurance||Maximum benefit pet insurance||Time-limited pet insurance||
Accident-only pet insurance
|Vet fee cover for illness|
|Vet fee cover for injury|
|Vet fee cover amount renews annually|
|Vet fee cover per condition||*|
|Vet fee cover for a set time period (usually 12 months)||*|
Lifetime pet insurance
Lifetime pet insurance is the most comprehensive type of pet insurance policy and covers your pet for the duration of its life. There are two types of lifetime pet insurance, annual limit where the pet is covered for a set amount for all treatment over the course of its life or annual condition limit where the pet is covered for a set amount per condition over the course of its life. For more information on lifetime pet insurance read our article 'Lifetime pet insurance explained'.
Time-limited pet insurance
Time-limited pet insurance covers your pet for a set amount per condition for a period of 12 months. After this point, the condition is no longer covered and needs to be self-funded. For more information on time-limited pet insurance read our article, 'Time-limited pet insurance explained'.
Accident-only pet insurance
Accident-only pet insurance covers your pet for any injuries sustained from an accident. It does not offer cover for any illnesses. For more information on accident-only pet insurance read our article, 'Accident-only pet insurance explained'.
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, MoneySuperMarket, Compare the Market