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 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 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 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'.
Comparison table - maximum benefit pet cover for a 6-month-old cat and dog
|Healthy Pets||Animal Friends||
The Insurance Emporium
|Excess||£99 per condition||£99 per condition||
£95 per condition for cats
£85 per condition for dogs
|Cover amount per condition||£4,250||£1,000||£1,500|
|6 month old Mixed breed cat||£6.31||£9.73||£9.39|
|6 month old Mixed breed dog||£13.56||£7.00||£12.26|
The above 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.
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.
Other types of pet insurance:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
The below comparison table summarises the different types of pet insurance policies available
|Lifetime cover||Maximum benefit||Time-limited||Accident only|
|Policy renewed annually|
|Covers for unexpected injury|
|Covers for unexpected illness|
|Covered for a fixed amount for a fixed period of time|
|Covered for a fixed amount per condition (until the balance is met)|
|Covered for a fixed amount per condition for life|
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