PDSA pet insurance review

8 min Read Published: 24 Jan 2024

PDSA pet insurance reviewIn this independent review, we explore PDSA pet insurance policies, including the types of policies on offer, the level of cover available, estimated premium costs, and other key features. We also compare PDSA to alternatives like Waggel* and ManyPets*.

What is PDSA pet insurance?

PDSA stands for People's Dispensary for Sick Animals, and it's a vet charity that offers free or low-cost treatment for pets. It is aimed at owners who can't always afford the full cost of veterinary treatment. The PDSA has been around for more than 100 years and cares for over 4,600 animals across its 48 pet hospitals every day. Every PDSA pet insurance policy sold contributes to the work of the charity.

The PDSA Lifetime £8,000 policy has a Defaqto 5* rating. It also offers a 24/7 vet helpline for policyholders. In addition, 98% of claims made are paid out within five working days.

PDSA pet insurance key features

Here's a quick overview of PDSA's pet insurance policies:

  • Get time limited or lifetime cover for cats and dogs
  • Get a quote online in under 3 minutes
  • Manage your policy and make claims online via the PDSA Insure Hub
  • Get advice from Petcall, the 24/7 vet helpline
  • Contribute to the PDSA charity with every policy you take out
  • Benefit from quick claims processing (98% of claims paid out within 5 days)

PDSA pet insurance policy types

PDSA pet insurance offers both time limited and lifetime insurance policies for dogs and cats. These come at different levels of cover to suit all budgets.

You can also opt for multi-pet insurance, which allows you to manage your cat and dog policies from the same hub. PDSA's multi-pet insurance policies are exactly the same as its single-pet policies; the key benefit is that you get an overview of all your pets' policies in one place. There are no discounts, however, for insuring multiple pets.

What does PDSA pet insurance cover?

PDSA offers a range of policies to suit different needs and budgets. You can opt for a time limited cover or a lifetime cover with vet fee cover ranging between £2,000 and £8,000.

PDSA Time Limited

PDSA's Time Limited policy offers pets cover for illness and accidents for up to 12 months from the date of treatment or until the fee limit for the specific policy is reached. But once the 12 months lapse or the fee limit is reached, your pet won't be covered for that illness or accident or any related issues that arise from it. Time Limited policies work well if you're looking for budget-friendly options that only cover short-term illnesses and accidents.

With PDSA, you can opt for Time Limited £2,000 or Time Limited £5,000. Here's what you get as standard with either policy:

  • Vet fees up to £2,000 or £5,000 per condition over the 12-month period
  • Fixed £75 excess per incident per policy year
  • Emergency expenses cover abroad up to £500
  • PDSA pet call
  • Up to £500 in case of death or theft

If you want a more comprehensive policy and are willing to spend a little more on premiums, then you might want to look at the PDSA Lifetime option.

PDSA Lifetime

Lifetime policies are a great option if you want lifelong cover for any conditions that might crop up during your furry friend's life. As long as you keep up with premiums and renew each year, your pet will typically be covered for conditions that develop while the policy is active.

PDSA's Lifetime policy offers pets five levels of veterinary fee cover depending on your needs. These fees reflect the maximum amount the insurer will pay out each year for all accidents and illnesses combined. The different levels of cover are as follows:

  • Lifetime £2,000
  • Lifetime £3,000
  • Lifetime £4,000
  • Lifetime £5,000
  • Lifetime £8,000

We've compiled a table below to help you compare the lifetime policy options and their limits.

Lifetime £2000 Lifetime £3000 Lifetime £4000 Lifetime £5000 Lifetime £8000
Vet fees £2,000 per year £3,000 per year £4,000 per year £5,000 per year £8,000 per year
Excess £75 per condition per year £75 per condition per year £75 per condition per year £75 per condition per year £75 per condition per year
Public liability cover £1,000,000 £1,000,000 £1,000,000 £1,000,000 £1,000,000
Death from illness £1,500 £1,500 £1,500 £1,500 £1,500
Death from accident £1,500 £1,500 £1,500 £1,500 £1,500
Theft £1,500 £1,500 £1,500 £1,500 £1,500
Burial costs £200 £200 £200 £200 £200
Kennel or Cattery fees £1,500 £1,500 £1,500 £1,500 £1,500
Holiday cancellation £1,000 £1,000 £1,500 £1,500 £3,000
Emergency expenses abroad £500 £500 £700 £1,000 £1,500

PDSA pet insurance policy exclusions

PDSA's pet insurance policies have some general exclusions you should be aware of. These include, but are not limited to:

cross Any pre-existing conditions

cross Any conditions specifically listed as excluded on your certificate of insurance

cross The cost for any treatment for illness that occurs within 14 days of the start day

cross Routine and preventative treatments such as ambulance fees, vaccines, worming, and cosmetic dentistry, for example

cross Treatment for complications caused by cosmetic treatments

cross Treatment that is related to baby teeth if your pet is over 16 weeks old when you start the policy

How much does PDSA pet insurance cost?

Pet insurance costs vary depending on several factors, such as your pet's age, breed, type, and medical history. The type of policy you choose and even whether you live in an urban area can also affect costs. The best way to work out costs is by requesting a quote that takes into account your specific circumstances. But, if you want to get a rough idea of costs, take a look at the quotes below.

The cost of PDSA pet insurance for a 1-year-old dog

The quotes below are for a 1-year-old cross-breed dog with no underlying health conditions. The dog is neutered and microchipped. The quotes include an excess of £75 per year per condition which stays the same until renewal.

Policy Type  Policy Conditions  Monthly Cost  Annual Cost 
Time Limited Time Limited Cover - £2,000 £6.48 £82.08
Time Limited Time Limited Cover - £5,000 £10.76 £129.12
Lifetime Lifetime Cover - £2,000 £9.61 £115.32
Lifetime Lifetime Cover - £3,000 £12.35 £148.20
Lifetime Lifetime Cover - £4,000 £15.62 £187.44
Lifetime Lifetime Cover - £5,000 £17.29 £207.48
Lifetime Lifetime Cover - £8,000 £27.79 £333.48

The cost of PDSA pet insurance for a 1-year-old cat

The below quotes are for a 1-year-old cross-breed cat that has no underlying health conditions. The cat is neutered and microchipped. The quotes include an excess of £75 per condition per year which stays the same until renewal.

Policy Type  Policy Conditions  Monthly Cost  Annual Cost 
Time Limited Time Limited Cover - £2,000 £8.97 £107.64
Time Limited Time Limited Cover - £5,000 £14.23 £170.76
Lifetime Lifetime Cover - £2,000 £9.01 £108.12
Lifetime Lifetime Cover - £3,000 £12.07 £144.84
Lifetime Lifetime Cover - £4,000 £14.89 £178.68
Lifetime Lifetime Cover - £5,000 £16.47 £197.64
Lifetime Lifetime Cover - £8,000 £19.19 £230.28

These quotes are correct as of 15/01/2024.

PDSA pet insurance excess

PDSA offers a flat excess structure for younger pets. You'll typically pay £75 per condition per year with the Lifetime policies. You'll pay £75 per incident per year with the Time Limited policies.

Once your dog turns 8 or your cat turns 10, the excess structure changes. At this point, there's a 20% co-insurance applied, meaning you'll have to pay 20% of the treatment cost on top of any excess. For some dog breeds, the co-insurance excess applies when they turn 5. Here are some examples of breeds where this earlier age limit applies:

  • Bernese Mountain Dog
  • OId English Bulldog
  • Giant Schnauzer
  • Great Dane
  • Shar Pei
  • Tibetan Mastiff

How do I make a claim with PDSA pet insurance?

The easiest way to make a claim is via the online PDSA Insure Hub. All you need to do is:

  1. Log in to the PSDA Insure Hub using your log-in details (including your policyholder e-mail)
  2. Head to the Claims section
  3. Fill out the online form including details about your pet and their vet. Hit submit.

The PDSA will process the claim from there, by contacting your vet to verify costs and assessing your claim. The fastest way to submit and process a claim is online, but you can request a paper copy via the Hub or call 0344 543 1129 to ask for a paper copy to be posted to you too.

You can register for the Hub when you take out a policy with the PDSA.

PDSA pet insurance customer reviews

PDSA pet insurance currently has a 4.5 out of 5 customer review score on TrustPilot. It's rated "Excellent" based on more than 680 reviews. 82% of customers gave it 5 stars and commented on the ease of setting up the policy and the value for money they received. However, 8% of customers gave it a 1-star rating and complained about challenges with getting claims paid out

Alternatives to PDSA pet insurance

There are lots of alternatives to PDSA and it's always worth getting several quotes before committing to a particular company. One of the easiest ways to find a pet insurance deal is to look on a comparison website such as Quotezone* or MoneySuperMarket*. Comparison sites let you compare several providers simultaneously to ensure you're getting the best cover for your pet.


Like PDSA pet insurance, Waggel* also specialises in insuring cats and dogs. Waggel is a great option if you're looking for lifetime pet insurance. It doesn't offer time limited policies. Like PDSA, they're highly rated. The company currently has a 4.6 out of 5 score on TrustPilot. Compared to PDSA, Waggel is a newcomer on the pet insurance stage. The company launched back in 2018 in a bid to improve pet insurance. You can find out more about Waggel in our independent review.


ManyPets* was founded in 2012 and, much like Waggel, was designed to be a disruptor in the insurance space. The idea was to create "peace of mind" policies for cat and dog owners in the UK. It offers lifetime policies and cover for pre-existing conditions that haven't needed treatment or advice for two years. Plus, its policies come with "pet perks" like discounted flea, tick, and worming treatments and even free pet sitters. You can find out more about ManyPets in our independent review.

PDSA vs Waggel vs ManyPets

The table below compares the key features and prices you can expect to pay with PDSA, Waggel, and ManyPets. This quote is for a one-year-old cross-breed dog that has been neutered, but similar features are available for cats. Cats, however, don't get public liability cover.

PDSA ManyPets* Waggel*
Policy name Lifetime £8,000 Complete 15k Lifetime £15,000
Excess £75 £69 to £160 for pets under 9 Up to 50% of vet fee
Cost £27.79 per month £35.43 per month £45.79 per month
Vet fee cover £8,000 £15,000 £15,000
Public liability £1,000,000 per incident £2,000,000 per incident £2,000,000 per incident
Loss & theft £1,500 £6,000 A portion of the purchase price up to £1,000
Death of pet cover £1,500 £6,000 A portion of the purchase price up to £1,000
Vet video calls 24/7 vet advice 24/7 vet advice 24/7 vet advice
Trustpilot score 4.5/5 3.8/5 4.6/5

PDSA pet insurance pros and cons

PDSA's pet insurance policy comes with lots of great features, but there are also some disadvantages to be aware of. Let's take a look at the key pros and cons.


  • Each policy contributes to PDSA's charity work
  • Simple, flat excess structure
  • Online claims process
  • 98% of claims paid out within 5 days
  • "Excellent" TrustPilot rating based on more than 680 reviews


  • No discounts for insuring multiple pets
  • No cover for pre-existing conditions
  • Co-insurance excess for dogs over the age of 8 (or 5 for selected breeds) and cats over the age of 10


To sum up, the PDSA offers straightforward pet insurance policy options with flat excess structures for cats and dogs. Every policy also helps the PDSA charity keep doing its important work. Whether you're on a budget or looking for a comprehensive policy, the PDSA has a variety of choices on offer. It offers Time Limited policies as well as Lifetime policies that come with different cover amounts up to £8,000. Claims are paid out quickly and there's a simple online claims process.

It's worth remembering that pre-existing conditions are not covered and there aren't any discounts for insuring multiple pets. If you want to take a look at even more pet insurance alternatives before making your decision, check out the best pet insurance policies in the UK.


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 - Waggel, ManyPets, MoneySuperMarket