Sainsbury’s Bank pet insurance review

25 min Read Published: 08 Mar 2021

Sainsbury's bank pet insurance review

In this independent review, we take a look at Sainsbury's Bank pet insurance, including the pet insurance policies it offers, how much it costs and how it compares to other pet insurance providers including Petplan and Bought by Many. We recommend that you read the review in full, however, you can navigate to certain sections of the article via the following links.

What is Sainsbury’s Bank pet insurance?

Sainsbury's moved into the finance sector in 1997 offering a range of banking and insurance products such as credit cards, loans, home insurance and pet insurance. Sainsbury's Bank pet insurance is underwritten by Pinnacle Insurance plc who also underwrite The Post Office, Argos, Every Paw and helpucover pet insurance policies. Sainsbury's Bank offers pet insurance for cats, dogs and rabbits and also offers a discount if you choose to insure more than one pet. Sainsbury's Bank offers three types of pet insurance and we explain the level of cover you get with each policy later in this article. Additionally, Nectar cardholders can earn discounts and rewards by being a Sainsbury's Bank pet insurance policyholder.

Sainsbury’s Bank pet insurance key features

  • Pet insurance policies for dogs, cats and rabbits
  • £1 a month multi-pet discount per pet
  • Double Nectar points on fuel and shopping with Sainsbury's
  • Discounted pet insurance for Nectar cardholders
  • 24/7 access to a vet helpline
  • Online portal

What does Sainsbury’s Bank pet insurance cover?

Sainsbury's Bank offers a total of seven pet insurance policies across Lifetime, Maximum benefit and Time-limited pet insurance. Sainsbury's Bank offers a maximum amount of £10,000 of vet fee cover per year, depending on the policy you choose. We explain the different policy types in more detail below:

Lifetime pet insurance

Sainsbury's Bank has four annual limit lifetime pet insurance policies to choose from with up to a maximum of £10,000 of vet fee cover per year, depending on the policy you choose. An annual limit lifetime pet insurance policy means that you can claim veterinary fees up until the limit each policy year, once the limit has been reached any further treatment will need to be self-funded. If the policy is renewed the following year the limit will then reset. For more information on how lifetime pet insurance works read our article "Lifetime pet insurance explained".

Maximum benefit pet insurance

Sainsbury's Bank has two maximum benefit pet insurance policies with up to a maximum of £6,000 of vet fee cover per year, depending on which policy you choose. A maximum benefit policy will cover you for a set amount per condition as long as the policy is still in force. For example, you may be covered up to £6,000 per condition which means that you can claim multiple times for the same conditions up until the limit is reached. Once the limit has been reached then any remaining treatment for that particular condition must be self-funded. For more information on how maximum benefit pet insurance works read our article "Maximum benefit pet insurance explained".

Time-limited pet insurance

Sainsbury's Bank offers a time-limited policy with up to £3,000 total vet fee cover. Sainsbury's Bank time-limited pet insurance policy will cover you for veterinary fees for a condition for up to a period of 12 months after the first date of treatment or until the limit has been reached, whichever is first. After this, any further treatment for the condition must be self-funded. For more information on how time-limited pet insurance works read our article "Time-limited pet insurance explained".

Sainsbury’s Bank pet insurance policy exclusions

In this section of the review, we detail some of the exclusions in a Sainsbury's Bank pet insurance policy. This is not an extensive list of exclusions and it is important to read your policy documents carefully so you are aware of what your pet is covered for. Sainsbury's Bank does not pay out claims for the following:

  • the policy excess
  • pre-existing conditions
  • routine care such as vaccinations and worming
  • any illness that your pet develops within the first 14 days of the pet insurance policy
  • any accident or poisoning that occurs within 3 days of the policy start date
  • out of hour treatment (unless confirmed by your vet that if treatment was not sought your pet's life would have been at risk or the condition would have significantly worsened)
  • dental treatment if your pet has not had regular dental check-ups as advised by your vet (unless treatment is required due to illness to relieve suffering)
  • any treatment that is required as a result of your pet not being regularly vaccinated
  • treatment and complications for pregnancy and birth
  • if your pet dies due to an excluded condition within the policy
  • a contribution towards the purchase price of your pet if it dies due to illness and your cat is over the age of 10 or your dog is over the age of 8 (some dog breeds will not be covered from the age of 5, this is highlighted in the policy documents)
  • euthanasia unless your vet confirms it is not humane to keep the animal alive
  • any third-party liability claim where you are insured for liability under any other form of insurance (e.g home insurance policy)

Sainsbury’s Bank pet insurance policies

In this section of the review, we compare the different pet insurance policies offered by Sainsbury's Bank. For information on the cost of these policies, jump to our costs section.

Sainsbury's Bank pet insurance policies for cats and dogs

(scroll to see the full table)

Lifetime cover Lifetime cover Lifetime cover Lifetime policy Maximum Benefit policy Maximum benefit policy
Time-limited policy
Policy type Annual limit lifetime policy Annual limit lifetime policy Annual limit lifetime policy Annual limit lifetime policy Maximum Benefit policy Maximum Benefit policy
Time-limited policy
Excess £99 £99 £99 £99 £99 £99 £99
Maximum vet fee cover £10,000 per year £7,500 per year £5,000 per year £2,500 per year £6,000 per condition £3,000 per condition £3,000 per condition
Length of policy vet fee cover Lifetime of policy or your pet Lifetime of policy or your pet Lifetime of policy or your pet Lifetime of policy or your pet Until each  condition limit is reached Until each  condition limit is reached
12 months from initial treatment for each condition
24/7 vet helpline
Complementary cover (e.g hydrotherapy and massage) £1,500 £1,500 £1,500 £750 £1,500 £1,500 £500
Dental cover* £10,000 £7,500 £5,000 £2,500 £6,000 £3,000 £3,000
Physiotherapy cover £1,500 £1,500 £1,500 £750 £1,500 £1,500 £500
Overseas vet cover £10,000 £7,500 £5,000 £2,500 £6,000 £3,000 £3,000
Death cover (from accident or illness) £2,000 £1,500 £1,500 £1,500 £1,500 £1,500 £1,000
Cremation £200 £200 £200 £200 £200 £200 £200
Theft or straying £2,000 £1,500 £1,500 £1,500 £1,500 £1,500 £1,000
Advertising and reward £2,000 £1,500 £1,500 £1,500 £1,500 £1,500 £1,000
Emergency boarding £1,500 £1,500 £1,500 £1,500 £1,500 £1,500 £1,000
Third-party liability (dogs only) £2million £2million £2million £2million £2million £2million £2million

*Your pet will need to have regular dental check-ups as advised by your vet

Sainsbury's Bank pet insurance policy for rabbits

Lifetime cover
Policy type
Annual limit lifetime policy
Excess £50
Maximum vet fee cover £2,000
Length of policy vet fee cover Lifetime
24/7 vet helpline
Complementary cover (e.g hydrotherapy, osteopathy) £750
Dental cover (for accident and illness only)* £2,000
Cremation
Physiotherapy cover £750
Herbal or homoeopathic medicine £2,000
Advertising and reward £250
Emergency boarding £250

*does not cover trimming, burning or rasping teeth 

How much does Sainsbury’s Bank pet insurance cost?

In this section of the review, I have compared the cost of Sainsbury's Bank pet insurance policies. The cost of your pet insurance will vary depending on the type, age and breed of your pet, as well as where you live. The following quotes are based on a 6-month-old mixed breed medium-sized dog and mixed breed cat with no underlying health conditions and living in a South East postcode.

How much does Sainsbury's Bank dog and cat insurance cost?

Annual limit lifetime policy Annual limit lifetime policy Annual limit lifetime policy Annual limit lifetime policy Maximum Benefit policy Maximum Benefit policy
Time-limited policy
Policy excess £99 per condition per year £99 per condition per year £99 per condition per year £99 per condition per year £99 per condition £99 per condition £99 per condition
Maximum vet fee cover £10,000 per year £7,500 per year £5,000 per year £2,500 per year £6,000 per condition £3,000 per condition £3,000 per condition
6-month-old dog (monthly cost) £39.57 £29.85 £23.46 £16.16 £22.04 £14.66 £11.21
6-month-old cat (monthly cost)  £24.70 £16.97 £13.82 £11.28 £13.03 £11.39 £10.70

 

How much does Sainsbury's Bank rabbit insurance cost?

The following pet insurance quote is based on a 6-month-old non-pedigree rabbit with no underlying health conditions and living in a South East postcode. The cost of your rabbit insurance may vary depending on the age and breed of your rabbit, as well as where you live.

Annual limit lifetime cover
Policy excess
£50 per conditon per year
Maximum vet fee cover £2,000 per year
6-month-old rabbit (monthly cost) £13.02

How much is the excess on Sainsbury's Bank pet insurance?

Sainsbury's Bank pet insurance policy excess via the Sainsbury's website

Sainsbury's Bank pet insurance has a fixed policy excess amount of £99 for cats and dogs and £50 for rabbits. With a Sainsbury's Bank annual limit lifetime policy the excess is payable for each condition per year. For maximum benefit and time-limited policies, the excess is payable once per condition. For any third-party liability claim, you are required to pay the first £100 of any costs towards property that has been damaged. Once your dog reaches 8, your cat reaches 10 and your rabbit reaches 5, the excess that is payable when you claim may increase to a percentage of the claim (usually 20%) or the fixed excess, whichever is more.

The excess for the following dog breeds will change once they reach 5: Beauceron, Bernese Mountain Dog, Bulldog, Bullmastiff, Deerhound, Dogue de Bordeaux, Estrela Mountain Dog, Giant Schnauzer, Great Dane, Irish Wolfhound, Leonberger, Mastiff, Neapolitan Mastiff, Newfoundland, Old English Bulldog, Old English Sheepdog, Poodle (Standard), Pyrenean Mountain Dog, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Rottweiler, Shar Pei, St Bernard, Standard Poodle, Tibetan Mastiff, Utonagan. The excess payable will be the fixed excess of £99 or a percentage of the claim, whichever is more. It is not clear exactly what percentage of the claim will need to be paid but Sainsbury's states this will be detailed in your policy documents so ensure you check this carefully.

Sainsbury's Bank pet insurance policy excess via a comparison site

If you open a Sainsbury's Bank time-limited or maximum benefit pet insurance policy via a comparison site, the excess is fixed at £99 and once your dog reaches 8, your cat reaches 10 or your rabbit reaches 5 this will then increase to a percentage of the claim or the fixed excess, whichever is higher.

If you open a Sainsbury's Bank lifetime pet insurance policy via a comparison site you will pay the fixed excess fee of £99 plus a co-payment, which is a contribution towards the claim cost. You can choose from a 0%, 10% or 20% co-payment and choosing a co-payment in addition to your compulsory excess when the pet is young could mean that your policies are cheaper. If you choose a 0% or 10% co-payment in addition to the excess the co-payment will increase to 20% when your cat reaches 10 or your dog reaches 8. For the dog breeds mentioned above, this is applicable from the age of 5. If you choose a 20% co-payment on your policy as well as the compulsory £99 excess from the outset, then this will remain at 20% when your pet reaches the aforementioned ages.

How to make a claim with Sainsbury’s Bank pet insurance

If you want to make a claim on your Sainsbury's Bank pet insurance policy the easiest is via the online 'Pet Portal'. Once you have logged in you can click on 'Make a claim' on the homepage where you will be directed to complete a claims form. You will be asked to provide details of your veterinary practice and your pet's condition. Once you have completed the claim form your vet will be contacted and asked to provide invoices and the medical history of your pet.

If you are not claiming for veterinary fees you can also download separate forms for other claims such as loss & theft, third-party liability and holiday cancellation. Alternatively, if you did not want to complete a claims form online you can contact Sainsbury's Bank on 0344 543 1032 between 8am - 6pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 1pm on Saturdays. You can choose whether you wish to be paid directly for your claim or if you wish for your vet to be paid. You will be notified of the progress of your claim via the 'My Documents' section of the Pet Portal or if you have signed up to text message notifications you will receive notifications via text. According to data from Sainsbury's Bank insurance underwriter, Pinnacle pet insurance, 98% of claims were paid out from September 2019 to September 2020.

Sainsbury’s Bank pet insurance customer reviews

Sainsbury's Bank has a Trustpilot rating of 4.0 out of 5 stars from over 5,000 reviews, however, it is worth bearing in mind that this includes reviews for Sainsbury's Bank as a whole and not just its pet insurance policies. We searched through the reviews to find the majority of recent reviews rated Sainsbury's Bank pet insurance as 'Excellent'. Those that rated it as 'Excellent' cited that they were happy with the cost of the insurance, the incentives and the smooth claims process. Those that rated it as 'Bad' identified problems with the website usability, problems with Nectar card discounts and dissatisfactory customer service.

Sainsbury’s Bank pet insurance pros and cons

Sainsbury's Bank pros

  • Nectar card discounts and incentives
  • £1 a month multi-pet discount per pet
  • 24/7 vet phone helpline
  • Online portal

Sainsbury's Bank cons

  • Restrictions on the age of the pet when you take out insurance. Dogs over the age of 8 and cats over the age of 10 will not be insured by Sainsbury's for a new policy. Some dog breeds will not be insured for a new policy from the age of 5. More information on the breeds can be found here.
  • 20% claim contribution towards veterinary fees in addition to the excess on a lifetime policy when your dog reaches the age of 8 and your cat reaches the age of 10. For some dog breeds, the co-payment is applied from the age of 5

Alternatives to Sainsbury’s Bank pet insurance

In this section of the review, I compare Sainsbury's Bank pet insurance to other pet insurance providers. I have compared Sainsbury's Bank pet insurance to Argos pet insurance; a provider that is underwritten by the same insurer. I also compare Sainsbury's pet insurance with alternative pet insurance providers Bought by Many and Petplan.

Sainsbury's Bank vs Argos pet insurance

Sainsbury's Bank and Argos' annual limit lifetime pet insurance policies are both underwritten by Pinnacle Insurance plc. Ultimately, this means that if you make a claim on the insurance with either provider, you will be dealing with the same insurance company. There are small differences between the policies and the most obvious is that Sainsbury's Bank annual limit lifetime pet insurance offers an extra £3,000 of annual veterinary fee cover per year. Argos pet insurance offers the same multi-pet discount as Sainsbury's Bank which is £1 a month per pet and both providers have an online portal for you to access documents and make a claim. Sainsbury's Bank pet insurance may be more attractive if you are a regular shopper at Sainsbury's as you can take advantage of double points and discounts with your Nectar card.

The below table compares the most comprehensive lifetime annual limit policy from both Sainsbury's Bank and Argos.

Sainsbury's Bank Argos
Policy type Lifetime annual limit policy
Lifetime annual limit policy
Excess £99 per condition per year
£99 per condition per year
Maximum vet fee cover £10,000 per year £7,000 per year
24/7 vet helpline
Complementary cover £1,500 £1,500
Dental cover (due to accident/illness)* £10,000 £7,000
Physiotherapy cover £1,500 £1,500
Overseas vet cover £10,000 £1,000
Death cover (from accident or illness) £2,000 £1,500
Cremation £200 £200
Theft or straying £2,000 £1,500
Advertising and reward £2,000
£1,500 for dogs £1,000 for cats
Emergency boarding £1,500 £1,000
Third-party liability (dogs only) £2million £2million
Monthly cost (6-month old dog) £39.57 £28.84

*Your pet will need to have regular dental check-ups as advised by your vet

Sainsbury's Bank pet insurance vs Bought by Many pet insurance vs Petplan pet insurance

In the below table I have compared Sainsbury's Bank pet insurance to Bought by Many and Petplan. The table compares the most comprehensive annual limit lifetime pet insurance policy with each of the providers. An annual limit lifetime pet insurance policy means that you can claim up to the maximum veterinary fee limit each year across all conditions your pet develops. Once the limit has been reached any further treatment will have to be self-funded until the limit renews the following year, if you renew your pet insurance policy.

The quotes are based on a 6-month-old medium-sized mixed breed dog with no underlying health conditions and living in a South East postcode. The cost of your pet insurance may vary depending on the age, breed and location of your pet. For more information on the pet insurance policies mentioned in the below table read our reviews:

Sainsbury's Bank Bought by Many Petplan
Lifetime pet insurance type Annual limit Annual limit Annual limit
Excess £99 per condition per year £99 per policy year
£110 per illness/injury
Monthly Cost £39.57 £31.01 £59.23
Maximum vet fee cover £10,000 per year £15,000 per year
£12,000 per year
Public liability £2million £3million £3million
Loss & theft £2,000 £6,000 £2,000
Death of pet cover (if pet dies through illness or injury) £2,000 £6,000 £2,000
Vet video calls
* *

*Access to a 24/7 vet phone helpline 

Summary

Overall, Sainsbury's Bank pet insurance offers a good range of pet insurance policies however, as our comparison table shows, you can get more veterinary fee cover for your money if you shop around. The website is clear and simple to use and it is transparent about the fees and charges associated with the pet insurance premium. Sainsbury's Bank claims that 98% of claims were paid out in the period between September 2019 and September 2020 (based on data collected by its underwriter Pinnacle Insurance plc). Sainsbury's Bank offers a contribution of up to £200 towards the cost of cremation for your pet which is sometimes an additional extra on other pet insurance policies. The ability to add your Nectar card to your policy also makes it attractive to those that regularly shop at Sainsbury's.

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