Sainsbury’s Bank pet insurance review

12 min Read Published: 23 Feb 2024

Sainsbury's Bank

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 ManyPets* (formerly known as Bought by Many) and Petplan. We recommend that you read the review in full, however, you can navigate to certain sections of the article via the following links.

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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 and life, home, car, travel and pet insurance. Sainsbury's Bank pet insurance is underwritten by Pinnacle Insurance plc which also underwrites a number of other pet insurance policies including The Post Office and Argos.

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 has 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 Sainsbury's Bank pet insurance policyholders.

Sainsbury’s Bank pet insurance key features

  • Pet insurance policies for dogs, cats and rabbits
  • Lifetime, maximum benefit and time-limited insurance policies
  • £1 a month multi-pet discount per pet (minimum of £24 per year)
  • 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 vet fee cover of up to a maximum of £3,000 or £6,000 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 condition 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 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) £2 million £2 million £2 million £2 million £2 million £2 million £2 million

^some breeds are not covered by the £10,000 Lifetime Cover (full info can be found on Sainsbury's website) ^^Your pet will need to have regular dental check-ups as advised by your vet and this does not include routine treatment 

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 £200
Physiotherapy cover £750
Advertising and reward £250
Emergency boarding £250

^Your rabbit will need to have regular dental check-ups as advised by your vet and it does not cover trimming, burring or rasping teeth 

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-hours 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
  • 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)

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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.  For more information on what affects the cost of pet insurance read our article '7 factors that affect the cost of pet insurance'.

The following quotes are based on a 1-year-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
1-year-old dog (monthly cost) £30.27 £24.07 £19.96 £14.22 £19.07 £11.26 £8.88
1-year-old cat (monthly cost)  £30.02 £25.33 £21.91 £12.89 £20.22 £15.56 £14.90

(Quotes correct as of 23/02/24)

How much does Sainsbury's Bank rabbit insurance cost?

The following pet insurance quote is based on a 1-year-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 condition per year
Maximum vet fee cover £2,000 per year
1-year-old rabbit (monthly cost) £15.78

(Quotes correct as of 23/02/24)

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

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 pet insurance policy the excess is payable per condition per year. For any third-party liability claim, the excess you are required to pay is £100. Once your dog reaches 8 and your cat reaches 10 the excess that is payable when you claim may increase to either 20% of the claim or the fixed excess, whichever is more. Once your rabbit reaches their 5th birthday, their excess will change to 15% off the claim or the fixed excess whichever is greater.

The excess payable may also change for specific breeds once they reach the age of 5. The excess payable will be the fixed excess of £99 or a percentage of the claim, whichever is more. You will need to refer to your policy documents to see how much you will pay and if your pet's breed is affected.

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 do not want to complete a claims form online you can contact Sainsbury's Bank on 0344 543 1032. 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 for text message notifications you will receive notifications via text. According to data based on Sainsbury's Bank pet insurance claims from July 2022 to June 2023 99% of claims were paid in 5 working days.

Sainsbury’s Bank pet insurance customer reviews

Sainsbury's Bank has a Trustpilot rating of 4.1 out of 5 stars from over 13,000 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 who rated it as 'Excellent' cited that they were happy with the customer service and the easy claims process. Those that rated it as 'Bad' identified problems with claims paying out, pre-existing conditions and an increase in renewal prices.

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 ManyPets* and Petplan.

You may also wish to compare pet insurance providers via a comparison site such as Quotezone* or MoneySuperMarket*. Comparison sites allow you to easily compare the cost of pet insurance providers to find the cheapest policy for your pet. One thing to consider, however, is that not all comparison sites are whole of market so you may be able to get a better deal with your pet elsewhere. You can also compare pet insurance in our article, 'The best pet insurance providers in the UK'.

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 most comprehensive 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 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
Dental cover (due to accident/illness)^ £10,000 £7,000
Physiotherapy cover £1,500 £1,500
Overseas vet cover £10,000 £7,000
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) £2 million £2 million
Monthly cost (1-year-old dog) £30.27 £27.92
Monthly cost (1-year-old cat) £30.02 £25.84

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

(Quotes correct as of 23/02/24)

Sainsbury's Bank pet insurance vs ManyPets pet insurance vs Petplan pet insurance

In the below table, I have compared Sainsbury's Bank pet insurance to ManyPets* 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 1-year-old medium-sized mixed breed dog and 1-year-old cat mixed breed cat 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 ManyPets* Petplan
Lifetime pet insurance type Annual limit Annual limit Annual limit
Excess £99 per condition per year £99 per policy year
£110 for dogs and £95 for cats per condition per year
Monthly cost (1-year-old dog) £30.27 £42.46 £65.29
Monthly cost (1-year-old cat) £30.02 £30.32 £38.93
Maximum vet fee cover £10,000 per year £15,000 per year
£12,000 per year
Public liability £2 million £2 million £2 million
Loss & theft £2,000 £6,000 £3,000
Death of pet cover (if pet dies through illness or injury) £2,000 £6,000 £3,000 (optional extra)^
Vet video calls
tick

(Quotes correct as of 23/02/24) ^Included in this quote for comparison purposes

Sainsbury's Bank pet insurance pros and cons

Sainsbury's Bank pros

  • Nectar card discounts and incentives
  • Minimum £24 multi-pet discount
  • 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.
  • 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

Summary

Overall, Sainsbury's Bank pet insurance offers a good range of pet insurance policies however, as our comparison table shows, you can get higher veterinary fee cover 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 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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