In this independent review, we take a look at pet insurance provider Scratch & Patch including the different pet insurance policies it offers, how much it costs and how it compares to other providers.
It is recommended that you read the review in full however you can skip to sections of the review using the following links:
- What is Scratch & Patch?
- Scratch & Patch pet insurance key features
- What does Scratch & Patch pet insurance cover?
- Scratch & Patch policy exclusions
- Scratch & Patch policy types
- Scratch & Patch policy excess
- How much does Scratch & Patch pet insurance cost?
- How to make a claim with Scratch & Patch pet insurance
- Scratch & Patch customer reviews
- Scratch & Patch pros and cons
- Alternatives to Scratch & Patch pet insurance
What is Scratch & Patch?
Scratch & Patch is a trading name of FCA regulated Only Pets Cover Limited and is underwritten by ETU Forsikring A/S. Scratch & Patch was started in 2016 to try and compete with other pet insurance providers. Scratch & Patch says it has tried to simplify pet insurance so that pet owners can easily understand what pet insurance means and how it works.
Scratch & Patch pet insurance key features
- Pet insurance for cats and dogs
- 6 levels of cover to choose from
- 10% multi-pet discount
- 24/7 access to a vet helpline
- 93% of claims are paid (according to 2021 Scratch & Patch claims data)
- No co-payments on the policies
- Switch provider with no 14-day cooling-off period (as long as you have an existing policy)
What does Scratch & Patch pet insurance cover?
Scratch & Patch has varying levels of cover across a range of policies. We highlight the different policies below:
Accident-only pet insurance
Accident-only pet insurance covers your pet for vet treatment due to injury but will not cover for any illnesses. Scratch & Patch describes this policy as its Bronze plan and it includes vet fee cover up to £2,250 per accident.
To find out more about accident-only pet insurance, read our article 'Accident-only pet insurance explained'.
Time-limited pet insurance
Time-limited pet insurance covers your pet for a set limit or for a set period of time (usually 12 months from the date of the treatment). Scratch & Patch calls its time-limited policy its Silver plan and it includes vet fee cover up to £3,000 per injury/illness. This means that you can claim up to £3,000 for an illness or injury for up to 12 months after the first treatment or until the claim limit is reached, whichever comes first.
Find out more about time-limited pet insurance in our article, 'Time-limited pet insurance explained'.
Maximum benefit pet insurance
Maximum benefit pet insurance covers your pet for veterinary fees up to a set limit per condition. Scratch & Patch refers to its Maximum benefit pet insurance as its Gold plan and it includes up to £4,000 of vet fee cover. For example, you can claim up to £4,000 for each condition for as long as the policy is in force, this means that you can claim more than once for the same condition as long as you have not yet met the limit. Once the limit is met the condition will be classified as pre-existing and will no longer be covered under this policy.
For more information on maximum benefit pet insurance, read our article 'Maximum benefit pet insurance explained'.
Lifetime Pet insurance
Lifetime pet insurance covers you for veterinary fees for the duration of your pet's life. Scratch & Patch has three lifetime policies (Prime, Premier, Premier Plus) with up to £8,000 of vet fee cover per year depending on the policy you choose. This means that you can claim up to £8,000 in veterinary fees each policy year, this limit then renews again the following policy year as long as you choose to renew your policy.
To find out more about lifetime pet insurance, read our article 'Lifetime pet insurance explained'.
Scratch & Patch policy exclusions
Every pet insurance provider will have a list of policy exclusions, these are the things that it will not pay out for in the event of a claim. Below we list some of the exclusions in a Scratch & Patch pet insurance policy. It is important to remember that this is not an extensive list and it may vary depending on the policy you choose. It is always best to check the policy documents before purchasing a policy so you know exactly what is covered.
A Scratch & Patch policy will not pay out for the following:
- The policy excess
- Pets less than 5 weeks old
- Pre-existing conditions
- Conditions that your pet suffers from in the first 14 days of the policy (unless you are an existing pet insurance policyholder with another provider)
- Routine treatments such as worming and vaccinations
- Dental treatment (not as a result of accident or injury)
- Check-up appointments and any complications associated with pregnancy and birth
- Death, euthanasia and loss of pet cover for dogs over the age of 8 and cats over the age of 10
- Dogs used for guarding, racing and in any trade or profession (excluding assistant dogs)
- Dogs registered in the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991
Scratch & Patch policy types
Scratch & Patch has a vast range of policies to choose from and we summarise the policies in the below comparison table. In its pet insurance policies, Scratch & Patch has some limits (also known as an inner limit) on how much you can claim for certain conditions. For example, you can only claim up to £2,000 for cruciate ligament injuries on a Premier Plus policy. More information on the inner limits on your Scratch and Patch pet insurance policy can be found in your policy documents.
A comparison of the Scratch & Patch policies
(scroll to see the full table)
|Policy Name||Bronze||Silver||Gold||Prime||Premier||Premier Plus|
|Policy Type||Accident-Only||Time-limited||Maximum Benefit||Lifetime||Lifetime||Lifetime|
|Excess||Dogs under 8 and cats under 10: £100/£125 Dogs over 8 and cats over 10: £250/£275||Dogs under 8 and cats under 10: £100/£125 Dogs over 8 and cats over 10: £250/£275||Dogs under 8 and cats under 10: £100/£125 Dogs over 8 and cats over 10: £250/£275||Dogs under 8 and cats under 10: £100/£125 Dogs over 8 and cats over 10: £250/£275||Dogs under 8 and cats under 10: £100/£125 Dogs over 8 and cats over 10: £250/£275||Dogs under 8 and cats under 10: £100/£125 Dogs over 8 and cats over 10: £250/£275|
|Vet fee cover*||£2,250||£3,000||£4,000||£2,500||£4,000||£8,000|
|Death cover (From accident or illness)||£250 (accidents only)||£500||£1,000||£1,000||£1,500||£1,500|
|Third-party liability (dogs only)||£1million||£1million||£1.5million||£1.5million||£1.5million||£2million|
|Loss and recovery (including advertising and reward)||£250||£750||£1,000||£1,000||£1,500||£1,500|
*There are some limits to vet fee cover which are explained in more detail below
What is the excess on a Scratch & Patch policy?
Scratch & Patch has three different types of fixed policy excess and they are as follows:
- £100 or £125 for dogs under 8 and cats under 10
- £250 or £275 for dogs over 8 and cats over 10
- £250 for any third-party liability claim
How much does Scratch & Patch pet insurance cost?
Below, we have compared the cost of a range of Scratch & Patch pet insurance policies. The cost of your pet insurance premium will vary on the age, breed and type of pet you wish to insure. The quotes are based on a 1-year-old mixed-breed cat and dog with no underlying health conditions and living in a South East postcode. The below table also compares the cost of an annual or monthly premium.
Scratch & Patch policy quotes
|Vet fee cover||£2,250||£3,000||£4,000||£2,500||£4,000||£8,000|
|1-year-old dog (monthly cost)||£9.68||£17.08||£20.65||£21.38||£33.66||£36.15|
|1-year-old cat (monthly cost)||£6.17||£11.06||£12.57||£14.40||£20.27||£23.72|
(Quotes correct as of 09/02/22)
How to make a claim with Scratch & Patch pet insurance
If you need to make a claim on your Scratch & Patch pet insurance policy you can do so by downloading the claims form on the website or by completing the online claims form. You must have notified Scratch & Patch within 60 days of any incident you wish to claim for. Scratch & Patch will not pay out for any claims for vet bills that are over 12 months old.
You will need the following information in order to fill out the claims form and make a claim:
- Your Scratch & Patch policy number
- Your pet's previous veterinary practice/s
- Your previous address
Scratch & Patch also need the form to be signed by you and your vet, as well as stamped by the veterinary practice and including any requested documentation and medical history. Once you have completed the downloadable form you can send it to Scratch & Patch via:
- Email: [email protected]
- Post: Scratch & Patch Claims, PO Box 800, Elland, HX1 9ET
Scratch & Patch customer reviews
Scratch & Patch has a Trustpilot rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars from 600 reviews. 77% rate it as 'Excellent' citing great customer service and a quick claims process. 11% of customers rate it as 'Bad' citing problems with the 24/7 vet helpline, expensive insurance premium increases and some delays in claims being paid.
Scratch & Patch pros and cons
Scratch & Patch pros
- Wide choice of policies
- 10% multi-pet discount
- 24/7 access to a vet helpline
- No co-payments on any policy
- No 14-day waiting period as long as you are an existing pet insurance policyholder
Scratch & Patch cons
- Excess increases to £250 or £275 for dogs over the age of 8 and cats over the age of 10
- Claim limits apply for certain conditions
- Does not cover pre-existing conditions
Alternatives to Scratch & Patch pet insurance
Below, we compare the most comprehensive Scratch & Patch pet insurance policy to the most comprehensive policy offered by ManyPets* and Animal Friends*. The quotes are based on a 1-year-old mixed breed dog with no underlying health conditions and living in a South East postcode. If you would like to find out more about ManyPets and Animal Friends, read our reviews:
Another way to compare the cost of pet insurance is via a comparison site such as MoneySuperMarket*. Comparison sites allow you to compare multiple policies at once to find the cheapest deal for your pet. One thing to consider, however, is that comparison sites are not always whole of market and therefore you may get a better deal elsewhere.
Scratch & Patch vs ManyPets vs Animal Friends
|Scratch & Patch||ManyPets||Animal Friends|
|Vet fee cover||£8,000 per year||£15,000 per year||
£6,000 per condition per year
|Loss & theft||£1,500||£6,000||£1,500|
|Death of pet cover (if pet dies through illness or injury)||£1,500||£6,000||£1,500|
|Vet video calls|
(Quotes correct as of 09/02/22)
Scratch & Patch has a range of policies with varying levels of cover on offer. I like that the veterinary excess fee is fixed and it is clear throughout the website so you know how much you have to pay when you make a claim. The Scratch & Patch website is also clear and easy to navigate which makes it simple to understand for any pet owners that are new to pet insurance.
Scratch & Patch has a good level of veterinary fee cover and as there is no waiting period for new customers that have existing pet insurance policies it may be appealing to some. According to its website, Scratch & Patch paid 93% of claims submitted in 2021.
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, ManyPets, MoneySuperMarket