Scratch & Patch pet insurance review

17 min Read Published: 15 Feb 2021

scratch and patch pet insurance review

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 is a trading name of FCA regulated Only Pets Cover Limited and was started in 2016 to try and compete with other pet insurance providers. Scratch & Patch claims it was the first UK pet insurance provider to create a product for customers whose pets have pre-existing conditions. Insuring a pet that has a pre-existing condition can be tricky and owners can often be left wondering whether a policy will actually payout should their pet get ill. Scratch & Patch allows you to submit the details of your pet's condition via an online declaration form, meaning you'll get a definitive decision as to whether your pet can be covered for that specific condition.

Scratch & Patch pet insurance key features

  • Pet insurance for cats and dogs
  • 9 levels of cover to choose from
  • Insurance for pre-existing conditions
  • 10% multi-pet discount
  • 24/7 access to a vet helpline
  • 97% of claims are paid
  • No co-payments on the policies
  • Fixed policy excess

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.

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.

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.

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. 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.

Pet insurance for pre-existing conditions

Scratch & Patch offers an insurance policy that will cover your pet for any pre-existing conditions. Scratch & Patch defines a pre-existing condition as a condition that your pet had prior to opening a policy or increasing your cover level. A condition that has the same diagnosis or clinical signs as a previous condition that your pet has had, is also considered a pre-existing condition.

Scratch & Patch is willing to cover some pre-existing conditions and it has a handy online process that will notify you if the pre-existing conditions are likely to be covered, prior to you opening a policy. Scratch & Patch has three different pre-existing condition policies (Champ 2.5, Champ 4.0, Champ 8.0) and offers up to £8,000 of vet fee cover which is then renewed each year. For example, you can claim up to £8,000 on vet fees each year, the limit then renews again the following year as long as you renew the policy.

If you would like to find out more about pet insurance that offers cover for pre-existing conditions, read our article "Pet insurance for pre-existing conditions 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 (except those agreed in a pre-existing condition policy)
  • 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 illness 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.

A comparison of the Scratch & Patch policies

(scroll to see the full table)

Policy Name Bronze Silver Gold Prime Premier Premier Plus Champ 2.5 Champ 4.0 Champ 8.0
Policy Type Accident-Only Time-limited Maximum Benefit Lifetime Lifetime Lifetime Pre-existing condition lifetime cover Pre-existing condition lifetime cover Pre-existing condition lifetime cover
Vet fee cover*  £2,250 £3,000 £4,000 £2,500 £4,000 £8,000 £2,500 £4,000 £8,000
Death cover (From accident or illness) £250 (accidents only) £500 £1,000 £1,000 £1,500 £1,500 £1,000 £1,500 £1,500
Euthanasia £100 £100 £150 £100 £100 £150
Third-party liability (dogs only) £1million £1million £1.5million £1.5million £1.5million £2million £1.5million £1.5million £2million
Loss and recovery (including advertising and reward) £250 £750 £1,000 £1,000 £1,500 £1,500 £1,000 £1,500 £1,500
Boarding fees £250 £750 £1,000 £1,000 £1,000 £1,000 £1,000 £1,000 £1,000
Holiday cancellation cross £750 £1,000 £1,000 £1,500 £2,500 £1,000 £1,500 £2,500
Accidental damage cross cross cross £250 £500 £750 £250 £500 £750
Pre-existing conditions**

*There are some limits to vet fee cover which are explained in more detail below 

** Subject to a full medical check  

Are there any limits to the vet fee claims on a Scratch & Patch policy?

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. We have highlighted the inner limits for each policy in the table below. The inner limits are included within the vet fee limit, for example, if you claimed £2,000 for a cruciate ligament injury on a Premier Plus policy, you would have £6,000 remaining for vet fee costs in that policy year.

Scratch & Patch vet fee inner limits

(scroll to see the full table)

Bronze Silver Gold Prime Premier Premier Plus Champ 2.5 Champ 4.0 Champ 8.0
Policy Type Accident-Only Time-limited Maximum Benefit Lifetime Lifetime Lifetime Pre-existing condition lifetime cover Pre-existing condition lifetime cover Pre-existing condition lifetime cover
Cruciate Ligament £500 £500 £1,000 £1,000 £1,500 £2,000 £1,000 £1,500 £2,000
MRI/CT Scan £500 £1,000 £1,000 £1,500 £2,000 £1,000 £1,500 £2,000
Alternative treatment £250 £300 £400 £400 £750 £1,000 £400 £750 £1,000
Dental cover (through accident/injury) £250 £3,000 £4,000 £2,500 £4,000 £8,000 £2,500 £4,000 £8,000
Diet Food £100 £100 £100 £100 £100 £100 £100 £100
Behavioural treatment
£100 £250 £500 £100 £250 £500

What is the excess on a Scratch & Patch policy?

Scratch & Patch has three different types of fixed policy excess and they are as follows:

  • £75 for dogs under 8 and cats under 10
  • £200 for dogs over 8 and cats over 10
  • £250 for any third-party liability claim

For pre-existing condition policies (Champ 2.5, Champ 4.0 and Champ 8.0) there is an additional excess of £50 payable per 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 6-month-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

Bronze Silver Gold Prime Premier Premier Plus
Excess £75 £75 £75 £75 £75 £75
Vet fee cover £2,250 £3,000 £4,000 £2,500 £4,000 £8,000
6-month-old dog (monthly cost) £9.53 £16.82 £20.75 £22.03 £34.48 £37.04
6-month-old cat (monthly cost)  £5.82 £10.72 £12.61 £14.45 £20.34 £23.80

(Quotes correct as of 15/02/21) 

Scratch & Patch pre-existing condition policy quotes

In the below table we compare quotes for the Scratch & Patch pre-existing policies. The following quotes are based on a 5-year-old cat and dog with a pre-existing lameness that occurred over 12 months ago and the pet has fully recovered from since. You have to pay the policy excess as well as an additional excess amount of £50 which is required each time you make a claim.

Champ 2.5 Champ 4.0 Champ 8.0
Excess £75 + £50 £75 + £50 £75 + £50
Vet fee cover £2,500 £4,000 £8,000
5-year-old dog (monthly cost) £27.37 £42.85 £46.02
5-year-old cat (monthly cost) £15.48 £21.40 £25.19

(Quotes correct as of 15/02/21) 

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. 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 form you can send it to Scratch & Patch via:

  • Email: claims@scratchandpatch.co.uk
  • Post: Scratch & Patch Claims, PO Box 800, Elland, HX1 9ET

Scratch & Patch customer reviews

Scratch & Patch has a Trustpilot rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars from over 300 reviews. 78% rate it as 'Excellent' citing great customer service and a quick claims process. 8% 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

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

Cons

  • Excess increases to £200 for dogs over the age of 8 and cats over the age of 10
  • Claim limits apply for certain conditions
  • An additional excess of £50 is payable per claim on pre-existing condition policies

Alternatives to Scratch & Patch pet insurance

Below, we compare the most comprehensive Scratch & Patch pet insurance policy to the most comprehensive policy offered by Bought by Many and Animal Friends. The quotes are based on a 6-month-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 Bought by Many and Animal Friends, read our reviews:

Scratch & Patch vs Bought by Many vs Petplan

Scratch & Patch Bought by Many Animal Friends
Excess £75 £99 £99
Monthly Cost £37.04 £31.01 £23.34
Vet fee cover £8,000 per year £15,000 per year
£6,000 per condition per year
Public liability £2million £3million £2million
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
Trustpilot score 4.4/5 3.4/5 4.4/5

Summary

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 the fact it offers cover for pre-existing conditions (subject to extensive medical checks) may be appealing to some who wish to switch their pet insurance provider when having previously made a claim. According to its website, Scratch & Patch paid 97% of claims submitted in 2019.

 

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