Pet insurance is designed to cover animals like cats and dogs - and the occasional exotic animal as well - against unexpected illness, injury or accident. Even theft or third party liabilities can be covered too - an animal dashing across a road can cause mayhem.
RSPCA pet insurance is handled by Covea Insurance PLC. This is a French company, part of the Covéa Group with about 1.9 million policyholders, and generating premiums of over £725 million in 2020. The RSPCA is said to receive 15% of the sale of every pet policy sold by them. There are four levels of cover for the standard policy with different benefits for issues such as vet fees, third party liability, and even advertising for a lost pet. The more comprehensive policies also provide cover whilst pets are abroad. Alternatively owners can opt for an accident only policy, which also covers third party liabilities.
Petplan claim to be the the UK's biggest and favourite pet insurance company and they insure about 1.3 million pets. They can provide cover for dogs, cats, rabbits and horses. It doesn't matter how many claims are made, they say they will not increase premiums because of previous claims. About 97% of claims are accepted and they can pay vet bills direct to the surgery involved. Petplan is a trading name of Pet Plan Limited which was started in 1976, and which passes all it's pet insurance business to Allianz Insurance PLC, of which it is a subsidiary.
Animal Friends Pet Insurance was set up in 1998. It's main aim was sell insurance for pets, and to devote a substatial part of profits to animal charities. Up until 2020 they claim to have made donations in excess of £5.6 million, and they currently insure more than a million pets. Cover is available for dogs, cats and horses and there is a range of policies underwritten by Red Sands Insurance Company (Europe) Limited, a Gibraltar based company licensed in 2004, and members of the Association of British Insurers (ABI). Customers can get free unlimited video consultations with a vet, 365 days a year, for free advice, if they are worried about their pet.
The vet charity PDSA is entirely supported by the public - it receives no government support. They still manage to operate 48 pet hospitals though, which can provide low cost or even free treatment for the pets of those in financial need. Unfortunately, with their limited financial resources they cannot affod to provide the more expensive treatments such as those for serious injury or cancer, which is why they recommend that owners take out insurance. The policy they promote is called PDSA Petsurance - this is a trading name of Insurance Factory Limited, who are brokers and part of the Markerstudy Group, and the policies are underwritten by LV (Liverpool Victoria).
Agria was born in Sweden in 1890 and they set up in Britain in 2009. Their pet insurance differs from most because they only offer policies that last the entire lives of the animals that they insure. There is a fixed maximum sum that they will provide towards veterinary bills throughout this time and they provide a free ongoing health advice service, which can also offer advice on nutrition and behavioural training. They can cover breeding risks and also risks to working dogs. Their underwriters are Agria Fӧrsӓkring and the Ecclesiastical Insurance Office plc, and they claim to be recommended by numerous pet organisations including top breeders and the Kennel Club.
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