What is multi-pet insurance?
Multi-pet insurance (or multiple pet insurance) is a form of policy designed to cover all your pets at once, removing the financial burden of covering treatment costs and the hassle of taking out cover for each of them individually.
The costs associated with an ill or injured pet can be high, with 1 in 3 pets needing to visit the vet at least every 3 years (according to the Association of British Insurers). If you have multiple pets, this can mean paying for their treatment quickly gets very expensive. With multi-pet insurance you can cover all your pets under the same policy, and it’s often seen as the cheaper and more convenient option - especially as many insurers offer discounts when insuring multiple pets.
Multi-pet insurance policies operate in a similar way to an individual pet insurance policy: you pay in annual or monthly premiums and should one of your pets fall ill or get injured, your policy will pay out to cover at least most of the vet fees, and often more. We’ll take you through all the options right here.
What does insurance for multiple pets cover?
Multi-pet insurance allows you to cover various pets under just one policy. Coverage usually extends anywhere from 2 to 10 pets, although some policies only go up to 5 or 6 animals.
Exactly what your policy covers will vary depending on the amount of coverage you take out and the provider you choose. However, most multi-pet insurance providers will cover all your pets for the following costs:
- Vet fees. Including diagnostic work, scans, and surgery.
- Medicine. Multi-pet policies will pay out for medication up to a certain limit.
- Loss. If one of your pets gets lost your multi-pet policy can offset any fees, including advertisement and rewards.
- Theft. Should your pet get stolen, your insurance policy will pay out to help get them back or replace your pet.
- Damage. Many insurers cover for third party liability, so should your pet cause accidental damage to someone’s belongings or injury to another person, your policy will pay out to help cover the costs.
- Holiday cancellation. Should one of your pets fall ill before you travel, many multi-pet policies will cover at least some of the cost of cancelling your trip.
- Kennel or cattery fees. Many providers offer coverage for the kennel fees should you fall ill unexpectedly and require someone to care for your animals.
Which types of pet can I get cover for?
While multi-pet insurance policies cover all your pets, there are some exclusions that apply (outlined below). These policies are most commonly taken out to cover cats and dogs, or a combination of the two.
You can arrange cover for smaller mammals too, for example, a number of rabbits can be insured under one multi-pet policy.
However, exotic pets and sometimes horses are often not included under multi-pet policies, and you’ll need to set up a separate cover in order to insure them. It is also worth noting that if you have more than one horse you may get a multi-horse discount if you use the same provider.
What factors may prevent me from getting multi-pet insurance?
There are a variety of reasons why your pet may not be eligible for a multi-pet insurance policy. Here are the most common:
- Your pet’s age. The age of this exclusion will vary from company to company and change depending on the type of animal. You can find providers which will accept any per regardless of age, but your premiums will reflect this.
- Routine check-ups. Most insurers won’t pay out for the vet bills resulting from routine check-ups.
- Working pets. Most providers won’t insure pets and animals used for either breeding or commercial use, this includes security and racing.
- Pre-existing conditions. Any costs associated with the treatment of pre-existing conditions won’t be covered by most insurance companies.
- Preventative treatment. Many providers won’t cover the costs of preventative treatment, so you’ll need to fund that yourself.
- Dangerous pets. Like any pet insurance, many companies won’t insure venomous animals, or dogs who are registered under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 or the Dangerous (Amendment) Dogs Act 1997 - especially for third party damage.
- Vaccinations. Your claim may be voided if your pet isn’t up to date with their vaccinations and health checks.
- Certain breeds. Any breeds that banned in the UK won’t be covered by insurance providers.
- Behavioural problems. If one of your pets have displayed behavioural problems in the past, you may struggle to find a provider willing to insure them.
How much does it cost?
This is hard to estimate accurately, as the cost of multi-pet insurance varies dramatically depending on the policy you choose, what animal/s you’re insuring, and how many of them will be covered by the policy.
Multi-pet insurance policies will be cheaper than taking out individual policies for each pet, costing usually about 5-10% less. The factors that will determine the level of your premiums:
- Your pet’s age
- The breed of your animal
- Where you live
- Your pet’s health
- Whether they’ve been neutered or spayed
- Whether they’ve been chipped
What information will I need to provide to get a quote?
How much information you’ll have to provide to get a quote varies from provider to provider. However, as a general rule of thumb, the more information you provide, the more accurate your multi-pet insurance quote will be. Here is a list of some information that you may need to provide when applying for a multi-pet quote:
- The types of animal you’re looking to insure.
- The number of pets to be covered by the policy.
- The breed of your pets, especially if you’re looking to insure your dog.
- How much you paid for each of your pets.
- Your pets’ gender and name.
- Their ages.
- Whether your pets have been chipped (if applicable).
- Your pets’ medical records, including vaccinations and pre-existing conditions.
- Whether your pets have been the subject of any complaints or legal action in the last 5 years.
- If your pets have been used for commercial purposes. This includes breeding, security, and racing.
- Whether your pets live in a pub or licenced premises.
Do I need pet insurance?
It’s up to you. There’s no legal obligation to take out pet insurance, and many people choose to self-insure by setting aside money each month in preparation for an unexpected vet bill or kennel fee.
However, for owners of multiple pets, the prospects of self-funding can be daunting, especially knowing the hefty bill that could follow should more than one pet get ill within a year.
Is multi-pet life insurance right for me?
If you do decide to take out insurance for your pets, then multi-pet insurance is almost certain to be the easiest and least expensive type of cover.
However, for some reasons (such as having more exotic animals) it’s not always possible to cover all of your pets under the same policy, so you may wish to take out different levels of cover for each of your pets, or perhaps not insure some of them.
How do I find the best multi-pet insurance policy?
We can help with that. If you head over to our in-depth reviews of each insurer, we’ll guide you through exactly what’s offered in each policy so you can find the right level of cover for all of your pets.
Where can I get a quote now?
If you want to get a multi-pet insurance quote right away, simply click the link below to fill out our short form and one of our brokers will find you a quote in minutes!