What is time-limited pet insurance?
Time-limited pet insurance is a basic form of pet insurance cover that’s suitable for various different animals. The cover for each condition is designed to last for 12 months, and during this time you can claim up to a certain limit for each eligible illness. After that limit is reached or a year has passed, the policy won’t make out any further payouts for the same condition.
As each condition has its own limit, you can potentially claim for more than one condition at the same time.
Once the insurance expires you’ll need to get an updated quote and arrange a new policy. Since your pet will be older at that point, the premiums are likely to increase when you renew a policy.
What does time-limited pet insurance cover?
Each time-limited pet insurance policy will cover a different range of conditions and incidents up to a certain limit. Before taking out a policy, make sure you know which conditions are covered by your provider so you don’t get caught out.
It’s worth noting that time-limited pet insurance has no age limit, making this style of policy ideal for older pets who may not be eligible under higher coverage policies.
Although the cover offered by time-limited pet insurance is relatively standard, some policies will also provide coverage for the following:
- Third party liability. Some providers will cover the legal costs associated with any damage or injury caused by your pet, however this is usually only applicable if you’re insuring a dog.
- Accidental death. Some companies will pay out should your pet die as a result of an accident. It’s likely that there will be an age cap on this benefit, however the exact age will vary between providers.
- Theft and straying. If your pet goes missing, then some policies will pay out to help cover the costs associated with finding them.
- Emergency boarding fees. Some policies will pay out if you are hospitalised and unable to care for your pet.
What doesn’t time-limited pet insurance cover?
With both financial caps and term limits on the policy, time-limited pet insurance has notable exclusions that could compromise your claim.
Time-limited pet insurance ends when the agreed term runs out, so any claims made after 12 months of the condition first appearing will not be covered. Also, if you claim on a certain condition then you may not be able to get future cover for the same ailment or injury. This is worth noting if your pet has a recurring medical condition.
- Here are a list of further exclusions that most pet insurance policies won’t cover, unless your provider specifically states otherwise:
- Pre-existing conditions
- Routine health visits
- Worm and flea treatment
Which types of pet can I get cover for?
Time-limited pet insurance is usually used to cover cats and dogs, and some will occasionally include rabbits. However, most people insure their rabbits under lifetime policies and therefore these are harder to find.
What if I have multiple pets?
If you’re looking to insure more than one pet, then it may be worthwhile for you to take out a time-limited multi-pet insurance policy. This can be a good way to save money, but you should be sure to consider whether this sort of policy is able to offer the right level of insurance for all of your pets.
How much does it cost?
It’s hard to say. Like all insurance, the cost of your monthly premiums will vary from provider to provider, and depends on your circumstances. Time-limited pet insurance has been advertised from as little as £3 - £5 per month (depending on which animal you’re looking to insure). However, it’s more likely that you’re looking at paying around £13 - £18 for decent coverage.
Time-limited pet insurance was originally the cheapest form of pet cover, before accident-only cover became available. This means the level of cover offered by these policies tends to be less than with lifetime cover.
What affects the cost of time-limited pet cover?
As with all pet insurance policies, the cost of a time-limited policy will vary from provider to provider, and depends on what animal you’re insuring. Your monthly premiums can also be affected by the following:
- The type animal you’re insuring. Usually dogs are more expensive to insure than cats.
- The breed of your animal. The pedigree of your pet and the amount you paid for them can affect the cost of your monthly premiums. The more expensive your pet, the more insurance will cost.
- Your pet’s age. While there’s no age cap on time-limited insurance, the older your pet is, the more you’ll have to pay to insure them.
- Where you live. In the UK, vet’s fees vary depending on where you live, so naturally the price of pet insurance fluctuates. It’s typically cheaper to have your pet treated outside of London, with the cheapest vet fees offered in Scotland.
- Whether they’ve been neutered. Your monthly premiums may be cheaper if your pet has been neutered.
- Whether they’ve been chipped. If your time-limited pet insurance covers loss and theft, then your monthly premiums may be cheaper if your pet has been chipped.
- Your pet’s health. The cost of insuring your pet will be considerably higher if your pet has had poor health in the past.
How do I make a claim?
Making a claim is simple. Depending on the company, you’ll make a claim over the phone or by contacting the insurer online - this will be made clear when you take out the policy.
To ensure you never get caught out, before accepting a quote you should always check to see how quickly you need to advise them of a claim, and how speedily they will pay out.
What other pet insurance options are available?
Like any insurance, when taking out pet insurance it’s important to know your options. If this type of cover isn’t right for you, then consider one of the other insurance options listed below:
Lifetime pet insurance.
This style of policy is designed to cover your pet for all medical conditions up to a specified limit, making it the most comprehensive cover available. The policy’s payout renews annually and covers your pet for their entire life. If your pet falls ill or gets injured, you can claim for each condition individually.
Accident only pet insurance.
These policies will only pay out for vet fees resulting from injury, rather than illness. This is cheapest form of pet insurance and the coverage reflects this. Many accident only pet insurance policies have low caps on payouts and term length.
Maximum benefit pet insurance is very similar to a time-limited policy, covering individual conditions up to a set financial limit. Then, once the financial limit has been reached, the policy will no longer pay out for that condition. Maximum benefit policies have no time limit attached.
Using your savings.
There’s no legal obligation for you to take out any form of pet insurance, and you do always have the option of self-insuring. You can do this by putting aside money each month in case your pet falls ill or gets injured.
However with the rising cost of vet’s fees across the UK, many people find taking out a pet insurance policy the most stress-free way of providing security for their animals.
Is this type of policy right for my pet?
Generally speaking, time-limited pet cover is a good value option, providing you with coverage for both illness and injury at a reasonably low cost. However, as with any insurance, different pets will require different levels of coverage. Make sure any time-limited policy you’re taking for offers the cover your pet needs.
Time-limited pet insurance may be the right choice for you if you have an older pet that isn’t eligible for lifetime cover. However, if your pet is susceptible to recurrent long-term illnesses, then a time-limited life insurance policy may not provide sufficient coverage to meet their needs.
Also, once the maximum amount has been paid out, you will need to be prepared to fund the ongoing treatment yourself.
How do I find the best policy?
We can help you there! Time-limited pet insurance policies are widely available in the UK, so in order to find the best policy it’s important to compare your options.
Our comprehensive reviews of the top pet insurance providers and styles of policy will explain everything you need to know in detail, so you know exactly what you’re getting for your money.
Where can I get a quote now?
Right here. Simply click below, fill out a quick form, and one of our trusted brokers will find you a quote in minutes!