In this series of articles in which we compare pet insurance policies we will compare the mid-range lifetime policies currently offered by Petplan and Animal Friends Insurance.
These are the Petplan Covered for Life Classic Policy and the Animal Friends Insurance Prestige Policy.
Vet Fees Cover Limit
The Petplan Classic policy offers a choice of cover limit – £4,000 or £7.000 per year. The Animal Friends Prestige policy has a cover limit of £6,000 per year.
They are both annual sum lifetime policies which means that this limit is reinstated each year providing you renew the policy on the terms offered.
Always make sure you read the vet fees exclusions before taking out a policy. For example Animal Friends will not pay for any treatment caused by your pet being overweight. They also will only pay for out-of-hours treatment “if required to prevent a life-endangering condition”.
Dental, Diet & End of Life
|Dental Cover||Accident & Illness||Injury only|
|Prescription Food||Bladder Stones||No|
Petplan will only pay for 40% of the cost of food which is to treat the first occurrence of bladder stones or crystals in urine (for a maximum of 6 months) or for 5 days liquid food whilst your pet is hospitalised.
Animal Friends will pay for euthanasia providing a vet confirms it was to prevent further suffering.
|Death & Loss Benefits||£1,500||£1,500|
|Advertising (incl Reward)||£1,500||-|
Animal Friends have a number of specific exclusions in their third party liability terms which are not found in many other policies. These include claims resulting from “your dog’s interaction with other animals” and “someone handling your dog without your permission” amongst others.
Death benefits are optional with the Petplan policy. The death benefit payable will be the purchase price of your pet providing this is not more than £1500. Animal Friends however will only pay a percentage of the market value of your pet, purchase price of your pet or £1,500 (whichever is the lowest amount). You will only get 100% of this amount if your pet dies before their first birthday. They will also only pay the death benefit if your pet dies in the same policy year in which the accident or illness which caused the death started.
Animal Friends will not pay a reward which is greater than the purchase price of your pet.
Petplan will pay your holiday cancellation costs if your pet requires immediate lifesaving treatment in the seven days before you travel or whilst you are away. Animal Friends will pay the costs if your pet requires immediate lifesaving surgery in the fourteen days before you travel or whilst you are away.
Whereas Petplan will also pay the holiday cancellation costs of any of your immediate family travelling with you, Animal Friends will specifically exclude paying for anyone else’s costs.
In addition Petplan will pay your cancellation costs if your pet goes missing whilst you are away.
Excess and Contribution Percentages
The excess for the Petplan policy is £85 for cats (£105 if over 8) and £100 for dogs, although it is only £75 for complementary therapies. Once your pet reaches 8 you will have to pay 20% of vet fees.
Animal Friends have a standard excess payment of £99. Once your pets reach the age of 8 you will also have to pay 20% of vet fees.
In our pet insurance premium survey which was conducted in February 2014 the average quote for the Petplan Covered for Life £7,000 policy was £31.91 as opposed to £43.48 for the Animal Friends Prestige policy. However it is important to remember that, as all pet insurance quotes depend on your postcode and the breed and age of your pet, the quotes you get for your pets may be very different.
It is very important to consider premiums in future years as well as the initial premium! You need to remember that any introductory or online discounts you received will not apply in future years. Currently Petplan offer a 10% online discount and Animal Friends do not currently offer an online discount.
Background and Reputation
Both Petplan and Animal Friends are specialist pet insurance companies.
Whereas Petplan is a specialist pet insurance company owned by Allianz who are a large multinational insurance company, Animal Friends are a UK company based in Wiltshire.
Petplan is the market leader and we estimate that about one in three people who have pet insurance are insured with Petplan.
Arguably the most important thing you need to find out about any insurance policy provider is “Will they pay out if I make a claim?” We have recently conducted a survey of pet insurance claims experiences. Animal Friends at the time of writing had received 38 reviews with an average rating of 4.1/5. Petplan with 157 scores had received an average rating of 4.5/5. However you will get a better picture by reading the Petplan Pet Insurance reviews Petplan Pet Insurance reviews and Animal Friends Pet Insurance reviews.
Full Policy Details
If you have one of the above policies and have any comments to make then please do leave your thoughts on our Facebook Page.
Whilst we have taken great care in ensuring the information below is accurate at the time of writing this article in November 2014, we cannot be responsible for its accuracy and it is important that you and check all the details with the insurer by reading their policy document before purchasing the policy.