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What Pet Insurance does not cover

What pet insurance does not cover, commonly known as exclusions, may differ between insurers so you should always read your policy’s Terms & Conditions or Insurance Product Information Document carefully to make sure that you have the cover you need before you choose to take out a new policy or renew your existing one 

Some of the most common things pet insurance does not cover are:

  • Pre-existing illness or injury - In general, insurers will not cover illness or injury that your pet had or showed signs of having before the policy started. This usually includes illnesses and injuries that can happen again or may appear in different parts of your pet’s body. For example, if your pet had an ear infection before you took out your current policy, your insurance will probably not cover the cost of treatment for any future infections in either ear, regardless of whether or not you made a claim under an old policy. 
  • Exclusion or waiting period - A period at the start of the policy when veterinary treatment is not covered, typically the first 14 days (but can be 30 days in some instances). Insurance starts for illnesses that first show signs or happen after this time. Some policies have a similar period, or less, for injuries.
  • Routine and preventative treatment - Treatments such as vaccinations, spaying, castration, flea, worm and tick treatments, grooming, claw clipping and dental or teeth maintenance. Any costs arising from these treatments or complications arising may also not be covered.3
  • Pregnancy and giving birth - pregnancy, giving birth and treatment of any offspring is not usually covered.
  • Administrative costs - In general, insurers will not cover costs charged by a vet to provide a prescription, complete a claim form or any costs charged to obtain receipts, invoices or reports required as part of the claim.
  • Specific exclusions or limitations - Insurers may include exclusions, limitations, or conditions that are specific to your particular insurance policy. These could include inner caps or limits on conditions or treatment. For example, £10,000 of cover may have a limit of £2000 per condition, meaning once the limit has been reached there is no more cover for future treatment costs. These will vary between insurers and policies so it is important to always read your policy’s T&Cs and if in doubt, speak to your insurer. 

Some other exclusions may include:  

  • Elective treatments or procedures (i.e. treatment that isn’t absolutely necessary for your pet’s wellbeing);
  • Behavioural issues that are not linked with an illness or diagnosed condition, Dogs which are banned breeds;
  • Animals that are used as part of a business (e.g. racing or protection/security) or kept at commercial properties;
  • and Animals that are not permanently in the UK. 

3 Cover for dental treatment varies across the market from some insurers offering no cover, some offering accident only cover, to some offering full cover.