What is the main difference between Standard, Maximum Benefit and Lifetime policies?

Standard policy is a time-limited policy and only covers each illness or injury up to a maximum of 12 months (365 days).

Maximum Benefit policies offer cover for any injury or illness up to the maximum sum recoverable, as specified on your certificate of insurance and for all Lifetime policies, these will cover ongoing conditions for the lifetime of your pet, provided there is no break in policy cover.

What is lifetime cover?

4Paws Pet Insurance provides cover for veterinary treatment costs, due to illness or injury, for the lifetime of your pet. However, we do not cover any illness or injury (including clinical signs) which happened before cover started.

Although cover is annually renewable, provided we offer and you accept our renewal invitation, your pet will benefit from continuous cover, including costs for recurring conditions. Once renewed the maximum limits for the cover selected will be available again.

It is important to note policy terms and conditions can change over time, for example in addition to any excess payable, you will be required to contribute to the cost of treatment once your pet reaches a certain age. For our Life, Life Plus and Life Premium policies, this is from 10 years of age (7 years for selected breeds). For our Lifetime Contribution policies, this is from 6 weeks old. Additionally, premiums will increase due to factors such as your pet’s age, claims history and our view of future costs of providing cover.

Do you pay claims direct to my vet?

We are happy to pay claims direct to your vet, this is providing they are happy to accept payments from us, as some will not. It is a good idea to check with the veterinary practice you use.

In what circumstances would I have to pay my excess?

If you make a claim under one of our Lifetime policies, you will need to pay an excess. The fixed excess is payable once per condition, per policy year. For Standard & Maximum Benefit Policies, you only have to pay one fixed excess for each separate condition being claimed.

Depending on the policy you have, there may be a contribution excess to pay once your pet reaches a certain age; this is paid on each claim

On our Lifetime Contribution policies, the fixed excess is payable once per condition, per policy year and the 30% contribution is deducted from each claim you submit, regardless of your pet’s age.

Would I ever have to pay more than my excess?

If your vet has claimed for something we don’t cover, such as prescription diets, or if your claim exceeds the insured amount, then you will have to pay any additional costs.

Does your insurance cover annual vaccinations?

No, as with the majority of pet insurance policies, we do not cover annual vaccinations or preventative healthcare products, such as wormers & flea treatment.

If I take my pet abroad with me on holiday, is he covered for Veterinary Treatment?

If you have one of our Maximum Benefit or Lifetime policies, your pet is covered for treatment for up to 45 days abroad per each policy year.

Do your policies cover my pet being castrated/spayed?

We do not cover routine neutering; however, if it is done for medical reasons, such as testicular tumours or pyometra (womb infection), then we would look to cover this.

Do you cover dental care? If so, does this include cleaning & polishing?

We will look to cover dental treatment for both illnesses and/ or injuries (dependant on the cover level selected), providing the pet has had an annual dental check up by the vet each year. You also must follow any dental advice that you have been given. We also do not provide cover for routine or cosmetic dentistry ie: descaling and polishing.

I’ve just bought an insurance policy, does my cover start straight away?

For all our of policies, you are covered for injuries 24 hours after your policy has started. You also have a 14 day exclusion period for illnesses; therefore illness cover will start on day 15 of your policy.

What is a pre-existing condition?

Any injury or illness which occurred before the start of the policy, and any subsequent health issues directly relating to these.

My dog is about to have puppies, do you cover caesarean’s?

No, we do not cover any treatment related to breeding.

What is Complementary Treatment?

Acupuncture, Herbal Medication prescribed by a veterinary practice, Homeopathy, Chiropractic Manipulation, Hydrotherapy and Osteopathy.

Is behaviour treatment covered under Complementary Treatment?

No, but you can claim for behavioural illness under Veterinary Fees.

Does my insurance cover Out of Hours treatment at the emergency vets?

Yes, although you may need to provide a letter from the vet stating an emergency consultation was essential.

If my pet suffered from a condition that required long term treatment lasting more than 12 months would I be able to continue the insurance with you?

It depends which of our policies you have purchased. If you have one of our Lifetime or Maximum Benefit policies, and provided there is no break in your policy cover, then you will still be able to claim for the treatment for as long as necessary, up to the monetary limits of your policy. If you have one of our Time-Limited policies you will only be able to claim for each condition for 12 months. After this period your pet can still be insured with us but we will exclude any pre-existing conditions from the policy and you will not be able to claim for these for the remainder of your pet’s life.

How is the cost of my pet insurance calculated?

To give you the best value possible, the price of your pet cover is based on a number of factors, some external and some linked to your furry friend, like their age and breed. We also look at the price of veterinary fees and treatments in your area. 

To find out how much insuring your pet will cost, get a quick quote here. You can also find out more about the factors that affect the price of pet insurance in our full guide here.