Compare Our Pet Insurance: Lifetime vs 12 Month.

When choosing a type of pet insurance, it’s crucial you get the most relevant product for your pet and your circumstances. To find the ideal solution, there are many factors to consider. In this article, we’ll provide a pet insurance comparison of our own Lifetime and 12 Month policies to help you figure out the best pet insurance for your needs. 

For many pet owners, the main considerations when picking pet insurance are the level of cover provided, the price of premiums, and the amount of excess you’ll pay towards a claim.  With premiums, the amount you’ll pay is determined by a range of factors such as your pet’s breed, age, gender and your postcode. Excess, which is your contribution when making a claim, depends on the product and level of cover you choose. And when it comes to coverage, two of the most common policy options are Lifetime and 12 Month.  The third option is known as Accident Only, which you can read more about here

Lifetime vs 12 Month: How Do They Compare?

In simple terms, the major difference between Lifetime and 12 Month policies, aside from cost, is ongoing treatment of conditions. 

Take the following example case. Rolf is a four-year-old male, medium crossbreed dog who lives with his owners in North London. Based on Rolf’s circumstances, the table below shows a sample breakdown of what it could cost to insure him across our 12 Month and Lifetime options:

Premium amount per month £22.05 £34.78 £30.11 £37.39 £50.25
Policy type 12 Month £2000 12 Month £5000 Lifetime £2000 Lifetime £4000 Lifetime £10,000
ongoing conditions covered No No


(Cover reinstates on renewal of policy)


(Cover reinstates on renewal of policy)


(Cover reinstates on renewal of policy)

Vet fees - benefit limit £2000 £5000 £2000 £4000 £10,000
Excess you pay £99 per condition £75 per condition £99 per condition, per policy year £75 per condition, per policy year £75 per condition, per policy year

An excess is applied to all levels of cover excluding pet funeral cremation, as per the table above. Pre-existing medical conditions are not covered - please read our policy wording for full details.  Prices generated 17/09/20 and include Insurance Premium Tax at HMRC current rate (where applicable) 


12 Month: Rolf requires treatment for a condition. His owners, having taken out a 12 Month policy with £2000 benefit limit, make a claim. Rolf is covered until he reaches the benefit limit (£2000) or 12 months has passed – whichever comes first. Once Rolf reaches the limit, the condition becomes a pre-existing condition and Rolf won’t be able to get further treatment for it.

Lifetime £2000/£4000: Rolf is diagnosed with a condition that costs £4000 to treat over the course of a year. Covered under the Lifetime £2000 policy, Rolf’s owners can claim up to £2000 for that condition and Rolf can’t be treated for that condition again in the same year. However if Rolf needs treatment for a different condition a few months later, his owners can claim up to another £2000. 

If covered under the Lifetime £4000 policy, Rolf’s owners would be able to claim the full £4000 for the condition. They would also be able to claim up to another £4000 if Rolf needed treatment for a different condition. 

Lifetime £10,000: Rolf has a particularly bad year, health-wise. Fortunately his owners have taken out a Lifetime £10,000 policy which means they can claim on a range of different illnesses until the total is reached. Once the £10,000 is reached for that year, none of Rolf’s vet bills are covered until the next year when the policy is renewed. 


If Rolf’s owners decide to take out a Lifetime policy they’ll need to consider something called co-payment, which will be factored into any claims they make when Rolf turns five. 

Co-payment is the amount you pay towards the vet fee claim for each condition. For all pets aged five years and over, and covered under our Lifetime £2000, Lifetime £4000 and Lifetime £10,000, the mandatory co-payment amount is 10%. This is in addition to the standard excess for each policy. 

Co-Payment Example 

Amount Claimed £1,000
Excess Applying £75
Amount Claimed less Excess £925
Co-Payment Amount at 10% £92.50
Payment to Customer £832.50

Find out more about our 12 month and Lifetime products.

View the Jargon Buster and FAQ page for further details

Important information

A quick ‘paws’ for thought…

With pet insurance, your premium will increase each year at renewal as your pet gets older.

We’ll limit the amount it goes up by, but your renewal price will also be impacted by:

Any claims you make – this could significantly increase your premium

Rising vet fees

Insurance Premium Tax increasing

Changes you make to your policy

Changes we make to our pricing model

You can, of course, shop around at renewal. Just bear in mind that any existing conditions your pet's developed, whether diagnosed or not, may not be covered elsewhere.