Frequently asked questions...
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John Lewis Pet Insurance provides cover for cats and dogs.
Do you have an age limit?
We can accept your cat or dog from eight weeks old* and there’s no upper age limit. The only benefit that stops is Death from Illness Cover. When your pet is over nine years old, we won't give you back the purchase price if they die or have to be put to sleep through illness
Are there any breeds which are not covered?
We don't offer cover for the ‘types’ of dogs that should be registered under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 and the Dangerous Dogs (Northern Ireland) Order 1991 or any subsequent amendments (whether pedigree, cross-breed or mixed breed):
- Pit Bull Terrier
- Japanese Tosa
- Dogo Argentino
- Fila Braziliero
Additionally, we don't offer cover for:
- American bulldog
- Wolf or wolf hybrid
- Fighting dogs
- Guard or security dogs
- Dogs used for racing
- Dogs used in connection with any profession, occupation or business
- Dogs used for breeding
*You will not be able to claim for vet fees as a result of an accident in the first 48 hours of cover, or for any changes in your pet's health or behaviour in the first 14 days of cover. Death for Illness cover is not available for any pets aged 9 years and above.
What is a pre-existing condition?
A pre-existing condition is any illness, disease, injury or any change in your pet's normal healthy state, its bodily functions or behaviour which they had before the start of an insurance policy.
Are pre-existing medical conditions covered?
No, pre-existing medical conditions will not be covered.
My pet has a pre-existing condition, can I still get cover?
You will still be able to buy pet insurance, but you will not be able to claim for any pre-existing conditions.
Are the costs of neutering/spaying my pet covered?
No, any preventative and elective treatments or routine examinations aren’t covered.
Is dental work covered (ie teeth cleaning, extraction)?
If your pet has an accident, they'll be covered for dental treatment they need as a result, but any regular dentistry isn't covered.
Are hereditary and/or congenital conditions covered?
A hereditary or congenital condition is one which has a proven or suspected genetic cause and is more likely to affect pedigree animals. Your policy will cover hereditary and congenital conditions as long as the condition hadn't been discovered and your pet didn't have any symptoms before the start date, or within the first 14 days of your Pet Insurance policy.
What is Third Party Liability Cover?
Third Party Liability Cover is only available for dog owners. It covers damages and legal costs to others which you become legally liable to pay if your dog causes death or injury to a person, or loss or damage to their property.
What is the policy excess?
This is the part of a claim that you have to pay.
Whatever cover level you select, you can choose an excess of £60, £80, £100, £140, £250, & £500. This will apply to the Vets Fees Cover and is the amount you pay for each condition in each period of insurance.
Once your pet reaches the age of nine or over, the excess alters and you pay the Vets Fees Cover excess chosen, or 20% of the treatment costs, whichever is greater, for each condition, in each period of insurance.
How do I know what vet fees excess applies if my pet turns nine during a course of treatment?
If your pet reaches the age of nine during a claim, the excess you pay will stay at the amount you paid when the treatment first started and this won’t change for an ongoing claim.
Are there other policy excesses?
Yes, under all our cover levels, for Third Party Liability property damage you pay the first £250 of each claim. If you’ve chosen our Plus or Premier level of cover, you pay the first £75 of each claim for cancellation or cutting a trip short under Travel Cover.
How can I pay for my policy?
We offer our customers a choice of easy payment methods:
- Monthly Direct Debit (interest free)
- Credit or debit card for the full amount.
We don't charge you for paying for your Pet Insurance monthly. Online payments are made over a secure server, which uses advanced encryption technology to keep your details safe during transmission.
Is there any advantage to paying my premiums monthly by Direct Debit?
Yes, because it breaks your premium down into affordable monthly payments and we don't charge any interest for paying monthly. You can also relax in the knowledge that at renewal your cover will continue unless your circumstances have changed or you decide to end your pet's cover.
How do I know if my cover has been accepted?
If you’ve bought your Pet Insurance online, once you've entered your payment details, the "payment confirmation" page will be displayed. This page confirms your cover and will display your policy number and cover start date. Your policy documents will be held in your online account. Simply login to view, download or print your documents.
How do I cancel my policy?
From the date you receive your documents, you have 14 days to cancel and get a full refund, as long as you haven’t made any claims.
You may cancel this policy at any time. If you cancel the policy after 14 days and you pay by monthly instalments, and you cancel because your pet has died, has been stolen or strays and you make a claim for this, we will not deduct outstanding instalments for the remainder of the current period of insurance from any claim payment.
If you pay by monthly instalments and you cancel this insurance for any other reason other than those stated above and you make a claim, we will deduct outstanding instalments for the remainder of the current period of insurance from any claim payment.
If you pay the full annual premium and you cancel this insurance because your pet has died, has been stolen or strays, and you make a claim for this, we will refund the proportion of the premium already paid for the remainder of the current period of insurance.
If you pay the full annual premium and you cancel this insurance for any other reason other than those stated above and you make a claim, we will not refund the proportion of the premium already paid for the remainder of the current period of insurance.
Do I need Pet Insurance?
Pet Insurance helps protect you from unexpected vet bills. It will usually pay for things like consultations, treatments, complementary therapies and even some special diets. Paying a small amount each month for vet cover means you could be protected from these expenses, while your pet is taken care of.
Some pet owners choose to self fund vet fees, this means they save money each month to fund future vet bills. However, with vet bills potentially running into thousands of pounds, owners who self fund run the risk of their savings falling short of their bills.
Dog owners should also think about the legal costs or damages they may be liable to pay if their dog causes injury or an accident. This could run to millions of pounds.
What is Lifetime Cover? Why does John Lewis only offer Lifetime Cover?
Lifetime Cover is the most comprehensive kind of Pet Insurance as it allows owners to claim for ongoing conditions. There is no limit to how long treatment can last and we'll pay up to your chosen vet fee limit each year as long as we can continue to offer cover, your premiums are paid and the policy is renewed each year.
What are the alternatives?
- Accident Only Cover would provide cover in the event of an accident, but would not cover vets fees for illness.
- Time Limited Cover allows you to claim for a condition for a set period of time. After that, the condition is considered to be pre-existing and you could no longer claim for it.
- Maximum Benefit Cover allows you to claim up to a certain amount for each condition, once this amount has been reached, you could no longer claim for this condition.
How is my premium calculated?
Factors that might affect your premium and cover:
- The age of your pet: older pets are more likely to need medical treatment and very young animals may not have a fully developed immune system
- You pet's breed: pedigrees can be more likely to need treatments
- Where you live may affect local vet fees
Why are pet insurance premiums rising?
We all the want the best for our pets and with no pet NHS, the cost of visits to the vet must be covered by the owner or their insurer. As the veterinary profession improves diagnoses and treatments, more complex options have become available to customers. Tests and scans have become more high-tech, while procedures which were not available a few years ago are now routine. This means the treatments available to our valued pets are better, but they are also more expensive.*
What can I do to reduce my premiums?
- Neutering, micro-chipping and vaccinating may help to reduce premiums and ensure your pet stays covered.
- Increasing your excess may help to reduce your premium.
- If you're choosing a new pet, research which breeds are associated with high premiums.
- If you have more than one pet, investigate any multi-pet discounts your insurer may offer.
- Keep your pet fit and healthy.
- Choose the right level of cover and don't be tempted to leave out important details.
Will my premiums go up as my pet ages?
Generally, premiums for older pets are higher, as pets are more likely to suffer health problems as they age.
*Mintel Report "Pet Insurance - UK", September 2013
Can you cover my pet abroad? If so, how long for?
Yes, our Plus and Premier Cover levels can cover your pet abroad. You need to make sure that you’re travelling to a member country of the PETS Travel Scheme and comply with the requirements of this scheme while you’re abroad.
You’ll be covered for three trips in any period of insurance and each trip can last up to 60 days. More information is available on the Pet Travel Scheme website.
What is Lifetime Cover?
John Lewis Pet Insurance only offers Lifetime Cover. This means, if you're insured with us and your premiums are paid, you could claim for a one-off mishap such as a cut paw and/or an illness such as diabetes which needs treatment every year.
We offer three levels of cover, so you can choose the level of veterinary fees you'll have to use for the treatment your pet needs. If your policy is renewed every year, we won't put a time limit on how long treatment can last and we'll pay up to your chosen vet fee limit each year that you need it.
When does cover actually start?
We can accept your cat or dog from eight weeks old and there’s no upper age limit. However, you will not be able to claim for vet fees as a result of an accident in the first 48 hours of cover, or for any changes in your pet's health or behaviour in the first 14 days of cover. Death From Illness Cover is not available once your pet reaches 9 years old.
Do I need to get my pet microchipped and vaccinated?
We advise microchipping and vaccinating your pet. If your pet suffers from a condition which could have been prevented by a routine vaccination, you may not be able to make a claim for treating this condition.
Do I get a discount if I insure more than one pet with you?
Yes, we offer a 5% discount when you insure more than one cat or dog with us.
Do I have to pay the vet and you reimburse me?
To make it easier for you we usually pay the vet directly if they are set up for this. If the vet doesn't offer this facility, or you've already paid the vet, we'll send you payment. If the vet has to make an emergency visit to you, they might ask for payment to be made immediately.
What’s the claims number?
Our claims number is 0345 078 7585 and the opening hours are:
Monday to Friday: 8am - 8pm
Saturday: 9am - 5pm
What do I do if my dog/cat is missing or has been involved in an accident?
Contact our claims department on 0845 078 7585 and they’ll take the details from you and issue a claim form.
You must also report the loss of your pet to your microchip database (eg: Petlog) and your local rescue centres and veterinary practices. If your dog is missing, you’ll need to report this to the police and local dog warden (if you have one). Our claims department will need evidence that you've done this.
What help can vetfone provide?
vetfone is a 24 hour telephone service that allows you to speak to UK qualified veterinary nurses. They offer expert advice and support about anything to do with your pets.
The experienced and fully trained vet nurses can answer questions about cats, dogs and all other household pets.
If you aren’t sure if you need to see a vet, vetfone is a convenient first port of call, providing advice you can trust for peace of mind and reassurance and a call to them may save you time and money for unnecessary trips to the vet.
A call to vetfone won’t affect your premium or policy excess, however many times you phone.
If it’s the weekend or out of hours, they’ll be able to direct you to the nearest emergency vet. They'll also be able to tell you if you can wait for surgery opening times, potentially saving you money on unnecessary out of hours trips.
Call the vetfone helpline on 0800 316 7119 (24 hours a day).
I'm a myWaitrose or my John Lewis customer and purchased a policy with a voucher offer. When will my vouchers arrive?
If you have recently purchased a policy following a promotion which included a voucher offer, your vouchers will arrive within 60 days of the date you purchased the policy, following the 14 day statutory cancellation period.
Did we answer your question? If you’re still unsure or would like to ask us a question not listed here, please contact us.
We have carefully selected Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc to underwrite John Lewis Pet Insurance.
Terms, conditions, limitations, exclusions and eligibility criteria apply.
John Lewis Insurance is a trading name of John Lewis plc. Registered office: 171 Victoria Street, London SW1E 5NN. Registered in England (No. 233462). John Lewis plc is an appointed representative of Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc. John Lewis Pet Insurance is underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc (No. 93792). Registered in England and Wales at St. Mark's Court, Chart Way, Horsham, West Sussex, RH12 1XL. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (Financial Services Register No. 202323). Calls may be recorded and monitored.