Your pet is a member of your family and should they have an accident or fall ill, vets bills can be costly.  

Pet insurance has varying levels of cover to give you complete peace of mind should your beloved pet need veterinary care.

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What is pet insurance?

Pet insurance Is a protection plan that covers your cat or dog for vets bills (up to a set limit per year) for injury and, in some cases, illness and offers public liability cover should your pet cause injury to another person or damage to someone’s property.  

Most pet insurers offer varying levels of cover.  Policies range from simple 12 month plans covering vet care following an accident to whole life policies which cover accidents and a range of illnesses and chronic conditions as well as accidental death, theft or straying,boarding if you are unexpectedly in hospital, as well as travel with your pet.

Pet insurance can offer 12 months of cover, or whole life cover, depending on the plan.  It is definitely worth paying for lifetime cover, rather than 12 month cover as, if your pet develops a chronic condition, they will continue to be covered under a lifetime policy as long as you continue paying premiums.

Under a 12 month policy, you will not be covered for the condition they have developed when it comes to purchasing another policy (following the 12 month term).  

Lifetime policies generally have higher maximum limits of cover also, although you will pay a higher premium for cover.  

All Agira Petinsure policies, as well as the Allianz policy are whole life policies, Blue Insurance and An Post offer 12 month and lifetime policies.

An excess is the amount you pay out-of-pocket before you are covered by your pet insurance.  The excess you pay varies between insurers and between plans so it is wise to check carefully the excess in your plan.

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What does pet insurance cover?

  • Annual vet fee cover
  • 3rd party liability
  • Accidental death cover
  • Theft cover
  • Kennel cost in case of emergency
  • Holiday illness cover
  • 24/7 vet helpline

Annual Veterinary Fee Cover

For an annual or monthly premium, pet insurance will cover all vets bills for accident or illness for your pet (following payment of excess) up to the maximum specified in your policy.  

Accident only or basic plans usually cover the pet for a limited amount towards vets bills following an accident, and for third party liability cover up to €250,000.  Blue offers a basic Essential plan that offers cover for vet fees up to €1,500 for an accident for up to 12 months.

3rd Party Liability

Third party liability covers damage or injury caused by your dog up to the value of €250,000 in all policies.  This is usually only available for dogs.

Some plans offer cover for complementary therapies for your pet.  Complementary medicine for your pet is therapy that is offered in conjunction with traditional veterinary medicine. 

These include physiotherapy, hydrotherapy, chiropractic treatments, acupuncture, and behavioural therapies.  

Generally, the cover offered for these is not high and your pet must be referred for the therapies by your vet in order to be covered.  Allianz, An Post, and Blue offer varying levels of cover for complementary therapies.

Accidental Death Cover

Accidental death cover is not always covered by basic plans and will pay on the death of your pet by illness or injury up to specific limits.  There is usually an age to this cover, and it can vary by breed also.  Allianz offers €1,500 cover for accidental death.

Some plans will offer cover for having your pet euthanised and/ or cremated should this be necessary.  Agria Petinsure offers this cover up to €100.

Theft Cover

If the pet is stolen or strays, the higher end plans will offer a lump sum of varying amounts if the pet has not been found within a certain time limit.  

Further to this, some plans will cover the cost of advertising the missing pet and offer an allowance towards a reward for return of the missing pet.  An Post offers €1,000 for theft or straying of your pet, as well as €1,000 for advertising or offering a reward for a missing pet.

Tailored Pet Insurance Quotes

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Kennel Cost in Case of Emergencies

If you are hospitalised unexpectedly, pet insurance policies will pay for boarding kennels or a cattery for your pet up to certain limits.  

Allianz offers €1,000 for emergency boarding or homecare with a friend should you be hospitalised for more than 4 days.

Holiday Illness Cover

If your pet falls seriously ill, usually within a week of departure or while you are on holiday, pet insurance will pay towards cancellation of the holiday or your return home up to certain limits, depending on the plan.  The higher end plans from all insurers offer €1,000 cover for holiday cancellation.

Cover abroad varies between pet insurance providers and is not always standard.  Some plans will cover your pet within the EU or the UK for varying lengths of time for treatment while abroad.  Further to this, some plans, offer cover for quarantine, emergency pet repatriation, and loss of a pet passport.  

An Post offers cover for 90 days in the EU as standard with cover for quarantine, emergency repatriation of your pet, and loss of a pet passport.

24/7 Vet Helpline

Some insurers offer a 24/7 vet helpline for queries about your pet’s health.An Post and Blue Insurance offer a pet helpline.

Who offers pet insurance in Ireland?

If you are considering pet insurance in Ireland, you should consider the following providers. 

Allianz - Home Insurance
An Post - Home Insurance

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Who needs pet insurance?

Dog and cat owners with pets older than 8 weeks would be well advised to take out a pet insurance policy in case of accident or illness in their pet. 

Insurance for Pets

Pet insurance is available for dogs and cats.

Pet Insurance for Cats

Pet insurance for cats offers cover for vets bills for injury and illness for your cat. 

Pet insurance for cats

Pet Insurance for Dogs

Pet insurance for dogs offers the same cover as for cats, except for public liability cover which offers cover up to €250,000 should your dog be responsible for injury or illness to another person, or damage to their property.

Pet insurance for dogs

Pet Insurance for Exotic Animals

Pet insurers in the Irish market offer pet insurance for cats and dogs only.

Pet insurance for exotic animals

Insurance for Livestock

Livestock insurance is available, FBD, AXA, An Post, but it covers loss of livestock from storm, flood, fire, lightning, electrocution and straying or injury in transit, as well as injury to sheep from dogs and death or infertility of pedigree livestock.  

It does not cover veterinary care in the same way as pet insurance.

insure farm animals

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Factors that Affect the Price of Pet Insurance

Some insurers offer online discounts, multi pet discounts, and micro chip discounts.  Allianz offers a discount for pet owners over 60 years.  An Post offers a free bag of pet food with new policies.

Age of the pet:

Generally insurers have age limits on new pet insurance policies.  They generally start from age 8 weeks, and offer new policies up to age 8 years, depending on the insurer. Life time policies will cover pets of any age provided there is no break in cover and premiums are paid monthly or annually.

Breed of the pet:

The age limits will vary depending on the breed of, especially, dogs.  New pet insurance policies will not be offered to certain breeds at an earlier age.  Some breeds of, especially, dogs will not be offered cover for certain conditions.   

Owners of dog breeds considered dangerous by Irish legislation may struggle to find cover for their pet.  Allianz do offer cover to certain dangerous breeds provided  they use a muzzle and are held on a strong lead.

Health of the pet:

Pets will not generally be offered cover for pre- existing conditions or conditions that emerge within the first 14 days of cover.  

A word of caution – 12 month policies will cover new conditions that arise during the term of the policy, however, at the end of the term if you want to purchase another policy, the condition will be deemed pre existing and will not be covered.  

It is also assumed that pets see their vest annually for health and dental check ups and this is a condition of many policies.  Appropriate vaccinations are also a condition of cover.

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