Pet Insurance cover for Boarding Fees

Most owners are aware that pet insurance is available to cover the costs of vet bills when their pet is unwell. However, many pet insurance policies also cover the cost of someone else caring for your pet if you are ill or injured and need to be admitted to hospital.

To find out if your pet's insurance policy will cover boarding fees you need to read your insurance policy documents. Not all insurance offers the same levels of cover, so you need to check the small print of the policy carefully. You are looking for the terms regarding boarding fees or hospitalisation cover. Here are some of the most common pet insurance term and conditions:

Insurance Policy Conditions

You should check the conditions you need to meet to make an insurance claim. Some common conditions and points to look out for are:

  • There may be a minimum period of hospital admittance, most commonly 4 consecutive days.
  • If the hospital stay is for a condition that you had before you took out the pet insurance policy you may not be covered.
  • Check the type of facilities they count as 'hospitals'; a nursing home or rehabilitation centre may not count.
  • Some reasons for hospital admittance may be excluded such as pregnancy and hospitalisation that you could have foreseen when taking out the insurance will probably not be covered.
  • Some insurance policies only cover the owner; others also cover their partner, or close family member's hospital admittance.
  • There may be a restriction on where you board your pet, such as a requirement to use a licensed boarding establishment.

What Pet Care is Available

Check carefully what type of care your insurance will cover for in advance, as this may affect your choice of boarding. If your insurance specifies you use a licensed establishment this mean one that has been inspected and granted a licence by the local authority. For cats this means a licensed cattery, and for dogs a boarding kennel or licensed home boarder. A home boarder takes dogs into their home for the duration of their stay where they live like a normal family pet. This can be a good option if you are concerned about how your dog will cope with kennels. It's very important you check the boarder you use is licensed by their local authority - legally they all should be anyway. On our website, boarders whose licence we have verified are indicated with a green tick, you can search for a boarder here.

Most insurance companies will not pay towards a friend or family member caring for your pet. Some may allow a 'pet minder' for cats. That's a professional pet carer that visits your home to feed your cat, check on them and clean litter trays. This type of service is not suitable for dogs, which should not be left home alone for such long periods.

Amount of Boarding Fees Covered

Pet insurance policies vary a great deal; some may cover hundreds of pounds of boarding fees, some none at all. If you policy includes cover, there will be a set limit per year and possibly a set daily limit. You may also need to cover the excess of your insurance policy before making a claim.

Making an Insurance Claim

Insurance companies will require proof of both your hospital stay and your boarding fees. Check the claim form for details; it's likely to include:

  • A receipt from the boarding establishment listing the dates your pet was boarded and the costs incurred. They may want the costs to be itemised daily.
  • A letter from your doctor listing the dates of your hospital stay and a statement that the reason for it is not a condition excluded by your insurance policy.

What Other Help is Available?

If you are able to make your own boarding arrangements you just need to choose a local cattery, kennel or home boarder from the list on our website and get in touch to make a booking.

If you are elderly or vulnerable you local social services department may be able to help you set up care, like wise if you aren't in a position to arrange care for your pet yourself the local authority should make arrangements for your pets temporary care on your behalf. Generally in these situations the cost will be passed on to you (and you can claim via your pet insurance if you have it).

The Cinnamon Trust provides pet care support for the elderly and terminally ill. They can arrange to foster your pet whilst you are in hospital and provide support, such as dog walking, if you need help at home.

If you are worried a pet maybe in immediate distress, for example they don't have food or water, then call the RSPCA helpline on: 0300 1234 999 for advice.

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