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.
Here is a quick guide for popular insurance companies, but it does vary depending on your particular policy so you need to check your specific documents.
|Pet Insurance Company||Coverage||Limit||Documents|
|Animal Friends||Boarding costs if you spend more than 4 consecutive days in hospital.||£500 - £1000 depending on policy||Policy Documents|
|Bought by Many||Costs of pet boarding, cattery, kennel or pet sitting if you or your family member needs to be admitted to hospital urgently.||£100 (Value), £1500||Policy Documents|
|Direct Line||Costs for a licensed kennel, cattery or professional pet-minding service if you or your family have to be admitted to hospital for more than four days in a row.||£1000 per policy period||Policy Documents|
|E&L||Cost of boarding your pet for the duration that you are a registered in-patient of a hospital (for longer than three days).||£500-£1500 depending on policy||Policy Documents|
|John Lewis||Cost of boarding in a licensed kennel or cattery (or for pet minding) if you or a member of your family is hospitalised for more than 4 days in a row (and a family member is unable to look after your pet)."||£100 per week; up to £500-2000 depending on policy||Policy Documents|
|Legal & General||Cst of boarding for the duration that you are registered as an in-patient of a hospital (if it's for longer than 4 consecutive days).||£750-2000 per claim depending on policy||Policy Documents|
|LV||Costs incurred for licenced boarding kennel, cattery or pet minding service if you or a member of your family has to stay in hospital for more than four consecutive days"||£1500||Policy Documents|
|M&S Bank||Cost of someone to look after your pet, or boarding in a licensed kennel or cattery, if you or a member of your family is hospitalised (and no family member is able to look after your pet).||£60 per week up to £600 (£0 on Essential)||Policy Documents|
|More Than||Cost of boarding in a licensed kennel or cattery (OR pet minding service) if you or a member of your family has to stay in hospital for more than 4 days in a row (and no other family member can look after your pet).||£1000 (£0 if accident only cover)||Policy Documents|
|NFU Mutual||Boarding fees if you have to go to hospital for more than 72 consecutive hours||£10 per day; £1,000 total||Policy Documents|
|Petplan||Cost of boarding at a licensed boarding establishment or £15 a day towards the cost of someone looking after your pet while you or your partner are hospitalised for 4 or more consecutive days.||£15 per day||Policy Documents|
|Sainsbury's Bank||Licensed Kennel or cattery fees if you or a member of your family spend more than 48 hours in hospital; or £15 per day for minder (someone who is not living with you)||£1000-1500 dependng on policy||Policy Documents|
|The Kennel Club||Optional Extra only! Cost for a licensed boarding kennel or cattery; or, up to £5 a day for someone to look after your pet if you, or a member of your immediate family have to go into hospital (for three or more days in a row).||£1000-2000 depending on policy||Policy Documents|
|Tesco Bank||We pay for your pet to be looked after by a kennel, cattery or pet minding service if you have to go into hospital for emergency medical treatment, and have to stay in hospital for more than four days in a row.||£1,000 per pet per policy period||Policy Documents|
To find out if your pet's insurance policy will cover boarding fees you need to read your insurance policy documents. Not all insurance companies offer the same levels of cover, and many have several different policy options, so you need to check the small print of your policy carefully. You are looking for the terms regarding boarding fees or hospitalisation cover.
Common Pet 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 3-4 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. Rabbit and other small animal boarders aren't licensed, so your insurance should accept anyone offering the service.
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 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.