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Pet Insurance

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Pet Insurance Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any age restrictions I need to know about?

A new pet insurance policy can be taken out for your dog between the ages of 8 weeks and up to their 8th birthday. However, for the following breeds of dogs, a new insurance policy can only be taken out if the dog is aged between 8 weeks and up to their 5th birthday: Beauceron, Bernese Mountain Dog, Bull Mastiff, Bulldog, Deerhound, Dogue de Bordeaux, Estrela Mountain Dog, Giant Schnauzer, Great Dane, Irish Wolfhound, Leonberger, Mastiff, Neapolitan Mastiff, Newfoundland, Old English Bulldog, Old English Sheepdog, Pyrenean Mountain Dog, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Rottweiler, Shar Pei, St Bernard, Standard Poodle, Tibetan Mastiff and Utonagan.

 

  • For cats the age range is from 8 weeks up to their 10th birthday.
  • For Rabbits the age range is from 8 weeks to their 5th birthday
Do my pets need to have vaccinations?

Your pet should receive their vaccinations and boosters as per the recommendation of your veterinary surgeon. Should your pet not be vaccinated for whatever reason, your American Express Pet Insurance is still valid, although not for those conditions which vaccination would have protected them from.

If my pet becomes very old or very ill, will you still offer insurance for him or her?

Under an American Express Pet Insurance policy, dogs can be covered up to the age of 8 (5 for select breeds), cats up to age 10 and rabbits up to age 5. Once the insurance is in place, you can continue your pet's policy for life, provided you continue to pay the policy premiums. If you choose to purchase a Lifetime policy this means that no matter how ill your pet should become or however many claims you make, (the maximum benefit will be fully reinstated at the review of your annual policy). With the Per Condition or Time Limited policy, your pet can still be covered for the rest of its life, however the maximum vet fee benefit for each condition is not reinstated each year, as once the maximum is reached, the condition(s) will be excluded.

Is there a discount if I purchase insurance for more than one pet?

If you choose to insure two or more pets you will receive one month free, per additional policy, each year. You will still need to take out an application for each pet separately, although make a note of the policy number you are given for the first policy, and you will be prompted to enter this in for the remainder of applications.

What is the timeframe for claims to be paid?

As long as your claim form is completed correctly and any necessary supporting documentation is submitted, your claim will be processed within 3 working days of receipt. Your claim will then either be paid or if necessary you will receive further correspondence within three to five working days. Payments will be paid directly into your or your vet’s bank account.

Why do premiums vary according to my pet’s species, their breed, location and age?

Different pets in different parts of the United Kingdom represent different risks for an insurer. At American Express Pet Insurance we want to ensure that we charge the right price for the right risk – this means that you would not be subsidising the premiums of other pet owners with higher risk pets in more expensive areas.

Is there an excess to pay when I claim?

Yes, an excess is payable, per condition. For Lifetime policies this will be payable per condition, per year. This forms part of your quotation and as with your premium, is also based on your pet's species, breed, age and where they live.

Is it possible to run out of cover?

This would depend on the type of policy you choose. With our Lifetime cover policy, the benefit limit you select is reinstated each year, so you will never permanently run out of cover. With the Per Condition and the Time Limited level of cover, once the limits have been reached for a certain condition, that condition is then excluded from any further claims, but the benefit levels remain in place for claims on other conditions.

Do you cover special dietary food requirements?

For Lifetime Policies we cover 25% of the cost of a clinical diet for your pet for a maximum period of 6 months per condition, provided it is recommended by your veterinary surgeon for a treatable condition other than for obesity/weight loss;

For both Per Condition & Time Limited levels of policies we cover the cost of any food prescribed by your veterinary surgeon, provided that it is:

  • used for the dissolving of existing bladder stones or crystals within the urine of your pet, which is limited to a maximum of 25% of the cost of food for up to 6 months; and/or
  • liquid consumable food, used for up to 5 days while your pet is hospitalised at a veterinary surgery, providing that the vet confirms the use of the liquid food is essential to your pets condition.
My dog was free, and not purchased, is his insurance cheaper?

Most of the premium you pay for your American Express Pet Insurance policy goes towards providing your veterinary fees benefit. The factors influencing the cost here are the age of your pet, your location and the breed - whether he or she was free, a gift or a Crufts’ Supreme Champion.

Is proof of purchase always needed?

We would need to know how much you paid for your pet should you unfortunately have to claim under the loss or death benefits section of your policy. Without a proof of purchase receipt we can only pay you the market value of your pet. This would be the price generally paid for an animal of the same age, breed and pedigree at the time you obtained your pet. Proof of purchase is especially important where you may have paid more for your pet than would be expected for the breed.

Would previous conditions be covered?

We cannot cover conditions that have been treated or have manifested before you take out your American Express Pet Insurance policy. Some conditions, however, may now be completely resolved. If you feel that we have excluded a pre-existing condition unfairly or incorrectly, please contact us to discuss this further.

Would you insure a deaf and / or blind pet?

Yes, but if the deafness or blindness meant ongoing treatment for your pet then we could not cover the cost of that. Any new illnesses or accidents would be covered, so long as they are not as a result of the existing condition.

Does my policy cover for my pet’s dental treatment?

If it is necessary for your pet to have dental treatment we would pay for this as long as your pet has been insured under the policy for at least 2 years, and no dental treatment has been recommended during this time, and your pet's teeth are regularly checked at annual intervals. We will not pay for routine checkups or elective or cosmetic dentistry.

Would my pet’s milk teeth be covered with my policy if they don't come out naturally?

Yes, provided your pet is insured under an American Express Pet Insurance policy before they are 16 weeks old and your veterinary surgeon recommends that they should be removed.

Can I claim under my policy for neutering?

If your veterinary surgeon recommends that your pet is neutered for either medical or behavioural problems, then your American Express Pet Insurance policy will cover the cost. We do not cover the cost of elective castration or spaying.

Will my policy cover phantom pregnancies?

Yes. If these are continual and your veterinary surgeon recommends spaying, we would then also cover the cost of neutering in this instance.

If my pet has a flea infestation, would this be covered under my policy?

We would expect that you take necessary preventative measures to stop problems with fleas. Your insurance policy would not cover this.

Do you cover epilepsy/seizures?

Yes. As long as the first epileptic/seizure episode doesn't predate the start of your American Express Pet Insurance policy or occur within the first 14 days of the issuance of your policy.

Am I covered for veterinary fees immediately after I take out a policy?

For Lifetime, Per Condition and Time Limited policies, coverage for accidental injury under your policy is immediate. However illness, including poisoning, is covered only after the first 14 days of the policy being purchased. For Accident Only policies, accidental injury or poisoning is covered only after the first 14 days of the policy being purchased.

What are the different levels of covers?

Lifetime cover
The American Express Premier – this is the most comprehensive form of American Express Pet Insurance and offers veterinarian fees cover up to a maximum amount, which is reinstated each year. This means that should your pet develop a long term chronic illness, such as diabetes, or an ongoing skin condition, provided it didn't pre-date the policy; this will be covered for the rest of your pet's life

The American Express Lifetime Vital & Classic – although these are lifetime policies there is a per condition per year limit. This means that for each condition claimed for with in the12 month period of insurance we will only pay up to a certain amount, after the 12 months is up this limit is then reset. The limit is lower than the total vet fees limit, please refer to your Policy documentation for the limits on the cover selected or here .

 

Per- Condition

The American Express Standard and Standard Plus - These policies have a maximum benefit level per condition. So, if you take the example of an ongoing illness such as diabetes or dermatitis, once that maximum benefit level is reached, that condition will then be excluded from further claims and you will need to be prepared to fund the ongoing treatment yourself.

 

Time Limited

The American Express Essential Pet Insurance -The Time Limited policy offers per condition cover, although has a time limit on claims. So, a particular condition will become excluded under the policy either when the maximum amount has been paid out or it has been 12 months from the first date of treatment, whichever is the sooner.

X

CLASSIC

VITAL

Up to £4,000
per policy year
(claims for each condition are limited to £1,000 each year)

Up to £2,000
per policy year
(claims for each condition are limited to £500 each year)

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Pet Insurance sales

0800 038 0846
Opening hours: 08:30 – 18:00
Monday to Friday

Claims / Customer Service

0330 123 1924
Opening hours: 08:30 – 18:00
Monday to Friday

The excess for the above policies will be £90 per condition. For Lifetime policies the excess will be £90 per condition per policy year.