Animal Friends, Policyholder's Friends

Animal Friends has been providing quality insurance for dogs, cats and horses for over 20 years. For the last three years in a row, they’ve won the Best Pet Insurance award at The Personal Finance Awards. The award is voted for by real customers, proving that many of their policyholders are completely satisfied with the service they receive from Animal Friends. 9 out of 10 customers renew their policy each year with Animal Friends, we take a look at what they do and why their customers are so loyal.

Founded in 1998, Animal Friends main aim is to provide cat, dog and horse insurance with a quality of service that will be recommended and remembered by customers. They also have a focus on helping raise awareness of charities’ work worldwide. As their name suggests, Animal Friends really care about the welfare of animals. By working alongside charities, they help improve the lives of animals, combat animal abuse and cruelty, assist in protecting endangered species, help conserve vital habitats and assist local communities in protecting their heritage.

In 2018, Animal Friends launched the £100K charity giveaway. Each year, animal charities are nominated for the giveaway and the public is able to vote for the one that they think is most deserving of a financial boost. Since their inception, Animal Friends have donated over £4 million to more than 400 animal welfare charities worldwide.

Animal Friends understand that it can be confusing when customers need to make a claim. That’s why all claims can be made by the vet on the customer’s behalf. Vets have access to Pawtal, an online claim system where they can submit a pre-authorisation or make a claim for dogs and cats. Benefits of Pawtal include:

  • Online chat – Pawtal specialists are on hand to answer claim queries via direct messenger.
  • They keep customers informed – Animal Friends will text and email customers to let them know that you’ve submitted the claim so you don’t have to.
  • Pre-authorisation within an hour – if Animal Friends are able to cover the claim and you’ve submitted the form before 5pm, they aim to confirm it within one hour.
  • Register and claim within the same day – if registration is accepted and you signed up before 4pm, you can submit claims through Pawtal on the same day.
  • Pay the vet practice or the policyholder – you have a choice of whether the claim is paid directly to your veterinary practice or policyholder, so if it’s paid to the customer there’s no need to complete a new or continuation claims form.

Animal Friends aim to review all claims submitted through Pawtal within 24 hours. But this timeframe is subject to them recieving all of the required information including full vet history and invoices.

To give customers further support, Animal Friends are partnered with the mobile app Joii. Anyone with an Animal Friends policy has free access to Joii which provides users with unlimited video calls with a qualified vet. To save pets a stressful trip to the vets, policyholders can have a face to face call with a vet on Joii to ask questions, share concerns and hopefully get answers. Online nurse clinics like Joii are available to help pet owners recognise the signs and symptoms of an illness, understand how to prevent certain diseases and save money in the long run, all while keeping your pet happy and healthy. Joii vets can offer advice on:

  • Weight and diet
  • Dental checks
  • Flea, worms and ticks

Access to this service is available 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

  • Puppy and kitten advice
  • Grooming
  • Older pet care

From their generous donations to animal welfare charities to simplifying insurance and the claims process for their customers, it’s clear to see why Animal Friends are so loved. Here’s what some of their loyal customers had to say about them:

Animal friends are just the best

Animal friends are just the absolute best. Just like all insurances they have limits and there are things they will not cover forever but that is understandable… they have very fair clauses for as pets get older which do not take the mick.. and when you do need the vets they just email them the claim through the Pawtal and then they pay the claim straight to your account without any fuss… Thank You Animal Friends for being exactly what your name says… brilliant job.

Smooth claims process

Had to claim for emergency medical care for my cat (that sadly passed away) in November. Claim was all managed through our vets, who were able to submit directly. Claim was accepted in full really quickly, policy cancelled for me straight after, and a condolence card came through the post which was a lovely touch. At one point they asked for previous vet records, which I didn’t have as he was a rescue. Explained that and it was no problem at all, claim carried on as normal. Have continued to insure two other pets with them due to great service.

Fantastic hassle free insurance!

I have made a number of claims in the last 2 months for the same dog, she has 2 conditions, one of which has required surgery and now physio and the other condition will require on-going meds. Animal Friends have been fantastic, have paid out within 3 days of receiving the claim, and I was able to pre-authorise for the surgery which meant they paid the vet directly. So impressed I will be moving my other 2 pets insurance over this year. Would highly recommend, much better than Petplan!


I’ve used Animal Friends for about the last 15 years and can’t fault them. The premiums have always been reasonable and when I’ve had to claim the process has been very straightforward with no quibbles.

Animal friends have been amazing

Animal friends have been amazing. My dog had to have surgery when he was less than a year old. Everything went smoothly with them, taking one less worry away. I 100% recommend them.

Very easy to claim,never had a problem…

Very easy to claim, never had a problem with making a claim, and the yearly cost is very good considering we have a 12 year old and a 10 year old. Would def recommend animal friends insurance

How does Animal Friends compare to other pet insurance providers?

We compared 13 pet insurance providers, taking into consideration reviews from customers who have had first-hand experience with them. We rank providers exclusively on customer experience and product quality and Animal Friends are third on our table with a CBR score of 8.79.

Bought By Many

Ranked 1 of 12

Pet Insurance providers

Bought By Many


Ranked 2 of 12

Pet Insurance providers



Ranked 3 of 12

Pet Insurance providers