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:

Heart Warming

Wonderful price, ease of quotes and taking policies. Incentives offered and donations to charities regularly.Was so easy to make a claim when needed, processed quickly and kept updated. Lovely personal touch of a sympathy card

I would recommend

Michelle Jones

Reply from Animal Friends

No comment has been added from Animal Friends.

Reply from Compare by Review

Pleased to hear Animal Friends dealt with your claim quickly and efficiently.

Excellent

Excellent company. Been with for years. I have a bundle insurance on my dog and cat. And they were very helpful when they were needed. Excellent company.

I would recommend

Rebecca Dixon

Reply from Animal Friends

No comment has been added from Animal Friends.

Reply from Compare by Review

Good to know that Animal Friends is always there for you when you need them. Thanks for leaving a review, Rebecca.

Great cover

Great insurance, everything was simple and easy to set up. Well known brand and options for level/type of cover made clear and easy to understand.

I would recommend

Rachel Walsh

Reply from Animal Friends

No comment has been added from Animal Friends.

Reply from Compare by Review

Wonderful to hear. Thanks for leaving a review, Rachel.

Easy to claim, no problems

I had to claim on my Animal Friends insurance when my cat had to have small surgery for an infection. The process was easy and the refund was made quickly.

I would recommend

Margaret Davidson

Reply from Animal Friends

No comment has been added from Animal Friends.

Reply from Compare by Review

Pleased to hear that the claims process was smooth and easy and that you didn’t have to wait long to get the payout.

Clear and concise

Easy to use website and clear, concise information. Easy to call if needed. I have claimed and it was very easy and the vet was paid quickly.

I would recommend

Rebecca Williams

Reply from Animal Friends

No comment has been added from Animal Friends.

Reply from Compare by Review

Thanks for leaving a review, Rebecca. It’s great to hear that Animal Friends are easily contactable and dealt with your claim as you’d expect.

Doggy insurance

I had 2 dogs, 16 yr fair and 9 yr shih-tzu. Animal friends insured both, in spite of age at a reasonable price, also the yearly increase, if any, was tiny. Very easy to apply and good prices. Give them a try.

I would recommend

Ruth Newnham

Reply from Animal Friends

No comment has been added from Animal Friends.

Reply from Compare by Review

Pleased to hear about your great experience with Animal Friends Ruth.

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.

I would recommend

Natasha Marshall

Reply from Animal Friends

No comment has been added from Animal Friends.

Reply from Compare by Review

We’re sorry to hear about your cat Natasha but glad to hear that Animal Friends were able to deal with your claim quickly and efficiently.

More Like Animal Enemies

Due to Covid-19 our vets refused to groom our long-haired cats coat, advising I would have to do it. It got so bad the cat was in distress, so I tried to remove one large matted clump of fur which was hard to see & my cat was struggling. I unfortunately caused an accidental wound requiring stitches from an emergency vet. Four nights later he was projectile vomiting and was dehydrated so had to go back for more treatment. Believe it or not Animal Friends refused both claims, saying they were linked, and that they don't cover 'grooming'. I've asked for a review saying it wasn't grooming, and the vets wrote 2 letters to them saying it was accidental injury in understandable but very unusual circumstances and emergency surgery was required, imploring them to cover the claim, but they won't change their opinion.

I have now taken the time to read through all the policy paperwork and the policy with Animal Friends does have some very unhelpful clauses. These include that under vets fees it states that if out of hours charges for vets fees are being contemplated, not only must a pre-authorisation be obtained but also that they will not cover out of hours charges unless the animal is in a life-threatening condition. If one would assume that might not for instance include a broken leg or similar injury, I find it quite shocking that these terms could result in an animal suffering over a weekend needlessly. After this experience we will be looking elsewhere for insurance for our cat and I would advise anyone to read terms VERY carefully before selecting ‘Animal Friends’ who I do not believe are as friendly as they claim!

I would not recommend

Kevin Claxton

Reply from Animal Friends

No comment has been added from Animal Friends.

Reply from Compare by Review

We’re sorry to hear about your experience with Animal Friends Kevin. Hopefully it will help others understand the importance of thoroughly reading their policy documents in the future.

Pawesome

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.

I would recommend

Ian Aston

Reply from Animal Friends

No comment has been added from Animal Friends.

Reply from Compare by Review

Thanks for leaving a review of Animal Friends Ian. Glad to hear that you’ve had a great experience with them for the last 15 years.

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.

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