Time Limited Pet Insurance

What is time limited pet insurance?

Time limited pet insurance policies, also known as annual or 12-month policies,
cover the cost of vet fees over a 12-month period from the date the illness or injury
first appeared. Once the 12-month period is up or you reach the fixed sum amount,
your pet will no longer be covered for that particular condition even if you renew your policy.

What are the pros and cons of time limited pet insurance?


  • Provides basic illness-related insurance for your pet
  • There’s no age limit so older pets can be covered
  • One of the more affordable pet insurance policies


  • You can only claim once for each condition
  • Most policies have a maximum limit to how much you can claim
  • You always have to pay an excess

What does time limited pet insurance cover?

Most time limited pet insurance policies provide cover for:

  • Vet fees for treatment for 12 months – there will be a pre-set limit on the amount you can claim within the 12-month period
  • Third party liability for dogs
  • Cover if your pet dies as the result of an accident or illness
  • Advertising and reward costs if your pet goes missing
  • Boarding fees if your pet needs to be looked after in the event of you being hospitalised

This will vary depending on the provider that you choose so check the terms and conditions thoroughly so that you know exactly what you are and aren’t covered for.

What’s not covered by time limited pet insurance?

Exclusions will vary depending on the insurance provider but most time limited pet insurance policies won’t provide cover for routine health visits, pregnancy, worm and flea treatment and vaccinations.

Is time limited pet insurance right for me?

Time limited pet insurance offers a very basic level of cover compared to maximum benefit and lifetime policies. It covers your pet for short-term illnesses and injuries making it a great option for pet owners of older dogs and cats. It might not be the best policy for younger pets because if they were to suffer from a condition that needed ongoing treatment, they’ll only be covered for a maximum of 12 months or until the vet fee limit has been reached for that particular condition. As soon as the 12 months is up or the monetary limit has been reached, all cover for that condition ends and the condition becomes a pre-existing condition. This means that you’ll have to declare the condition when taking out a future pet insurance policy and cover for that condition will be excluded.

If you have a pedigree pet, you should think carefully about taking out a time limited pet insurance policy. Some pedigree breeds are known to suffer from hereditary illnesses, for example, Labradors are prone to suffer from arthritis. Basic treatment for arthritis in older dogs can cost as much as £15 a day to keep under control. This amounts to a massive £5,475 a year. Arthritis is a lifelong condition so if you only had a time limited policy, you would be forking out over £5,000 a year for the rest of your pet’s life once the condition is no longer covered. And whilst you might be able to find a specialist pre-existing pet insurance policy, you can generally only be covered for the condition once your pet has been symptom and treatment free for 2 years.

It’s important that you weigh up the pros and cons of a time limited pet insurance policy, taking into consideration your pet’s breed, their age and your budget.

What other types of pet insurance can I get?

There are three other types of pet insurance policies available: 

Bengal cat sleeping

Compare pet insurance providers

Compare pet insurance providers on Compare by Review today. We’re the first and only comparison site that ranks pet insurers exclusively on customer experience and product quality rather than price. Our full table of providers gives you an impartial and unbiased overview so you can purchase pet insurance from a high-quality provider that you can rely on when you need them most.