To support our customers as the coronavirus (COVID 19) pandemic continues we’ve put together the ‘frequently asked questions’ below. This continues to be an ever-changing situation therefore we’ve included additional information about our insurance policies and how best to contact us.
What if my pet becomes ill while I am self-isolating and I can’t take them to the vet?
As part of your policy you have freephone access to vetfone, where you can speak to qualified veterinary nurses 24/7. Please give them a call if you are worried about your pet’s health and they will advise you of your options, you will find their number here or in your policy booklet. Alternatively, you can contact your vet.
If I become ill and must go into a hospital and my pet goes into a kennel or cattery, will I be covered?
If you stay in hospital for more than 4 days in a row and no other member of your family can look after your pet, your pet will be covered under the terms of our Emergency Boarding Cover.
I am worried about being able to pay for my insurance, what can I do?
Depending on your situation and what you need from your insurance, there may be ways we can help you manage your payments to make sure you don’t end up uninsured.
To talk to us about the options that might be available to you, you can view our phone numbers and opening hours by visiting our Contact Us page. Please don’t cancel your payments without speaking to us first as we may be able to help.
If you’d like some free, independent advice
There are several independent organisations that offer tools and resources to support you if you are in financial difficulty. For example, National Debtline, a not-for-profit debt advice service run by the charity the Money Advice Trust, provides free and impartial advice for people living in England, Wales or Scotland. Also, Money Helper, part of the government’s Money & Pensions Service, has online budget planners, affordability calculators and information on support available. This includes the Breathing Space scheme, which gives a 60-day period where debt cannot be pursued. This scheme can be used once in a 12-month period.
Can I ask someone I know to help me manage my insurance policy?
If you’d rather someone you trust speaks to us on your behalf, we’ll be happy to chat to them. Just make sure your trusted person is with you and simply give us a call. We’ll take you through the usual security questions – you’ll then be able to hand the phone over to your trusted person to talk to us. They can even be added to your account if you ask us to – that way, they’ll have permission to talk to us on your behalf in future. We can set this up at any time for you.
If you need specialist help for a loved one, please see below a list of organisations that can offer further support.
We provide cover for dogs and cats from eight weeks old, and there is no upper age limit, though benefits do change for pets over nine years old.*
We don't offer cover for the ‘types’ of dogs that should be registered under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 and the Dangerous Dogs (Northern Ireland) Order 1991 or any subsequent amendments (whether pedigree, cross-breed or mixed breed):
Pit Bull Terrier
Additionally, we don't offer cover for:
Wolf or wolf hybrid
Guard or security dogs
Dogs used for racing
Dogs used in connection with any profession, occupation or business
Dogs used for breeding
Any breeds not on our breed list unless you have spoken to us and we have agreed to provide cover
*You will not be able to claim for vet fees as a result of an accident in the first 48 hours of cover, or for any changes in your pet's health or behaviour in the first 14 days of cover. Death from illness cover is not available for any pets aged 9 years and above. Excess will increase when your pet turns 9.
Pet Insurance helps protect you from unexpected vet bills and will usually pay for things like consultations, treatments, complementary therapies and even some treatment foods.
Paying a small amount each month for vet cover could mean you’re protected from these expenses, while your pet is taken care of.
You could choose to save money each month to fund any future vet bills, but with vet bills potentially running into thousands of pounds, you run the risk of your savings falling short of the amount needed.
If you are a dog owner you may also want to consider the legal costs or damages you may be liable to pay if your dog causes injury or an accident, which could run to millions of pounds.
Below is an indication of what standard costs can be:
£25 - £35
£10 - £120 depending on illness (plus charge for vet's time)
Prescribed course of treatment
£3 - £70 depending on prescription
Emergency out of hours supplement
£30 - £150
£30 - £50
£45 - £55 per X-ray
£150 - £5,000 depending on treatment (two months to two years)
Pet Insurance from John Lewis Finance only offers lifetime covers. This means your pet is covered for ongoing conditions as well as one-off mishaps with no limit to the length of treatment, as long as the policy is renewed and there is no break in cover.
The cost of looking after your pet's health doubles every four to five years. That's why your renewal price increases each year and your excess will increase when your pet turns nine. If a claim is paid, the price you will pay next year can double.
It's important that you budget for renewal prices to increase as your pet gets older, there is no limit to how much your renewal price can increase over time.
Like us, as pets get older, sadly they're more likely to get ill. In fact, our claims data shows that the cost of looking after your pet's health doubles every four to five years. That's why your renewal price increases each year and your excess will increase when your pet turns nine, even if you haven't had to make a claim.
Unfortunately once a pet has been taken ill, in general they are more likely to get ill again. That's why, if a claim is paid, the price you will pay next year can double.
It's important that you budget for renewal prices to increase as your pet gets older. How much they go up is different for everyone and depends on things like your pet's breed, age and health. There is no limit to how much your renewal price can increase over time.
If your pet is aged nine or over, you will be asked to pay extra excess when making a claim. Rest assured, as long as you renew your policy with us and there’s no break in cover, we reinstate your vet fees limits. So, if while insured with us, your pet starts to develop an ongoing illness, like diabetes or arthritis, or a reoccurring illness like an ear infection, you can continue to claim up to your chosen vet fee limit each year.
If you shop around and try to switch providers, you’ll probably find that they won’t cover pre-existing illnesses or injuries (known as pre-existing conditions) and cover for ongoing conditions will be lost.
Terms, conditions, limitations, exclusions and eligibility criteria apply.
John Lewis Finance and John Lewis Insurance are trading names of John Lewis plc. The John Lewis Registered office address is: 171 Victoria Street, London, SW1E 5NN. Registered in England and Wales No. 233462.
John Lewis plc is an appointed representative (Financial Conduct Authority number 416011) of Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Ltd. John Lewis Event Insurance is underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Ltd (No. 93792). Registered in England and Wales at St. Mark's Court, Chart Way, Horsham, West Sussex, RH12 1XL. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (Financial Services Register No. 202323).