Pet insurance made easy - Glossary

Our glossary will help you to understand some of the commonly used phrases within pet insurance.

A
Accident Only policy

The most basic and cheapest level of cover available. It covers accidents but not illnesses.

Accidents are not expected and happen suddenly such as a cut paw, a broken leg, or eating something they shouldn’t have, such as a children’s toy. You do not get any additional benefits, like Public Liability or Death of Pet, with an Accident Only policy.

Accidental Damage

This benefit will provide cover towards accidental damage caused by your pet to a third party’s personal property.

Advertising & Reward

This benefit will provide cover towards advertising costs if your pet is lost or stolen from your home address and provides an award for the return of your pet.

AFI

Short for Animal Friends Pet Insurance.

Annual condition limit

For Lifetime policies, this is the amount available per condition each year. On our Lifetime policies, this limit refreshes at renewal year after year, as long as you have the policy with us.

For Time Limited policies, this is the amount available per condition. On our Time Limited policies, we will provide cover for 365 days from the condition onset, or up to the condition limit, whichever is reached first.

For Max Benefit policies an Annual Condition Limit doesn’t apply. We will provide cover for each condition until the Lifetime Condition Limit is reached.

Annual policy limit

For Lifetime policies there is no limit as to how many conditions you can claim for in a year, so an Annual policy limit does not apply.

For Time Limited policies, this is the total amount available for all claims each policy year.

For Max Benefit policies there is no annual policy limit as there are no limits as to how many conditions you can claim for in a year, but each condition does have a Lifetime Condition Limit.

For Accident Only policies there is no annual policy limit as there are no limits as to how many accidents you can claim for in a year, but each accident does have a Lifetime Condition Limit.

Associated condition

Any medical problem that is directly related to and caused by a primary medical condition. This includes any medical condition resulting from any treatments for the associated conditions such as alternative therapies, diagnostic testing, medication and prescription diets.

Authorisation

This is to have permission for something to happen or the action of giving someone official permission for something. For example, you may give authority to a family member to discuss your policy on your behalf.

B
Behavioural condition

A Behavioural condition means there is a change in your pet’s normal behaviour and there are signs that they are experiencing a negative emotional state.

Benefit

Compensation you may receive from the insurance company for incurring costs specified in your pet’s insurance policy.

Bilateral condition

A medical problem that can affect a body part of which your pet has two, such as bilateral conjunctivitis in the eyes or cruciate ligaments.

Boarding Kennel/Cattery Fees

This will provide cover towards the cost of boarding your pet should you have to spend more than 4 consecutive days in hospital due to an unforeseen circumstance.

C
Chronic condition

A condition which persists for a long time or constantly recurring.

Claim form

The form that the policyholder completes and sends to us to request reimbursement for veterinary costs or to claim for other policy benefits.

Clinical signs

Changes in a pet’s normal and healthy behaviour or bodily function.

Co-payment

A co-payment is a specified percentage of each claim that you will need to pay in addition to the excess and will be deducted from your policy’s limit.

For our policies, co-payments will start from when your dog turns 8 or your cat turns 10 years old.

Just like people, as your pet ages the chance of it needing medical treatment increases, meaning you’re more likely to claim on your policy. This means that your premiums may increase as your pet ages.

Commencement date

This is the start date of your insurance policy. You are able to select a date up to 30 days in advance for your policy to start. You will not be covered for accidents within the first 5 days, or illnesses within the first 14 days of your policy start date (if your policy covers illness as well as accidents).

Complementary therapy

Complementary medicine or therapy includes:

  • Physiotherapy
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Chiropractic manipulation
  • Osteopathy
  • Acupuncture
  • Homeopathic or herbal medicines
  • Laser Therapy

The complementary medicine must be recommended by a vet and administered by one of the following suitably qualified practitioners:

  • Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Animal Therapy/ National Association of Vet Physiotherapists
  • The Institute of Registered Veterinary and Animal Physiotherapists (IRVAP)
  • The International Association of Animal Therapists
  • Canine Hydrotherapy Association International Vet Acupuncture Society (IVAS)
  • The Association of British Vet Acupuncturists (ABVA)
  • National Association of Registered Canine Hydrotherapists (NARCH)
  • Institute of Canine Hydrotherapists (ICH).
  • Register of Animal Musculoskeletal practitioners (RAMP).
  • McTimoney Animal Association registered therapists
Condition

A condition is where your pet may suffer from an injury, disease, sickness or infection, which may or may not have been diagnosed by a vet.

Condition limit

A condition limit is the amount a condition would be covered up to on a policy and we have different types of condition limits on our policies. Depending on your policy, an Annual condition limit or Lifetime condition limit will be applicable.

Congenital condition

An illness that exists since birth but doesn’t necessarily show symptoms right away. Congenital conditions are covered by our policies as long as the pet hasn’t shown any symptoms or been diagnosed prior to the start of your policy with this condition, or within the policy waiting period.

Continuation claim

This is where a policyholder may claim for further vet fees or repeat medication for illnesses, injuries or conditions requiring follow-up treatment. Such at repeat Insulin for a diabetic patient.

Cooling off period

An agreed length of time in which someone can decide not to purchase something they have agreed to purchase. If you have not made a claim you are able to cancel your policy with Animal Friends within 14 days of the cover start date, where you will receive a full refund of any premium you have paid, less any applicable taxes or duties payable.

Cover

Protection that is given by an insurance company when it agrees to pay money if a particular thing happens, for example a pet is injured, or property is damaged.

D
Death of Pet benefit

If your pet passes away, this provides cover towards a percentage of the market value, purchase price of your pet or the amount specified in your schedule, up to the maximum benefit limit. However, this benefit is not applicable if your dog is over the age of 8 or your cat is over the age of 10 and the death is a result of a disease or illness.

Deductions

Deductions, or a deductible item, refers to something that is taken out of your policy limits (something that is deducted from your claim). This includes things like an excess or co-payment.

Dental or gum treatment

Your pet may require routine and preventative dental procedures throughout their life. Unfortunately, these are not covered under the policy terms and conditions. Please note that our Prestige policy will look to cover dental claims as a direct result of an accident, subject to a 12 monthly routine dental check.

Direct claim

A direct claim is when a payment is sent to your vet practice on the acceptance of the claim.

E
End date

The date on which this policy ends, which will be the earliest of the following:

  • The date your pet dies
  • The expiry of the current policy period
  • If you fail to renew this policy
  • We choose not to renew this policy for whatever reason
  • The date you fail to pay the premium
  • The date you cancel this policy
  • The date we cancel this policy for whatever reason
  • The date the cover for a condition will finish (unless it is a Lifetime policy)
Excess

There is an excess to pay in the event of a claim on all of our policies.

For Accident only the excess is deducted from the Annual Condition Limit for each new accident under the Vet fees section of cover, per policy year.

For Lifetime and Time Limited policies the excess is deducted from the Annual Condition Limit for each new condition under the Vet fees section of cover, per policy year.

For Max Benefit the excess is deducted from the Lifetime Condition Limit for each new condition under the Vet fees section of cover.

 

Excluded breeds

Unfortunately, there are some breeds that we do not provide cover for. The following list includes, but is not limited to, the breeds that we do not insure.

Cats

  • Asian Leopard Cat
  • Chausie
  • Keetso
  • Any cats under 4 weeks old

Dogs

  • Akita
  • Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog
  • American Bandogge / Bandogge Mastiff
  • American Bully
  • American Foxhound
  • American/Irish Staffordshire Bull Terriers
  • Anatolian Karabash
  • Anatolian Shepherd Dog
  • Anglican Bulldogge
  • Any dog banned in Great Britain
  • This includes any ‘type’ defined in the Dangerous Dogs Act 1992, considered to match the description of a prohibited ‘type’; any breed crossed with these dogs; and any other breed or type added at a later date.
  • Any dog used for hunting, shooting, trade, or business
  • Any dogs under 4 weeks old
  • Australian Dingo
  • Biewer Terrier/ Biewer Terrier Cross
  • Braque du Bourbonnais
  • Brazilian Dogo
  • Bucovina Shepherd Dog
  • Bully Kutta
  • Canary Dogs / Perro de Presa Canarios / Presa Canarios
  • Cane Corsos
  • Caucasian Shepherd Dog / Caucasian Ovcharka
  • Czechoslovakian Wolfdogs / Sarlooswolfhounds / Wolf Hybrids
  • Dogo Argentino / Argentine Dogo / Argentinian Mastiff
  • Fila Brasileiro / Cao Fila / Saint Miguel Cattle Dog / Azores Cattle Dog / Brazilian Mastiff
  • Fox hound / Foxhound
  • French Gun Dog
  • Greek Harehound
  • Greek Shepherd / Greek sheepdog / Hellenikos Poimenikos
  • Istrian Hound
  • Japanese Tosa / Tosa Inus
  • Karabash
  • Korean Jindo
  • Northern Inuit Dogs
  • Pariah
  • Pit Bull Terrier
  • Racing Greyhounds
  • Romanian Raven Shepherd Dog
  • Sabueso Español
  • Shar Pei
  • Thai Ridgeback
  • Turkish Kangal
  • Utonagan
Exclusions

This could mean a certain medical condition or part of the body is not covered by your insurance, for example Diabetes may be excluded if your pet suffered from this condition before you started the policy. Alternatively, it could be the removal of a full benefit (such as public liability).

F
Fleas

Fleas are small, wingless bugs about 2.5 mm long. Fleas can be a common cause of skin problems for your pet and can potentially transmit diseases. Flea bites are itchy and can lead to your pet developing allergies. It is important to ensure your pet receives a regular flea treatment to keep your pet healthy. Whilst we would not look to cover the general flea treatments, if your pet developed ‘Flea allergic dermatitis’ we could potentially look to cover this confirmed condition.

G
General exclusion

There are some costs that fall under a General Exclusion on our policies. For example, we are unable to cover any costs associated with cremation. Another example would be any costs associated with neutering post-operative complications. The general exclusions are a company decision deemed not claimable by our underwriters.

H
Holiday Cancellation

This will provide cover towards costs for the policyholder, of the cancellation or curtailment of your holiday because your pet needs life-saving surgery following an accident or illness within 14 days of your holiday.

I
Illnesses

Illness means sickness, disease, infection or any change in your pet’s normal and healthy state which is not caused by an accident or injury.

Inception date

Also known as commencement date or start date, this is the start date of your insurance policy. You are able to select a date up to 30 days in advance for your policy to start. You will not be covered for accidents within the first 5 days, or illnesses within the first 14 days of your policy start date (if your policy covers illness as well as accidents).

Injury

Damage to one or more parts of your pet’s body as a result of an accidental cause.

Insurance Product Information Document

An Insurance Product Information Document (IPID) document is a summary of the benefits included, exclusions, restrictions, areas of cover, how your policy is paid and your rights and obligations.

J
K
Kennel and Boarding fees

This will provide cover towards the cost of boarding your pet should you have to spend more than 4 consecutive days in hospital due to an unforeseen circumstance.

L
Leishmania

Leishmaniasis is a disease caused by a protozoan parasite found in dogs and certain rodents in many parts of the world, most commonly in rural areas. Leishmania falls under a general exclusion on all of our policies and we do not look to cover any costs associated with this.

Lifetime condition limit

For Lifetime policies a lifetime condition limit does not apply. Each condition has an Annual condition limit, which refreshes at renewal each year, as long as you have the policy with us.

For Time Limited policies a lifetime condition limit does not apply. Time limited policies provide cover for 365 days from the day signs for the condition started or up to the condition limit, whichever is first.

For Max benefit policies, this is the amount available for each condition, with no time limits, as long as the policy remains live.

For Accident only policies there is a lifetime condition limit of £15,000 for continuing treatment related to each accident as long as the policy remains live.

Lifetime policy

Lifetime policies insure your pet for new medical illnesses and injuries. This means that any illness or injury they had before the policy will not be covered.

Your pet is covered up to a set amount for each condition, each year for as long as the insurance policy remains in force. If the condition limit is reached during the policy year, your pet will not be covered for any further treatment for that condition during that year. Each time you renew your policy the full amount of money becomes available again.

The policy needs to be renewed to ensure your pet is covered for new treatment for illnesses and injuries in the following policy period (usually a year). This means a long-term or recurring illness or injury that has needed treatment in one year will be covered again by the policy the next year. There is no limit to how many times the illness or injury can be covered in this way, as long as the insurance policy is in force.

M
Max Benefit policy

Max Benefit policies provide cover for accident, illnesses and conditions until the Condition Limit is reached. For example, if a claim is made for a skin condition, the skin condition would be covered until the Condition Limit amount has been used up. It would then become excluded and you won’t be able to claim for that condition again. But we would cover other accidents, illnesses or conditions unrelated to the skin condition, up to the Condition Limit.

Microchip

A small chip that holds the owner’s personal information, which sits under the surface of the pet’s skin. This allows the owner of the pet to be contacted in the event of an emergency. All vets, rescue centres and charities have microchip scanners in the event someone was to lose their pet.

N
Neutering

When a dog or a cat is neutered, an operation is carried out which prevents the animal from being able to breed. Castration is the term used to describe the neutering of a male animal and spaying is the term used to describe the neutering of a female animal.

O
Onset date

An onset date may be requested in order to proceed with a policyholder’s claim. An onset date is the date that you first noticed the pet’s signs or symptoms prior to making an appointment with your veterinary practice.

Over Policy Limit

Over policy limit is where claimable costs may exceed your annual condition limit therefore some of the costs may be deducted as ‘over policy limit’.

P
Pawtal

Pawtal is our online claims system for vets to use. Pawtal allows us to pay the policy holder or vet directly.

Vets will need to register on our Pawtal system and can submit claims the same day. There is no paperwork for the policyholder or the vet to complete so when a vet uses Pawtal, it minimises delays and our claims assessors can review the claim quicker.

Personal Accident

If you have a Prestige policy, this will provide cover for any time you take off work as a result of being bitten by your pet.

Policy documents

Policy documents are the information you need about your policy. This includes Product policy wording, a Pet Schedule, Terms of Business and an Insurance Product Information Document.

Policy Limit

A policy limit refers to the monetary amount that an insurance company will pay out in relation to a specific insurance claim depending on the policy type. It refers to the maximum amount of money for which an insurance company is responsible.

Policy term

The policy term is how long the policy runs, in other words, the period you are covered for.

Policyholder or Policy owner

The policyholder is the owner and keeper of the pet and is the legal owner of the policy, and the person legally entitled to the benefits from it in the event of a claim. They’re the person named on the policy schedule.

Pre-authorisation

If your vets are registered to our Pawtal system, we can pre-authorise any condition or any amount of treatment that would be required in a 24-hour period prior to it going ahead for your peace of mind. Please note that treatment authorised will be subject to your policy terms and limits.

If submitted between 9am and 5pm we aim to provide an outcome within the hour. Your vet should be able to tell you if they’re signed up to the service.

If your vets are not signed up to our Pawtal system, we can look to pre-authorise treatment going ahead within a 24-hour period that is or, exceeds £1000. This will be subject to your policy terms and limits. We aim to provide an outcome within 24-72 working hours, providing we have all of the information we require. A pre-authorisation is valid for 4 weeks.

Pre-existing condition

Any accident, injury, clinical sign or symptom of a condition or illness that was noticed prior to or within the first 14 days of the policy. This does not have to be a diagnosed condition or require treatment prior to the policy start date, to be deemed as a pre-existing condition.

Premium

A premium is the amount you pay for your policy. You can choose to pay annually or monthly by Direct Debit allowing you to spread your premium over the course of the year at no extra cost.

Public Liability

This provides legal cover if property is damaged, someone is injured, killed or falls ill as a result of an incident involving your dog and you are found to be legally responsible. This covers compensation and claimant’s costs, along with legal costs and expenses incurred for defending you.

Q
Quote

You can get a quote to find out how much different types of pet insurance may cost you. You’ll need to provide some personal information about you and some details about your pet.

R
Renewal

Renewal is when your policy continues following the end of the policy year. If you pay by direct debit your policy will renew automatically. If you pay annually and agreed to have payments automatically taken at renewal, then no further action is needed. For other payment methods, please call us on 0344 557 0300.

Reoccurring condition

This means the reappearance of a condition, clinical sign or symptom of an illness after a period of remission.

Repeat medication claim form

A form to claim ongoing medication following a previous claim for a specific condition. This can only be completed by the policyholder and proof of medication purchase will be required.

Routine and preventative treatment

Routine and preventative treatment includes things like vaccinations, spaying, castration, and flea and worming treatment. These, or any conditions that arise from these and other routine and preventative treatments, are not covered by our policies.

S
Schedule

A schedule is a document which contains important information about you and your policy which forms part of the policy documents.

Short-term cover

If your pet were to contract an illness such as diabetes, this policy would help with paying vet fees (excluding the excess) for a period of up to 12 months from the onset of the condition, and up to the maximum condition limit. The cover for that condition would then end and the condition would be excluded from your policy.

Spaying

When a dog or a cat is neutered, an operation is carried out which prevents the animal from being able to breed. Castration is the term used to describe the neutering of a male animal and spaying is the term used to describe the neutering of a female animal.

T
Theft & Straying

Depending on the pet’s age, this will provide cover towards a percentage of the market value, purchase price of the pet or the amount specified in your schedule, if your pet goes missing from the home address and is not found within 45 days. This is up to the maximum benefit limit.

Time Limited policy

If your pet were to contract an illness such as diabetes, this policy would help with paying vet fees (excluding the excess) for a period of up to 12 months from the onset of the condition, and up to the maximum condition limit. The cover for that condition would then end and the condition would be excluded from your policy.

Transport Costs

On our Prestige policy, this will provide cover towards the cost of transport between practices if your vet refers you to another practice, for example a referral centre or out of hours hospital.

Treatment

Treatment of an illness or injury may include veterinary care, examinations, hospitalisation, surgery, diagnostic procedures, medication and nursing.

U
V
Vaccinations

Pet Vaccinations are provided by your veterinary practice to prevent your pet from falling ill. Your pet will be vaccinated against a core group of infectious diseases that can affect pets and humans. If your pet’s vaccinations are not up to date, or you choose not to vaccinate your pet, your policy will still be valid. However, any conditions that your pet may develop that can be prevented by the vaccinations will not be covered.

Vet

A fully qualified veterinary surgeon who holds a current license with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. UK vets are required to hold a licence with the Royal College. Vets qualifications are referred to as MRCVS at the end of their name.

Vet fees

The costs incurred after seeking veterinary treatment for any clinical sign, symptom, accident, injury or illness suffered by your pet.

W
Waiting period

Most pet insurance companies will have a waiting period between the policy start date and when your pet is covered for accidents and/or illnesses. This is to ensure coverage is for new injuries or conditions, not for problems that have already developed (pre-existing conditions).

With Animal Friends policies, you will not be covered for accidents within the first 5 days or illnesses starting within the first 14 days of your policy start date.

Worms

Dogs and cats can be victims of several intestinal parasites frequently referred to as worms. The most common are roundworms, hookworms, lungworms, whipworms and tapeworms. A dewormer solution can be used to rid your pet of worms. If untreated, your pet may suffer from sickness, diarrhoea, weakness, weight loss, coughing and wheezing (lungworm). Please note if your pet is not up to date with worming treatment, we may not look to cover claims associated with this.

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