Pet Insurance FAQs
We've gathered all the details you need to better understand your insurance options. Take a look at our FAQs and learn more about how we can help you get the cover you deserve at the price you prefer.
The vet helpline gives policyholders access to a national network of RCVS (Royal College of veterinary surgeons) registered veterinary nurses 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Call 01 913 1067 to talk to nurses, who are available any time to answer any concerns you may have regarding your pet’s health or general wellbeing. The vet helpline can help offer peace of mind and help with what to do next when your pet is unwell.
Although this service is not intended to replace a consultation with your vet, by calling the vet helpline first, you may be able to help prevent an unnecessary trip to the vet, which can be time-consuming and traumatic for your pet.
Veterinary claims on your Pet Insurance will be subject to a €125 fixed excess which is payable per condition per policy year.
If your pet is aged 5 years or above on the start date of the policy year, there will also be a 15% percentage excess of the remaining amount claimed after the fixed excess has been deducted. Please see your policy booklet for an example.
Yes, you can get up to a 10% multi-pet discount if you have two or more pets insured with us.
Your pet is one of a kind! When the insurer calculates your quote, they use a number of different factors; for example, your pet’s age, sex and breed as well as your postcode to provide a quote that is unique to your pet.
This allows the insurer to keep our prices as competitive as possible. At each renewal, the cost of cover is recalculated, and we will email you with a quote. If you have had a claim paid to you this can impact your renewal price.
We charge a fee of €9.95 for renewals and policies booked online. We work hard to try and minimise any additional charges you may incur in the supply of your policy. If you choose to book your policy through our call centre, the fee is also €9.95. If you would like a text confirmation with your policy details the fee is €0.99.
Yes, we will aim to automatically renew (auto-renew) your policy when it runs out unless you tell us not to. Each year we will notify you by email 5 weeks before the renewal date of your policy and tell you about any changes to the premium or the policy terms and conditions.
If you do not want us to auto-renew your policy, just call us on 0818 22 22 22, otherwise, we will collect the renewal premiums from your credit or debit card.
The automatic renewal service relies on your credit/debit card details still being valid. If your credit/debit card details have changed within the last 12 months you must contact us to process the booking over the phone. If you do not receive confirmation of your new policy by your renewal date please contact us.
You can amend payment card details and/or switch off the auto-renewal by logging into the online portal here.
You can cancel your policy within 14 days from receipt of your policy documentation, provided you have not made any claims. If you decide not to continue with the policy cover, you will be refunded your full premium minus the administration fee, which is non-refundable.
If it has been more than 14 days since you have received your policy documents, you can still cancel and receive a partial refund subject to the terms and conditions of your policy if you have paid annually. If you are paying by monthly instalment and you cancel, no further payments will be collected from the cancellation date and there will be no refund of payments already made.
Please note that if you have made a claim on your policy which has been paid, you will not be eligible for a refund of premiums unless your pet has passed away. If you are paying by monthly instalment you will either need to continue making monthly payments or pay the outstanding premium for the remainder of the policy year.
We offer three different pet insurance cover levels, allowing you to choose the cover that suits your needs and budgets.
Essential Pet Insurance
Provides cover up to the vet fee limit for all covered accidental injuries per policy year. Cover for each injury will continue for a maximum of 12 months from the date which the injury occurred, as long as you have paid the premium to keep the insurance in force. Once the time limit is reached for an injury, there will be no more cover for it. There is no cover for illness under this type of cover. You can opt to include cover for Overseas Cover which includes Quarantine, Emergency Repatriation, and Loss of Passport up to the aggregate limit.
Our Essential Pet Insurance Cover also provides Third Party Liability (dogs only)
Premier Pet Insurance
Provides cover up to the vet fee limit for all covered illnesses and injuries per policy year. Cover for each condition will continue for a maximum of 12 months from the date which the condition first occurred or started showing clinical signs, as long as you have paid the premium to keep the insurance in force. Once the time limit is reached for a condition, there will be no more cover for it.
The Premier Pet Insurance policy also provides cover for Third Party Liability (dogs only), Death from Accident, Boarding Kennel/Cattery Fees, Theft /Straying, Holiday Cancellation, and Lost/Found ads and includes cover for Overseas Cover which includes Quarantine, Emergency Repatriation, and Loss of Passport.
Premier Plus Pet Insurance
Premier Plus Cover Provides lifetime cover for illness and injuries (subject to the terms and conditions of the policy).
Premier Plus Pet Insurance Provides cover up to the vet fee limit for all covered illnesses and injuries per policy year. As long as you have paid the premium to keep the insurance in force, the cover will reinstate at renewal and all eligible conditions will continue to be covered up to the vet fee limit. This cover is designed for pet owners looking for long-term cover, should their pet ever develop a chronic or recurring condition that requires treatment over a long period of time such as arthritis or eczema.
The Premier Plus Pet Insurance policy also provides cover for Third Party Liability (dogs only), Death from Accident, Boarding Kennel/Cattery Fees, Theft /Straying, Holiday Cancellation, and Lost/Found ads and includes cover for Overseas Cover which includes Quarantine, Emergency Repatriation, and Loss of Passport up to the aggregate limit.
We are able to offer Pet Insurance at new business for your cat or dog from eight weeks until six years of age. If you renew your cover each year without a break, there is no upper age limit and we will continue to offer cover for your pet.
There is no cover for any pre-existing illnesses or injuries with this policy. This includes any illnesses which developed or started showing clinical signs before or within the first 14 days of the policy start date. Injuries which occur before or within the first 48 hours of the policy start date will not be covered.
No, our pet insurance does not provide cover for routine and preventative care like vaccinations, flea, tick and worming treatment or neutering. If you do not have your pet vaccinated and it becomes ill with a condition that a vaccine would have prevented this will not be covered. It is a condition of our insurance that you pet must have an annual health check by a vet.
Complementary treatment includes acupuncture, chiropractic manipulation, hydrotherapy and osteopathy which is covered if you buy Premier or Premier Plus cover. The policy will cover the cost of complementary treatment (up to the maximum benefit) that results from a valid claim under this insurance that your pet has received during the policy year for an illness or injury. All treatments must be carried out by a vet practice.
Travel cover is automatically included on all levels and will cover your pet for travel within the European Union and the UK subject to the terms and conditions of the policy. You need to ensure that you know and understand the rules set out by the government when departing or returning to Ireland with your pet.
You can pay for your policy in full or by instalment by either credit or debit card. Choosing the monthly instalment method allows you to spread the cost of your policy over the year at no extra charge as this service is interest free.
Claims & Emergencies
Yes, the Claims Administrator can arrange to pay most veterinary surgeons directly in the case of a vet fees claim. Please ask your vet if they are happy to do this, and the claims administrator will take care of the rest.
Commonly Asked Questions
Yes, you should microchip your pet. Since 2015 you are required by law in Ireland to have your dog microchipped.
Many lost cats and dogs end up in pounds and shelters and several are never reunited with their owner as they have no ID. Collars and tags are important but they can fall off or be removed. Microchipping is a permanent way of identifying your pet and it gives the assurance that, if your pet becomes lost or is stolen, there is a higher possibility of them being returned.
Here are some frequently asked questions:
- What is a microchip?
The microchip is a small electronic mechanism that is coded with a unique number that can be read by a scanner. It works through radio wave frequency.
- How and where is it inserted?
It is inserted under the animal’s skin between the shoulder blades using a needle. It’s not visible and cannot move once inserted.
- Will it hurt?
No anaesthetic is needed and the procedure is similar to a standard vaccination.
- How does the microchip work?
Each microchip is encrypted with a specific number that is unique to your pet. The pet and number are registered in a database with details of its breed, sex and the owner's name, address and telephone number. A scanner is used to read the number through your pet’s skin. The vet then checks the database to find a matching number and gets your contact details.
- Where can I get my pet microchipped?
You can get your pet microchipped at most vets and animal welfare groups.
- How long does a microchip last?
Microchips are designed to last for the life of your pet. They do not need to be charged or replaced so you only need to get your pet microchipped once.
You should bring your puppy to the vet to get vaccinated at around six to nine weeks old and then again at ten to twelve weeks old. Usually, the vaccinations are administered using an injection into the scruff of the neck but some can be given as drops. Regular boosters are required for continued protection. Your vet will advise you on how often your pet needs to be vaccinated. It’s also important that your dog receives ample physical and mental stimulation. Dogs may become hostile if they do not have sufficient exercise as they will have excess energy. Ideally, you should try to walk your dog at least twice a day. They should have time where they can be let off the lead to run and play. Toys can also benefit their stimulation when they are alone.
You should bring your kitten to the vet to get vaccinated at around eight or nine weeks old. The vaccines are provided by injection. There are many vaccines but your cat doesn’t need to receive all of them. Your vet will advise which are best suited to your cat. Usually, the vaccinations are administered over a series of shots and an annual booster may be required for continued protection. Your cat should also get regular worming about four times a year.
If your pet has any one of the following you should bring them straight to the vet.
- Abdominal pain i.e. not letting you touch their stomach or in a crouched position more than usual
- Bleeding from eyes or ears
- Sudden blindness i.e. bumping into things or being afraid to walk as they cannot see
- Problems breathing i.e. wheezing
- Problems urinating
- Lameness i.e. finding it difficult to put weight on paws
- Vomiting more than once
- Odd eating habits
- Excessively thirsty
- Rough or dry cough
- Unusual stool
- Sudden weight loss
- Dragging rear
When it comes to feeding your pet, it's essential that you are aware of their dietary requirements and what nutrients they need.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that cats are carnivores! Cats need to eat a lot more meat than we eat but also need a balanced nutritious diet. You shouldn’t feed them dog food as it contains a lot of carbohydrates. Cats cannot process carbohydrates correctly which can actually lead to obesity and diabetes. You should feed your cat about twice a day and feed a kitten more often. If you aren’t sure whether you should be feeding them wet or dry food you should consult your vet. How much food they need will vary depending on size, weight etc. Ensure to keep your cat’s bowl is clean and always make sure they have fresh drinking water available. Keep milk and treats to a minimum as some cats have lactose intolerance and treats are usually high in salt which can lead to excessive calorie intake.
Dogs are omnivores; they should eat a balanced and nutritious diet. They can eat meats, vegetables, and grains. You should not overfeed your dog as, just like people, they can become obese and be at risk of diseases such as diabetes. A large or adult dog will usually need to be fed twice a day. Puppies should be fed more frequently to keep up with their quicker metabolism and to fuel their growth. If you are not sure whether you should be feeding them wet or dry food you should consult your vet. How much food they need will vary depending on size, weight, fitness etc. Ensure to keep your dog’s bowl clean and always make sure they have fresh drinking water available. Keep treats to a minimum to avoid excessive calorie intake.
Some food your dog should never eat:
- Alcohol – can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, depression, even death.
- Onions and Garlic – large quantities can destroy a dog's red blood cells and cause anaemia.
- Caffeine (Coffee or tea) – caffeine is fatal for dogs as it can cause fits and heart palpitations.
- Dairy – ice cream and other dairy products can cause diarrhoea.
- Sweets/Toothpaste – can cause their blood sugar to drop and cause liver failure.
- Chocolate – It’s toxic to dogs as it contains theobromine. Dark chocolate and baking chocolate are the worse. It can cause dogs to vomit, get diarrhoea and at worst could cause seizures or death.
- Bones – your dog may choke on them. They can also cause blockages or cuts in their digestive system.
- Peaches and Plums – the pit is poisonous as it contains cyanide.
- Raw eggs, raw meat or raw fish – can cause food poisoning.
Generally, it’s better for your pet's health if they are neutered and spayed. Neutered and spayed pets live for longer and are happier. For females, it will reduce or eliminate the risk of uterine diseases and for males, it will reduce or eliminate testicular diseases and prostate problems.
There are many healthy un-homed and abandoned cats and dogs in Ireland due to overpopulation. Neutering and spaying are methods to reduce this and there are other benefits for your dog unless of course, you plan for your dog to have puppies.
In females, spaying will stop unwanted pregnancies and being in heat. In males, neutering will reduce their dominant behaviour such as urine marking, roaming, mounting and aggressive behaviour.
Most dogs love getting brushed. Brushing removes dead hair from your dog’s coat which prevents matting. It also helps stop their hair shedding all over the house. You can brush them as much as you think they need to be brushed but usually the longer your dog’s hair, the more often you’ll need to brush. If your dog’s hair is very long they may need it daily or weekly but short haired dogs may only need to be brushed weekly or monthly. Try always to brush the hair outwards from the skin to the ends of the hair and don’t forget the tail and feet. If you find it hard to brush through the hair try lightly wetting their coat with a grooming spray to help the brush slide smoothly through any mats. If your dog has a smooth, short coat like a Chihuahua or boxer you could firstly use a rubber brush to loosen the dirt, next use a bristle brush to remove the dead hair and then shine them up with a chamois cloth. If your dog has a short, dense coat that's prone to matting you could use a slicker brush to remove the mats and knots and then remove the dead hair with a bristle brush. If your dog has a long, coat, such as a Collie or Afghan Hound they will need extra grooming to prevent and remove tangles and knots. You can remove tangles and knots with a slicker brush and then brush their cost with a bristle brush. You will also need to pay attention to their legs and feet.
Always try to brush in the direction of the hair. If your cat doesn’t like to be brushed, start with an oven glove; this will get them used to the stroking motion. Then move onto a grooming mitt and then on to a brush. Start brushing with gentle strokes. You could begin by stroking them with the back of the brush as this will help your cat to trust the brush and not see it as a threat. If your cat isn’t happy, try brushing them on a small table as it’s more difficult for them to run away. Or you could get a friend or family member to gently restrain your cat whilst giving them attention. Don't groom your cat around other pets as they feel exposed when on their backs. Make sure to know your cat has had enough. If you force them they will resent grooming. Reward your cat with a treat once you are finished. If they associate grooming with treats it will help them become happier with grooming.