It’s an undeniable fact that pets bring joy, companionship, and unconditional love into our lives. Just like any member of the family, their health and well-being should always be a top priority. However, unexpected accidents or illnesses can occur, leaving pet owners facing emotional and financial stress. That's where pet insurance can help.
It can be confusing knowing where to turn to for the best coverage not only for your pet, but for yourself, your finances, and your peace of mind. There are quite a few insurance providers in the UK, but how do they compare? Waggel (ourselves) and Petplan are two of the prominent pet insurance providers on the market, but what’s the difference?
Luckily, we’ve done the research for you and are here to present our findings. In this blog post, we discuss the comparisons between Waggel and Petplan focusing largely on policy details, customer support, policy administration, and member benefits.
At Waggel, we provide just one kind of pet insurance policy, Lifetime. This eliminates any sort of confusion and ensures your pet is continuously protected as long as you renew your policy each year. Petplan offers Lifetime and Time-Limited policies. But what’s the difference between the two?
Lifetime policies provide continuous coverage. With a Lifetime policy in place, you can make claims for accidents and illnesses year after year that may require long-term treatment as long as they weren’t existing before your policy came into effect. Once you select your Annual Limit, that limit will refresh each year, meaning that you get ongoing coverage.
Lifetime policies provide simplicity and peace of mind for owners so they can rest easy knowing their pet is covered. In short, Lifetime policies allow you to provide the best care for your pet without worrying about the financial association of vet care.
At Waggel and Petplan, our Lifetime policies include the key essentials:
Vet bills (relating to illnesses and injuries)
Dental care (relating to illnesses and accidents)
On the other hand, Time-Limited policies are a type of pet insurance coverage that provides protection for a specific period, typically 12 months. During this period, you can make claims for eligible veterinary expenses related to accidents and illnesses.
However, once the policy period ends or the claim limit is reached, coverage for those conditions claimed ceases and any ongoing treatment or future claims for the same condition will not be covered. Time-limited policies are often considered more affordable than Lifetime policies but may not be suitable for pets with chronic or long-term health conditions that require continuous coverage.
At Waggel, we only provide Lifetime policies because we believe it’s fairer for all. This means that there are no timeframes on your pet’s illness and you can continue to claim for the rest of their life.
Petplan doesn’t offer new Lifetime policies for dogs that are older than 7 or cats that are older than 10. After that age, an owner looking for pet insurance would only be able to purchase a Time-Covered policy with Petplan.
However, it is important to read the details of your policy well and understand when you can claim. Before purchasing any kind of policy, whether it be Lifetime or Time-Limited, review the terms and limitations to ensure it meets your pet's specific needs.
As always, if you have any questions our customer support team is on hand to help. Based entirely in the UK, you can easily get connected to a real human with veterinary experience who is there to help you, whatever the problem.
Before taking out a policy, it’s a good idea to look closely at the coverage (Annual Limit) options available to you. At Waggel, we currently offer 6 Lifetime coverage options (£1,000; £2,000; £4,000; £6,000; £8,000; £10,000) whereas Petplan offers 3 Lifetime options (£4,000; £7,000; £12,000).
Essentially, coverage (Annual Limit) refers to the total amount you are able to claim up to each year. We work hard to help you get a price that suits your budget and if things change along the way, you can adjust your coverage accordingly at renewal every year. Petplan currently doesn’t offer customers flexible coverage options which means once you’ve set your Annual Limit, you’ll be unable to change it during the course of your pet’s life.
Though both ourselves and Petplan include dental coverage in our Lifetime policies, we always encourage customers to become familiar with what this entails before making a claim.
When it comes to pet insurance, the excess options and co-payment structures are a big determining factor in how much you pay each month.
Excess is the amount you pay towards the overall cost of your pet insurance claim, though at Waggel we call it a Claim Contribution. We believe in providing a range of excess options to make our insurance accessible for all. At Waggel, we offer 5 excess options (£0; £50; £100; £200; £250) whereas Petplan only offers a single excess that is normally priced at £120 but can be lower in certain circumstances.
Petplan also includes a co-payment of 20% for dogs and cats over the age of 10 (7 years for some breeds). Co-payment means that once your pet reaches a certain age, you’ll have to pay 20% of the bill on top of the original excess.
This is something we don’t do. Removing co-payment from our policies is better for customers and our product. It essentially means you don’t have to worry about paying a large sum on top of your claim once your pet reaches their golden years.
As pet insurance providers, customer support teams at both Waggel and Petplan have to remain knowledgeable and responsive at all times. One thing that sets us apart from the rest is our Customer Champions.
Our Customer Champions are all UK-registered vet nurses which means once you take out a policy with us, you’ll have access to bespoke advice and support whenever you need it.
Both Waggel and Petplan provide online chats and telephone support. However, as we’re a digital-focussed company we encourage customers to connect with support predominantly via online chats - and the good news is that you’ll always be connected to a real and qualified human. However, we do also understand the accessibility needs of our customers and therefore provide a telephone number if you need to speak to us via phone call.
The claims process is very similar between ourselves and Petplan with both of us providing a digital online process. Though Petplan also offers the choice to submit paper-based forms, we tend to steer away from this kind of process as remaining fully digital allows us to offer quicker response times. With everything in one place, our team can assess your claim in a timely manner instead of waiting around for the postman.
When it comes to buying an insurance policy, you want to be familiar with payment methods, right? At Waggel, we provide monthly payment options whereby you can set up a Direct Debit or use your debit or credit card. You also have the option of turning auto-renewal on or off.
Before your renewal window opens each year, we’ll send you an email to remind you that you’ve nearly completed another policy year. This email will also contain your new monthly premiums so you can take control. It’s also during this time that you’ll be able to amend your Claim Contribution and Annual Limit.
Petplan offers customers the chance to make a one-off annual payment through Direct Debit, debit or credit card. They also offer monthly payments but only through Direct Debit.
Customers of both Waggel and Petplan can easily access online administration portals and digital dashboards at any time. With Waggel, our user-friendly interface allows you to track your claims, connect with our support team, change your details, or amend your Claim Contribution and Annual Limit (if you’re in the renewal window).
At Waggel, we like to stand out from the crowd and believe our customers should be celebrated. We want to support you through every step of the pet ownership journey, not just when you’re making a claim.
As pet owners ourselves, we understand the stress that is sometimes involved in booking a physical vet trip and for this reason, provide free 24/7 online vet video consultations for all policyholders via Joii. All you need to do is download the app and book your consultation with a veterinary professional.
For dog owners, we also partner exclusively with Julian from Heal the Dog for free behaviour and nutrition consultations. Whatever your concern or worry, Julian has years of canine experience and is here to help.
We also provide a membership platform with a range of discounts and rewards from independent pet partners based in the UK. This means that as a Waggel customer, you can get exclusive discounts for both yourself and your pet. We also send out regular emails to remind you of what exactly you can get your hands (and paws) on.
To date, Petplan does not offer these benefits.
We all want what’s best for our pets, especially when it comes to treatment if they were involved in an accident or suffering from an illness. And we know just how quickly those vet bills can add up, not to mention the ongoing costs if your pet was facing a lifelong condition.
Pet insurance provides peace of mind, financial protection and help during those worrying times.
Waggel and Petplan both offer Lifetime policies that also include dental cover. However, we believe we go the extra mile by providing exclusive member benefits such as a range of annual limits, claims contributions, and rewards to help you make the very best of your time with us, however long that may be.
Before choosing a provider and taking out a policy, ensure you consider your needs and preferences carefully, reading up about your potential providers. At Waggel, our blog is continuously growing and is dedicated to everything pet owners need to know or may be curious about. If we still haven’t answered your questions, our customer support team are on hand to help.
Your Waggel policy will cover vet bills for accidents, injuries, and illnesses, up to your chosen Annual Limit. This includes £1,000 for dental treatments (accident & illness) and £1,000 for complementary and behavioural treatments too.
We’ll also cover a portion of the purchase price paid when adopting your pet up to £1,000 in the event your pet passes away, is stolen, or goes missing.
For dogs, you’re covered up to £2 million if they’re responsible for injuring or damaging another person or their property. This is known as third-party liability.
If you log in to your Waggel account, you can click on ‘My Insurance’ and hit the yellow ‘Make a Claim’ button - here you'll find your claims portal.
You’ll just need to let us know a few things such as the veterinary practice visited, what the claim is for, and who should be paid.
Once we’ve received your claim we’ll reach out to your vet, request a full medical history for your pet and an invoice, so you won’t need to send us these.
We aim to assess claims within 14 days.
While our policy does cover most things that might occur within your pet's life, there are some things we cannot provide cover for.
Your pet will not be covered for treatment that occurs within the first 14 days of the policy (your warm-up period).
Routine, elective or preventative treatments, pre-existing conditions (symptoms or conditions that occurred before your pet was insured with us), advanced treatments, cremation or burial costs, issues relating to rented property, claims by family, and injury to other animals or pets are also not covered.
However, we urge you to refer to the Waggel policy wording for the full details of what is covered and not covered.
Waggel is underwritten by Red Sands who have been underwriting pet insurance for over 15 years. Petplan is underwritten by Allianz Insurance plc.
Need more help? You're in luck if you're a Waggel Pet Insurance member. Along with our excellent coverage, we offer access to a 24/7 online vet to answer all your sticky questions, especially if you need grooming assistance.
Not a member? Why not get a quote now and cover your furry friend for a range of illnesses, all while enjoying our amazing perks and rewards.
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