Buddies Pet Insurance Review

Buddies Pet Insurance Review

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Choosing the right Pet Insurance is extremely important, as the wrong choice now could have severe financial consequences later and comparing numerous policy terms and conditions can be daunting.

Our independent rating and review highlights the important points we think you should know about when choosing an insurance policy to cover your pet.

Once you have read this review of Buddies and compared polices using our unique search facility, you will have all the information you need to make an informed choice.

Who are Buddies Pet Insurance

Buddies Pet Insurance Reviewed by Jonathan 26/09/2020.

Buddies a privately owned business founded in 2000 was purchased by Legal and General in 2017. With the purchase of Legal and General by Liverpool Victoria in 2020 and a change of name to Fairmead Insurance, Buddies Enterprises Ltd is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Fairmead Insurance Limited who act as underwriter. Buddies Enterprises Limited are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Buddies offer three levels of cover Standard, Premier and Premier Plus.

 
 

How to Buy Pet Insurance from Buddies

Click on the website link to go directly to the insurance providers website. Visit Buddies's Website and Get a Quotation direct

How Buddies Pet Insurance 's Policies have been ranked using our star rating formula?

Click on the white bars on the right side of the policy boxes below. Expand the content to view star ratings of all policies offered by Buddies.

Dog Policy Ratings Click to Expand

We have reviewed 3 Dog Policies from Buddies Pet Insurance. They are - Premier Plus - Premier - Standard. We have rated these as follows:-

Rating for Dog Premier Plus:

Rating for Dog Premier:

Rating for Dog Standard:

Buddies Dog Insurance Review

Rabbit Policy Ratings Click to Expand

found no policies available for this section.

Buddies Rabbit Insurance Review

Cat Policy Ratings Click to Expand

We have reviewed 3 Cat Policies from Buddies Pet Insurance. They are - Premier Plus - Premier - Standard. We have rated these as follows:-

Rating for Cat Premier Plus:

Rating for Cat Premier:

Rating for Cat Standard:

Buddies Cat Insurance Review
  • Policies must provide cover for all core sections and all secondary sections.
  • Vets Fees - Policies must provide a minimum maximum benefit of £6,000, or £4,000 per condition and cover either;
  1. A maximum benefit per condition no renewal guarantee.
  2. A maximum limit per condition with a lifetime renewal guarantee; or
  3. A maximum benefit per year with a lifetime renewal guarantee.
  • Cruciate Ligaments - Damage to, or disease of the cruciate ligament is a common problem in animals. Most policies include cover for this within their overall vet fees limit. In line with industry averages, a policy must offer cover of at least £4,000.
  • MRI/CT Scans - If your pet suffers from seizures, paralysis or back problems, your vet may recommend an MRI scan. Most policies include cover for this within their overall vet fees limit. In line with industry averages, a policy must offer cover of at least £2,000.
  • Euthanasia - If your pet needs to be put to sleep to alleviate further suffering, policies must cover this. A policy must offer at least £100 to cover the cost of euthanasia.
  • Complementary treatments ? The industry average for complementary treatments such as physiotherapy is £1,000. Five star policies have at least this amount of cover.
  • Prescribed Food - All five star policies must cover the cost of prescription food (to treat bladder stones) up to at least £100
  • Dental treatment - Dental treatment for accidents of at least £500.
  • Loss of your Pet - The industry average benefit for loss of your pet due to accident, illness, theft or straying is £1,000. All policies must offer at least this amount.
  • Compulsory excesses - The industry average for the age at which additional compulsory excesses are charged is 6. All five star policies will not charge an additional compulsory excess until at least this age.
  • Five-star policies may provide additional service and cover benefits over and above standard policies.
  • Premiums are competitive in relation to the cover provided.
  • Five-Star policies have clear and consumer friendly, wording and explanations of cover.
  • The standard excess is equal or lower than the £100 market average.
  • Four-star policies cover all core sections and secondary sections under a pet insurance policy.
  • Four-Star policies offer Veterinary Fees cover that are above the market average and provide either
  1. A maximum benefit per condition no renewal guarantee.
  2. A maximum limit per condition with a lifetime renewal guarantee; or
  3. A maximum benefit per year with a lifetime renewal guarantee.
  • Four-star policies may have a maximum of one core and one secondary section, or two secondary sections of cover lower than the market average or the excess may be above the market average.
  • Four-star policies may provide additional cover benefits.
  • Premiums are competitive in relation to the cover provided.
  • Four-star policies have clear and consumer friendly wording and explanations of cover.
  • Three star policies cover all core sections, but may not offer all secondary sections of cover.
  • Three star policies cover veterinary fees that may be lower than the market average and provide either
  1. A maximum limit per condition limited to 12 months
  2. A maximum benefit limited to 12 months.
  3. A maximum benefit per condition no renewal guarantee
  4. A maximum limit per condition with a lifetime renewal guarantee; or
  5. A maximum benefit per year with a lifetime renewal guarantee.
  • Three star policies have some core covers lower than the market average, or up to one secondary sections of cover missing.
  • Three star policies have some secondary covers lower than the market average.
  • Three star policies may not have all the features and benefits of a four or five star policy.
  • The standard excess may be higher than the market average.
  • Two star policies generally provide cover that is below the market average and/or have core and secondary sections of cover missing from their policies.
  • Two star policies cover veterinary fees cover that are below the market average and provide either
  1. Accident only cover,
  2. A maximum limit per condition limited to 12 months,
  3. A maximum benefit limited to 12 months,
  4. A maximum benefit per condition no renewal guarantee,
  5. A maximum limit per condition with a lifetime renewal, guarantee; or
  6. A maximum benefit per year with a lifetime renewal guarantee.
  • Two star policies may have sections of cover missing.
  • Premiums tend to be much lower than the market average due to the low levels of cover provided.
  • The Standard Excess can be higher than the market average.
  • Policy wordings may not be as consumer friendly as other Insurers and contain more terms and conditions

Key Points you need to know about Buddies's policy wording

1. What are the eligibility criteria for Pet Insurance?

You must be the owner and keeper of your pet and permanently resident in the United Kingdom, Channel Islands, or the Isle of Man.

Your pet must be over 8 weeks old and not have previously displayed vicious or aggressive behaviour.

 

 
 
 
 

2. What type of policies do they offer?

Buddies Pet Insurance, offers three policies they are as follows;

Standard Policy - Covers vets fees up to £3,000 per condition up to a maximum of 12 months.

Premier Policy - Covers vets fees up to a maximum limit of £4,000. This amount is reinstated each year as long as you keep your policy up to date.

Premier Plus Policy - Covers vets fees up to a maximum limit of £7,000. This amount is reinstated each year as long as you keep your policy up to date.

The Premier and Premier Plus policies are better known as "Lifetime" policies.

 

3. What's not covered?

A list of important exclusions - Buddies Pet Insurance does not cover;

  1. Routine Examinations including preventative and elective treatments.
  2. Spaying or castration, retained testes, whelping or kittening.
  3. Removal of dewclaws.
  4. Worming and Flea treatments.
  5. Routine blood tests.
  6. Treatment in connection with pregnancy or giving birth.
  7. Costs caused by any of the above.
  8. Any costs associated with organ transplantation.
  9. Behavioural and training costs, unless as a direct result of an insured incident.
  10. Hospitalisation, out of hours or house calls, unless the vet confirms moving your pet would endanger its health.
  11. Bedding or housing.
  12. "Notifiable" diseases under the Animal Health Act such as Rabies.
  13. Travel Expenses incurred by you or your pet.
  14. Any animal that is, or is crossed with an American Bulldog, Cane Corso, Pit Bull Terrier, Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino, Fila Braziliero, Perro De Pressa Canario, Dogo Canario, Czechoslovakian Wolfdog, Saarloos Wolfhound/ Wolfdog, any wolf hybrid, or any other animal registered under the UK government’s Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.
  15. Medication that hasn't been prescribed by your vet.
  16. Any form of commercial or security use, racing and any claim for worrying livestock.
  17. Costs if your pet dies from an illness caused by the failure to vaccinate.
  18. The repair and treatment of Umbilical hernias.
  19. Death cover if your dog is aged over 9 or your cat aged over 11, with the exception of the following breeds, which are excluded once they reach the age of 5. All breeds or dogs crossed with, Beauceron, Bernese Mountain Dog, Bulldog,
    Deerhound, Dogue de Bordeaux, Estrela Mountain Dog, Great Dane, Irish Wolfhound, Leonberger, Mastiff,Newfoundland, Old English Sheep Dog, Pyrenean Mountain Dog, Rottweiler, Shar Pei and St Bernard.

 
 
 
 

4. What are the policy conditions?

 
At the start of any pet insurance, your pet must be free from injury, illness or physical disability.
You agree to provide proper care and attention to your pet at all times.
Your pet must be vaccinated against
Dogs - distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis and parvovirus.
Cats - feline infectious enteritis, feline leukaemia and feline influenza.
Vaccinations should be kept up to date and administered under veterinary supervision.
 
 

5. Are complementary treatments covered?

The standard policy does not cover complementary medicine.

The premier and premier plus policies cover complementary medicine up to £500.

Complementary medicine covers physiotherapy, acupuncture, osteopathy, massage and healing,
laser therapy, chiropractic treatment and up to 10 sessions of hydrotherapy. It must be prescribed by a vet and the cost approved by Buddies prior to treatment.

The £500 limit is part of the overall vets fees limit and not in addition to it.

 

6. Does the policy cover Prescription food and Dentistry?

Prescribed food is covered under all three policies, but only food use to dissolve existing bladder stones and or crystals in urine. The £100 limit covers a maximum of 30% of the cost of the food, for a maximum of six months. Only one occurrence is covered.

Dentistry is covered by all three policies but only for treatment caused by an accident.

 

7. Are MRI/CT scans and Cruciate Ligament claims covered?

CT/MRI scans and Cruciate Ligament claims are covered by all policies, up to the vets fees limit.

 
 

8. Does the policy cover the cost of euthanasia?

The cost of putting your pet to sleep, burial or cremation costs are not covered under any of the buddies policies.

 
 

9. Can I cover more than one pet on the same policy?

Buddies offer a 5% discount for insuring more than one pet (cat or dog) under the same policy.

 
 

10. Will the policy cover my pets pre-existing medical conditions?

Buddies will not cover any condition that was evident prior to inception of the policy.

 
 

11. Will the policy cover my pet during pregnancy?

Treatment in connection with pregnancy or giving birth is specifically excluded under the buddies policy.

 
 

12. Am I covered to take my pet abroad?

Buddies policies cover you taking your pet abroad to one of the approved European countries under the UK "PETS" Scheme.

The standard policy covers you for up to 30 days and the premier and premier plus policies up to 180 days.

This section covers emergency vets fees, but does not cover emergency repatriation, quarantine costs, or loss of your pets passport.

 
 

13. How long does the policy run for?

Buddies Pet policies are for a period of 12 months.

 
 

14. How do I renew my policy?

Buddies state if they offer renewal, they reserve the right to change the premium, excesses and policy terms and conditions, as well as the right to withdraw third party liability cover based on your pet's behaviour.

The policy is payable by credit or debit card  or monthly direct debit and renewed annually.

 
 

15. How do I cancel my policy?

If you cancel your policy within 14 days, and no claims have occurred, your are entitled to a full refund of premiums.

If you cancel outside the 14 days period and no claims have occurred you are entitled to a pro-rata refund of premium.

If you cancel the policy and have made a claim, you are entitled to no refund of premium, unless the policy is cancelled due to death, theft or loss of your pet, in which case you will receive a proportionate refund of any premium.

You may cancel the policy by telephoning, emailing or writing to Buddies.

 

16. How easy is the process of making a claim and how quickly are claims paid?

You are able to download forms for the various different types of claim direct from the buddies website.

Buddies are unable to assess a claim until they have received a completed claim form from you.

Claim forms should be completed and either emailed or posted back, together with supporting receipts.

 
 

17. Is there a waiting period before I am covered?

There is no cover for accident or liability claims within the first 72 hours of the inception date of the policy.

There is no cover for any illness claims within the first 14 days of the inception of the policy.

 

 
 

18. How much of any claim do I have to pay?

All insurance policies (cat or dog) have a fixed excess of £90. This is the amount of any claim that you are required to pay.

The standard excess for all dog liability claims is £250.

 
 
 

19. Am I required to make additional monetary contributions to any claim?

In addition to the standard excess, you are expected to pay an additional contribution of 10% of any claims for pets under the age of six.

When your pet reaches the age of six, the amount increases to 20%.

For example if your claim is for £1,000, you will be expected to pay £90 plus 20% of the balance £182 + £90 total £272.00.

 

20. Website Navigation and online shopping experience

The website provides only basic policy, claim and renewal information. We could not find any frequently answered questions.

There is no live chat, but you are able to email or call their specialist team. The quotation system is easy to use and having only three policies to choose from its an easy process of comparing them.

 

 
 
 

21. Is the policy wording easy to understand?

At only 12 pages long the policy felt cramped. There is no effort to space out the text and one paragraph runs into the next.

There is no summary of cover provided. An index helps with navigation. There is no colour coding to help identify whats covered and what excluded.

The policy text had a reading score of 52.6 (out of 100) and classed as fairly difficult to read.

The text had an average reading age of 14 - 15 years. This means that a person with a reading age of 14-15 years should be able to understand the policy.

 

 
 

22. Is the Insurer listed on comparison sites?

Buddies Pet Insurance is not available on any comparison sites. You can obtain quotes by visiting the companies website direct.

 
 

23. Does the policy include a helpline?

Buddies do not have a vet help line.

 
 

24. What do customer reviews say?

There are very few customer reviews on Buddies Pet Insurance. There were 9 reviews on trustpilot with an overall rating of 2.2/5.

There have been a few complaints over the length of time it took to get through to a customer service representative, or for Buddies to respond and that the customer portal was often down.

A customer was told that Buddies were having system issues and recruiting more staff in response to work volumes, so at least they are being proactive.

 
 
 

25. Are there any administration charges?

There is no information on administration charges, so assume they don't charge any.

 
 

26. Are there any special discounts or promotions?

There are currently no special promotions or discounts.

 
 

27. Overall Summary

Buddies offer the choice of time limited or lifetime cover. All three policies were awarded a three star rating.

You are expected to make a 10% contribution to any claim from inception of the policy and this increases when your pet reaches the age of 6.

There is no cover for Euthanasia or cremation/burial costs.

The Buddies website confirms that "With pet insurance, your premium will increase each year at renewal as your pet gets older".

Our premium research indicates that Buddies is not the cheapest insurer.

 

Buddies's Mystery Shopping Ratings

That's Insurance have spent some time mystery shopping on buddies-pet-insurance-review's website. The policy wording, website, customer service/buying process have been carefully reviewed and each section awarded a user friendly score, which you can see below.

Policy wording - Marks are awarded for Layout, Readability ,Terminology, Communication and Appropriate information.

Website - Marks are awarded for Layout/Navigation, Access to important information e.g. policy wordings, Clear Explanation/Comparison of policies, including limitations, Frequently asked questions.

Customer Service – Marks are awarded for the Buying process, Customer Service, Clear Quotations, Access to important information/Comparison of quotes.

The scores have been calculated as an overall percentage and shown on the three gauges. You can see how Buddies compares to the industry average. The higher the percentage the better the company performs in each area.

Policy Wording

(layout, readability, terminology)

Awaiting user friendly score

Website

(layout, navigation, access to information)

Awaiting user friendly score

Customer Service

(clear quotes, buying process, customer service)

Awaiting user friendly score

Pro's and Con's for Buddies Policies

We've highlighted Pro's and Cons for Buddies, click on the white bars on the right side of the boxes below. Expand the content to view pros and cons of all policies offered by Buddies.

  • 5% discount for insuring multiple pets.
  • Interest Free monthly instalments
  • Excludes treatment for umbilical hernias.
  • Excludes the cost of Euthanasia or burial/cremation.
  • 10% additional payment required on all claims for pets under the age of 6.

What Cover do Buddies policies offer.

We've listed below cover levels for policies offered by offered by To scroll through all policies, click on the arrows on the left and right of policy name section.

Policy Name Insurance Provider

  • PolicyName & Policy Type

    Premier Plus

    Dog

    Premier

    Dog

    Standard

    Dog

    Premier Plus

    Cat

    Premier

    Cat

    Standard

    Cat

Primary Cover toggle

  • Policy Excess
    Policy Excess

    90

    90

    90

    90

    90

    90

  • Accident Only
    Accident Only Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    0

    0

    0

    0

    0

    0

  • Per Condition Time Limited
    Per Condition Time Limited Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    0

    0

    3,000

    0

    0

    3,000

  • Maximum Benefit Time Limited
    Maximum Benefit Time Limited Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    0

    0

    0

    0

    0

    0

  • Maximum Benefit Per Condition
    Maximum Benefit Per Condition Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    0

    0

    0

    0

    0

    0

  • Lifetime Per Condition
    Lifetime Per Condition Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    0

    0

    0

    0

    0

    0

  • Lifetime Maximum Benefit
    Lifetime Maximum Benefit Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    7,000

    4,000

    0

    7,000

    4,000

    0

  • Dental
    Dental Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    7,000

    4,000

    3,000

    7,000

    4,000

    3,000

  • Death from Accident
    Death from Accident Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    1,000

    750

    250

    1,000

    750

    250

  • Death from Illness
    Death from Illness Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    1,000

    750

    250

    1,000

    750

    250

  • Theft or Straying
    Theft or Straying Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    1,000

    750

    250

    1,000

    750

    250

  • Advertising and Reward
    Advertising and Reward Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    1,500

    1,500

    250

    1,500

    1,500

    250

  • Third Party Liability
    Third Party Liability Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    2,000,000

    2,000,000

    1,000,000

    0

    0

    0

  • Third Party Liability Excess
    Third Party Liability Excess Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    250

    250

    250

    0

    0

    0

  • Cruciate Ligament Rupture
    Cruciate Ligament Rupture Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    7,000

    4,000

    3,000

    7,000

    4,000

    3,000

  • CT/MRI Scans
    CT/MRI Scans Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    7,000

    4,000

    3,000

    7,000

    4,000

    3,000

  • Euthanasia
    Euthanasia Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    0

    0

    0

    0

    0

    0

Secondary Cover toggle

  • Complimentary Treatment
    Complimentary Treatment Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    500

    500

    0

    500

    500

    0

  • Prescribed Food
    Prescribed Food Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    100

    100

    100

    100

    100

    100

  • Emergency Boarding Fees
    Emergency Boarding Fees Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    1,500

    1,500

    750

    1,500

    1,500

    750

  • Holiday Cancellation
    Holiday Cancellation Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    1,500

    1,500

    750

    1,500

    1,500

    750

  • Emergency Repatriation
    Emergency Repatriation Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    0

    0

    0

    0

    0

    0

  • Quarantine Expenses
    Quarantine Expenses Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    0

    0

    0

    0

    0

    0

  • Emergency Vet Expenses
    Emergency Vet Expenses Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    7,000

    4,000

    3,000

    7,000

    4,000

    3,000

  • Loss of Pet Passport
    Loss of Pet Passport Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    0

    0

    0

    0

    0

    0

  • Accidental Damage to Property
    Accidental Damage to Property Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    0

    0

    0

    0

    0

    0

  • Personal Accident (Pets)
    Personal Accident (Pets) Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    0

    0

    0

    0

    0

    0

  • Cremation
    Cremation Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    0

    0

    0

    0

    0

    0

Sample Quotes from Buddies.

Listed below are some Sample Quotes offered by Buddies

Top Picks

Insurance Provider

Excess

Primary Cover

Guide Price

Type:Dog

Cover:Per Condition Time Limited

Age: 1

Breed: Medium

Group: Mongrel

Buddies Travel Insurance Review
Product Rating

Experience Rating

Standard

90

Per Condition Time Limited 3,000

Complimentary Treatment 0

Dental 3,000

Death from Accident 250

Death from Illness 250

Theft or Straying 250

Advertising and Reward 250

Third Party Liability 1,000,000

Type:Dog

Cover:Lifetime Maximum Benefit

Age: 1

Breed: Medium

Group: Mongrel

Buddies Travel Insurance Review
Product Rating

Experience Rating

Premier

90

Lifetime Maximum Benefit 4,000

Complimentary Treatment 500

Dental 4,000

Death from Accident 750

Death from Illness 750

Theft or Straying 750

Advertising and Reward 1,500

Third Party Liability 2,000,000

Type:Dog

Cover:Per Condition Time Limited

Age: 6

Breed: Medium

Group: Mongrel

Buddies Travel Insurance Review
Product Rating

Experience Rating

Standard

90

Per Condition Time Limited 3,000

Complimentary Treatment 0

Dental 3,000

Death from Accident 250

Death from Illness 250

Theft or Straying 250

Advertising and Reward 250

Third Party Liability 1,000,000

Type:Cat

Cover:Lifetime Maximum Benefit

Age: 10

Breed: Moggie

Group: Moggie

Buddies Travel Insurance Review
Product Rating

Experience Rating

Premier

90

Lifetime Maximum Benefit 4,000

Complimentary Treatment 500

Dental 4,000

Death from Accident 750

Death from Illness 750

Theft or Straying 750

Advertising and Reward 1,500

Type:Cat

Cover:Lifetime Maximum Benefit

Age: 1

Breed: Moggie

Group: Moggie

Buddies Travel Insurance Review
Product Rating

Experience Rating

Premier Plus

90

Lifetime Maximum Benefit 7,000

Complimentary Treatment 500

Dental 7,000

Death from Accident 1,000

Death from Illness 1,000

Theft or Straying 1,000

Advertising and Reward 1,500

Type:Cat

Cover:Lifetime Maximum Benefit

Age: 1

Breed: Moggie

Group: Moggie

Buddies Travel Insurance Review
Product Rating

Experience Rating

Premier

90

Lifetime Maximum Benefit 4,000

Complimentary Treatment 500

Dental 4,000

Death from Accident 750

Death from Illness 750

Theft or Straying 750

Advertising and Reward 1,500