Direct Line Pet Insurance Review

Direct Line 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 Direct Line Pet Insurance and compared polices using our unique search facility, you will have all the information you need to make an informed choice.

Who are Direct Line Pet Insurance

Direct Line Pet Insurance review by Jonathan 09/10/2020.

Direct Line started in 1985, best known as the first Company which sold insurance direct to the public. Now part of the Direct Line Group, that includes brands such as Churchill, Green Flag, NIG and Privilege, they listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2012.

Direct Line have two pet insurance policies Essential and Advanced cover to which we have awarded a 5 star rating. Direct Line are currently offering 12 months pet insurance for the price of 9.

Direct Line Pet Insurance is Underwritten by UK Insurance Ltd, who are authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. UK Insurance are the UK's leading personal lines motor and home underwriter, and hold an ‘A1’ credit rating from Moody’s.

How to Buy Pet Insurance from Direct Line Pet Insurance

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

How Direct Line 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 Direct Line Pet Insurance.

Dog Policy Ratings Click to Expand

We have reviewed 2 Dog Policies from Direct Line Pet Insurance. They are - Pet Advanced - Pet Essential . We have rated these as follows:-

Rating for Dog Pet Advanced :

Rating for Dog Pet Essential :

Direct Line Dog Insurance Review

Rabbit Policy Ratings Click to Expand

found no policies available for this section.

Direct Line Rabbit Insurance Review

Cat Policy Ratings Click to Expand

We have reviewed 2 Cat Policies from Direct Line Pet Insurance. They are - Pet Advanced - Pet Essential . We have rated these as follows:-

Rating for Cat Pet Advanced :

Rating for Cat Pet Essential :

Direct Line 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 Direct Line Pet Insurance's policy wording

1. What are the eligibility criteria for Pet Insurance?

At the start of the policy;

Your pet must be older than 8 weeks and younger than 10 years, and be in good health.

You must be the owner of the pet and it must live with you at an address in the United Kingdom.

You must take proper care and pay to have a dental health check every year and any other treatment recommended by your vet to prevent injury or illness.

Your pet must have no vicious tendencies.

2. What type of policies do they offer?

Direct Line offer two different policies;

Essential - Covers vet fees up to £4,000 per condition, but limited to a maximum of 12 months.

Advanced - Covers vet fees up to £8,000 per separate condition.

3. What's not covered?

This is a list of the most important exclusions. Direct Line Pet Insurance does not cover;

  1. Your pet being used for commercial, guard, breeding, gun dog use, security or working purposes, or for
    racing.
  2. Any claim caused by your pet worrying livestock of any kind, including horses whether kept for working
    or leisure purposes.
  3. Any claim as a result of an illness that can be transmitted between animals and humans or that should be reported
    to an authority such as rabies.
  4. Routine treatment, examinations, tests or diagnostic, procedures, prescribed general health supplements.
    Bathing, grooming or de-matting.
  5. Routine vaccinations, flea treatment, wormers, nail clipping, spaying, castration, retained testicles.
  6. Any treatment to do with pregnancy or your pet giving birth and any complications that may happen as a result.
  7. The cost of medication, supplements or, pheromones to modify or manage your, pet’s behaviour, whether as a result of a
    condition or not, such as Zylkene, Feliway and Adaptil.
  8. Treatment for behavioural problems, training or therapy, or for any conditions arising as a result.
  9. Any prescription fees unless you have purchased your pet’s medication from Direct Line's preferred supplier, Pet Drugs Online, when the most Direct Line will pay is £15.
  10. House/out of hours calls, or hospitalisation, unless the vet can confirm that it was absolutely essential.
  11. Any form of housing (such as a cage or basket) or bedding.
  12. Any dog listed under the dangerous dogs act 1991.
  13. Any claim for death from illness for dogs aged nine years and older or cats aged 11 years and older.

4. Are complementary treatments covered?

Direct Line cover complementary treatments that included in the overall vet fees limit. Complementary treatments are classed as "Manipulative or other alternative therapies carried out by a suitable qualified person, specifically recommended by your vet.

The policy does have some inner limits which you should be aware of

  1. Up to £110 towards additional out of hours, fees for each separate out of hours visit, needed as a result of the condition.
  2. Up to £70 towards histology fees including, any handling and interpretation fees.
  3. Up to £70 towards cytology fees including any handling and interpretation fees.
  4. Up to £35 per session towards hydrotherapy and physiotherapy fees, up to maximum of 15 sessions per condition.
  5. Up to £45 towards consultation fees per separate visit.
  6. Up to £30 towards the cost of the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) charges for any services they provide.

5. Does the policy cover Prescription food and Dentistry?

Neither policy covers the cost of Prescription food of any description.

The Essential policy covers dental treatment as a result of accidental external injury or illness, provided it can be proved as the direct cause of treatment and your pet has had a dental check in the last 12 months.

The Advanced policy covers dental treatment caused by tooth or gum disease, as long as your pet has had a dental check in the last 12 months.

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

Both policies cover MRI/CT Scans and Cruciate Ligament claims up to the vet fees limit.

7. Does the policy cover the cost of euthanasia?

The Essential Policy does not cover the cost of putting your pet to sleep.

The Advanced policy cover the cost of putting your pet to sleep, provided it has been recommended by your vet to prevent further suffering.

Neither policy cover the costs of cremation or burial.

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

If you have multiple four-legged friends, Direct Line lets you insure them all together on one policy with a combined monthly premium and one renewal date and enjoy a 12.5% discount in the process.

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

Direct Line Pet Insurance will not cover your pet's pre-existing medical conditions. These are described as any condition or symptom, signs of injury or illness, that existed in any form before the start of the insurance.

10. Will the policy cover my pet during pregnancy?

Direct Line specifically excludes any treatment in connection with pregnancy, or your pet giving birth or any complications that arise.

11. Am I covered to take my pet abroad?

If you choose the optional benefit, cover can be extended whilst you take your pet abroad.

In addition to including emergency vet fees, the policy covers holiday cancellation up to £5,000, additional quarantine costs up to £1,500, Emergency Repatriation costs up to £300, Loss of passport up to £250, The cost of putting your pet to sleep whilst on a journey and reasonable costs of repeat tapeworm treatments.

Cover is for a maximum of 30 days per journey and 3 journeys per 12 month period and is only valid if all the criteria of the Government Pet Travel Scheme are adhered to.

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

Direct Line will not cover any illness that arose within the first 14 days of the commencement of the policy.

If your pet is lost or stolen, you are entitled to claim after 45 days have passed and your pet has still not been found.

 

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

You are required to pay the first £95 of any claim in respect of dogs and £80 in respect of cats.

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

Direct Line are one of the few Pet Insurers that do not insist on a % co-payment towards claims, as your pet gets older.

15. Website Navigation and online shopping experience

The website is modern looking and provides plenty if relevant information about their policies, including a comparison of cover, highlighted benefits and exclusions. You have access to some frequently asked questions, although the virtual assistant did not seem to understand specific questions.

However Direct Line do have live web chat which is extremely useful, although you have to answer several questions before being directed to an available agent. Waiting time was under one minute!

Unlike Direct Line travel insurance, The pet insurance quotation software is modern, well laid out and easy to use.

16. Is the policy wording easy to understand?

The policy wording is 28 pages long. All exclusions are printed in Red, so you can see easily what is and isn't covered. A summary of cover is provided, along with an index to help navigation. Useful contact numbers are provided at the back.

Although the layout is relatively simple, during tests the text scores for difficulty to read varied between 48.4 and 66.3 out of 100, which meant that some of the text was difficult to read and some classed as standard reading. The average reading age required to understand the policy was between 14 and 19 years of age.

17. Is the Insurer listed on comparison sites?

The Direct Line brand is famous for the fact they don't appear on any comparison sites. Visit them direct to get a quote.

18. Does the policy include a helpline?

All Direct Line policyholders have free access to PawSquad, offering live chat and video calls with UK vets who can answer your questions, including 24/7 advice from a UK qualified vet wherever you are, video calls enabling vets to see your pet face-to-face and text chat with the option to upload images.

You also have access to Drugs Online, Find a vet, Bereavement counselling and legal advice.

19. What do customer reviews say?

Direct Line have partnered up with Reevoo to collate all verified customer reviews. Currently 2307 reviews have averaged a rating of 8.9/10 where the majority of customers are happy with the service that has been provided.

As a comparison Trust Pilot have received 4846 reviews. Although based on all types of insurance that Direct Line offer, the rating of 4.2/5 backs up the Reevoo reviews.

20. Are there any administration charges?

Direct Line do not make administration charges in relation to their Pet Insurance.

21. Are there any special discounts or promotions?

Direct Line are currently offering 12 months cover for the cost of 9 on both their pet insurance policies.

22. Overall Summary

We awarded the Advanced policy 5 stars as having above average levels of cover.

According to our research Direct Line policies are in line when comparing similar levels of cover with the average cost of pet insurance. They become much more competitive, with the optional extras stripped out, so if you are really only bothered about the vet fees cover, then this could be a good policy to have a look at.

The vet fees section does have quite a few inner limits, such as consultation fees and prescription fees, so make sure you are aware of them when making choosing.

Direct Line are one of the few Pet Insurers that do not insist on a % co-payment towards claims, as your pet gets older. This could end up saving you money, if you needed to make multiple claims.

Direct Line Pet Insurance's Mystery Shopping Ratings

That's Insurance have spent some time mystery shopping on direct-line-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 Direct Line 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 Direct Line Policies

We've highlighted Pro's and Cons for Direct Line, 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 Direct Line Pet Insurance.

  • Flexible Cover Options
  • 12.5% multi pet discount
  • No co-payment requirement as your pet gets older
  • Free access to "PawSquad" 24/7 access to a qualified vet.
  • No cover for prescription food
  • Maximum £45 towards consultation fees per separate visit.

What Cover do Direct Line 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

    Pet Advanced

    Dog

    Pet Essential

    Dog

    Pet Advanced

    Cat

    Pet Essential

    Cat

Primary Cover toggle

  • Policy Excess
    Policy Excess

    95

    95

    80

    80

  • Accident Only
    Accident Only Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    0

    0

    0

    0

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

    0

    4,000

    0

    4,000

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

    0

    0

    0

    0

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

    0

    0

    0

    0

  • Lifetime Per Condition
    Lifetime Per Condition Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    8,000

    0

    8,000

    0

  • Lifetime Maximum Benefit
    Lifetime Maximum Benefit Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    0

    0

    0

    0

  • Dental
    Dental Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    1,000

    0

    1,000

    0

  • Death from Accident
    Death from Accident Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    1,500

    1,500

    1,500

    1,500

  • Death from Illness
    Death from Illness Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    1,500

    1,500

    1,500

    1,500

  • Theft or Straying
    Theft or Straying Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    1,500

    1,500

    1,500

    1,500

  • Advertising and Reward
    Advertising and Reward Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    1,000

    1,000

    1,000

    1,000

  • Third Party Liability
    Third Party Liability Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    2,500,000

    2,500,000

    0

    0

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

    250

    250

    0

    0

  • Cruciate Ligament Rupture
    Cruciate Ligament Rupture Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    8,000

    4,000

    8,000

    4,000

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

    8,000

    4,000

    8,000

    4,000

  • Euthanasia
    Euthanasia Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    100

    100

    100

    0

Secondary Cover toggle

  • Complimentary Treatment
    Complimentary Treatment Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    8,000

    4,000

    8,000

    4,000

  • Prescribed Food
    Prescribed Food Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    0

    0

    0

    0

  • Emergency Boarding Fees
    Emergency Boarding Fees Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    1,000

    1,000

    1,000

    1,000

  • Holiday Cancellation
    Holiday Cancellation Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    5,000

    5,000

    5,000

    5,000

  • Emergency Repatriation
    Emergency Repatriation Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    300

    300

    300

    300

  • Quarantine Expenses
    Quarantine Expenses Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    1,500

    1,500

    1,500

    1,500

  • Emergency Vet Expenses
    Emergency Vet Expenses Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    8,000

    4,000

    8,000

    4,000

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

    250

    250

    250

    250

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

    0

    0

    0

    0

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

    0

    0

    0

    0

  • Cremation
    Cremation Explanation
    Cover Type Icon

    0

    0

    0

    0

Sample Quotes from Direct Line Pet Insurance.

Listed below are some Sample Quotes offered by Direct Line Pet Insurance

Top Picks

Insurance Provider

Excess

Primary Cover

Guide Price

Type:Dog

Cover:Lifetime Per Condition

Age: 1

Breed: Leonberger

Group: Working

Direct Line Travel Insurance Review
Product Rating

Experience Rating

Pet Advanced

95

Lifetime Per Condition 8,000

Complimentary Treatment 8,000

Dental 1,000

Death from Accident 1,500

Death from Illness 1,500

Theft or Straying 1,500

Advertising and Reward 1,000

Third Party Liability 2,500,000

Type:Dog

Cover:Per Condition Time Limited

Age: 1

Breed: Medium

Group: Mongrel

Direct Line Travel Insurance Review
Product Rating

Experience Rating

Pet Essential

95

Per Condition Time Limited 4,000

Complimentary Treatment 4,000

Dental 0

Death from Accident 1,500

Death from Illness 1,500

Theft or Straying 1,500

Advertising and Reward 1,000

Third Party Liability 2,500,000

Type:Dog

Cover:Lifetime Per Condition

Age: 6

Breed: Medium

Group: Mongrel

Direct Line Travel Insurance Review
Product Rating

Experience Rating

Pet Advanced

95

Lifetime Per Condition 8,000

Complimentary Treatment 8,000

Dental 1,000

Death from Accident 1,500

Death from Illness 1,500

Theft or Straying 1,500

Advertising and Reward 1,000

Third Party Liability 2,500,000

Type:Cat

Cover:Lifetime Per Condition

Age: 1

Breed: Moggie

Group: Moggie

Direct Line Travel Insurance Review
Product Rating

Experience Rating

Pet Advanced

80

Lifetime Per Condition 8,000

Complimentary Treatment 8,000

Dental 1,000

Death from Accident 1,500

Death from Illness 1,500

Theft or Straying 1,500

Advertising and Reward 1,000

Type:Cat

Cover:Lifetime Per Condition

Age: 10

Breed: Moggie

Group: Moggie

Direct Line Travel Insurance Review
Product Rating

Experience Rating

Pet Advanced

80

Lifetime Per Condition 8,000

Complimentary Treatment 8,000

Dental 1,000

Death from Accident 1,500

Death from Illness 1,500

Theft or Straying 1,500

Advertising and Reward 1,000

Type:Cat

Cover:Per Condition Time Limited

Age: 10

Breed: Moggie

Group: Moggie

Direct Line Travel Insurance Review
Product Rating

Experience Rating

Pet Essential

80

Per Condition Time Limited 4,000

Complimentary Treatment 4,000

Dental 0

Death from Accident 1,500

Death from Illness 1,500

Theft or Straying 1,500

Advertising and Reward 1,000