Pet Travel Insurance vs Pet Health Insurance

If you’re traveling abroad with your pet, you may be worried about what will happen if they fall ill or have an accident whilst you’re away. If this happens, you may have to rearrange your travel to stay longer, as well as pay for overseas vets’ bills. All these costs can really mount up and the worry can put a dampener on your holiday.

However, there are many options for pet owners who want to take their pets abroad. Protection can be given with pet travel insurance, which is specifically designed to cover all manner of accidents and illnesses when a pet is overseas. Alternatively, some pet health insurance policies, which many pet owners may already have, will also cover incidents whilst your pet is abroad.

Neither pet travel insurance nor pet health insurance is a legal requirement for pet owners. However, they can bring peace of mind, as you’ll know your pet will be looked after and protected. You can then enjoy your time abroad knowing that things will be taken care of in the event of an accident.

It can be difficult to know whether you’ll need travel insurance for your pet, or whether your pet insurance will suffice. Our below guide explains the differences between the two, so you can decide what you and your pet will need.

Pet Travel Insurance

Pet travel insurance is offered by some insurance companies to cover illness and accidents for your pet whilst abroad. It’s similar to travel insurance that you might get for yourself on holiday.

What’s Included in Pet Travel Insurance?

Pet travel insurance can cover incidents such as having to cancel the holiday if your pet becomes ill. It can also replace your pet’s documents if they go missing or are damaged whilst you’re away. This can include the documents you need to travel as well as any problems that might arise with their microchip.

Pet travel insurance will usually cover a certain amount of vets’ fees, should they need to see a vet whilst they are abroad. It can include quarantine fees if your pet needs to be quarantined whilst they’re overseas. It will also provide cover in the event your pet is stolen.

Pet travel insurance will usually cover if you need to extend your time abroad because your pet is too ill to travel, or if you need to come back early. This will include accommodation, travel, and repatriation costs.

How Long Does Pet Travel Insurance Last?

Pet travel insurance is usually purchased on a time-limited basis. You can buy single-trip cover, or sometimes annual cover. Some policies provide cover for your pet for 60 or 90 days, and this will either include travel to one specific country or any country that is on their approved list.

The insurance will only apply when the pet is travelling or overseas – it will not cover treatment for any illness or accidents that occur whilst the pet is at home.

If you’re organising relocating your pet because you are moving abroad with your pet, you should check the length of time that the pet travel policy is valid for. It may be that certain types of pet holiday travel insurance aren’t suitable for what you need.

What do I Need for Pet Travel Insurance?

For pet travel insurance to be valid, you will usually have to comply with requirements and provide proof for your pet’s vaccinations, microchipping and also relevant pet travel documents, like a pet passport or health certificate. A reputable pet travel agency should be able to advise you on what documentation is needed to travel with your pet.

Pet Health Insurance

Most pet owners will have insurance which covers if their pet falls ill or has an accident. This type of health insurance won’t usually cover routine check-ups and vaccinations but will include treatment for accidents and disease.

Pet health insurance will usually be ongoing, meaning that it will cover your pet over the majority of its lifetime.

Can I Use Pet Health Insurance for My Pet’s Travel?

Some pet insurance will include cover abroad – but not all. If you’re taking your pet on holiday, you should check your existing pet health insurance policy carefully to see if your pet will be covered if they fall ill whilst abroad. Even if there is some level of holiday cover in your pet health insurance policy, it is not always comprehensive. You should check if every type of emergency is included before you travel. Some pet health insurance policies will even include cover if the holiday is cancelled because your pet becomes ill but, again, you should check your policy carefully to see if this is included.

Some pet insurance policies will offer pet travel as an extra, so you may be able to add more comprehensive cover if your existing policy doesn’t give what you need. You should talk to your pet insurance provider to see if they can provide this, but also make sure to shop around in case you can get a better deal elsewhere.


PBS Pet Travel has over 20 years of experience and can provide expert advice for all types of pet travel, whether you’re taking your pet on holiday or relocating overseas. Contact us to talk about your pet travel requirements today.