Companion Club benefits
Got a question about Companion Club benefits? Find your answer below.
Vetfone™ is a telephone service offering unlimited access to veterinary advice. That means 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days of the year.
Calls are charged at 5p/minute from a UK landline. The cost of calls from mobiles varies, please check with your service provider.
Calls are answered by RCVS (Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons) qualified vet nurses. Vetfone provides a triage service with the caller being advised as to what they can do to help their pet and whether a visit to the vet is necessary and if so, how quickly.
How does Vetfone™ benefit me and my pet?
Since launching our partnership with Vetfone™, hundreds of Dogs Trust supporters have called for advice.
After the consultation almost 50% of cases didn’t need to see a vet at all, and what’s more many late night callers have been advised that a vet visit can wait until normal practice hours, saving our members up to £175 on potentially wasted trips to the out-of-hours vet.
Vetfone™ can provide peace of mind to owners worried about their pets any time of the day or night. You can call if you're concerned about the health of any of your pets, not just your dog.
Does Vetfone™ offer home visits?
No, all advice is given over the phone. They will tell you what you can do to help your pet or whether you need to go to the vet and, if so, how quickly.
Third party insurance
Companion Club provides third party public liability insurance of up to £1,000,000 per incident if your dog causes damage or injury to another person, their property, or pets.
The insurance includes your legal defence costs in such situations, where (a) a damages claim is brought in a civil court and (b) your legal defence costs where a prosecution is brought in a criminal court under Section 3 of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 (or equivalent).
Fines, compensation and penalties connected with or resulting from a criminal court prosecution are excluded.
Do I have to register the dogs I want covered?
No, as a companion, all your dogs are automatically covered, provided they are all pets (this does not cover businesses or working dogs).
Does insurance cover start immediately?
Insurance cover begins from when membership payment clears. Paying by card is the quickest way, however please note that payments are not processed immediately and it could take more than 24 hours before insurance cover is in place. A membership pack will be sent immediately, and although we will also try to contact you in the event of a payment failing, it is your responsibility to ensure your payment has cleared.
Third party public liability insurance for index dogs
If your dog is deemed by the police to be prohibited under the Dangerous Dogs Act in 1991, you can go to court to request an exemption. You will have to satisfy them that your dog is not dangerous and if successful, your dog will be exempt from the prohibition, and it will become legal. Then the court will impose conditions you must meet before you can register your dog on the Index of Exempted dogs (which is run by Defra) who will issue you with a Certificate of Exemption.
In addition to rules about the handling of your dog, the conditions that the court will impose for your dog to be exempted and qualify for registration on the Index of Exempted dogs are:
- Dog must be microchipped
- Dog must be neutered
- Dogs must be on a lead and always muzzled in public
- Owner must have third-party liability insurance.
The third party public liability insurance included within Companion Club currently meets the insurance needs within the conditions of exemption. It covers all dogs including banned dogs that have been exempted. Owners of American Bully XLs will currently be covered under the Companion Club insurance but this may be subject to change when a ban comes into effect.
We can only provide certificates of insurance for a breed type included within the Dangerous Dogs Act, which doesn’t yet include American Bully XLs as they are not presently banned.
As and when the Government makes the changes to the legislation and requires owners of American Bully XLs to have third party public liability insurance, and provided our insurers are happy to provide cover, we will be able to provide a certificate of insurance.
At present the legislation does not require owners of American Bully XLs to have insurance as they have not yet been banned (although it is advisable for any dog owner to have third party public liability insurance).
You can find more about current rules for banned breed types on the Government’s website.
Is there an insurance excess to pay?
Yes, there is an excess of £200 per claim in the UK and £500 in Republic of Ireland. Please note the terms and conditions of the insurance, including the excess amount are subject to change.
How do I make an insurance claim?
Please call 020 7837 0006 Mon to Fri 9am to 5pm to speak to the legal department.
Please note: do not accept liability as this will affect your claim.
Is the insurance cover worldwide?
Yes. The insurance only applies to members who live in Great Britain, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or the Republic of Ireland, however, any incident elsewhere in the world other than offshore (defined below) would be covered, but only if the trip was a holiday (i.e temporary, up to six months) by any member normally resident in the territories described above.
'Offshore' means any offshore installation in the sea or tidal waters used or intended for the drilling, exploration, production, storage or recovery of gas or oil, or any support or accommodation vessel used or intended for use in connection with such installation.
I have a hearing dog for the deaf/guide dog for the blind, is it covered by the third party insurance?
The insurance currently covers assistance dogs provided by a recognised provider. Please be aware that this position could change.
If my dog were to cause damage to holiday accommodation would I be covered by the third party insurance?
Yes, damage to third party property is covered, including if the damage occurs overseas, provided that the overseas trip is a holiday and the member is a permanent resident of Great Britain, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or the Republic of Ireland.
If my dog causes damage to my rented house or flat, could I claim for damage to my landlord’s property?
No, your rented house or flat is considered your own residence so it would not be covered by third party insurance.
My dog and I visit a nursing home as a volunteer. Does the third party insurance cover this?
No, even though the companion club member is a volunteer, the visits from the dog and carer would be considered work and therefore not covered by the insurance. However, if the companion was taking their dog to work and the dog was not being used for work purposes it would be covered by the insurance.
My friends walk and look after my dog sometimes. Are these occasions covered by my third party insurance?
Yes, the insurance covers the companion club member's dog, regardless of whether they are present at the time damage occurs. If the dog is being walked or looked after by a friend or a member of the family then they are still covered. However if a Companion Club member is looking after other people's dogs the third party insurance does not cover the dogs that belong to other people.
Does the insurance cover my dog for its own medical expenses?
No, this is not medical insurance and does not cover vet fees for your own dog.
Are my other pets covered by the third party insurance?
No, the insurance is only for cases where your dog causes damage or injury to another person, their property, or pets.
More about Canine Card Card
What is the Canine Care Card?
The Canine Care Card is a free service that guarantees that Dogs Trust will take care of your dog in the event of your death.
When I have a Canine Care Card, what happens to my dog when I die?
We will look after your dog until we can find him or her a loving home, no matter how long it takes. We will never put a healthy dog to sleep so dog owners can rest assured that their dog will be safe with us.
How do I register my dog for the Canine Care Card?
Unfortunately, we are unable to activate a Canine Care Card if your dog is a banned breed. Due to UK legislation, we are currently unable to take into our care any dog categorised as an index dog or any dog that has limitations imposed under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.
Sign up to Companion Club
Join today and play and take advantage of all the great benefits Companion Club offers to dog owners.