Directline.com has gone live with pet insurance, saying cover can be bought in two minutes.

Policies are available for dogs and cats, as long as they are in good health and aged between eight weeks and eight years at the start of cover (six for certain breeds).

For around £12, the policy provides cover abroad for three trips per year, each at 30 days' duration, providing the customer's pet meets all the relevant Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food criteria.