Pet insurance reviews: Renewing your pet insurance

Dog and cat

Pet insurance can cover advertising fees if your pet goes missing

As your cat or dog ages, pet insurance premiums rise sharply. So is it worth shopping around at renewal time?  Here's what you need to know.

What is pet insurance auto-renewal and how does it work?

Like many home and car insurers, most pet insurers automatically renew when you come to the end of a policy.

You will be given notice before you are signed up for a new policy, usually in the form of a letter. Many insurers will notify you at least 21 days in advance to give you the chance to cancel.

Can I cancel if my policy rolls over without me wanting it to?

You can cancel your policy but it will probably come at a cost. You'll have a 14-day cooling-off period once your policy has started and most insurers will let you cancel, only charging you for the cover you have used.

However, some providers will still charge a fee if you cancel in the first 14 days so check the terms of the policy carefully. The charges can be higher if you are outside the cooling-off period so make sure if you want to switch that you cancel your cover before it is renewed.

How do I find cheaper cover at renewal?

Unlike car and home insurance, where switching or haggling are the key to finding the best rates, finding cheaper pet insurance is much more complicated.

Your chance of being able to beat your renewal quote depends on the age and general health of your pet.

I have an older pet that has had various treatments and I have claimed on my cover

Trying to pick up cheaper cover will be much more difficult. The real danger in switching your pet insurance is pre-existing conditions. If your pet has a condition that it has received treatment for, and is still eligible to receive treatment for, the chance of getting that condition covered by a new provider is slim and it's likely to be excluded.

In addition, as your pet ages, the cost of cover will rise as insurers will consider the animal to be more of a risk. So, if you think you have found cut-price cover with a new provider, check the terms and conditions carefully as the policy is likely to be less comprehensive.

My pet is young, healthy and I haven’t claimed

If your pet is in good health, relatively young and does not have a claims history, you are in a much stronger position to switch and haggle at renewal time. Eleven months into your policy is a good time to start looking for new cover. Follow our full tips to finding cheap pet insurance.

Once you have found a good price, you could either take out a new policy or use it as leverage to haggle with your current provider. As always, check the terms of the policy carefully to make sure it has everything you need.

More on this...

Which? Limited (registered in England and Wales number 00677665) is an Introducer Appointed Representative of Which? Financial Services Limited (registered in England and Wales number 07239342). Which? Financial Services Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN 527029). Which? Mortgage Advisers and Which? Money Compare are trading names of Which? Financial Services Limited. Registered office: 2 Marylebone Road, London NW1 4DF.