It’s that time of the year again: you've received an envelope or email from your insurer with the renewal quote and are wondering what to do.
For some people, the price will look fine. But many owners see big increases that may make them consider switch. Our guide to pet insurance renewal can help.
Why did my pet insurance premium rise by 40%?
It might not be much of a consolation, but you are not alone when it comes to price increases. Most pet owners see the cost of their pet insurance increase year after year. There are several reasons why:
- Insurance costs are increasing overall. Due to impressive advancements in veterinary treatments, vets can now do more for pets than ever before. These treatments come at a cost though, and they inevitably have an impact on pet insurance premiums.
- Your pet is one year older now. As animals get older the risk of them becoming ill increases, and so the cost of insurance goes up. The only exceptions to the rule can be for pets in their first year of life.
- Your pet got sick during the past year and you made a claim. The claims history might indicate a greater likelihood of an animal needing further treatment in the future. However, not all insurers increase prices if you claim. At Bought By Many we do not increase prices for customers who have claimed.
- If you joined a new company a year ago you may have had an introductory discount. When that ends owners can see a big jump in their price.
- Finally, insurance companies are businesses and they try to make a profit. Some of them are more aggressive than others in increasing their prices and are willing to run the risk of seeing customers leave because of that.
Pet insurance that does not increase with age
Bought By Many is the only company that offers a Fixed for Life policy that does not increase in price as your pet gets older. Get a quote for it here.
Once you've bought our Fixed For Life policy it will never increase in price, even if you claim.
It is only available for cat and dog owners whose pets are under two years old. The idea is that you buy it when your pet is young so you know exactly how much you will need to pay each month and year for the rest of your pet's life.
It has an annual vet fee limit £7,000 and a total claims limit of £20,000 over your pet's life.
When comparing it to other policies it may appear expensive. But remember that all other policies are likely to increase as your pet gets older, and pets that are over 7 can see big spikes in their premium each year.
How much does pet insurance increase each year?
According to the ABI, the average insurance premium dropped from £281 in 2017 to £279 in 2018, which is the first drop in eight years. And that in the last 10 years the average increase in premiums has been around 10%, compared to the average increase in claims, which has been around 75%.
The average claim stood at around £793 in 2018.
However it's impossible to predict how much someone's per insurance premium will increase each year, which can be little comfort if you insure your pet.
Each insurer uses different rating factors to decide their prices. But there are a number of known factors that can affect your price.
Pet insurance costs more in cities and the South East of England so if you move to London you're likely to end up paying more.
Some pet insurers will increase your premiums after you've claimed. At Bought By Many we don't do this.
And prices are likely to increase more steeply when your pet is older than 7 or 8.
Bought By Many's Fixed For Life cover is the only policy that will not increase in price as your pet gets older. Learn more about it.
What can I do when my pet cover is up for renewal?
You might come to the conclusion that the renewal price is fair, though higher, and you are happy to stick with your current insurer. They paid back all your claims and your pet is fine. In which case you might not want to take any action.
Generally speaking, if your pet needed treatment for a serious injury or illness in the past, you can be better off sticking with your current provider. Most pet insurance policies do not provide cover for pre-existing conditions and a new insurer will most likely decline a claim if your pet already had the condition before the policy was taken out.
It's important to understand the cover you will get for an existing condition when you switch insurers so make sure you read the policy documents or speak to the company.
We have launched a policy that covers recent medical conditions your cat or dog has suffered from.
On the other side, if the increase in price doesn’t seem to be justified, don’t be tempted to give up!
If you can find the cover you need from another insurer you could shop around. And if you find a lower price elsewhere, don't be afraid to negotiate with your existing insurer.
At Bought By Many we have removed the 14 day exclusion period for pet owners wanting to switch from their existing insurer. This means that as long as you switch straight from your existing insurer to Bought By Many with no break in cover, then we will pay vet fee claims in the first 14 days.
In addition, we believe in offering new customers the same price as existing customers, with no introductory discounts. Meaning everyone gets a fair price.
You might question whether you need a pet insurance at all. Pet insurance might be expensive but it can give you peace of mind - by paying an insurance company a set amount monthly or yearly, you don’t have to worry about covering the costs of expensive vet treatment yourself if your pet becomes unwell or is in an accident.
As with all your finances, it’s worth reviewing your pet insurance regularly.
Who are the best pet insurance providers?
A good starting point in your research might be our guides to The Best Pet Insurance for Dogs and The Best Pet Insurance for Cats. Remember to check the details of the cover you're comparing to make sure you’re looking at like-for-like policies – cheaper is not always better.
Nonetheless, there is no one size fits all answer. Free to browse our pet insurance options and join thousands of other pet owners who have moved to our cover.