A common complaint from pet insurance customers is that insurance companies increase prices, sometimes significantly, on renewal.
At Bought By Many we have addressed the frustrations of pet owners by creating a range of pet insurance options that solve common problems.
There are several reasons why premiums rise. Sometimes it can be due to the pet aging, a claim being made, an introductory discount ending or just rising veterinary costs.
Read our guide to pet insurance renewal, which covers the reasons why pet insurance premiums tend to increase. This article is designed to help if you've decided to switch pet insurance companies.
What are my options for changing pet insurance companies?
If you're not happy if your renewal price and you're considering switching pet insurance the most important thing to be aware of is whether your pet has had a medical condition in the past.
If it has never needed vet treatment you shouldn't have a problem shopping around and switching for a better price, although there are a few things to be aware of we'll cover later. It becomes more difficult when your pet has a pre-existing condition.
If your pet has needed a vet consultation or treatment for an accident or illness in the past an insurer will class it is a pre-existing condition. If the consultation or treatment happened while you had lifetime cover with the insurer it will continue to pay out for it as long as you renew each year but a new company would exclude that condition if you tried to switch.
This can leave people feeling trapped on a policy when prices increase, especially if their pet has an ongoing condition that they'll need to claim for for the rest of their pet's life.
At Bought By Many we don't believe this treats customers fairly so we've made sure all our policies cover conditions that haven't needed treatment or advice for at least two years. We simply don't class these as pre-existing conditions.
And we have the only policy that can cover pre-existing conditions.
Our Pre-existing policy can cover conditions as long as your pet hasn't received treatment or advice for them in the three months before the policy starts. Cover for pre-existing conditions increases in the first two years if you do not claim and we offer £7,000 of vet fee cover for new conditions. Find out more.
Our cover gives people whose pets have received treatment an option to switch and still have some cover for a condition.
The only other option for switching pet insurance if your pet has a condition is moving to a new provider and excluding the condition. You may find a cheaper premium but if you need any further treatment for the pre-existing condition you'll have to pay for it yourself.
Whether your pet has a condition or not you'll still need to be aware of the kind of policy you have when changing companies.
Per-condition and time-limited policies have limits that means you'll have to pay for treatment once you've reached them. Lifetime cover has a limit that resets each year you renew the policy so if you switched from a lifetime policy to per-condition cover your premium may be cheaper because you're not getting the same level of cover.
Pet owners should also be aware of the initial period when you can't claim when you start a new pet insurance policy.
Even if your new policy starts the day after your old one ended you generally wouldn't be able to claim for accidents in the first 48 hours or illness in the first 14 days.
Insurers add this exclusion period to prevent fraud from people who know their pet is about to need treatment so they get a policy to cover the costs.
However, it does mean you may not be covered for a short period even if you switch policies.
As part of our mission to make insurance fairer for everyone, we have removed the industry standard 14 day exclusion period for customers who switch from other insurers to Bought By Many. This means you can make a claim immediately after switching policies.
Can you have two pet insurance policies for the same pet?
Pet insurance companies do not encourage people to have two policies for the same pet at the same time.
Insurers' policy documents often state that if they find you have two policies they will refuse to pay a claim. So if both companies discover this, you may not be able to claim on either.
Some pet owners choose to overlap policies when they are switching to make sure they have cover during the 14-day exclusion period mentioned above.
This mean they'll be paying for two policies at the same time and there may be a risk the insurer won't pay the claim if they find out the owner has two policies.
If they do claim with their old insurer during the overlap period their new company is likely to treat the issue that was claimed for as a pre-existing condition and may not cover it for the rest of the policy.
We've decided to remove the 14-day waiting period if you switch to us from another provider with no gap in cover.
Do I have to cancel my insurance before switching pet insurance?
Yes, you should make sure you cancel your existing insurance policy before signing up to a new one to avoid paying twice. It’s worth double checking with your bank that the direct debit is deactivated as well.
Can I cancel pet insurance at any time?
You can cancel pet insurance at any time.
Insurance companies usually ask that you call them to cancel your policy. You can do this at any time, but bear in mind that if you cancel before your policy is due for renewal you may be liable to pay the premiums for the remainder of your current period of insurance. And some companies charge a small fee when you cancel.
Be aware that if you cancel but intend to buy another policy at some point, any conditions you previously claimed for may not be covered by a new policy.
How to cancel your pet insurance
It's best to check with your pet insurance company to find our their cancellation procedure.
However, most insurers ask policyholders to call if you want to cancel. They may try to convince you to stay but they'll also need to let you know about any cover or fees you still need to pay for.
If you have a Bought By Many policy and have any issues with your cover you can call our team on 0345 340 4090.
When switching pet insurance providers, there are a few things to keep in mind
- When you sign up with a new company, there is usually a 14-day period in which you cannot claim. It means that if your pet needs treatment within this time period, you may not be covered for the fees. However, some companies also use this 14 days as a ‘cooling off’ period, meaning you can cancel your policy if you are unhappy with it for any reason.
- As mentioned before, pre-existing medical conditions may not be covered under a new policy. This is not applicable to policies that offer to cover existing medical conditions if no symptoms have been shown or treatment administered for 2 years, but it is important to be fully aware of everything that is and isn’t covered by your policy.
- Dental work is not automatically covered by many policies. Make sure you check this, rather than just assume it will be covered. You can find out which companies cover dental by reading our article on dental pet insurance.
How can Bought By Many pet insurance help?
At Bought By Many we've launched our own pet insurance to solve the frustrations of pet owners. Our policies offer unique and comprehensive cover.