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Does pet insurance increase after a claim?

If it’s time to renew your pet insurance policy, you might find your premiums have gone up. This quick guide will help explain why.

An increase in your renewal quote could be for a number of reasons – the age of your pet, your claims history, or the cost of advanced veterinary treatment.

Here, we’ll help you work out why your premiums might have increased. We’ll provide the answers to questions like ‘Why does my dog insurance keep going up?’ or ‘Can you take out pet insurance after diagnosis?’ And we’ll give you some top tips on how to keep your pet insurance costs affordable.

How much does pet insurance increase each year?

According to the most recent figures from the ABI, the average pet insurance premium is a whopping £848. With the costs of treatments rising, there were £872m claims processed in 2021.

Many households bought pets during the pandemic, increasing the UK’s pet ownership figures significantly. This high demand pushed up prices for pets – and with it, insurance premiums, too.

3 reasons why your pet insurance premium might increase

All prices tend to go up rather than down – and insurance premiums are no different. You might know your insurance premium will increase each year, but you’ll also want to know why.

Here are three of the main reasons prices can increase:

1. Your pet is getting older:

Age is a key risk factor used by insurance companies. The older a pet, the more likely they are to suffer from health-related issues – so the cost to insure them increases.

2. Your pet got sick:

If your dog or cat has needed medical treatment in the past 12 months and you had to make a claim, your premium is likely to increase. If they need further treatment going forward - perhaps for a terminal illness - this will be reflected in your premium.

3. Medical progress:

Advancements in treatment mean vets can do more than ever for your pets. But these sophisticated treatments come at a cost, which gets passed onto the customer.

Why does pet insurance go up after making a claim?

A pet insurance increase will not happen after submitting a new claim, but your premiums could go up at renewal. From an insurance provider’s perspective, if an owner has made a claim once, they’re likely to claim again.

Health conditions can be complex, with many requiring ongoing treatment. Even if you have claimed for an accident or lost your pet, it will all be factored in when an insurer is calculating your premium.

The combination of medical history and an ageing pet can mean you receive a quote that is much higher than you were expecting.

You also need to remember that some types of insurance policy do not cover pre-existing health conditions at renewal. So if your pet has had a diagnosis, you will be able to take out a policy, but that specific health condition may not be covered.

Taking out lifetime pet insurance when your dog or cat is still young can avoid this issue. Lifetime pet insurance may increase every year, but at least you know you have the most comprehensive level of cover for your pet you could buy.

If you’re insuring an older dog or cat, it’s never too late – and the potential cost of treatment could far outweigh the cost of rising premiums.

When to claim on pet insurance

If your pet needs veterinary attention, the cost of treatment can quickly add up. Even though making a claim on your pet insurance may push up the cost of future premiums, you may find it is well worth it.

All pet insurance policies are different, so when is it worth claiming on pet insurance? Examples include:

  • Cost of treatment following an accident.
  • Cost of treatment for a health condition.
  • Compensation if you lose your dog or cat, or it passes away.
  • Liability insurance.
  • Boarding kennel fees if you are ill or unable to look after them.

There may be a time limit on claims, so be sure to make a pet insurance claim straight away after getting a diagnosis or your pet has been in an accident.

Things you generally can’t claim for on your insurance include routine healthcare (such as check-ups, vaccinations, and worming treatments), and pre-existing conditions.

Dog insurance cover levels overview

How to reduce the cost of your pet insurance premiums

Taking the time to compare pet insurance policies can help you keep the cost of your premiums down. Plus, there are things you can do to ensure you’re not paying more than you have to.

4 quick tips to lower your insurance premiums include:

  1. Getting your pets neutered or spayed
  2. Getting your dog microchipped
  3. Taking out insurance from a young age (i.e. before any health conditions have developed)
  4. Increasing your excess

Keeping pet insurance costs affordable

You can change pet insurance after a claim, but you may find the premiums were more than expected.

This makes it really important to do lots of research and make sure you take out the best policy from the start.

To keep pet insurance costs down, it can be tempting to go for the cheapest insurance policy you find. However, be aware that this initial low price may not stay that way in the long-term.

You may find you are heavily penalised each time you make a claim. And if you try to switch to a different provider, the condition you have claimed for will now be seen as pre-existing and not covered under the new policy.

Is insurance for your pet worth it?

Deciding whether to insure your pets or not comes down to personal circumstance. But if you are unsure whether you can afford the cost of the premiums, the cost of veterinary treatment is probably far higher than you’d imagine.

The cost of treatment can vary hugely, but some health conditions can cost thousands of pounds to manage and treat. From special diets to surgery, the costs can soon mount up.

There may be times when you think ‘can I  increase my pet insurance cover?’as your pet gets older, for example. Speaking with a provider that specialises in older pet insurance will make you feel confident that you’re getting the best protection possible.

Compare pet insurance with confidence

At Petwise, we’re here to help you find the right cover for you and your pets. We specialise in insurance for older pets, and never take a one-size-fits-all approach to finding them the protection they deserve.

You can find out more about what older dog insurance covers here.

We know that older pets are more likely to fall ill – and this is precisely the time you want insurance cover you can rely on.

If you’re looking for pet insurance that doesn’t increase with age in the UK, get in touch with our team of experts to explore senior pet insurance options.

Our pet insurance starts immediately, meaning you know that if your dog or cat does become unwell, they can receive immediate, professional care. Plus, we’ve got lots of tips for cutting the cost of pet ownership on our blog.

Find out more about our insurance cover and get a free quote from Petwise today.

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