The ManyPets guide to pet insurance renewal costs

5 December 2023 - 5 min read
Woman with cat looking at laptop

Have your pet insurance costs gone up at renewal? If they have and it’s more than you expected or budgeted for, you might be wondering why.

At ManyPets, we believe in honest and transparent pricing, so we’ll do our best to explain how pet insurance renewals are priced and help you find cover that works for your budget.

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How does the pet insurance renewal process work?

Pet insurance, like any insurance, is about spreading out risk over many customers. Just like with your car insurance or home insurance, the principal of pet insurance is that everybody pays a little, so that no one pays a lot.

For example, imagine a group of 1,000 pet insurance customers, each paying premiums of £350 per year. Out of this group, some will claim nothing. Some will claim a bit less than £350 in a year, some will claim a bit more. Some will have some sizable claims – perhaps a double hip replacement surgery at a cost of £15,000, the full vet fee limit of our Complete policy.

But, if the policies have been priced right, the £350,000 collectively paid will be enough to cover the cost of all the claims.

Of course, in real life we don’t all pay £350 a year for our dog insurance or cat insurance. Some of us pay more and some of us pay less. The individual price depends on your pet’s individual circumstances and how much of a risk the insurer deems them to be.

So how does that affect renewal? That individual cost changes over time as your pet ages and builds up a bit of a medical history. 

If you’ve got an older dog or older cat with a few previous illnesses, there’s more of a chance of you needing to claim in the coming year so you’ll be asked to contribute a bit more to that overall insurance ‘pot’.

Does the price of pet insurance in the UK usually rise each year?

There’s no escaping the fact that your pet insurance is likely to increase each year.

It’s not like car insurance where you build up a no-claims bonus – it’s more comparable to human health insurance where you become slightly more at risk each year as you age.

In 2023, price increases have been particularly marked because of some external factors playing a part, chiefly the rapid rise in the cost of living. 

You can get an idea of how much this has pushed up veterinary costs by looking at our research into the cost increases of vaccinations and cat and dog neutering.

How much does pet insurance increase each year in the UK?

According to the Association of British Insurers (ABI), the average pet insurance premium was £327 in 2022. That’s up 21% since its 2020 figure. 

Although figures aren’t available for 2023 yet, you don’t have to be a pet industry insider to realise that prices will have increased again in the meantime, alongside the cost of fuel, food and wages in the UK.

On an individual level, your own renewal price increase will also be affected on the risk calculation for your cat or dog.

What factors increase price when renewing pet insurance?

The main reasons your price can increase over time are:

  • Inflation

  • Vet costs

  • Your pet’s age

  • Health risks for your pet’s breed

  • Previous claims

We’ve already looked at how inflation and increasing vet treatment costs push up pet insurance renewal prices, but the other three factors come down to your pet’s individual risk.

Age will inevitably push up pet insurance renewal prices. There’s no escaping the fact that older pets are more likely to need veterinary care. This is why your insurance costs rise as your pet gets older.

Prices are likely to increase more steeply when your pet reaches seven or eight years old.For some breeds with shorter average lifespans, prices can start to increase even younger.

Your pet’s breed also plays a part. Each breed of dog or cat is different, and they tend to be affected by different conditions. We regularly review how likely it is that a breed will develop a condition and that affects the premiums you pay. Often the risk of developing conditions increases with age as well, so that can have a more marked effect at each renewal.

Finally, if you’ve had to make a claim previously, it can mean that statistically you’re more likely to make a claim in the future (a bit like with car insurance). The way insurance pricing prediction works means that this can mean your premiums are a bit higher, especially if you’ve had a particularly high number of previous claims.

At the end of your policy, we’ll review the claims you’ve made to understand whether your pet is more or less likely to need treatment in the coming year and adjust your price based on this.

What can I do when my pet insurance is up for renewal?

You might come to the conclusion that the renewal price is fair, though higher, and you are happy to continue with your cover.

Otherwise, you could consider shopping around and switching your pet insurance provider.

We can’t emphasise this enough though if your pet needed treatment for an injury or illness in the past you’ll probably only still be covered for that particular condition if you renew with your existing provider.

It’s because 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.

At ManyPets we do things a bit differently – our policies cover conditions that ended at least two years ago and we even have a policy that covers more recent pre-existing conditions.

That means it’s definitely worth getting a quote with us if you’re currently with another provider that’s quoted you a high renewal price.

At ManyPets there is no 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 ManyPets with no break in cover, then we will pay vet fee claims in the first 14 days if you need to claim.

How is the ManyPets renewal process different?

If you’re happy with your renewal price, you won’t need to do anything. We’ll just renew it automatically.

If you’re worried it’s become more expensive, please get in touch. We’ll be happy to go through your policy details with you and talk about whether you might be better off choosing a different policy at a lower cost.

We have different levels of vet fee cover and you can also choose to pay a higher excess with certain policies to bring down the cost of your premiums.

Even our Value policy has £3,000 of vet fee cover that refreshes each year when you renew. And if you’re one of the lucky healthy pet owners who feels like they’re paying premiums year after year with no claims, take a look at our MoneyBack option, which gives back 20% of your premiums at the end of the policy year if you haven’t needed to claim.

Derri Dunn
Content marketer

Derri is a personal finance and insurance writer and editor. After seven years covering all things motoring and banking at GoCompare, Derri joined ManyPets in 2021 to focus on pet health. She has fostered cats and kittens for Blue Cross and Cats Protection and is owned by tabby cat Diggory and two badly behaved dogs.