The ManyPets guide to switching pet insurance

5 December 2023 - 6 min read
Man and dog looking at laptop

Have you just had your pet insurance renewal letter, only to find your prices have gone up quite a lot? If s, you might be considering switching.

At ManyPets we’re always trying to fix pet parents’ biggest pet insurance frustrations so we’re doing everything we can to make switching to us as seamless and stress-free as possible.

A cat walking on a laptop

No wait period when you switch from another insurer of 12 months or more

A cat walking on a laptop

The benefits of switching pet insurance

The main reason people considering switching pet insurance is the price. If your renewal price has increased, you can consider shopping around and switching to a cheaper policy elsewhere.

Price isn’t the only benefit of switching pet insurance though. You might also want to move to a company with:

  • Better customer services

  • Additional cover like complementary therapies or behavioural treatment

  • A different type of cover, for example lifetime cover

At ManyPets we have a range of cat insurance and dog insurance policies with different cover levels. Even our cheapest option, the Value policy, has a £3,000 vet fee limit. And because it’s lifetime cover it’ll refresh each year when you renew.

If your pet 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 which we'll cover later.

Be aware that switching pet insurance does become more difficult when your pet has a pre-existing condition.

Top tips for finding better cover and switching pet insurance

Take a few steps to make sure you’re comparing fairly and choosing a suitable policy:

  1. Shop around – check lots of companies to get an idea of prices. A price comparison site can help with this, but be aware that it might not give you much detail about the level of cover.

  2. Check cover and options – once you’ve found a policy or company you like the look of, check the policy really carefully and make sure you’re comparing like-for-like. Look at the vet fee limit, the type of policy and whether it covers things like dental illness (most don’t), complementary therapies and behavioural treatment.

  3. Check through our common pitfalls to make sure switching won’t cause you problems down the line if you need to make a claim.

Common pitfalls to avoid when switching pet insurance

The most common problems customers encounter when switching pet insurance are:

  • Cover for pre-existing conditions

  • Choosing the wrong kind of cover

  • A gap in cover due to a wait period on the new policy.

At ManyPets, we’ve tried to solve these problems when you switch to us. Here’s how…

Switching with pre-existing conditions

If you're not happy with your renewal price and you're considering switching pet insurance, the most important thing to think about is whether your pet has had a medical condition before.

If your pet has needed a vet consultation or treatment for an accident or illness in the past, an insurer will usually class it as a pre-existing condition.

If the consultation or treatment happened while you had lifetime cover with your current insurer it should continue to pay out for it as long as you renew each year but a new company would normally 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.

One option for switching pet insurance if your pet has a condition is moving to a new provider and just 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.

Our Pre-existing policy can cover recent conditions.

The ManyPets solution

At ManyPets we don't believe this treats customers fairly so we've made sure all our policies cover conditions that haven't shown signs or symptoms, or needed treatment, medication or advice for at least two years. We simply don't class these as pre-existing conditions.

And we have a policy that can cover pre-existing conditions.

Our Pre-existing policy can cover conditions as long as your pet hasn't shown signs or symptoms or received treatment, medication or advice for them in the three months before your policy starts. If they have, the condition will need to be free from signs or symptoms, treatment, medication or advice for three months before you can claim for it.

Cover for pre-existing conditions increases after the first two years if you don't claim and you'll have £7,000 of vet fee cover for new conditions.

Switching and cover types

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.

Even worse, if you switch to an accident-only policy it might be cheap, but it won’t cover any illnesses at all, which could leave you without the cover you need.

The ManyPets solution

All ManyPets vet fee policies offer lifetime cover.

We don’t want you to run out of cover, so our policies have an annual vet fee limit that refreshes each year when you renew.

Wait periods when you switch pet insurance

You need to be aware of the ‘wait period’ when you switch. It’s 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 when if you switch policies.

The ManyPets solution

As part of our mission to make insurance fairer for everyone, we have removed the industry standard 14-day exclusion period for customers switching to ManyPets from another insurer they've been with for 12 months or more.

This means you can make a claim immediately after switching policies if you need to.

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 means 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 removed the 14-day waiting period if you switch straight to us from an insurer you've been with for 12 months or more.

Do I have to cancel my old pet insurance when I switch?

Yes, you should make sure you cancel your existing insurance policy before signing up for 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 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 out their cancellation procedure.

However, most insurers ask policyholders to call if they 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 ManyPets policy and have any issues with your cover you can call our team on 0345 340 4090.

How can ManyPets pet insurance help?

Our pet insurance is designed to solve pet owners' problems. Our policies offer comprehensive cover with unlimited, fast, 24/7 vet advice at your fingertips.

Top-quality pet insurance

Award-winning for a reason

Our cover comes from listening to thousands of cat and dog owners like you.

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.