What to expect at renewal if you’ve made a pet insurance claim

28 November 2023 - 4 min read
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If your dog or cat has been ill or injured recently, we bet you’re very glad you had pet insurance. With some vet treatments costing thousands of pounds it’s an important financial safety net for pet parents.

But you might be wondering how this will affect your premium when your policy is up for renewal. Will it increase?

Here’s what you can expect from your pet insurance price after you’ve made a claim and what you can do to keep pet insurance costs affordable.

Understanding pet insurance changes after a claim

At ManyPets we set our prices based on external factors, like inflation and veterinary costs, as well as individual risk.

Individual risk is all about how likely it is that you’ll need to make a claim. It’s influenced by things like your pet’s age and breed.

For example, an 11 year old French Bulldog is likely to pose a bigger risk to insurers than, say, a Jack Russell puppy, due to being quite elderly and conditions like BOAS that are associated with flat-faced breeds.

Another thing that influences individual risk is your pet’s claims history.

Claims may push up future pet insurance premiums because of:

  • The number of claims

  • The nature of claims

Basically, once you’ve made claims, insurance calculations will often decide you are at a greater risk of making future claims.

It does depend to some extent on the condition though – a minor, common condition like a small wound is unlikely to have much impact on your insurance. But if you’ve claimed for an ongoing condition like diabetes that needs future medication and treatment, you might see a price increase at renewal time.

On the other hand, if you’re a very frequent claimer, even relatively small amounts, insurers may calculate this as a higher future risk.

It's important to understand that a pet insurance increase after a claim isn't a penalty but rather a recalibration based on the perceived risk. Insurers assess the likelihood of future claims when setting premiums.

How to keep premium costs down

You can’t do much to change your pet’s level of risk after claims have been made. It’s decided by the way the premiums are calculated.

But there might be a few things you can do to reduce your risk of claiming in the first place.

Preventative healthcare

One of the most important things you can do for your pet’s health is to have them vaccinated and keep boosters up to date, regularly treat them for fleas, ticks and worms and consider neutering. Regular dental check ups and cleaning can also help avoid unscheduled vet trips that might lead to a claim.

Keep at a healthy weight

Make sure your pet is on a suitable diet and weigh both them and their food regularly. Obese pets are at a greater risk of needing to claim than cats and dogs that are a healthy weight.

Consider if it’s worth claiming

If your pet has needed a very small treatment where you were perhaps charged just the cost of a consultation plus a few tablets that comes to barely more than your excess, you might decide it’s not really worth adding to your claims history by making a claim for such a small amount.

Remember, all our policies are lifetime cover, so as long as you were covered at the time of the treatment and you continue to renew, you’ll still be covered if you need to make a more expensive claim for that condition later on.

Order prescription pet medicines online

Whether you decide to claim or not, you could save money by getting a prescription from your vet and ordering medication online. If you do make a claim it’ll help keep costs down, which could mean your renewal price is less impacted by the claim.

What to do at renewal

If you face a premium increase at renewal, there might be a few things you could do to keep your policy affordable:

Check your cover

Are you paying for optional extras you don’t really need? Could a policy with a lower vet fee limit meet your needs? Give your insurer a call to discuss if you think it might be sensible to adjust your cover.

Consider switching

You do need to think carefully before switching if you’ve made a claim as any conditions you’ve claimed for probably won’t be covered by the new policy, unless it’s a specialist policy like our Pre-existing policy.

Increase your excess

If you’re on a low or no excess policy, you could ask your insurer if they can increase your excess, as this usually reduces the cost of the premium. Just remember that the excess is the amount you pay towards any claims, so you might need to pay a bit more towards any future claims you make.

Should you cancel your policy?

It’s never welcome news that your premiums are increasing, especially when the cost of everything else is going up so steeply too.

It might be tempting to cancel your policy altogether, but make sure you think carefully before taking drastic action. Pet insurance isn’t just about money, its real value is the peace of mind it gives you.

If you’re looking for dog insurance or cat insurance that offers really comprehensive all-round cover, check out our Complete policy. As well as up to £15,000 for vet fees it offers cover if your pet is lost and stolen, travelling abroad, dental accidents and illness, complementary therapies and behavioural treatment, all as standard.

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.