Cancelling pet insurance

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The good news: You’re free to cancel your pet insurance policy whenever you want. The process and cost involved depend on when you cancel, but it’s fairly straightforward either way.

The bad news: You’ll be out of pocket for any illness or injuries that befall your pet once it’s no longer insured, and the costs can quickly add up.

If you’re ready to cancel, here’s what you need to know:

  • If you’re within the cooling-off period: Most policies have a cooling-off period of 14 days. If you cancel during this time and haven’t made any claims, you should receive a full refund. However, do note that some insurers might charge a fee if you cancel in the first 14 days, so it’s worth checking the terms of the policy carefully.
  • If you’re outside the cooling-off period: You may not be entitled to any refund. However, depending on whether or not you’ve made a claim and when you pay your premiums, you may be entitled to a refund of the premium amount that covers the remaining period of insurance.

What should I consider when cancelling my policy?

Keep the following points in mind if you are thinking of cancelling pet insurance:

  • Cancellation fees. If you cancel your policy for any reason other than the death of your pet, you may be charged a cancellation fee. Make sure you’re aware of how much this fee is before pulling the plug on cover.
  • Lifetime cover eligibility. Many insurers will only offer cover to pets that are under nine years of age when you first take out cover. Your pet will then be covered for life once you have a policy in place, but if you choose to cancel cover you may not be able to re-insure your pet at a later date.
  • Multi-pet discounts. Most insurers offer a multi-pet discount when you insure more than one pet. Cancelling cover for one pet could increase the cost of cover for your other pet.
  • You could lose money. Depending on the circumstances you may not be eligible for a refund, and you may need to keep paying premiums for the remaining period of insurance. You may be better off cancelling cover near the end of the insurance period rather than while you still have several months of cover that are already paid for.

Why do people cancel their pet insurance?

There are several reasons why you might want to cancel your pet insurance policy, such as:

  • You can no longer afford cover. If your financial circumstances take a turn for the worse and you need to cut back on expenses, you may decide you can’t afford to continue paying pet insurance.
  • You want to switch to a different insurer. You might find a better level of cover elsewhere and choose to cancel your current policy and switch to a new insurer.
  • You no longer want cover. You may decide the benefits your pet insurance offers are not worth the cost of premiums and that you don’t want to continue paying for cover.
  • Your pet dies. If your dog or cat has passed away, there is obviously no reason to continue paying pet insurance premiums for that animal.

Can I cancel my pet’s policy at any time?

Yes, there are no restrictions on when you can cancel your pet insurance policy; you are free to do so at any time. However, whether or not you are eligible for a refund will depend on your individual circumstances.

If you cancel during your policy’s cooling-off period and you have not made any claims, you might be entitled to a full refund.

If you cancel after the cooling-off period, your eligibility for a refund depends on your premium payment schedule and whether or not you have made a claim. If you have paid your annual premium in full and have not made any claims, the portion of the premium that covers the remaining period of insurance will be returned to you. On the other hand, if you have chosen to pay your premium fortnightly or monthly, you may need to continue paying premiums for the remaining period of insurance.

If you cancel your policy having already made a claim, you will typically have to continue paying premiums for the remaining period of insurance, regardless of when you pay them.

What can I do instead of cancelling?

Instead of cancelling pet insurance, you may want to consider the following options:

  • Choose a lower level of cover. This will ensure that you still have a certain level of protection in place to help you cover unexpected vet bills, but your premiums will be more affordable.
  • Switch insurers. If you’re not happy with the level or cost of cover provided by your current insurer, switching to a new provider may be the perfect solution. However, this may mean that you’re not eligible for any premium refund from your current insurer. Compare a range of policies to find the right cover for your dog or cat.
  • Choose a higher excess. If you’re willing to pay a higher excess, you may be able to access cheaper premiums.

Choosing one of the above alternatives could help you maintain the cover your dog or cat needs, but make sure to consider all options carefully before deciding on the best way to cover your pet.

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