Pet insurance – can you ‘paws’ your payments? | moneyfacts.co.uk

nigel woollsey

Nigel Woollsey

Online Writer
Published: 16/07/2020

The financial impact of the Coronavirus pandemic is already being felt by many people, including pet owners. Those on furlough or who’ve been made redundant may be looking to cut down on unnecessary expenses – including, the cost of pet insurance.

With vet’s fees costing an average of £793 in 2018 according to the PDSA, simply cancelling your pet insurance could prove to be a false economy. However, there are several pet insurance providers who are extending a helping hand to the UK’s pet owners offering pet insurance payment holidays.

Payment holidays for cash-strapped pet owners are readily available from a number of pet insurers, including major players such as Bought By Many, Co-op pet insurance, Petplan, M&S Bank pet insurance, Petprotect and Liverpool Victoria (LV=) – all of whom are four or five-star providers in the Moneyfacts Pet Insurance Star Ratings Awards 2020.

Pet owners considering a payment holiday should check with their pet insurance provider to see if this is available.

How long can I get a pet insurance payment holiday for?

Customers can choose payment holidays of one, two or three months, with the latter being the longest insurers will currently delay instalments for. Generally, requests for payment holidays must be made at least five working days before the next instalment is due.

How will pet owners be expected to pay back the missed instalments?

Most pet insurers make it clear that, regardless of whether their customer has taken a one, two or the full three-month instalment break, the premium owed will simply be spread over the remaining instalments before renewal. For example, if after the delayed payments you have six instalments left to pay, then the premium you owe will be divided equally and added to these six remaining instalments. No interest is payable.

Can you still claim on your pet insurance if you’ve taken a payment holiday?

Yes. Customers will still be able to claim for the cost of vet’s fees during the deferred payment period. However, if you cancel the policy after the deferred period without making any payments, then the insurer will naturally look to you to pay back any monies they have laid out for claims submitted during the deferred payment period.

What if I pay for my pet insurance annually?

Payment holidays are only available for those paying by instalments. However, most insurers ask that customer get in touch to discuss their individual requirements, with the option to change to instalments at renewal.

How do I apply for a payment holiday?

Customers should contact their pet insurance provider to request a payment holiday or discuss their individual circumstances. Many pet insurers also have additional COVID-19 information on their websites.

Is there an alternative to taking a pet insurance payment holiday?

All pet insurers, including Bought By Many, LV=, Co-op, Petguard, John Lewis pet insurance, Argos pet insurance and Petplan, encourage customers to get in touch to discuss their individual circumstances. In many instances, you may be able to reduce the cover you currently enjoy and move to a cheaper policy if this suits you better. This is also a possible solution if your current pet insurer is not offering payment holidays.

Disclaimer

Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.

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