Cancelling pet insurance

People cancel their pet insurance policies for various reasons. But is cancelling pet insurance really the right move?

Amy Smith
Amy Smith
Updated 30 June 2023  | 4 mins read
Reviewed by Jasmine Hembury

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Many pet parents choose to take out pet insurance as a way of safeguarding their animals’ best interests.

But if your current policy doesn’t support them, it can be tempting to cancel pet insurance altogether.

So, is cancelling pet insurance really the right way to go? Or could there be a less drastic course of action for you to take?

Can I cancel pet insurance at any time?

Yes, you can cancel pet insurance at any time.

When cancelling pet insurance, you must call your insurer directly to let them know. Some providers will accept an email as a clear declaration of intent, although a phone call is generally seen as more reliable.

Check your policy’s fine print for the exact steps you need to follow.

Reasons for cancelling pet insurance

There are many reasons why you might choose to cancel your pet insurance policy, including:

  • Premiums becoming too high
  • Better levels of coverage elsewhere
  • You’re now insuring an older pet, which typically means additional charges

If you’re on the fence about cancelling pet insurance, make sure you consider your own finances and how far they’ll stretch towards vet bills and other costs.

What to consider before cancelling pet insurance

Keep the following in mind if you’re thinking of cancelling pet insurance:

Pre-existing conditions

Insuring pets with pre-existing conditions is hard enough, but did you know that anything your animal has already been treated for while insured also counts towards this category?

As such, any new plan won’t cover illnesses or injuries relating to previous conditions.

Insuring multiple pets

If you have multi-pet insurance, cancelling coverage for one of your pets may affect how much you pay to insure the others.

Waiting periods

A waiting period is the time between when you take out pet insurance and when you are covered.

Unfortunately, all pet insurers have some kind of waiting period in place before coverage becomes active. You must note this if you ever plan on switching providers.

Benefits and risks

Pet insurance not only provides financial assistance towards your animal’s treatment, but also much-needed peace of mind if the worst should happen.

Cancelling pet insurance is a big decision, and you should only end your policy if you’re sure you can bear the economic burden if your animal needs urgent veterinary care.

How to cancel your pet insurance

You can cancel pet insurance at any time, but depending where you’re at in your policy, the process may be different:

Cancelling a new policy

When you take out pet insurance, there’s usually a cooling off period of around 14 days in case you change your mind.

Cancelling mid-policy

Once the 14-day window has passed, any policy cancellation is subject to an early termination fee.

This varies from provider to provider, and if you think you’re being charged unfairly for cancelling pet insurance, you can always contact the Financial Ombudsman for advice.

Cancelling before renewal

When your pet insurance policy is up for renewal, you should be able to cancel it without any financial penalties.

Just remember that you won’t be covered until you take out a new plan.

To avoid jeopardising your cover, make sure you do plenty of research so when the renewal notice comes, you’re ready to switch without any hassle or panic.

Will I get my money back after cancelling pet insurance?

You may be eligible for a full or partial refund after cancelling pet insurance, providing certain criteria are met.

Firstly, if you cancel pet insurance within your provider’s waiting or cooling off period (usually within the 14 days since the policy started) then you should get your money back. However, please keep in mind that you may be charged a small admin fee.

Secondly, if you haven’t filed a claim and paid your annual premium in full, then the portion of the premium that covers the remaining period of insurance should be refunded to you. However, if you’ve chosen to pay your premiums in monthly instalments rather than annually, you won’t be eligible for a refund.

Finally, if you haven’t made a claim but have chosen to pay your premiums annually, then you won’t be entitled to any refund. Also, if you’ve chosen to make monthly payments, you may need to continue paying these for the remainder of the insurance period.

What to do instead of cancelling pet insurance

Cancelling pet insurance doesn’t have to be the go-to option. To maintain the cover your pet needs, consider:

Changing the level of cover

This way, you could lower your monthly premiums and still make sure your pet is safeguarded against illness or injury.

Switching providers

If your current policy is too expensive and/or doesn’t provide the right coverage for your pet, then you could find an insurer offering better conditions.

Compare quotes to avoid cancelling pet insurance and risking your beloved animal’s wellbeing.

See if you can save on your pet insurance

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