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Shopping around for pet insurance and using comparison websites

Comparison websites have become extremely popular over the last few years and do provide a convenient option for those looking to get the best deal on their insurance and other financial products.  However, there are unique considerations to bear in mind if you are thinking of switching your pet insurance provider or using a comparison website to obtain a quote.
Firstly, any pre-existing conditions or claims that your pet may have or had in the past may be excluded from cover on any new policy you take out.  If you have made a number of claims on your current policy think very carefully before considering a switch – as the likelihood is that further claims for the same conditions will not be covered under your new policy.

Secondly, be savvy when using comparison websites to check out pet insurance.  Many of the big websites only provide details of a very limited range of providers and some do not allow for price comparison at all.  This may be because pet insurance varies considerably across the market – so making direct ‘like for like’ comparisons is tricky!  Furthermore, it is common for providers to offer introductory first year discounts which will disappear at the time of renewal. A generous first year discount may look good at first sight but be careful – by the time of renewal you may well have already made a claim which will discourage you from switching provider.

We recommend speaking to the staff at your local veterinary clinic in the first instance.  What do they recommend?  You could also take a look at the Defaqto website.  Defaqto are independent and impartial and compare all types of financial products  – including pet insurance – based on the quality of the benefits the products provide rather than price.

Most importantly, remember that whichever product you purchase you should be granted a “cooling off period” during which you can cancel and obtain a full refund of any premium paid, provided you’ve not made a claim.  You should use this period to review your policy documentation and terms and conditions carefully to ensure they meet your needs and those of your pet.

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