Why did our pet insurance rise when we moved just three miles?

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Is our pet insurance premium increase justified after we moved three miles across Peterborough?

We have four pets insured with Animal Friends – the cat for 14 years and the dogs for seven, six and five years. Our monthly premiums came to £158. We moved from a through-route in the centre of town to a cul-de-sac in the suburbs, but will continue to use the same vet. I notified Animal Friends, and was told our premiums would be increased to almost £169.

It has justified this on the basis that many things affect premiums “such as increasing veterinary fees, together with a high increase in the frequency of claims received geographically”. Given that we will continue to use the same vet, and all the other risks look exactly the same, I can only see this as a money-making exercise. My car insurance went down £100 following the move.

TF, Peterborough

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Like you, my immediate reaction was that this was a price rise for no apparent reason. I could understand it if you had moved to an area with higher vets’ costs, or to a busier road with a higher risk of an accident.

Animal Friends told me that it stands by the 6.86% increase, the equivalent of £130 a year. “Premiums are based on a number of factors and not just limited to a specific veterinary practice,” it said, before reiterating what it had told you about fees and the frequency of claims in different postcodes.

I got a quote from the firm’s website to cover a cat at both your new and old postcodes, and it was about 5.6% higher for your new address.

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When the policy comes up for renewal, do your research. You are spending more than £2,000 a year on insuring your pets and another firm may do it for less.

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