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Costs rise sharply for Pet Insurance renewals

Pet owners are facing steep increases in renewal premiums as the effects of fewer insurers and sterner regulation take effect.

Pet owners are being hit with increased renewal premiums for their Pet Insurance, with some reporting rises over 40%. One dog owner in London saw her premium from John Lewis rise from £649 to £931 to cover her two springer spaniels.

The pet insurance market faced disruption last year as insurers Lloyds, Halifax and PetGuard were forced by the financial ombudsman to compensate customers after withdrawing from the market in 2011. Existing policyholders had to re-insure with new insurers but their pets existing health problems were now treated as pre-existing conditions by the new insurers. After a protracted argument, pet owners won the battle over the "lifetime” policies.

Beverley Cuddy, editor of Dogs Today magazine said: "Now that simply stopping providing cover seems to have been proved an unacceptable way of stopping insurance provision, companies are trying to find other ways to either improve profit or scare off customers they really don't want to work with any more. Putting up premiums is one way to do this.”

It is important to research your pet insurance carefully as, unlike car or home insurance, pre-existing conditions restrict your ability to shop around. Any savings made could be repeated for the lifetime of your pet. Compare pet insurance here.