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Pet Insurance Q&A: Transferring Pet Insurance

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“I’ll be moving soon and need to rehome my dog. How can I transfer the pet insurance to her new owner?” 

“I’m adopting a pet that is already insured, and I would like to maintain its existing insurance policy. What steps do I need to take to have the policy written in my name?” 

These questions are two sides of the same coin: an insured pet is going to a new home, and this change in ownership requires a change to the named policyholder. If you have found yourself on either side of this situation, you’re likely wondering how a pet’s coverage may be transferred from one owner to the next. 

Conveniently enough, pet insurance is merely a form of property insurance. Pet insurance stands to reimburse the pet’s owner for veterinary expenses, including (but not limited to) regular checkups and emergency visits. Even better, these policies never impose a limit to which veterinarians you may choose for your pet – which certainly makes the coverage much easier to write and practice than our health insurance. 

Writing and practicing pet insurance is easy enough – and luckily, transferring the insurance to a new owner is fairly straightforward. Best case scenario: transferring an active policy from one owner to the next will only require signed consent from both parties. However, like any other insurance concern, the exact procedure for doing so is at the discretion of the insurance company. Some companies may just rewrite the policy from scratch, which should be no problem if they are simply duplicating the prior pet owner’s policy. Otherwise, transferring pet insurance coverage is quick and simple for everyone involved. 

If you are the current policyholder for the pet, and you would like to transfer coverage on the pet to someone new, first share your policy information with the owner-to-be. Allow him/her some time to review the policy’s provisions and decide whether they want to make the purchase. If the new owner decides to move forward, let your insurance agent know everyone is ready to start a transfer. The paperwork is minimal, and your agent will be happy to help you both through the signing process. Once the policy is signed over, the coverage will continue 

uninterrupted, and the pet’s new owner will gain full control of the policy thereafter. As the prior owner, you will no longer be under any obligation to the insurance or its guidelines. 

If you plan to adopt a pet that is already insured, first ask the pet’s owner for the policy summary and decide for yourself if you want to maintain the coverage in place. You may find that the current coverage and pricing are satisfactory; or, you may choose to shop the policy around to different providers to find the best fit for you and the pet. In any case, remember to read the fine print for every summary, quote, or application you receive – just as you would for any insurance policy. Ensure that you are familiar with the coverage so you can make an informed purchase. Whatever you decide, be sure to communicate your choice with the prior owner. If you opt to continue with the policy in place, one or both of you may contact the insurance agent to complete the transfer process. Otherwise, if you would rather place coverage elsewhere, the prior owner may go ahead and cancel the policy as it is currently written. In either scenario, the prior pet owner is no longer involved with the policy once they have signed to be released. 

If you have any additional questions before you transfer the policy, always feel free to contact a licensed pet insurance professional. For other information about pet insurance, you can explore more questions and topics right here on our website. 

Also Read: Pet Insurance vs. Wellness Plan: How to decide what to get for your pet.

More pet insurance Q&A: 

Which pets need insurance? 

My pet has a pre-existing condition. Is he eligible for coverage? 

Who can cancel a pet insurance policy? 

What can influence a pet insurance policy’s premium? 

Visit the Q&A homepage

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