More policyholders are claiming on their pet insurance policies as latest ABI figures out today show the average claim has now topped £600
Having pet insurance is a personal choice which leaves many divided. Many friends who have owned pets for many years and treat them as a member of the family have always had the opinion it is not worth purchasing pet insurance.
But whatever some may think, last year pet insurers in the UK paid out £478 million – the equivalent of £1.3 million every day – mainly to cover veterinary bills for treating sick and injured cats and dogs.
Yet, despite the rise in the number and cost of claims, pet owners according to the Association of British Insurers (ABI), many still risk facing hefty veterinary bills that could leave them feeling as sick as a parrot because they choose not to buy pet insurance.
Figures out today show that in 2013:
- £478 million was paid by pet insurers, mainly in respect of the cost of treating sick or injured cats and dogs, up 24% since 2010
- Nearly 800,000 claims were made by cat and dog owners, a rise of 8% since 2010
- Of the 17 million owners of cats and dogs in the UK, only around 15% have pet insurance
With no NHS for pets, medical bills can be expensive. For example the average cost of treating a dog inured in a road traffic accident is £674, and £300 for a cat; for a dog spinal surgery can cost £2,000, treating a uterine infection £900. An overnight stay at the vets can typically cost £675 for a dog, and £300 for a cat.
Some of the more unusual pet claims include treating a dog for injuries sustained when he got impaled on a fence while chasing a cat, and removing a marker pen swallowed by a dog.
But with all policies as pets get older premiums rise and may become unaffordable for many, especially when household budgets are squeezed.