Pet insurers paid out an average of £2 million per day in 2017 to help UK pet owners with the unexpected costs of keeping an animal, the (ABI) has revealed.
A record £775 million in claims paid out by pet insurers in 2017
Describing pet claims as going through the ‘woof’, the trade body said that the £775 million in claims paid out by pet insurers in 2017 was the highest amount on record and represented a 10% year-on-year increase.
Its figures also showed that for the first time since records began, the number of claims had surpassed 1 million.
Average claim hits a new high of £757
According to the ABI, the average annual premium for dogs is now at £324, whilst for cats, this figure drops to £171.
The average claim now sits at £757. Average claim pay-outs are up by 56% since 2010, which the ABI said highlighted ever-increasing costs.
The ABI cited the cause of the increase in price on the modernisation, development and improvement of veterinary medical capabilities.
The ABI warned veterinary bills could often “rise into the thousands of pounds”
The ABI warned that veterinary bills could often rise “into the thousands of pounds”, with the average cost for surgery sitting at around £1,500.
It estimated that around 67% of dogs and 84% of cats are currently uninsured in the UK, potentially leaving around 12.4 million cat and dog owners at risk of having to “foot the bill” themselves.
A dog suffering from seizures cost £30,000 last year
In 2017, some of the most expensive claims included £30,000 worth of treatment for a dog suffering from seizures, £10,000 for a Golden Retriever with a fracture and treatment costs of £9,600 for a cat with inflammatory bowel disease.
“… the fact that millions of pets still aren’t covered means that owners are at risk of having to fork out thousands to cover the costs of vet treatment”
General Insurance Policy Adviser at the Association of British Insurers, Joseph Ahern, described owning a pet as rewarding but expensive if they fall ill.
“None of us wants to imagine anything bad happening to our pets, but leaving them uninsured can lead to expensive bills and unnecessary stress,” he continued.
“It’s good to see the number of pets being insured growing, and the amount being paid out by insurers, but the fact that millions of pets still aren’t covered means that owners are at risk of having to fork out thousands to cover the costs of vet treatment because there’s no NHS for animals.”
Pet owners told to shop around for a policy that is right for them
He also spoke of the “very competitive market” and advised consumers to shop around for a policy or speak to a broker.
It was only last month that the that protection insurers had paid out a record £5 billion in protection claims in 2017.