One in five pet owners have had a problem with soaring insurance premiums – with dog and cat lovers being charged as much as £2,000 to protect their precious animals, a Which? survey has found.
According to a survey of more than 1,300 Which? members, the average price for an annual lifetime policy has reached £472 for a dog and £285 for a cat.
Six in 10 (60%) policyholders have seen a rise since their last renewal – on average, £123 for dogs and £57 for cats. One in three (32%) people with insurance for a dog or cat have put the policy to use, making at least one claim over the past year.
A version of this story first appeared in Which? Money magazine. Take a £1 trial for two months today.
How much does pet insurance cost?
Our survey found that the average amount pet owners shell out for dogs aged seven to 10 is £526. This is a marked increase on 2014, when the cost was just £456.
The breed of cat or dog you own can make a significant difference to how much it costs to insure it. We averaged the five cheapest lifetime policy quotes for eight dog and seven cat breeds on a comparison site using a Cambridge postcode.
French bulldogs (£358) were the most expensive of the eight popular breeds of dogs we compared, costing hundreds of pounds more to cover than a Jack Russell terrier (£133). When it comes to cats, a Maine Coon (£114) was the most costly followed by Bengal tiger (£105) and domestic long-haired cats (£86).
|Jack Russell terrier||£132.75|
|Domestic long-haired cat||£85.64|
|Domestic short-haired cat||£81.94|
In the survey, pet lovers in the East of England paid the highest average premium for insuring a single dog on a lifetime policy (£565), followed by:
- East Midlands – £535
- South East England – £517
- London – £493
- South West England – £470
- North West England – £427
- West Midlands – £424
Harry Rose, Which? Money Editor, said: ‘While rising premiums have left many feeling squeezed, there are a few things you can do to help rein in the cost of insuring your pets.
‘The earlier you get cover, the better. Not only will premiums be cheaper, a younger animal will have fewer pre-existing conditions, making for fewer exclusions and greater choice between policies.’
Finding the best pet insurance
Getting the right cover for your four-legged friend can be a minefield: there are a variety of policies, offering different levels of cover and coming with a range of exclusions.
So, Which? is here to help. On this site you can read:
- Reviews of the best and worst cat insurance and dog insurance
- Customer service ratings for almost a dozen pet insurers
- Individual product ratings for each pet insurance company