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Revealed: the rising costs of pet insurance

Discover which breeds are the most expensive to insure

Revealed: the rising costs of pet insurance

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. For full access, join Which? 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).

Dogs Average premium
French bulldog £358.49
Golden retriever £186.99
Labrador retriever £182.12
Cockerpoo £141.49
Cocker spaniel £140.54
Crossbreed £139.08
Border collie £133.87
Jack Russell terrier £132.75
Cats Average premium
Maine Coon £114.44
Bengal tiger £105.44
Domestic long-haired cat £85.64
British Shorthair £85.09
Tabby £85.09
Domestic short-haired cat £81.94
Crossbreed £81.00

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:

Which? members can log in to see our expert reviews of pet insurance. If you’re not a member, join Which? to get access to our analysis.

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