Average pet insurance claim rises to £757
Every year, pet insurance saves dog and cat owners hundreds -- sometimes thousands -- of pounds when they find themselves facing unexpected vet bills.
The latest figures from the Association of British Insurers (ABI) show that insurers paid out a record average of £2m every day in 2017.
The average claim also hit a new peak, rising to £757, compared with the average annual premium of £324 for dogs and just £171 for cats.
Average claim pay-outs are up 56% since 2010, reflecting ever increasing costs, the insurance industry group said.
Growing numbers of owners are opting for the peace of mind pet insurance brings. Across the UK, 3.7 million households now have pet insurance. That's an 11% increase on the previous year, but it still means that 8.2 million households are choosing to leave their pets uninsured.
If you've never thought about the costs you might face if your beloved pet falls ill or suffers an accident, it's worth knowing that the average cost of surgery amounts to approximately £1,500.
In 2017, some of the most expensive claims included:
- A dog suffering from seizures required £30,000 of treatment
- A Golden Retriever with a fracture required £10,000 of treatment.
- A cat with inflammatory bowel disease required £9,600 of treatment.
What does pet insurance cover?
Most new policies won't cover the cost of treating pre-existing medical conditions that your pet has, but will reimburse costs for other veterinary fees relating to the cost of diagnosing and treating illnesses and/or injuries. This can include the cost of consultations, examinations, tests, x-rays, MRI scans, medication, surgery and hospitalisation, as well as alternative therapies like acupuncture and complementary treatments such as physiotherapy, osteopathy and hydrotherapy.
You may also be entitled to claim for third-party liability, i.e. if your pet injures someone or damages someone else's property and you are legally responsible; advertising costs to help find your lost or stolen pet and the cost of a reward if someone finds or recovers your pet; pet care costs if you have to go into hospital for emergency medical treatment; and the cost of your holiday if it is cancelled because your pet falls ill or is injured close to the start of your holiday.
If you take your pet abroad, you may be covered for overseas vet fees to pay for emergency treatment for your pet.
And if your pet is lost, stolen, or dies as a result of an injury or an illness before a specified age, you may be able to claim back the purchase price of your pet.
How to claim on your pet insurance
To make a claim, you'll need to call your insurer on their claims line. You should then complete and submit a claims form, which may include a section for your vet to complete, and provide all relevant evidence and paperwork.