Record number of pet insurance claims paid out last year

A record one million pet insurance claims were paid out in 2017, figures from a trade body show.

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) said it marks the first time the annual total has topped a million since records started - as well as being a 10% year-on-year increase.

In total 1,023,612 pet insurance claims were paid out last year.

An average of £2 million was paid out per day to settle pet insurance claims, which was also a record, the ABI said.

In total, it said pet insurers paid out £775 million in claims in 2017.

The average claim payout hit a new peak of £757 - much higher than the average annual premium of £324 for dogs and £171 for cats.

An estimated 67% of dogs and 84% of cats are still uninsured, the ABI said (Andrew Matthews/PA)
An estimated 67% of dogs and 84% of cats are still uninsured, the ABI said (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Dogs are twice as likely as cats to be insured by their owners, the ABI said.

It said an estimated 67% of dogs and 84% of cats are still uninsured.

Some of the most expensive claims last year according to the ABI include:

- A dog suffering from seizures required treatment costing £30,000;

- A golden retriever with a fracture needed £10,000 worth of treatment;

- A cat with inflammatory bowel disease required treatment amounting to £9,600.

Joseph Ahern, general insurance policy adviser at the ABI, said: "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.

"No matter what type of pet you have - there should be a policy that's right for you. The market is very competitive, so be sure to shop around or speak to a broker."

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