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Paw-sitively protected - pet insurers processed a record £2.4 million a day in 2021

Lifetime pet insurance policy.jpg

  • £872 million processed in claims for 2021
  • Record 1.03 million claims handled by insurers
  • 4% increase in average claim

Insurers have continued to help pet owners keep their furry friends healthy, processing a record £872 million in claims for 2021, according to new data from the Association of British Insurers (ABI). This marked a 9.2% jump from 2020.

Claims top one million

The number of claims notified has also surpassed pre-Covid levels, hitting a record 1.03 million. The previous record was in 2017, when 1.02 million claims were made.

This increased volume of claims not only reflects veterinary practices being able to open their doors to non-emergency treatments again, but also the 3.2 million households who got new pets during the pandemic1.

Average claim increased by almost 4%

With the cost of treatment rising sharply in recent years, the average claim has increased too, with an average claim value of £848 per claim in 2021, compared with £817 in 2020.

Recent examples of how much it can cost to treat an ill or injured pet include:

  • The average cost for treating a cat’s respiratory condition is £726
  • Treating a tortoise’s digestive disorder can cost over £560
  • Surgery for a cat’s broken tibia cost nearly £2000
  • Treating a small dog with gastroenteritis can cost £673
  • It can cost over £3300 to treat a dog diagnosed with epilepsy
  • Treating a dog with diabetes can cost over £1200
  • Specialist treatment and surgery for a puppy with hip dysplasia can cost over £13,000
  • Treatment for a cat suffering from soft tissue sarcoma can cost over £12,200

The ABI’s data also reveals that in 2021:

The number of people purchasing pet insurance increased by 4.5% to 3.7 million, the highest number since 2017.

The number of pets protected by insurance increased for the first time since 2018, from 4.2 million to 4.3 million.

There were 1,029,000 total claims notified. This includes 764,000 claims for dogs, 225,000 for cats and 40,000 for other animals.

JonathanPurvis500x500Oct2019.JPGJonathan Purvis, Policy Adviser, General Insurance at the ABI said:

“Whether they’re curious cats, playful puppies or even a timid tortoise, our pets are members of the family. They might offer us a great deal of happiness, but there’s no doubt they can keep us on our toes with their adventurous ways.

“With no NHS for pets, insurers are there to protect you and your furry friend when they get into mishaps or fall ill. As the cost of living crisis starts to bite, insurance can give you the peace of mind that, should your pet need medical care, the costs won’t leave you feeling sick as a parrot.”

Notes to editors

1  Households 'buy 3.2 million pets in lockdown' BBC News 

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Last updated 24/05/2022