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We‘re claiming cats and dogs! Insurers paid out over £1 billion to protect pets in 2022

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  • Claims paid out reached the equivalent of £2.8 million a day. 
  • Every day insurers dealt with the equivalent of 3,600 new claims to treat ill or injured cats and dogs. 

Pet insurance payouts have topped a record £1 billion in 2022 according to our latest data. This is the highest on record reported by our members. 

This substantial increase largely reflects the high cost of veterinary treatment, including drugs and diagnostic equipment, which can result in more expensive claims.  

Our data reveals that in 2022: 

  • A total of 1.3 million claims were notified, up 28% on 2021 to the highest since we started collecting this data back in 2007. Payouts, at £1 billion, rose 17% on the previous year to the highest on record. 
  • Three quarters of total claims notified were for dogs, one-fifth for cats with the remainder for other pets. 
  • For dogs, the number of claims jumped 35% on 2021 to 1 million, with payouts up 23% to £800 million. For cats, the number of claims rose 20% to 269,000, with payouts up 22% to £184 million.
  • The average pet insurance premium was £ 327, up marginally (1%) on 2021.

Vet treatment can be pricey 

Treating sick or injured pets can be expensive. For example: 

  • Claims for spinal surgery are the most common high value claims, often costing £8,000 - £10,000.
  • A fractured femur for a pedigree cat cost over £8,000. The most common ongoing claims are to treat diabetes and skin conditions. Treatment for arthritis in a dog can cost over £2,000; typically, £1,000 to treat diabetes in a cat.

Managing your pet insurance costs 

With households facing higher cost of living bills, any pet owner worried about being able to afford their pet insurance should speak to their insurer to see what options might be available. For example, it may be possible to increase your policy excess (the part of each claim you must pay) to lower your premium. 

With a variety of pet insurance policies available, it is important to get the best policy for your needs. You should always read your policy, so that you understand exactly what you are covered for. 

Jonathan Purvis, Policy Adviser, General Insurance at the ABI said:  

“Pet insurance gives you peace of mind that should an accident or illness happen to your pet, then you will not face a nasty surprise which makes a dog’s dinner of your bank account. 

 “Insurers appreciate that these are tough financial times for many pet owners. If you are concerned about being able to afford your pet cover then talk to your insurer to see what options may be available.” 

Last updated 21/06/2023