Pet insurers pay out a record £706 million in claims in 2016

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Pet insurers paid out a record £706 million in pet insurance claims in 2016 – the equivalent of £1.8 million every day, according to figures published by the Association of British Insurers (ABI).

The ABI has said that the average cost of claim topped £750 for the first time last year, up from £720 in 2015 and that insurers received over 2,500 pet claims every day. It said that the increase in claims and costs reflected the ever increasing range of veterinary treatments now available, as well as increasing vet bills.

Pet insurers dealt with 708,000 claims for dogs, paying out £544 million, up 9% from 2015 where insurers paid out £501 million. For cats, 193,000 claims were handled, worth £112 million – a rise of 7% from 2015, in which insurers paid out £105 million.

Rebecca Hollingsworth, general insurance policy adviser at the ABI, said: “Last year’s record levels of pet claims shows that owning a pet can not only be very rewarding, but also very costly.

“While it is good to see more pet policies in force, 70% of dogs and 85% of cats are not covered, this difference of 30% and 15% means that cat owners are twice as likely to risk expensive costs if their pet needs vet treatment.

“There is no NHS for pets, and the cost of getting quality veterinary treatment can quickly run into thousands of pounds, particularly with rising veterinary costs and a greater range of medical treatments for pets now available.

“Pet insurance remains very competitive, so [consumers]can choose from a wide range of products depending on your pet’s needs.”

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Marek Handzel

Marek Handzel is the editor of Claims Magazine. Marek welcomes articles, letters, or feedback from readers and can be reached by emailing marek.handzel@barkerbrooks.co.uk