Pet insurers paid out £775 million in claims during 2017, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) has revealed.
This was the highest claims payout on record for pet insurance and represented a 10% year-on-year increase, averaging at £2 million per day.
The average pet insurance claim hit a new peak of £757 in 2017, despite the average yearly policy costing just £324 for dogs and £171 for cats.
An estimated 67% of dogs and 84% of cats are still uninsured, leaving approximately 12.4 million owners at risk of having to foot the bill themselves.
Veterinary bills can often rise into the thousands of pounds for treatment, with the average cost of surgery amounting to approximately £1,500.
Joseph Ahern, general insurance policy adviser at the ABI, said: “Owning a pet can be rewarding, but also very expensive if they fall ill. None of us want to imagine anything bad happening to our pets, but leaving them uninsured can lead to expensive bills and unnecessary stress.”
“It’s good to see the number of pets being insured growing, and the amount being paid out by insurers, but 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.”