Pet ownership has been on the rise during the pandemic 

Some pet insurance policyholders are paying over £1000 a year for cover, according to a survey by consumer organisation Which?

It found that the average price being paid for an annual lifetime policy was £420 for dogs and £264 for cats, with a significant proportion paying over £1000.

One in five of the 1,100 survey respondents cited rising cost of premiums as a concern, with 70% of per insurance owners seeing a premium hike at renewal.

Data also showed that 31% of those with a dog had made claim, while 32% made two or more claims. Whereas a quarter of respondents with cats had made a claim.

Which?, citing Consumer Intelligence data found that despite a surge in pet ownership during Covid lockdown, only half of those were insured.

Of the 478 pet owners surveyed who had not taken out pet insurance, 46% said products were too expensive.

Those with older dogs were paying 80% more than those with dogs under four, Which? said. Similar results were reported for cat owners.

Which? money editor Jenny Ross said: “High vet bills could be crippling for some people, so many animal lovers think pet insurance is a cost-effective option.

”But we have found rising insurance costs and premiums can give policyholders an unwelcome shock.

“There are a few things you can do to help rein in the cost of insuring your pets. The earlier you get cover, the better. A younger animal will have fewer pre-existing conditions, making for fewer exclusions and greater choice between policies.

“Always shop around for insurance, and if you want to switch, check which conditions the new insurer will and won’t cover.”