Which? survey on pet insurance reveals significant premium rises and wide variations according to breed and location

A survey has revealed premium price rises of up to 35% on pet insurance.

The Which? survey found that 60% of pet owners this year saw a rise in lifetime policy premiums, with the average price for a dog now at £472 and for a cat at £285. This is an average rise on last years premiums by £123 for dogs (35%) and £57 for cats (35%).

The survey of 1,300 pet owners found that factors such as where you lived and the breed of your pet affect the price quoted by hundreds of pounds.

With an average premium price of £358.49 (based on a Cambridge postcode) French bulldogs were the most expensive of eight breeds put through a price comparison site as part of the survey.

This is more than £230 more expensive than if you were to take out a similar policy on a Jack Russell terrier (£132.75).

Variations in cat policy prices were less extreme, although feline lovers with a crossbreed (£81) could could still expect to save over £30 on a lifetime policy compared to Maine Coon owners (£114.44).

Owners could also pay over £100 more depending on where they lived in the country. Owners in the East Midlands paid an average of £535 on their policy, while policies in North West England (£427) and the West Midlands (£424) could expect to pay significantly less.

Which? Money Editor Harry Rose said: “While rising premiums have left many feeling squeezed, 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. Not only will premiums be cheaper, a younger animal will have fewer pre-existing conditions, making for fewer exclusions and greater choice between policies.”

Other information revealed through the survey included that one in three (32%) of policyholders had made at least one claim over the past year, and that over a fifth of people (21%) had experienced a problem with their pet insurance.