ABI data shows a record number of pet claims totalling £775m were made in 2017   

Pet insurers paid out a record £775m in 2017 – up 10% on the previous year.

Figures from the ABI showed the number of pet claims surpassed one million for the first time last year, with the average claim hitting a new peak of £757.

This takes average claim payouts up 56% from 2010.

Joseph Ahern, general insurance Policy Adviser at the Association of British Insurers, 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.”

Other findings revealed by the ABI include:

  • Insurers paid out an record average of £2m per day on pet claims
  • The average annual premium is now £324 for dogs and £171 for cats
  • 3.7m households now have pet insurance (up by 11% on 2016)
  • 8.2m households still choose to leave their pets uninsured
  • An estimated 67% of dogs and 84% of cats are still uninsured – leaving approximately 12.4m cats and dogs without cover
  • Dogs are twice as likely to be insured by their owners