More than 3 million pets joined British households during the Covid pandemic and inevitably some of them will have been among the record 1.03m claims made on insurance in 2021.
From treating a tortoise’s digestive disorder (£560) to surgery for a cat’s broken tibia (£2000), pets’ illnesses and injuries can put severe strain on the household budget, especially this year as we head into a forecasted cost of living crisis.
Last year the number of claims surpassed pre-Covid levels, beating the previous highest year of 2017. In fact 2021 was a record year all round with £2.4 million a day processed by insurers, a 9.2% increase over the previous year and a 4% increase in the average claim. In total insurers paid out £872m last year.
Recent examples of how much it can cost to treat an ill or injured pet include:
- The average cost for treating a cat’s respiratory condition is £726
- Treating a tortoise’s digestive disorder can cost over £560
- Surgery for a cat’s broken tibia cost nearly £2000
- Treating a small dog with gastroenteritis can cost £673
- It can cost over £3300 to treat a dog diagnosed with epilepsy
- Treating a dog with diabetes can cost over £1200
- Specialist treatment and surgery for a puppy with hip dysplasia can cost over £13,000
- Treatment for a cat suffering from soft tissue sarcoma can cost over £12,200
More statistics show that our reputation for being a nation of animal lovers is still valid. The Association of British Insurers (ABI)’s data also reveals that in 2021:
- The number of people purchasing pet insurance increased by 4.5% to 3.7 million, the highest number since 2017.
- The number of pets protected by insurance increased for the first time since 2018, from 4.2 million to 4.3 million.
- There were 1,029,000 total claims notified. This includes 764,000 claims for dogs, 225,000 for cats and 40,000 for other animals.
Jonathan Purvis, Policy Adviser, General Insurance at the ABI says: “Whether they’re curious cats, playful puppies or even a timid tortoise, our pets are members of the family. They might offer us a great deal of happiness but there’s no doubt they can keep us on our toes with their adventurous ways.
“With no NHS for pets, insurers are there to protect you and your furry friend when they get into mishaps or fall ill. As the cost of living crisis starts to bite, insurance can give you the peace of mind that, should your pet need medical care, the costs won’t leave you feeling sick as a parrot.”