More than half of UK pet owners do not have pet insurance for their animal, according to a new survey by comparethemarket.com. Some 47% of dog owners are not covered by insurance and 62% of cat owners. However, nearly half the respondents said they would struggle to afford vet bills from their own savings.
Eight out of 10 worry about their pet’s safety with road accidents, fights with other animals and theft among the top concerns.
The average premium paid by pet insurance policy holders was £19 per month, about £230 a year. Londoners paid the highest with monthly premiums around £25 and were also the least likely to have insurance. This is due to local economy with most pet policies priced on vet fees in each area which tend to be higher where the cost of living is also higher such as in cities.
“It’s surprising to see that so many pet owners haven’t taken the steps to protect their pets, and their bank balances, should they get ill or injured,” said Andrew Milburn, pet expert at comparethemarket.com. “There’s no NHS for pets, and, if you don’t have pet insurance, vet fees can often come to hundreds or even thousands of pounds.
“Pet insurance doesn’t just cover the cost of looking after your pet if they fall ill or are in an accident. Our research suggests that owners are particularly worried that their pet will hurt or be hurt by another animal, but many insurance policies also include third party liability.
“This covers compensation and costs from accidental injury or damage caused by your mutt to another animal, person or property. By contrast, the law considers cats to be “free spirits” so their owners are not accountable for what they do. As with all insurance products, carefully check the terms and conditions to be absolutely sure what your policy covers.”