Which? Discovers Huge Variations In Costs of Pet Insurance

Which? has discovered that the costs of pet insurance can differ by hundreds of pounds. The costs will depend on the breed of the animal.

A survey of more than 1,300 members of Which? discovered that the average price for an annual lifetime policy has already reached £285 for a cat and £472 for a dog.

Six out of ten (60 percent) of the policyholders observed an increase since their last renewal – £57 for cats and £123 for dogs, on average.

Which? discovered that the breed of the pet that a person owns could make a difference to the costs to insure a dog or a cat.

The survey averaged the five cheapest quotes for seven popular cat and eight dog breeds on a comparison website for lifetime policies that use a Cambridge postcode.

Among the eight popular breeds of dogs that were compared, French Bulldogs (£358) were the discovered to be the most expensive – costing more than £200 more to cover as compared to a Jack Russell Terrier (£133).

For cats, the most costly was a Maine Coon (£114). It was closely followed by Bengal (£105).

Which? also discovered that one out of five (21 percent) of the people who participated in the said survey had experienced a problem with their pet insurance.

In one case that was seen by Which? a pet owner opted to cancel her policy after being quoted almost £1,700 to acquire insurance for her 11-year-old dogs.

The survey also discovered that almost a third (32 percent) of the people with insurance for a cat or dog had put the policy to use – making at least one insurance claim during the past year.

The editor of Which? Money, Harry Rose, stated: “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.

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

“Unfortunately, it’s likely that the new insurer will exclude all of your pet’s current and pre-existing conditions, which could make switching for a lower premium a false economy.”

Which? also suggested that if insurance is not an option, people should consider putting aside their specific savings to cover future costs for vets– even though they will be required take on all the risk of their savings not being sufficient to cover vet bills.

Animal charities will also provide vet services either at a reduced cost or for free.

A spokesperson for the Association of British Insurers (ABI), Malcolm Tarling, stated: “Owning a pet can be expensive as well as rewarding.

“There is no NHS for pets, and with veterinary bills rising and a wider range of treatments becoming available, pet insurance is something every pet owner needs to seriously consider.

“Pet insurance is a competitive market, with a variety of policies available to cover dogs and cats to the more unusual pets, so shop around and check the cover carefully to ensure that it reflects your needs.”

Listed below are the average costs of insurance for various dog breeds for a lifetime policy. The list is based on someone that has a Cambridge postcode and a three-year-old pet (Which? was able to average the five cheapest quotes for every breed):

  • French Bulldog, £358
  • Golden Retriever, £187
  • Labrador Retriever, £182
  • Cockapoo, £141
  • Cocker Spaniel, £141
  • Crossbreed, £139
  • Border Collie, £134
  • Jack Russell Terrier, £133

Also, below are the findings for cats, according to the survey that was conducted by Which?

  • Maine Coon, £114
  • Bengal, £105
  • Domestic Long Hair, £86
  • British Short Hair, £85
  • Tabby, £85
  • Domestic Short Hair, £82
  • Crossbreed, £81