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How much does pet insurance cost?

How much does pet insurance cost?

Pet insurance providers pay out millions in claims and yet the cost of premiums has dipped in recent years. Here, we run through spaying or neutering your pet, multi-pet discounts and other factors that contribute to the price of your policy. Read on for seven top tips to insure your cats and dogs for less.

Tom Harrison
Content writer
5
minute read
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Posted 17 JULY 2020

What is the average cost of pet insurance?

The average pet insurance premium for Compare the Market customers in May 2020 was £158 a year**.

**50% of people could achieve a quote of £157.20 per year for their pet insurance, based on Compare the Market cat and dog insurance premium data for all cover types in May 2020.

What is the average cost of dog insurance?

Dogs are generally more expensive to insure than cats, with the average premium for dogs standing at £176*** per year and for cats £80**** a year. Remember, this price is affected by the breed of your dog.

***50% of people could achieve a quote of £175.20 per year for their dog insurance, based on Compare the Market data in May 2020 for all cover types.

****50% of people could achieve a quote of £79.20 per year for their cat insurance, based on Compare the Market data in May 2020 for all cover types.

The table shows the average costs of insuring different breeds of dog based on Compare the Market data.

Breed Average yearly premium^^
Basset Hound £317.09
Beagle £240.42
Bichon Frise £238.03
Border Collie £190.32
Boxer £443.59
Chihuahua (long coat) £175.58
Chihuahua (smooth coat) £168.16
Cocker Spaniel £217.85
Old English Bulldog £469.53
German Shepherd £289.15
Golden Retriever £265.72
Italian Greyhound £244.76
Labrador Retriever £258.81
Siberian Husky £249.02
Standard Poodle £262.27
West Highland Terrier £238.05
Yorkshire Terrier £185.84

^^Average price amount based on the top five quotes from Compare the Market data from 1 March 2020 to 1 June 2020. The average is based on all cover types and uses risk data from people with different addresses. You may find a cheaper or more expensive quote based on your circumstances.

What is the average cost of cat insurance?

50% of Compare the Market customers could get insurance for their cat from £80**** a year. But the premium varies depending on what level of insurance you get: for example, 50% of Compare the Market customers could get max benefit pet insurance for £113^^^ a year, while 50% could get lifetime pet insurance for £88^^^^ a year.

^^^Based on online independent research by Consumer Intelligence during May 2020. 50% of customers could achieve this saving on their Condition Capped (Max Benefit) Pet Insurance with Compare the Market.
^^^^50% of people could achieve a quote of £87.60 per year for their lifetime cat insurance, based on Compare the Market data in May 2020.

What factors contribute to the cost of pet insurance?

There are four main factors that impact the cost of insuring your cat or dog:

  • Type of cover – accident only is the cheapest option available, but won’t cover the cost of illnesses. Time limited insurance will provide some support, while per condition cover will pay out towards the treatment of a specific condition. Lifetime pet insurance is the most comprehensive and the most expensive.
  • Where you live – variations in vet costs across the country are reflected in the price of premiums.
  • Your pet’s age – as your cat or dog grows older, it’s more likely that your insurance provider will have to pay out for vet treatment.
  • Your pet’s breed – mixed-breed dogs are usually cheaper to insure than pedigrees, and the same applies to cats.

7 top tips to cut the cost of pet insurance

Protect yourself and your pet against any potential emergencies, accidents and illnesses for less. Here are some ways to drive the cost down.

You could cut the cost of pet insurance by:

  1. Paying a higher excess
  2. Checking you have the level of cover to suit your pet’s needs
  3. Checking if your pet is entitled to free treatment
  4. Keeping your pet healthy
  5. Considering spaying or neutering your pet
  6. Checking for insurance providers that offer multi-pet discounts
  7. Comparing pet insurance quotes

1. Pay a higher excess

Opting to pay a higher excess could mean that the cost of your premium is reduced. But be realistic when deciding on the amount of excess and make sure you can comfortably afford to pay it if you have to claim on your policy.

Be wary of having to pay a percentage-based excess as well as the usual one-off payment – this can become very expensive if you’re claiming for lengthy or costly treatments.

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2. Don’t assume the cheapest pet insurance isn’t enough

Pet insurance policies offer varying levels of cover, all at different prices. The most expensive policy won’t necessarily provide the best level of protection for your pet – so you could end up paying for more cover than you really need.

Look at the particular needs of your pet, your budget and then choose pet insurance that matches. Some insurance is always better than none.

3. Check if your pet is entitled to free treatment

The PDSA is a charity that supports sick or injured animals if their owners are on means-tested benefits.

The Blue Cross offers emergency care at its hospitals, mobile clinics and pet care clinics around the UK. Its vet services are available to pets whose owners are on some means-tested benefits. You’ll need to check if you live in the catchment area for one of the hospitals or clinics to be eligible.

4. Keep your pet healthy

Take good care of your pet’s health from the day they arrive and you could save yourself a small fortune in vet’s bills.

  • Make sure your pet has the right vaccinations and any annual boosters
  • Give them a healthy diet
  • Worm them regularly
  • Protect against fleas
  • Look after their dental health

Reducing the chances of your pet needing treatment by your local vet will, in turn, mean your premium is less likely to rise.

5. Consider spaying or neutering your pet

Neutering or spaying your pet can potentially lower your premiums. This is because it reduces the chance of your pet developing various conditions, and also makes them less likely to stray.

6. Multi-pet discounts

Got more than one pet? Most insurance providers offer discounts of 5%-10% for insuring multiple pets with them. And that can even apply if you don’t buy the policies together, so check with your insurance provider.

Once you get a multi-pet quote from a provider, it’s still worth comparing. You might find it cheaper to buy single policies from different providers.

7. Compare pet insurance quotes

Our pet insurance comparison service gives you an effective way to compare quotes from a wide range of insurance providers. It can help you and your pet find the right cover at a price you can afford.

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