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Average Cost of Pet Insurance 2018

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Pet cover can help with vet bills. Protect your dog or cat today.

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Pet insurance can provide both peace of mind and financial protection in case your beloved pet is ever injured or falls ill. But how much should you expect to pay for pet insurance in the UK?

We've researched dozens of policies from ten of the most popular UK pet insurers to find average costs by gender, age of pet, species, policy type, and even some different breeds. Use this information to help you understand what type of pet insurance policy fits in your budget and if quotes you receive fall in line with the rest of the market.

Average Pet Insurance Cost

We gathered costs of monthly premiums for different types of pet insurance coverage and found that the average cost of Accident Only insurance is £6.24 per month for dogs and £10.60 for cats. More comprehensive plans that reimburse for both Accident & Illness have an average cost of £25.62 per month for dogs and £21.41 for cats. Interestingly, accident only cover comes out more expensive for cats and accident & illness cover is higher for dogs—perhaps cats are more likely to be injured in an accident while roaming.

Average Annual Pet Insurance Costs

Type of CoverageDogsCats
Accident Only£74.86£127.20
Accident & Illness£307.49£256.92

Prices also vary significantly by the type of cover—for instance, policies that limit coverage to 12 months for any condition (Time Limited polices) cost over 50% less than policies with no time limits and that renew each year (Lifetime policies). The cost of Maximum Benefit policies, which have no time limit but do impose a non-renewing per-condition limit, falls in the middle. You can see how pet insurance premiums vary by policy type for both cats and dogs in the following chart.

Pet Insurance Costs Vary by Species and Policy Type

chart showing how the Cost of pet Insurance Varies by Species and Policy Type
Cost of Pet Insurance Varies by Species and Policy Type

Pet Insurance Costs Increase with Age

You should budget for rising pet insurance costs as your pet ages. This is not surprising, since pets will suffer more age-related health problems as they grow long in the tooth. Just like us. In fact, some insurers will stop offering lifetime policies once your pet hits a certain age—generally around 8 years for dogs and 10 years for cats. The table below shows sample quotes gathered from a major UK insurer to give you an idea of how prices increase with age for a lifetime policy and a maximum benefit policy.

Dog (Labrador Retriever)Cat (British Shorthair)
Age (years)£4,000/Year, Lifetime Policy£3,000/Condition, Time-Limited Policy£4,000/Year, Lifetime Policy£3,000/Condition, Time-Limited Policy
1£46.07£24.92£20.11£13.07

2
£46.19£27.57£21.17£13.76

3
£48.49£28.83£21.17£14.34

4
£48.49£30.23£21.17£14.34

5
£56.53£34.05£22.85£15.27

6
£65.46£40.64£23.27£16.20

7
£72.16£46.95£23.27£17.13

8
n/a£46.95£26.66£20.62

9
n/a£48.57£26.91£21.60

10
n/a£53.43n/a£22.47

How Much is Dog Insurance?

Based on our research of dozens of policies from 10 leading UK pet insurers, we found that the average cost of dog insurance is around £21 per month for a 3-month-old, mixed breed dog:

Average Dog Insurance Costs

Policy TypeAverage Monthly PremiumAverage Annual Premium
Accident Only£6.24£74.86
Time Limited£15.88£190.55
Max Benefit£26.12£313.41
Lifetime£34.88£418.52

The price you pay for a dog insurance policy, however, may differ significantly due to factors such as the age and breed of your dog and the level of cover you choose. In fact, breed can be one of the most influential factors, with owners of the popular bulldog (both English and French) paying 70% more than the average across other popular dogs.

BreedMonthly Cost of Lifetime Pet Insurance
Cocker Spaniel£36.95
Border Terrier£38.04
English Springer Spaniel£40.56
Miature Schnauzer£40.72
Pug£45.66
Golden Retriever£48.07
Labrador Retriever£48.49
German Shephard£59.23
French Bulldog£134.37
English Bulldog£158.97
Average£65.11
chart showing how the Cost of Dog Insurance Varies Significantly by Breed
Cost of Dog Insurance Varies Significantly by Breed

Owners of females dogs pay on average 9% less for pet insurance than owners of male dogs, but this varies from insurer to insurer.

How Much is Cat Insurance?

After gathering quotes from 10 UK pet insurers, we discovered that the average cost of cat insurance is around £19 per month for a 3-month-old, British Shorthair cat.

Average Cat Insurance Costs

Policy TypeAverage Monthly PremiumAverage Annual Premium
Accident Only£10.60£127.20
Time Limited£12.78£153.32
Max Benefit£21.65£259.78
Lifetime£29.80£357.65

Premiums will vary by breed of cat, although the variation across cat breeds is not as significant as it is for dogs.

BreedMonthly Cost of Lifetime Pet Insurance
British Shorthair£21.17
Ragdoll£21.17
Burmese£23.55
Sphynx£25.58
Oriental£25.58
Norwegian Forest£25.58
Bengal£28.08
Persian£28.13
Siamese£28.78
Maine Coon£29.81
Average£25.74
chart showing how the Cost of Cat Insurance Varies Significantly by Breed
Cost of Cat Insurance Varies by Breed

Owners of female cats pay a whopping 29% less for pet insurance than owners of male cats.

Methodology

We gathered quotes in November 2017 from the following UK pet insurers: Animal Friends, Direct Line, John Lewis, LV=, M&S, More Th>n, PDSA, Petplan, Tesco and The Kennel Club. For data comparing pet insurance cost by policy type, quotes were obtained for male, three-month-old crossbreed dogs and British Shorthair cats. For charts comparing breeds, quotes were obtained for a four-year-old, neutered male for a £4,000 per year lifetime policy.

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