The guidance on this site is based on our own analysis and is meant to help you identify options and narrow down your choices. We do not advise or tell you which product to buy; undertake your own due diligence before entering into any agreement. Read our full disclosure here.

Average Cost of Pet Insurance UK 2020

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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? Pet insurance costs range from £6 a month to over £100 a month in the UK.

Contents

We've researched two dozen UK pet insurance brands to find average costs for dogs and cats, by age of pet, 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 UK

According to the ABI, the average pet insurance premium in the UK is now £271 (down from £279 in 2019), but your costs can be significantly higher (or lower) depending on the type of cover you buy, the age and breed of your pet, etc.

For instance, our research shows that the average cost of "accident only" pet insurance insurance is typically under £110 a year, but accident only pet insurance only covers accidents and won't cover the primary reason pet owners seek out vet treatment—their pet falling ill. Pet insurance that covers BOTH accidents & illnesses starts from around £274 a year for dogs and £117 for cats for cheaper policies with just £2,000 of cover.

Average Cost of Cheap Accident & Injury Pet Insurance UKper monthper year
Dogs£23£274
Cats£10£125

Prices vary significantly by the type of cover—for instance, policies that limit coverage to 12 months for any condition (Time Limited polices) cost roughly 20% to 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, can sometimes cost as much as Lifetime cover despite offering less desirable cover.

Average cost of pet insurance per month

Pet insurance that covers BOTH accidents & illnesses starts from under £20 per month for dogs and £10 for cats for cheaper policies with just £2,000 of cover; Lifetime policies typically cost at least £22 to £32 a month for a dog but prices vary by age and breed of your pet.

Monthly Cost of Pet Insurance for DogsTime LimitedMax Benefit Per ConditionLifetime
Up to £2k Vet Cover£19£21£22
£3k - £5k Vet Cover£19£23£26
£6k - £10k Vet Cover£21£34£32

Here is the same information displayed in a graph, with the addition of monthly insurance costs for cats.

chart showing Cost of Pet Insurance for dogs and cats in the UK
Lifetime pet insurance usually costs the most because it's the best type of cover

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 their owners. In fact, some insurers even stop offering new lifetime policies once your pet hits a certain age—generally around 8 years for dogs and 10 years for cats. Prices tend to double by around 8 to 10 years of age.

chart showing Cost of Pet Insurance for dogs and cats aged 1 through 11 years old
Pet insurance usually gets more expensive for older pets, even if you haven't claimed

How Much is Dog Insurance?

Based on our research of two dozen UK pet insurance companies, we found that the cost of dog insurance for a young, mixed breed dog starts from around £20 per month for Time Limited and Max Benefit policies and closer to £28 a month (£332 a year) for Lifetime cover. Policies with higher vet fee limits, renewing limits and better features can cost 2X as much, if not more. The best type of cover is Lifetime because vet limits reset each year.

Starting Costs of Cheap Dog Insurance UKper monthper year
Accident Only£5.32£63.8
Time Limited£19.0£228
Max Benefit£21.8£262
Lifetime£27.7£332
Average£22.4£269

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 the cost of pet insurance for bulldogs (both English and French) costing more than 2X as much as other popular dogs.

Monthly Cost of Cheap Dog Insurance by Breed (age 1 year)
Border Terrier£17.84
Crossbreed£22.67
Cocker Spaniel£22.72
English Springer Spaniel£23.20
Miniature Schnauzer£24.16
Golden Retriever£24.30
Labradore Retriever£31.24
German Shephard£38.15
French Bulldog£54.73
English Bulldog£66.50
chart showing how much pet owners will pay for dog insurance by breed
The cost of dog insurance varies significantly by breed

How Much is Cat Insurance?

After gathering quotes from two dozen UK pet insurers, we discovered that the average cost of cat insurance starts from around £10 per month (£125 a year) for a young British Shorthair cat. These prices represent the cheapest 5 policies; opting for higher levels of cover or plans with more robust features can double the price, or more.

Average Cat Insurance Costs

Average Cost of Cheap Cat Insurance in the UK
per month£10.4
per year£124.7

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

chart showing how much pet owners will pay for cat insurance by breed
The cost of cat insurance varies marginally by breed

Owners of female cats pay around 5% less for pet insurance than owners of male cats.

Where to Get Pet Insurance Quotes

To get quotes from a range of UK pet insurance brands including Scratch and Patch and Animal Friends, click the blue button below to transfer to our pet insurance partner Compare Cover.

Compare Pet Insurance Quotes

Panel includes Animal Friends, Scratch and Patch, Lifetime Pet Cover and more.

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Or click to get quotes directly from some pet insurance companies that we have rated highly, click the relevant blue buttons below (for more information on each, read our in-depth product reviews: Petplan review, Agria review, Scratch & Patch review).

PetPlan Pet Insurance is the largest insurer of dogs and cats in the UK. Due to this, many vets are accustomed to submitting claims on behalf of pet owners, which can save you a lot of hassle. PetPlan policies include dental illness and injury but don't cover euthanasia.

Agria Pet Insurance offers comprehensive Lifetime plans for lower-than-average prices, owing to the 10% copay you pay on top of a fixed excess. We like that Agria is a specialist pet insurer with a long history and desirable features such as dental illness, euthanasia and cremation/burial.

Scratch & Patch pet insurance stands out for innovative products targeting a giant hole in the UK pet insurance market: Preexisting condition pet insurance. They also offer regular pet insurance for those not needing this specialist cover with good cover at attractive prices.

FAQs

Dog insurance costs from around £23 a month (£274 a year) for accident and illness cover; prices go up from there for premium plans, higher vet limits, older pets and certain breeds such as bulldogs. Cat insurance costs start around £10 a month (£125 a year).

The average cost of pet insurance per month in the UK is around £25, according to data from the ABI and confirmed by our independent research. This figure reflects finance charges for paying monthly with an APR of 20%. Click here to see how prices vary by type of pet and policy.

The average monthly pet insurance premium for a dog in the UK is around £25, according to data from the ABI and confirmed by our independent research. This figure reflects finance charges for paying monthly with an APR of 20%. Click here to see how prices vary by breed of dog and type of policy.

Lifetime pet insurance costs around £28 a month or £332 a year for a dog on average, but prices are highly variable depending on the breed and age of your pooch. Click here to get quotes for your dog.

The cost of insurance for a puppy is around £23 a month or £250 a year. Cost might dip marginally after your puppy leaves the age where they try to eat absolutely everything (which can lead to vet bills for stomach distress or even surgery to clear a blockage!) but generally speaking the cost of pet insurance will rise as your puppy ages. Click here to see how pet insurance costs change as your dog gets older.

This is a personal decision. Keep in mind that the average pet insurance claim is £750 in the UK, and policies can be purchased for a fraction of this. If you might not easily afford a claim (surgery can run into the thousands of pounds) then pet insurance is probably worth if for you.

Lifetime pet insurance is the best type of cover, because the vet fee limit resets each year when you renew your policy. This is useful for treating chronic or recurring conditions.

Methodology

We gathered quotes in March 2020 from the our pet insurance comparison partner Compare Cover. Unless otherwise specified, prices were for a one-year-old mixed breed dog and a British Shorthair cat.

Compare Cheap Pet Insurance Quotes

Panel includes Animal Friends, Scratch and Patch, Lifetime Pet Cover and 20 other pet insurers.

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Comments

The guidance on this site is based on our own analysis and is meant to help you identify options and narrow down your choices. We do not advise or tell you which product to buy; undertake your own due diligence before entering into any agreement. Read our full disclosure here.