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.

Compare Pet Insurance Quotes

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

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Average Pet Insurance Cost UK

According to the ABI, the average pet insurance premium in the UK is £279, but you can pay a lot more or less than this depending on the type of cover you buy, the age and breed of your pet, etc.

For instance, the average cost of "accident only" pet insurance insurance is just £6 to £10 per month, but accident only cover won't cover the majority of vet bills which are for treating illnesses, not accidental injury. Pet insurance that covers BOTH accidents & illnesses starts from around £23 per month (£274 a year) for dogs and £10 for cats (£117 a year) 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.

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.

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).
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.

  • Pet Pals
  • Purely Pets
  • Pet Protect
  • Healthy Pets
  • AnimalFriends
  • Vetsmedicover
  • Pet-Insurance
  • John Lewis
  • Legal and General
  • Marks and Spencer
  • Admiral
  • EandL
  • Post Office
  • Lifetime Pet Cover
  • 4Paws Pet Insurance
  • PDSA
  • Puffin
  • Debenhams
  • The Insurance Emporium
  • Scratch and Patch
  • Geoffrey Pet
  • Everypaw
  • ASDA
  • Sainsburys Bank
  • Argos HIS

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.