Average pet insurance claim nears £700
In 2014, pet insurers paid out a whopping £602 million in claims or £1.65 million a day, according to new research.
Latest figures form the Association of British Insurers (ABI) reveal that claims have risen by 15% on the previous year, rising to £679 on average.
While more than 3.5 million Brits have pet insurance, many more people are paying for vets as and when they need it.
Out of around nine million dogs, only 25% (around 2.4 million dogs) are covered by pet insurance. The number without insurance is even higher for cats, with only around 1.2 million (15%) being covered by insurance out of an estimated 7.9 million cats.
This is despite the fact that treatment is expensive. The ABI cited the case of a kitten, which had fallen down a toilet. Treatment - which cost around £600 - included having its stomach pumped and taking antibiotics. Other examples include helping a cockatiel to fly - for around £500 - and treating a tortoise with a digestive disorder - at a cost of more than £560.
Mark Shepherd, general insurance manager at the ABI, said: "It's good to see an increase in the number of animals and their owners who are now benefiting from the protection offered by pet insurance. However, it remains a concern that the majority of pet owners in the UK don't have any cover in place.
"The cost of getting quality veterinary treatment for your pet can quickly reach into thousands of pounds, particularly if they have to have surgery or need chemotherapy to tackle cancer. Pet insurance gives you peace of mind that you won't have to deny your pet life-saving treatment because the veterinary bills are too expensive."
Association of British Insurers
Established in 1985, the ABI is the trade body for UK insurance companies. It has more than 400 member companies that provide around 90% of domestic insurance services sold in the UK. The ABI speaks out on issues of common interest and acts as an advocate for high standards of customer service in the insurance industry. The ABI is funded by the subscriptions of member companies.