Uninsured pets land owners with up to £810 vet bills

Uninsured pets land owners with up to £810 vet bills

To mark National Pet Month which is promoting responsible pet ownership, research from comparison website MoneySuperMarket has revealed that more than half (56 per cent) of pet owners in the UK who don't insure their furry friends are paying up to £810 each time their dog or cat suffers an illness or injury that requires veterinary treatment.

Most common claims

The most common claim in 2015 was for joints, with an average claim cost of £452.92, says insurer MORE TH>N. This was followed by growths or tumours at £433.57 per claim and skin conditions at £204.57. The top three most expensive claims were fractures, costing on average £809.94 per claim, hernias at £619.75 and tumours at £433.57.

With the average pet insurance policy costing from as little as £21.74 a month, which at £261.88 for a year is still cheaper than the cost of just one claim, which costs on average £349.33.

Four-figure vet bills

And without cover, some pet injuries can see owners hit with four-figure vet bills. For conditions such as a ruptured Achilles tendon, a cat nursed back to full health can cost £4,000, with treatment including ultrasonography, orthopaedic referrals, an operation and post-op check. This is compared to the 2015 average annual policy for a moggie under five, which was under £100, or less than £10 a month, says MoneySuperMarket. 

Rose Howarth, head of pet insurance at MoneySuperMarket, says: "There's no National Health Service for animals and with bills on the rise, a trip to the vet can break the bank these days. Pets might suffer illness or injury at any time, so investing in insurance means owners can meet the cost of any unexpected treatment their pet needs. That way, you'll know your furry friend is covered and won't face the shock of a hefty bill.

"Before picking a policy, it's important to compare prices based on your animal's needs and a budget you're working to. The best policy might not always be the cheapest, as there are some general exclusions from many providers, so owners need to do their research and shop around to avoid being out of pocket because a particular condition isn't covered."

Top 10 conditions for claims in 2015 

  1. Joints - £452.92
  2. Growths/tumours - £433.57
  3. Skin - £204.57
  4. Gastrointestinal - £358.10
  5. Hormonal - £224.83
  6. Traumas -£406.42
  7. Urinary - £280.41
  8. Non-Illness -£180.14
  9. Eye - £291.50
  10. Neurological - £353.05

Top 10 most expensive claims 

  1. Fractures - £7,135.96
  2. Head/Face - £7,759.14
  3. Spinal - £8,000
  4. Immune System - £6,475.91
  5. Hernias - £5,089.13
  6. Lymphatic System- £8,000
  7. Reproductive System (female) - £5,572.72
  8. Blood - £6,121
  9. Immunological condition - £3,220.45
  10. Joints - £7,381.78
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