Bringing a new dog home for the first time can be one of the most fun and memorable events in your family’s life. You’ve set up its bedding, bought food and treats and got the leash and toys ready. Everything is set for the big arrival. But have you remembered insurance?
A prolonged health issue can end up costing a minor fortune in vet bills, so many people look to avoid this risk with pet insurance. We wanted to see how many dogs were insured in the UK and look at some of the common costs that come with owning a dog.
The average pet insurance claim is £750, and in 2018 alone, £785 million was paid out by insurance companies in the UK to cover unexpected pet fees and bills. Even though the price tag for a vet appointment can be high, 3.8 million dogs (43%) are still uninsured. The main reasons are that pet owners think insurance plans are too pricey or they already have a separate savings account for their dog in case something happens.
890,000 dogs in the UK (10%)
are not registered with a vet.
What does pet insurance cover?
Veterinary fees for check-ups and the treatment of illnesses
The cost of damage caused by your dog towards property, humans or animals
The purchase price of your pet if your dog is lost, stolen or passes away due to illness or injury before a certain age
Advertising costs if you lose your dog, and the cost of the reward for the finder
Hospitalisation if your dog needs to stay the night at the vet
Reimbursement if you need to cancel your holiday due to emergency surgery for your dog
If your dog is travelling with you under the Pet Travel Scheme and it gets hurt abroad
As it turns out, most people think that their pets are cheaper than they actually are. A survey carried out in 2018 showed that 28% of dog owners thought the cost of their dog was between £21 and £40 per month, while 78% believed they spent £80 or less per month.
In reality, the monthly cost for a dog is much higher than these estimates. On average, we spend £144 per month on small dogs and up to £209 on large dogs. One way to keep the costs down is to have a good insurance plan.
Esther Wolffowitz is a publisher at finder.com. She is a specialist in insurance and wants to help UK consumers make better decisions. Esther holds an MSc in Media and Communication Governance from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). In her spare time, she enjoys discovering new restaurants and food markets in London.
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