Note: This article’s statistics come from third-party sources and do not represent the opinions of this website.
Much like the rest of the world, the UK has really gotten into pet ownership during the Covid-19 pandemic, but the country has been filled with animal lovers for years before that as well. The population of cats and dogs in the country has increased over the past several years and unfortunately, veterinary costs are rising right along with them. To help defray these costs, some UK pet owners turn to pet insurance.
If you aren’t familiar with pet insurance and how it can help you, we’re here to help. In this article, you’ll find 15 facts and statistics about the UK pet insurance industry in 2022. Keep reading to learn more!
- Pet Insurance In the UK: Overall Numbers
- Pet Insurance In The UK: Individual Claim Numbers
- Pet Insurance In The UK: The Health Issues
Top 15 UK Pet Insurance Statistics
- The 2022 UK pet insurance market is worth about 905,638,000 British pounds ($1.13 billion).
- From 2022 to 2027, the UK pet insurance market is expected to grow by 13.1% each year.
- 3. In 2020, only 11% of dogs and 22% of cats in the UK were insured.
- The number of total pet insurance subscribers only increased by 1% from 2019 to 2020.
- PetPlan is the largest pet insurer in the UK, with 27.3% of the total written premiums.
- In 2020, the average annual cost for dog insurance was 332 British pounds ($450).
- 6% of people with no pet insurance in the UK cited cost as the reason.
- Pet insurers paid out 799 million British pounds ($999 million) in claims in 2020.
- The average cost of a pet insurance claim has risen 13% since 2015.
- Dogs also accounted for about 800 claims to human property insurance companies.
- In 2020, the most common insurance claim was for digestive issues, making up 10% of the total.
- Foreign body removal surgery had the most expensive average payout of the 5 most common claims, at 567 British pounds ($709.)
- The most expensive total claim paid for a dog in 2020 was 14,086 British pounds ($17,617).
- Approximately 22% of pets in the UK have pre-existing medical conditions.
Pet Insurance In the UK: Overall Numbers
1. The 2022 UK pet insurance market is worth about 905,638,000 British pounds ($1.13 billion).
This number refers to the value of the total written premiums on the policies. The UK is one of the more developed pet insurance markets in Europe, which is one reason for its total size.
2. From 2022 to 2027, the UK pet insurance market is expected to grow by 13.1% each year. (Market Data Forecast)
By 2027, the total value of the market is expected to be $2.09 billion. The increase in the pet population in the UK, plus medical inflation costs are expected to drive this rise.
3. In 2020, only 11% of dogs and 22% of cats in the UK were insured. (Research and Markets)
During the same year, the UK dog population grew by 38.9% and the cat population by 62.7%. That’s a lot of pets who don’t have insurance!
4. The number of total pet insurance subscribers only increased by 1% from 2019 to 2020. (Research and Markets)
This growth primarily took place in the cat insurance market, where subscribers increased by 6.2%.
5. PetPlan is the largest pet insurer in the UK, with 27.3% of the total written premiums. (Research and Markets)
Another company, ManyPets (previously Bought By Many) spent the most trying to attract new customers, however. They spent 3.6 million British pounds ($4.5 million) on advertising in 2020.
6. In 2020, the average annual cost for dog insurance was 332 British pounds ($450). (Statista)
This is the average cost for a lifetime policy, the most expensive type of pet insurance. Cheaper policies, such as those that only cover emergencies, are also available.
7. 6% of people with no pet insurance in the UK cited cost as the reason. (Global Data)
This was by far the most common reason listed for not having health insurance. The next closest was the 19.5% of people who said they had a health plan from their vet instead of pet insurance. 4.8% of those surveyed were not aware that they could buy insurance for their pet.
Pet Insurance In The UK: Individual Claim Numbers
8. Pet insurers paid out 799 million British pounds ($999 million) in claims in 2020. (ABI)
This averages out to about 2.2 million British pounds per day. It represents an 80% increase in the total amount from just 10 years ago.
9. The average cost of a pet insurance claim has risen 13% since 2015. (ABI)
In 2015, the average cost of a claim was 721 British pounds ($901) and is today 817 British pounds ($1,020). In total, the cost of owning a dog is estimated to be between 4,500 and 30,000 British pounds ($5,628-$37,520). The potential for an unexpected and enormous vet bill at any moment is very real.
10. Dogs also accounted for about 800 claims to human property insurance companies. (Country Living)
The cost of these claims averaged about 1,100 British pounds ($1,375) each. Examples of claims include two dogs who flooded a house by turning on the faucet and a dog who knocked a stepladder full of paint cans down the stairs.
Pet Insurance In The UK: The Health Issues
11. In 2020, the most common insurance claim was for digestive issues, making up 10% of the total. (Many Pets)
The average cost of a claim for this condition was 327 British pounds ($409.) The most expensive individual claim was for 4,000 British pounds ($5,003.) This broad category covers such conditions as vomiting and diarrhea. Some conditions required multiple vet visits to treat, others just one.
12. Foreign body removal surgery had the most expensive average payout of the 5 most common claims, at 567 British pounds ($709.) (Many Pets)
These made up almost 5% of all total claims. The most expensive individual payout was 8,127 British pounds ($10,164). That’s an expensive snack!
13. The most expensive total claim paid for a dog in 2020 was 14,086 British pounds ($17,617). (Many Pets)
This claim was paid for a dog suffering from fluid in the chest cavity, a critical condition that often requires multiple procedures and a hospital stay to treat.
14. Approximately 22% of pets in the UK have pre-existing medical conditions. (UK Pet Insurance Survey)
Roughly 76% of these pre-existing conditions are not insured. Another 10% of people aren’t sure if the conditions are covered or not. Pre-existing conditions include ones that a pet is born with as well as those they are diagnosed with while on an insurance plan. Many pet owners feel trapped into staying with an insurance company out of fear that their pre-existing conditions won’t be covered if they change.
Frequently Asked Questions About UK Pet Insurance
Where Is Pet Insurance Most Expensive In The UK?
Pet insurance in the UK is most expensive in London, with yearly premiums coming in a full 92% higher than the next most expensive region. The cost difference is likely due to both higher vet costs in the city and the increased risks faced by city pets (UK Pet Insurance Survey.)
What Are The Most Popular Names For Insured Pets?
Based on the UK Pet Survey and data from Scratch and Patch, an insurance company, the five most popular pet names in the UK in 2020 were:
(UK Pet Insurance Survey)
What Animals Can You Get Insurance On In The UK?
Nearly any kind of pet can be covered. ExoticDirect, a UK small mammal insurance company, covers chinchillas, hamsters, rabbits, ferrets, rats, and many more. The company charges about 15 pounds ($19) per month to cover one pet (ExoticDirect). This fee will cover up to 2,000 British pounds ($2,500) worth of vet fees.
What Does Pet Insurance Cover?
Details of what’s covered by pet insurance will vary by individual policy. Some commonly covered charges include certain vet fees, the value of the pet if they die prematurely, third-party liability, overseas travel, and euthanasia fees. The insurance company may pay your vet directly or require that you pay out-of-pocket first and then reimburse you. Like human policies, pet insurance policies usually have a deductible.
What Is Excluded From Pet Insurance Coverage?
Pre-existing medical conditions are the most common exclusions from pet insurance coverage. Most policies also don’t cover preventative care including vaccines, spay/neuter, and dental care. Pregnancy care is typically excluded as well. Some insurance policies offer the option to pay extra for coverage of preventative care.
With the increased number of pets in the UK and the high number who remain uninsured, the growth potential for the insurance industry is strong. Unfortunately, many pet owners buy or adopt without properly planning to cover the cost of unexpected medical care for their animals. A pet insurance policy can help ease the financial burden and provide peace of mind to the UK pet owner, reassuring them that they can afford to care for their pet if the worst should happen.
Featured Image Credit: Pixsooz, Shutterstock