UK pet insurers handled claims worth the equivalent of £2.2m every day in 2020, according to the Association of British Insurers.
They processed claims worth £799m mainly to cover the costs of veterinary treatment. This is the second highest figure since the ABI started collecting the data back in 2007, and 80% higher than the amount recorded 10 years ago.
There were 978,000 notified claims. These included 212,000 involving cats, 734,000 for dogs, with an equivalent value totalling £148m and £598m respectively. Other pet claims included rabbits, indoor birds, hamsters.
More cat owners had pet insurance than ever – 1.06m. The value of claims, at £148m, rose 10% on the previous year to an all-time high.
The average claim value across all pet policies was £817, up 2% on 2019.
ABI spokesperson Malcolm Tarling said: “During the pandemic, pets have given added comfort to their owners. But pet owners have also faced challenges, often worried about being able to access the full range of veterinary services during lockdowns.
“With claims worth over £2m handled every day, most involving medical treatments, pet insurers are continuing to do all they can to help their customers through very stressful and uncertain times.”
The ABI revealed examples of how much it can cost to treat an ill or injured pet:
> . £7,000 to treat a French Bulldog with a fractured leg
> . £5,000 to reattach two toes to a cat after they had been crushed
> . £3,800 to treat a dog’s dislocated kneecap
> . £3,600 to repair right leg cruciate ligament damage in a Jack Russell terrier
> . £3,770 for the treatment of a fractured femur leg bone of a cat following an accident
Throughout the pandemic, pet insurers have and continue to provide extra support to their customers, through a range of extra measures, including working with veterinary practices to ensure that pets get the treatment needed as soon as possible, and offering online or phone consultations with vets.