How much does pet insurance cost per month?
The average price of pet insurance in the UK is £243 per year, or £20.25 a month. This is based on pet insurance quotes from Consumer Intelligence between May 2017 and May 2018.
The exact costs depend on:
- What type and breed of pet you have - dogs are more expensive than cats, and pedigree pets are usually more expensive to insure than moggies and mongrels
- What type of pet insurance policy you choose - comprehensive lifetime pet insurance costs significantly more than cheap accident only pet insurance
- How old your pet is - insurance for older pets is usually much more costly than pet insurance for puppies and kittens
- Whether your pet has any history of medical issues - insuring pets who have needed a lot of vet treatment in the past costs more
- Where you live - pet insurance costs more in London and South East England because vets are more expensive
What is the pet insurance cost for a cat?
The average cost of accident-only pet insurance for cats is £48 a year. Accident only pet insurance cost per month for cats can be as cheap as £4 - but this type of policy won't cover the cost of treatment for illnesses. A basic cat pet insurance policy providing help with vet bills for short-term illnesses costs around £9 per month, while comprehensive lifetime pet insurance costs around £15.60 per month, depending on how much insurance cover you choose.
Lifetime (or ‘yearly limit’) insurance covers vet fees up to the stated limit every year. This can be a good option if you worry about your pet developing a long-term or recurring illness. So long as you renew a lifetime policy each year, the level of vet fees will reset to the full stated limits that you started with.
With a lifetime product, it is important to note that your premiums will increase each year at renewal. This is different to a “Per Condition” policy, where a particular condition can become excluded once the condition limit is reached. As your cat gets older, your excess might also increase.
Bear in mind that the pet insurance costs quoted here are for a moggy; insurance for pedigree cats is about 30% more expensive than insurance for non-pedigree cats for two reasons. The first is the financial value of some cat breeds, which can run to thousands of pounds. The second is that many breeds of cat - including Bengals, Ragdolls, Persian Cats, Siamese, Maine Coons, Siberians, Abyssinians, and Birmans - have a predisposition to develop certain medical conditions, which lead to vet treatment, and in turn to costly pet insurance claims.
How much does pet insurance cost for a dog?
A typical dog is more expensive to insure than a cat for one simple reason: public liability. The law regards cats as free spirits, and therefore doesn't hold cat owners to account for their cats' behaviour. By contrast, dog owners are legally responsible for anything their dog does - including biting someone, damaging property, or causing a car accident by running out into the road. That risk gets reflected in the pet insurance cost for dogs.
In a previous blog, We took a detailed look at the cost of pet insurance for dogs, and particularly how pet insurance costs vary by breed. But in summary:
- Accident Only pet insurance costs as little as £4 (but you can't claim on it for illnesses)
- Time limited pet insurance costs around £15 per month (but you can only claim for any one illness for up to 12 months)
- Lifetime pet insurance, the most comprehensive type of pet insurance, costs around £27.41 per month on average
Does pet insurance cost more than it used to?
Yes it does. According to the Association of British Insurers (ABI), pet insurance costs an average of £57 more than it did in 2007.
The reason for this increase in the cost of pet insurance is that vet bills are increasing. As veterinary medicine becomes more advanced, more tests are carried out on pets to diagnose illnesses, more sophisticated treatments are available, and more pets can be operated on successfully. This has seen the average vet bill increase to over £300.
This has increased pet insurance companies' costs in turn. Some pet insurance companies, like Axa Direct, have chosen to stop providing pet insurance altogether, while others have passed on these higher costs to customers in the form of increased prices.