Note: This article’s statistics come from third-party sources and do not represent the opinions of this website.
It’s no secret that the cost of pet care has been on the rise in recent years. In fact, a 2017 report from the American Pet Products Association found that Americans spent over $69 billion on their pets in 2016, and that number is only expected to grow in the years to come. So, it’s not surprising that more and more pet owners are looking into pet insurance to help offset the cost of unexpected vet bills.
How Many Pet Owners in the UK Have Pet Insurance – 11 Statistics
But how many pet owners in the UK actually have pet insurance? And what are their reasons for doing so? Let’s take a look at the latest statistics to find out.
- 62% of UK consumers own at least one pet.
- The pet population grew by 62.7% for cats and 38.9% for dogs in 2020.
- 97% of pets insured in the UK are dogs and cats.
- 7 million UK pet owners have or have had pet insurance in their lives.
- 39% of cats in the UK are insured.
- 61% of dogs in the UK are insured.
- Insurers paid out £872 million in claims in 2021.
- The average claim paid to pet owners with insurance in 2021 was £848.
- 20% of pet insurance buyers plan on switching to a cheaper policy within 12 months.
- The pet insurance market experienced a 6.4% increase in gross written premiums (GWP), reaching a value of £1.3 billion in 2020.
- The number of subscribers increased by 1.0% in 2020 compared to the previous year.
General UK Pet Insurance Statistics
1. 62% of UK consumers own at least one pet.
Dogs are the most popular pet at 34%, followed by cats at 28%. If you don’t own a pet, you’re actually in the minority.
2. The pet population grew by 62.7% for cats and 38.9% for dogs in 2020.
This growth in the pet population is thought to be directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic, as people were looking to adopt pets for companionship during quarantine.
3. 97% of pets insured in the UK are dogs and cats.
Dogs and cats are the easiest pets to insure, and many insurance companies only cover dogs and cats to begin with. Rabbits are the 3rd most popular pet in the UK, and many rabbits are covered by pet insurance as well.
4. 7 million UK pet owners have or have had pet insurance in their lives.
(Association of British Insurers)
This number increased by 4.5% and is the highest number since 2017. Additionally, the number of pets covered by insurance increased from 4.2 to 4.3 million since 2018.
5. 39% of cats in the UK are insured.
(PDSA Paw Report)
The main reason for this is that owners say they are worried about how they’ll pay for vet bills if their cat falls ill or gets injured. This number is up from 34% 2020.
6. 61% of dogs in the UK are insured.
(PDSA Paw Report)
This number is up from 58% in February 2020. It’s unclear what caused this increase, but it’s likely due to the same reason as with cats: pet owners are worried about paying for vet bills.
Pet Insurance Industry Statistics
7. Insurers paid out £872 million in claims in 2021.
(Association of British Insurers)
This marks an increase of 9.2% compared to claims that were paid out in 2020. This matches trends showing that purchasing and using pet insurance is increasing.
8. The average claim paid to pet owners with insurance in 2021 was £848.
The average claim amount paid out to pet owners increased from £817 in 2020 and from £679 in 2014. This statistic shows the true increase of pet owners utilizing pet insurance in the UK.
9. 20% of pet insurance buyers plan on switching to a cheaper policy within 12 months.
(UK Pet Insurance Market Report)
As premium prices increase, many consumers may be looking to save money by switching to policies that only cover more expensive situations such as emergencies.
10. The pet insurance market experienced a 6.4% increase in gross written premiums (GWP), reaching a value of £1.3 billion in 2020.
Gross written premiums are the sum of all insurance premiums that a company may collect through an existing insurance policy. This increase likely coincides with the increase in pet ownership.
11. The number of subscribers increased by 1.0% in 2020 compared to the previous year.
As pet ownership increases, so will the number of subscribers to pet insurance. Although this growth is small, the number is expected to continue to increase by 2025.
FAQ About Pet Insurance in the UK
What Does Pet Insurance Cover?
The coverage you get with pet insurance depends on the type of policy you have and the company you’re insured with.
Accident only policies will usually cover:
- Emergency vet visits
- X-rays and diagnostic tests
- Prescription medication
Comprehensive policies will usually cover all of the above, plus:
- Chronic conditions
- Cancer treatment
- Genetic disorders
- Alternative therapies like acupuncture and physiotherapy
- Prescription food and supplements
What Doesn’t Pet Insurance Cover?
- Pre-existing conditions are not covered by pet insurance. This means any condition your pet has been diagnosed with or shows symptoms of before you take out a policy will not be covered.
- Routine care is also not usually covered by pet insurance. This includes things like vaccinations, routine check-ups, and teeth cleaning. Some companies do offer optional routine care coverage for an additional premium, however.
- Additionally, most policies have a waiting period of 14 days or more before they start covering accidents or illnesses. This means that if your pet gets sick or injured during this time, you will have to pay for the treatment yourself.
- Finally, most policies have an annual or per-incident limit on how much they will pay out. Once you reach this limit, you will have to pay for any additional treatment yourself.
Is the Pet Insurance Industry in the UK Expected to Grow?
The pet insurance industry in the UK is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.3% from 2020 to 2025. This means that the industry is forecast to be worth £1.8 billion by 2025.
This growth is being driven by a number of factors, including:
- The increasing cost of veterinary care
- The growing popularity of pet insurance
- The aging population of pets
- The introduction of new products and services
- The expansion of the internet and mobile devices
As the cost of veterinary care continues to rise and pet ownership becomes more popular, it is expected that more and more people will take out pet insurance policies. This will help to drive the industry’s growth over the next few years.
How Has COVID Played a Role in UK Pet Insurance Sales?
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a mixed impact on the pet insurance industry in the UK. On the one hand, the pandemic has led to an increase in pet ownership as people look for companionship during lockdown. This has resulted in more people taking out pet insurance policies.
On the other hand, the pandemic has also led to a decrease in the number of people taking their pets to the vet. This is because many veterinary practices have been forced to close or limit their services during lockdown. As a result, there has been a decrease in premium income for pet insurance companies.
Looking forward, it is expected that the pandemic will continue to have a mixed impact on the pet insurance industry. The increase in pet ownership is likely to result in more people taking out pet insurance policies. However, the decrease in vet visits is likely to continue, which will limit premium income for insurers.
How Much Does Pet Insurance Cost in the UK?
The average cost of pet insurance in the UK is £22.50 per month, but this will vary depending on the type of pet, the level of coverage, and other factors.
What Is the Most Popular Type of Pet Insurance in the UK?
The most popular type of pet insurance in the UK is comprehensive coverage, which offers protection for both unexpected medical expenses and routine care.
What Is the Maximum Age for Pet Insurance in the UK?
Most pet insurance policies in the UK have a maximum age limit of 10 years, but some insurers will offer coverage for older pets on a case-by-case basis.
Pet insurance is not mandatory in the UK, but it is a good idea to have some form of protection in case your pet becomes sick or injured. The average cost of pet insurance in the UK is £22.50 per month, but this will vary depending on the type of pet, the level of coverage, and other factors. The most popular type of pet insurance in the UK is comprehensive coverage, which offers protection for both unexpected medical expenses and routine care. Pet insurance isn’t totally mainstream yet, but it’s growing as an industry, especially in the UK, and will likely become more common as time goes on.
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