It used to be the case that your family pet would love you and require nothing in return except to be fed and cuddled.
Now, however, Tiddles and Fido come with crippling insurance premiums – and it’s emerged that the bill for some owners exceeds £1,000 a year.
One in five policyholders has been hit by rocketing costs, research by the consumer group Which? revealed.
The bill for some pet owners exceeds £1,000 a year
Seven in ten said their premiums had increased since they last renewed their policy.
Dog owners pay an average of £420 a year for pet cover, while it costs £264 for a cat.
Those with dogs aged ten to 12 pay 80 per cent more on average, compared with owners who have pets under four.
It is typically 76 per cent more expensive to insure older cats than those under three.
But dozens had to spend more than £1,000 a year on cover, according to the Which? survey of 1,100 members.
At renewal, premiums typically rise by £84 for dogs and £40 for cats.
Half of adults in Britain own a pet, according to the charity PDSA.
Jenny Ross, from Which?, said: ‘High vet bills could be crippling… but rising insurance costs can give policyholders a shock.’
Only around half of new pets have been insured, according to Consumer Intelligence data
There has been a surge in the number of families buying pets over lockdown.
But only around half of new pets have been insured, according to Consumer Intelligence data.
With treatments often costing thousands of pounds, families without cover risk being landed with unaffordable vet bills.
Many owners say they just can’t afford to take out pet insurance because it is too expensive, while some just do not think it is worth it.
Pet insurers have previously come under fire for burying costly exclusions in the small print they can later use to wriggle out of paying claims.
Just under a third of people with insurance for a dog made a claim in the past year, with 32 per cent making two or more claims, according to Which?
A quarter with cover for their cat made a claim.