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Pet insurance claims in UK rise to record £657 million

Pet insurers in the UK paid out a record 657 million pounds in claims last year and dogs represented the biggest share at 501 million pounds, according to new figures released on Tuesday.

The number of claims, at 911,000, was up nine per cent compared to the previous year while the total cost was also up nine per cent. Both were record levels, according to the figures from the Association of British Insurers (ABI).

Pet insurers paid out a record 657 million pounds in claims last year equivalent to 1.8 million pounds daily to help the UK's pet owners cope with the unexpected costs of owning their pet. An average claim was for 721 pounds in 2015 with the average premium at 241 pounds.

Dogs had the biggest share of claims, with 686,000 made costing 501 million pounds, while cats were behind 193,000 claims, worth 105 million pounds.

But the ABI said most pet owners in Britain remained uninsured. While 3.9 million dogs and cats are now covered by pet insurance, most pet owners remain uninsured.

Only one in four of the 9 million dog owners and one in seven of the 7.9 million cat owners are thought to have pet insurance, the ABI said in a statement. It said some of the more unusual pet insurance claims handled include the removal of a sock eaten by a dog, and treatment for a cat which fell from a fourth floor window. "The record levels of claims handled by pet insurers highlights that owning a pet can be costly as well as rewarding. While it is good to see more pet policies in force, too many of the nation's pet owners still don't have any cover in place," Mark Shepherd, General Insurance Manager at the ABI, said. 

"The cost of getting quality veterinary treatment can quickly run into thousands of pounds, particularly with a greater range of medical treatments for pets now available," Shepherd said.
PTI

PTI

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