dog health insuranceHenry Wag is all about the health and well-being of pets so we were a little surprised to discover recently how many cat and dog owners don’t have pet health insurance.

According to Mintel, a leading research organisation, 38% of dog owners and 65% of cat owners do not have pet insurance.

Given that the average claim for dogs is £750 the numbers seemed at first to be somewhat high. Particularly as the average annual cost of insurance in 2017 was £324.

Rising Costs: Rising Numbers of Uninsured

So we dug a little deeper into the statistics. The average cost of annual dog insurance has increased from £271 in 2015. This amounts to an almost 20% increase to the current average so affordability is a factor. Pet insurance does not typically include routine check-ups, vaccinations, neutering or microchipping. So some of us will weigh up the likelihood of a significant operation being needed this year for our friend and decide to do without.

The average claim cost also needs some care. Pet healthcare has changed considerably over the last decade with many operations now being attempted, that would not have been considered as an option in 2000. These advances do not come cheap. This pushes the average considerably higher but then most operations are not low cost items.

Average Premiums

Data from comparethemarket shows that average monthly premiums vary considerably by the breed of dog. The good news for crossbreed owners is that premiums are cheaper as they tend to live longer and are less likely to have hereditary conditions.

Premiums are higher for dogs with short muzzles and flat faces which are prone to brachycephlic conditions such as pugs and bulldogs. Here breeding has increased premiums so that monthly pugs on average cost £41.36 and bulldogs £48.03. To put that in context the average cost to comprehensively insure a car is £40.41 per month!

And the most expensive dog to insure is a Rottweiler costing £49.74 a month or almost £600 a year. But while this cost appears high in isolation, let’s put it into context. What is the true cost of friendship and what wouldn’t we pay to keep a member of the family healthy? All that is different is our attitude to taking the cost either as a big hit or gaining some peace of mind from insurance.