Cost of pet insurance in UK can be the same as the cost of car insurance (2023)

The Which? website lists the most expensive breeds of cats and dogs to insure but the information is confused except in one way: it’s expensive and in certain instances the equivalent of insuring your car. The average cost of car insurance in the UK is around £400 depending upon the type of insurance you take out and the car. Certain cat breeds demand the same costs if you want to insure them.

Cat health insurance
Cat health insurance. Worth it? You can do better Image: MikeB
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For example, they state that it costs £977 in premiums for pet insurance of a RagaMuffin cross cat. And the Nebelung cost £494 to insure. That would be a yearly premium. The Abyssinian pet insurance premium is £277 per annum.

Confusion

But the confusion with Which? is that they have listed purebred cross cats which are not purebred cats at all. They are hybrids. They are purebred cats crossed with a non-purebred cat which means that the resulting cat is non-purebred and therefore not a breed. And so, the information is inaccurate but the overriding impression that I get from this is that some cats are going to demand insurance premiums which are similar to the amount paid to insure a car.

Most expensive cats to insure
Most expensive cats to insure. Screenshot of Which? list.

Cut back

And in saying that I am saying that it’s expensive. And with inflation running riot in the UK right now (March 2023), food has become notably more expensive and people are going to cut back on their expenses. The Which? website also tells us that almost 10% of UK pet owners are considering rehoming their pet because of the rising cost of living in the UK.

Britain is expensive

It has become incredibly expensive to live in the UK. It isn’t just the price of food. It is council tax which has gone up 5-10%. Everything we do is more expensive and the price rises across the board are quite shocking really.

Dogs are more expensive

Dog pet health insurance is similar and, in fact, more expensive than pet cat health insurance. The annual insurance premiums for the top 10 most expensive dogs is between £463 and £695. Once again, this is very similar to the cost of insuring a car.

Switching

Twenty percent of pet insurance buyers are planning to switch to a cheaper policy within 12 months which is unsurprising. In the UK, 4.3 million pets are insured which is an increase over the previous years of 4.2 million. According to PDSA (2022) about four in 10 cats are uninsured. That I think is a very high number. I’m very surprised to note that so many cats are insured.

The statista.com website tells me that in 2021, in the UK, the number of pet insurance customers reached almost 4 million. People are signing up to pet insurance but they can save money without lowering performance.

Run your own ‘policy’

My personal feeling is that the cost of pet insurance has become too expensive. It would be far more sensible for cat and dog owners to reduce their outgoings by setting up a savings plan by themselves for themselves in which they put away a fixed sum every month say £50 and ring fence it. The savings account would only be used to pay veterinary fees. It takes self-discipline but it’ll be a lot, lot cheaper in the long run to run your own insurance policy.

It should be started before the cat or dog is adopted to build up the pot early which would make the self-funded and managed insurance ‘policy’ effective from the get go.

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