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Pets walk uninsured

27 July 2004
The UK may be a nation of pet lovers but new research shows 72 per cent of Scottish dog and cat owners do not have insurance for their pets.

Lloyds TSB Insurance has revealed that the number of uninsured animals in the UK represents a possible £1.1 billion a year in vet bills.

This figure is based on the fact that between us we own an estimated five million cats and 5.3 million dogs and for the average person, vet bills constitute £107 a year.

However, two in ten pet owners find themselves facing up to £200 to cure their sick animals, and one in ten up to a staggering £500.

The retail network director for Lloyds TSB Scotland, Mike Jones, said: "We tend to make sure our home and contents are insured, but what about the kennel outside? The majority of owners are failing to protect their dearly loved cats and dogs, which many see as part of the family."

Mr Jones added: "By getting swift access to the best care and attention from a vet of your choice, pet insurance can help to ease the emotional pain plus the damage to your wallet."

Mintel found in a separate survey that 40 per cent of pet owners cannot easily afford the bills. This seems to have a lot to do with their escalating costs.

For example, a dog's torn ligament can cost £1,200 and initial treatment for epilepsy £1,200.

The average claim by a person holding Lloyds TSB pet insurance is £240 a year.