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Sainsbury's Pet Insurance finds owners made 200,000 claims in 6 months

04 November 2009 / by Rachael Stiles

To those pet owners who think that having pet insurance is a luxury, Sainsbury's Finance has found that dog and cat owners in the UK made almost 200,000 claims in the first half of 2009.

The Sainsbury's Finance Pet Insurance Claims Index estimates that £77,000,000 was paid out in pet insurance claims during the first six months on the year, to around 50,000 cat owners and 129,000 dog owners.

But with only around 26 per cent of cat and dog owners in the UK having pet insurance, Sainsbury's Finance estimates that those without cover could be facing costs of around £435million a year.

This cost relates to an estimated 1.02 million illnesses, incidents and injuries experienced each year by the remaining 74 per cent of cats and dogs without pet insurance.

The most common cause of dog pet insurance claims – of which there are more than 240 different incidents or illnesses – is skin tumours, accounting for as many as 10,500 claims. The average claim for a dog is £458.

For cat pet insurance claims, of which there are around 180 different types, the most common reason for claiming is road accidents, which led to around 2,200 of the claims. The average claim for cats is cheaper than dogs, at £354.

Commenting on the findings, Lucy Hunter, manager of Sainsbury’s pet insurance, said: "The sheer volume of claims made should belie the idea that pet insurance is a luxury. With vet fees rising, the potential cost of treatment for those pet owners doing without cover is considerable and it’s a genuine concern that cats and dogs may be missing out on necessary treatment as a consequence."

For pet owners who have been thinking of cancelling their pet insurance as a cost-cutting measure, Ms Hunter hopes that the results of the index will "indicate just how valuable good quality cover can be."

Not only will their pets be protected with up to £7,500 of vets fees, but Sainsbury's pet insurance customers also get double Nectar points on their shopping for two years.

Click here to apply for Sainsbury's pet insurance and save 20% »

ProviderOnline DiscountMax Vet Fees CoveredAdditional Features 
10%Up to £6,500 (platinum cover)10% Multi-Pet discount . Cover for: Vet fees for illness and injury, Third party liability – up to £1 million for dogs, Boarding kennel or cattery fees – up for £1000 if you have to go into hospital for 48 hours or longer (Platinum cover only). Includes access to Pet Legal and Vet Finder helplines.Get Quotes >
15% multi-petUp to £15,000Rated 5 stars by over 4,000 customers. Choose from £3,000 to £15,000 vet fees cover/year. Zero excess available. Clear and simple policy document. UK based help teams. Easy claim process with no forms to fill. 15% multi-pet discountGet Quotes >
N/aUp to £8,0005 Star Defaqto insurance. Family approach to insurance for cats and dogs in a straightforward, easy to understand way. Multi-pet cover available without the need to have more than one policy. UK customer and claims service provides expert veterinary information and advice 24/7/365. Unlike many other pet insurers, no coinsurance or co-payment to add to your excess. Get Quotes >
Intro Discount
up to £4,00045% Introductory Discount. With multi-pet cover you can mix and match Standard or Lifetime policies too - there's even a 10% multi-pet discount when you insure more than one pet.Compare pet insurance plans online and discover which level of cover best suits your needs. We love pets and we love great value!Get Quotes >
Save up to £100 a year by switching to ASDAUp to £7,500Great value Pet Insurance. 3 choices of Lifetime cover for vet's fees up to £2,000, £4,000 and £7,500, reinstated annually and with ongoing conditions insured for life. Also 12 month Standard and Value cover availabale, and Accident Only. 24 hour vet helplineGet Quotes >
20%Up to £12,000Dog and Cat Cover - No upper age limit - Long term cover so you claim for conditions like arthritis. Vet fees paid directly - Cover for loss or theft - Vetfone is a 24 hour service offering expert advice and support about anything to do with your pets.Get Quotes >
10%Up to £8,000 per yearCover from £6.29 per month. 5* Defaqto Rated Pet Insurance. Buying Pet Insurance from PDSA means you're supporting the UK's leading veterinary charity. Pay monthly at no extra cost, we can pay your vet direct (subject to availability), access a range of pet helplinesGet Quotes >
10%Up to £14,000 per yearDog, Cat and Rabbit Cover - Petplan offers genuine Covered for Life pet insurance. Multi-Pet Discount (£12 a year per pet)90% of claims settled within 5 days - Get Quotes >
10%£7,000Prices from £4.09 for cats and £7.58 for dogs. Three levels of cover to choose from. £1,000,000 third party liability cover for dogs.Get Quotes >