Insurers paid out almost $1 billion to pet owners last year

The UK is famous for its love of pets, but the Association of British Insurers (ABI) has now put a price on that affection.

According to a report by the insurance industry group, pet insurers paid out a record £657 million ($935 million) on claims in 2015.

This is the equivalent of £1.8 million paid out a day.

The figure was up 9% from 2104, and translated into about 911,000 claims over the year.

Most of the claims were for veterinary expenses, with the average claim coming in at £720.

It seems Brits are a lot more protective of canines than felines — 680,000 of the claims were for dogs while only 193,000 were for cats. That said, less than a quarter of British pet owners had insurance for their animals.

ABI General Insurance Manager Mark Shepherd said despite the record breaking figures, too many pets were still uninsured:

“Even with record claim levels last year, pet insurance remains very competitive, so you can choose from a wide range of products that offer different levels of cover depending on their needs. You should think carefully how you would cope without pet insurance if your pet fell dangerously ill or had a serious accident.”

Some of the more extreme claims made last year include:

  • Removal of a sock eaten by a dog.
  • Treating a dog who swallowed a whole kebab stick.
  • A python who needed treatment for anorexia at a cost of £200
  • Removing a tumour from a polecat, which cost £333.
  • A cat needed treatment for injuries suffered after falling from a fourth-floor window at a cost of £1,954.

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