Daily Mail

Dog breeds that cost us £200 extra in insurance

- Daily Mail Reporter

PET insurance costs can vary by hundreds of pounds depending on the breed, a study has found.

A survey of more than 1,300 owners found the average annual price for a lifetime policy is £472 for a dog and £285 for a cat.

But when consumer group Which? calculated the average of the five cheapest quotes for eight popular dog types and seven for cats, it found the breed can make a huge difference to the cost.

Of the eight dog types in the study, French bulldogs were the most expensive, at £358 a year for a lifetime policy – over £200 more than the cost of cover for a Jack Russell terrier, £133.

They were followed by Labrador retrievers on £182, cockapoos and cocker spaniels at £141 and border collies costing £139 to insure.

Among cats, Maine coons were the most costly at £114, followed by Bengals at £105, domestic long-haired cats on £86 and tabbies at £85. Across all pet breeds, six in ten policyhold­ers had seen a rise since their last renewal – on average £123 for dogs and £57 for cats, Which? found.

One in five people in the survey had experience­d a problem with their pet insurance. In one case seen by Which? a pet owner had to cancel her policy after being quoted nearly £1,700 to insure her 11-yearold dogs. Some 32 per cent of those with insurance for a dog or cat have made at least one claim over the past year, the survey found.

The Which? figures were based on a lifetime policy for a three-year-old pet living in a Cambridge postcode. Harry Rose, Which? Money editor, said: ‘While rising premiums have left many feeling squeezed, there are a few things you can do to help rein in the cost of insuring your pets.

‘The earlier you get cover the better. Not only will premiums be cheaper, a younger animal will have fewer pre-existing conditions, making for fewer exclusions and greater choice between policies.

‘Always shop around for insurance, and if you want to switch, check which conditions the new insurer will and won’t cover.

‘ Unfortunat­ely, it’s likely that the new insurer will exclude all of your pet’s current and pre- existing conditions, which could make switching for a lower premium a false economy.’

Malcolm Tarling, of the Associatio­n of British Insurers, said: ‘There is no NHS for pets, and with veterinary bills rising and a wider range of treatments becoming available, pet insurance is something every pet owner needs to seriously consider.’

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