British pet insurance payouts hit record 785 million pounds in 2018

British pet insurance payouts hit a record of 785 million pounds (about 1 billion U.S. dollars) in 2018, driven by a significant jump in average claim size, according to a report issued by the Association of British Insurers (ABI).

Data showed that the average claim grew by 36 pounds to 793 pounds in 2018, compared with the previous year.

ABI said nearly 4.3 million pets were covered by insurance in 2018, with more pets being covered than ever before.

Although there were estimated 7.5 million cats in British households, only 1.3 million were insured.

In addition, average premiums dropped slightly to 279 pounds in 2018, for the first time in eight years.

Joe Ahern, senior policy adviser for pet insurance at ABI, said: “there is no NHS for animals, so if you’ve not got a pet policy in place — you risk having to foot veterinary bills out of your own pocket.”

“These can often be in the thousands of pounds and vet treatment is only getting more expensive, not less,” Ahern said.

“It’s promising to see the average premium coming down regardless of this trend and I’m pleased to see our members paying out more than ever before to protect the wellbeing of pets across the country,” Ahern added. (1 pound equals to 1.3 U.S. dollars)