Britons are more likely to have insurance for our PETS than ourselves

  • We have the highest pet insurance rate – and the lowest life insurance take-up
  • But the cost of insuring our pets is rising due to the soaring cost of vet bills

This really is a country of animal lovers, with Britons more likely to take out insurance for their pets than owners in Europe and the US.

In fact, we are even more likely to insure pets than we are ourselves, showing how much love we hold for our animal companions.

Almost a quarter (24 per cent) of people in the UK have or have had pet insurance, according to findings from credit reporting firm CRIF. That is well above the global average of 14 per cent. 

The country with the second highest rate of pet insurance was Germany (19 per cent), while the lowest of all countries surveyed was France (8 per cent).

Stressing meow-t: The cost of vet treatment is pushing up insurance costs to very high levels

By contrast, Britons are the least likely across Europe and the US to have insured their own lives. 

Just under a third of people in the UK (31 per cent) have or have had life insurance, lower than all other countries surveyed and well below the global average of 43 per cent.

People in Austria (52 per cent) and France (50 per cent) were the most likely to have life insurance.

Overall, according to UK pet population data, about 57 per cent of UK households (16.2million) housed 38million pets in 2023, up 9 per cent from 2022. 

How much does pet insurance cost? 

Pet insurance is increasingly expensive, with much of the price rise due to high vets bills, which are also rising.

Pet insurance premiums were 20 per cent higher in 2023/24 compared to 2022/23, according to consultants Pearson Ham. 

CRIF found that the cost of living crisis is impacting owners’ ability to maintain insurance payments for their pets.

And two-thirds (65 per cent) of Brits said that insurance premiums in general are currently too high. 

Nearly half (47 per cent) of those in the UK with pet insurance say it would be the first type of cover they would need to cut if they could no longer afford their current insurance bill, followed by travel (34 per cent), life (13 per cent) and health (10 per cent).

CRIF said: ‘The UK is often thought of as a nation of animal lovers and our research is further proof of this claim.

‘However, the squeeze on people’s finances and rise in premiums has meant many are facing tough decisions about their pet cover. 

‘Insurers need to do what they can to support owners during this difficult time, making sure they take into account as much financial information as possible to potentially drive down costs for low-risk customers.’