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Your pet insurance premium explained

Find out how we work out the cost of pet insurance

How your details affect your price

The breed of your cat or dog

As you'd expect, the breed of your pet has a bearing on the price of your cover.

Some types of cats and dogs have a longer life expectancy than others. For example, bigger pets tend to have a shorter life expectancy, while mongrels tend to live longer, have fewer medical problems than pure breeds and so, they're often cheaper to insure.

The size of your pet breed is also a consideration because they usually need larger doses of drugs if they get sick and can take longer to recover – so cover can sometimes be more expensive.

Image of a large, dark coloured dog standing over a smaller, lighter coloured dog. The larger dog has his tongue out and the smaller dog appears to be smiling.

Two similar images of dogs faces next to each other. The one of the left is much bigger than the one on the right, indicating that the left is older than the right.

Your pet's age

Just like humans, the older our pets get, the more likely they are to have problems with their health. Cats and dogs 'age quicker' than people; on average one cat or dog year is the same as seven human years.

The cost of insuring your pet will go up as they get older and these increases can be quite significant. This is because older pets are more likely to need veterinary treatment to keep them in the best of health.

Gender of your pet

Did you know female cats and dogs tend to have fewer medical problems than their male equivalents? And if they do get ill, they are often more resilient and need less treatment.

Also, male pets can be more boisterous, which means they're more likely to have accidents or get into fights with each other.

Normally, you'll pay more for your pet insurance if you have a male dog or cat.

A dogs face within a 'Mars' symbol. Indicating that this dog is male.

A red house in the countryside and a red house in a busy city

Where you live

The region where you live has a bearing on the cost of your pet insurance. This is because the majority of your premium is set aside to pay out claims for vet fees.

So, if you live in the South of England, it's likely you'll pay more for your pet insurance because the average cost of treatment and medication is higher than in the North.

How outside influences affect your price

Advances in medical treatment

With so many developments in human medicine and complementary therapies, it's no surprise that veterinary medicine is also improving at an incredible rate.

Poorly pets can now be referred to specialist vets for treatment, including acupuncture, orthopaedics, surgery, hydrotherapy, even chemotherapy.

This means the cost of treating pets is going up – which will be reflected in the price of your insurance.

An image of a oscillator

Image of a range or receipts. As well as that is a folder and coming out of the folder is a sheet of paper with a dogs face on it

The number of claims

We pay out on hundreds of pet insurance claims every month, the expected number and cost of those claims is what we base our overall premiums on. If the number of claims goes up, because of things like a parvo virus epidemic, or an outbreak of Lyme disease, this could mean large increases to everyone's pet insurance.

At an individual policy level, if claims are made the increases at renewal will be higher than if no claims are made. Increases may vary depending on the number and value of claims.


Imagine you're out for a lovely walk in the country with your dog. He's off the lead, exploring all the rabbit holes and sploshing in puddles. Suddenly, he catches sight of someone on a bicycle, chases and bumps into them, causing them to fall off and hurt themselves.

Because you're responsible for your dog's behaviour, the cyclist could sue you for negligence. They could make a personal injury claim to cover the cost of medical treatment or demand compensation.

As the cost of liability claims increase, prices have to go up to cover these costs.

Image of a dog that has a piece of cloth in his mouth. It looks like it has been torn from an item of clothing

A gavle

Legislative changes

Insurance companies have no say on how much tax is charged on each policy. The government sets the rate of Insurance Premium Tax (IPT); this rate has increased incrementally since it was introduced.