More than half of all pet owners have not taken out insurance

Although we might be a nation of animal lovers, a majority of pet owners in the UK do not have insurance for their companions.

Despite more than 90% of people considering their pets to be members of the family, 55% have not taken cover out against accident or illness – and of those, a third admit they would not be able cover the cost of the average vets bill.

According to M&S Bank, which commissioned the research, nearly half of those without insurance believe it’s not worth having, while 20% of those who don’t have cover don’t think they need it.

However, the Association of British Insurers says that one in every three pets needs vet treatment each year, costing an average of £600 a time.

Paul Stokes, of M&S Bank, said: “With nearly half of all UK adults now owning a pet, it would seem we are a pet-loving nation, so it’s perhaps surprising that fewer than four in 10 pet owners have insurance.

“The cost of treatment has increased in recent years due to advances in veterinary science, and having the appropriate insurance in place can help avoid costly vet’s fees when you’re least expecting them.”