An estimated 91% of pet owners are uninsured - are you?


  • Just 9% of pet owners have a pet insurance policy in place
  • Over a fifth of uninsured owners don’t think insurance is worth the money
  • More than one in 10 uninsured owners say they can’t afford to take out cover

A new report by Go.Compare Pet Insurance has estimated that an astonishing 91% of pet owners don’t have insurance.[1]

Using a combination of FCA and ONS data, the insurance comparison site has calculated that the number of policies in place is equivalent to just 9% of all pet owners in the UK. This means the vast majority don’t have protection, potentially costing them thousands in an emergency scenario.

Go.Compare asked the nation’s uninsured owners the main reason why they haven’t taken out cover, and, astonishingly, just over a fifth (22.4%) said that they didn’t think it would be worth the money. Meanwhile, more than one in 10 (16%) said that they simply can’t afford the premiums.

A further 14% stated that they plan to use savings or a credit card to cover any emergency expenses instead, while 11.5% just feel that they won’t need a policy. A slim percentage of owners simply forget to take out insurance, with 0.9% naming this as the reason why they’re uninsured.

Affordability appears to be a more prominent issue for dog owners. Over a quarter (28.6%) of uninsured dog owners said they couldn't afford a policy, compared to just 19% of uncovered cat owners. This is likely due to the fact that cover for canines tends to be more expensive than for cats, with the average for dogs costing £19.68 per month, compared to £10.84 on average for cats.

Younger animal lovers also have a much harder time paying for insurance than their older counterparts. Almost a quarter (23.2%) of uninsured 18-34-year-olds stated they couldn’t afford a policy. In comparison, just 19.5% of 35-54-year-olds and 12.3% of over 55s who aren’t protected expressed this as the key reason.

Similarly, women seem to find paying premiums much more difficult than men. Just over a fifth (21%) of uninsured female pet owners said that the reason they don’t have a policy is they can’t afford it. This is almost double the percentage of men who gave the same answer (11.2%).

Ceri McMillan, pet insurance expert at Go.Compare, said: “It’s worrying to see that so few owners have a policy in place for their precious pets. What’s especially concerning is that many owners either can’t afford to get covered or feel it simply isn’t worth the money, even though it could save them thousands in the long run.

“Times are tight, but skimping on insurance could prove to be a seriously costly misstep, so we’d advise all pet owners to get a policy for their fluffy friends. Otherwise, you’ll have to stump up for emergency costs like veterinary fees yourself.

“Plus, pet insurance can cover you for a wide range of situations that you may not be aware of, such as the cost of printing lost and found posters if your pet goes missing. So, it’s really worth getting a policy, as things can go wrong more often than you think.

“If you need to reduce your insurance costs, remember to compare policies to ensure you're getting the best deal possible for your needs. You can also look at bringing down your premium by getting your pet spayed or neutered, as well as choosing a higher excess, although you should only do this if you’ll be able to pay it in the event of a claim.”

More information can be found on Go.Compare’s website.

About the data 

[1] The percentage of uninsured pet owners was calculated by applying the estimated number of UK pet owners (34.8 million) to FCA dataon the number of pet insurance policies in place in the second half of 2021 (3.1 million).

The estimated number of pet owners in the UK was calculated by applying the percentage of UK adults that own a pet (52%, sourced from the PDSA) to the estimated UK population (67 million, sourced from the ONS).

[2] To collect the data used in this report, we conducted a nationally representative survey of 2,000 UK residents via YouGov. The survey was run on 7 March 2023 and all responses were selected at random. All statistics featured on this page are sourced via this survey unless otherwise stated.

About Go.Compare

Go.Compare is a comparison website that enables people to compare the costs and features of a wide variety of insurance policies, financial products and energy tariffs.

It does not charge people to use its services and does not accept advertising or sponsored listings, so all product comparisons are unbiased. Go.Compare makes its money through fees paid by the providers of products that appear on its various comparison services when a customer buys through the site.

When it launched in 2006, it was the first comparison site to focus on displaying policy details rather than just listing prices, with the aim of helping people to make better-informed decisions when buying their insurance. It is this approach to comparing products that secured the company an invitation to join the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) in 2008, and it is still the only comparison site to be a member of this organisation.

Go.Compare has remained dedicated to helping people choose the most appropriate products rather than just the cheapest and works with Defaqto, the independent financial researcher, to integrate additional policy information into a number of its insurance comparison services. This allows people to compare up to an extra 30 features of cover.

Go.Compare is part of Future Plc and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). More information can be found here or here