Around 3.9 million dogs and cats are insured in the UK and industry body, Association of British Insurers (ABI) is reporting that 2016 was a record-breaking year with more pet owners than ever claiming on insurance policies, resulting in £706 million in claims being paid out during the year.

This is the equivalent of £1.8 million per day, with each claim averaging £768 (an increase of 5% year on year).

New analysis by Direct Line Pet Insurance has given further insight behind the statistics revealing the top five most common conditions dog owners claimed for in 2016.

Tumours, warts and cysts topped the list with 10,000 pet owners claiming the cost of treatment back. Musculoskeletal disorders, such as sprains and arthritis were the second most commonly filed claims.

Some believe the increase in claims and costs per claim can be connected to the advancements in technologies for treatments, but with the cost per treatment rising at an average of 5% comparing 2015 to 2016, it can leave pet owners caught short if they are not expecting the bill and don’t have pet insurance to cover.

Speaking about their findings, Prit Powar, head of Pet Insurance at Direct Line said: “It is comforting to think that vets can now do more to help our pets make a speedier recovery, although it is no secret that vet bills are on the increase. The data from 2016 highlights the true costs to treat certain conditions, however, the final total average cost is not confined to just one year.

“In some cases, treatment might be needed again for re-occurring issues, taking dogs way over a year to return to full health. Consequently, this means by the end of the treatment, the total cost can be very expensive and in some cases over £7,000. It is more important than ever that owners insure their pets so they can receive the best possible treatment and get the care they deserve.”

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