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How does the region you live in affect pet insurance prices?

Most things vary in price depending on whether you live in a cheaper or more expensive region and pet insurance is no exception. Find out how much you might expect to pay to insure your cat or dog where you live.

Derri Dunn
Updated 3 August 2021  | 4 mins read

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The pet insurance postcode lottery

2020 saw a massive increase in pet ownership nationwide, with 59% of us now having at least one pet in the household, according to the 2021 Pet Population Survey. That’s up 18% from 2019.

But the cost of pet ownership isn’t evenly distributed across the country. Some areas will be more expensive than others for things like dog walking and kenneling services, or veterinary care.

Pet insurance is no exception and it’s a useful barometer of which areas of the UK are the most expensive places to have a pet. 

Which areas have the most expensive pet insurance?

Just like housing, transport and going out, the cost of pet insurance is highest in London, with an average policy price of £553.95.

Pet insurance is 32% cheaper than this in Northern Ireland, where it’s just £298.72 on average.

pet insurance costs vary significantly depending on region

Pet insurance prices seem to correlate with the general cost of living in these areas.

For example, the average house price in London is £497,948, while it’s just £184,297 in Wales and £149,178 in NI, according to the House Price Index.

The trend continues across the rest of the UK – with pet insurance tending to cost less in northern regions that have a lower cost of living than in the south, where things are more expensive all-round.

Region Average Cost
London £553.95
South East £441.89
East £426.98
South West £378.85
North West £373.53
West Midlands £369.02
Yorkshire and the Humber £360.53
East Midlands £353.45
North East £339.15
Scotland £336.40
Wales £328.23
Northern Ireland £298.72

How much does dog insurance cost in London?

According to our data, the top five most popular UK dog breeds are all more expensive to insure in London than for the UK average:

Dog breed Average pet insurance cost – London Average pet insurance cost nationwide
Labrador £560.29 £380.15
French bulldog £1,000.55 £734.19
Cocker spaniel £399.39 £315.42
German shepherd £547.74 £398.91
Staffordshire bull terrier £652.70 £439.94

It’s not just pedigrees that cost more in London either.

A medium crossbreed costs £508.40 to insure in the capital – the national average is £293.43. A medium sized mongrel is £655.42 to insure in London, while it’s just £356.13 on average nationwide.

Can you afford multiple pets where you live?

There are few economies of scale to be had when you increase the number of pets you own.

There might be some small savings on shared kenneling costs or buying food in bulk, but in general, each pet will significantly increase your bill.

For pet insurance, you might be able to get multi-pet insurance for a discount, but if you live in one of the more expensive regions, like London or the South East, you could have a sizable extra bill for each additional pet.

Make sure you budget for it before you give a home to an extra cat or dog.

What affects the price of pet insurance?

There are lots of factors that affect the price you pay for pet insurance and geography is just one part of it.

Veterinary costs – Areas with higher costs of living, like the south, will have higher veterinary costs as well. It’s the main reason pet insurance is more expensive in some regions.

Environmental risks –  Some areas are higher risk than other for pets – so you might find your insurance gets cheaper if you move from an urban location to a rural one. That’s particularly true with cats, who are at a greater risk of being in a traffic accident in towns and cities.

The risk of theft, particularly for certain desirable breeds, may also push up pet insurance prices in urban areas like London.

Breed – Some pedigree cats and dogs are prone to hereditary conditions that can increase the cost of pet insurance. 

For example, the French bulldog, pug and British bulldog brachycephalic (flat-faced) breeds. As a result, these dogs can have trouble breathing and might suffer from a range of related health issues.

Because there’s a higher risk of needing veterinary treatment, these breeds can cost more to insure.

Age and medical history – Your pet insurance will increase as your pet ages.

You’re also likely to pay more if your pet’s been ill in the past – although you’ll still be covered if you have a lifetime policy, the cost is likely to go up once you’re claiming for a chronic condition.

How to cut the cost of pet insurance

Short of moving house to a cheaper area, there are a few things you can do to keep the cost of your pet insurance down:

  1. Multi-pet insurance

    Some insurers will give a discount for covering more than one pet

  2. Choose the right level of cover

    Time-limited cover is cheaper, but better for one-off, short-term injuries and illness. Lifetime cover can cost more but could cover chronic conditions

  3. Keep your pet healthy

    Reduce the chance of vet visits by feeding a quality diet, keeping their weight down, regular grooming and a tooth care routine

  4. Consider co-insurance

    Co-payments are often compulsory for older pets, but choosing to contribute a percentage towards treatment costs can make pet insurance more affordable

  5. Spay or neuter

    Neutered cats are less likely to wander and get into fights. Spaying dogs can reduce the risk of certain types of cancer

  6. Get your pet microchipped

    Legally you need to microchip your dog and chipping any pet increases the chances of them being returned to you if they’re lost or stolen

  7. Choose a higher excess

    If you can afford to pay it in the event of a claim, choosing a higher policy excess should bring your premium prices down

  8. Compare quotes

    The best way to get a competitive price for your pet insurance is to compare quotes

*The average cost of all levels of pet insurance for dogs and cats bought through Stickee Technology between May 2019 to July 2020, broken down by region of the UK. 

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