Majority of Irish Dog and Cat Owners Do Not Have Pet Insurance

by Alix Carman | 2 min read   November 15th, 2018

Allianz Nationwide Research Reveals:

  • 70% of dog owners and nearly 90% of cat owners are without pet health cover
  • Younger people are the most responsible pet owners, with nearly half (46%) of 18-24 year old dog owners having pet insurance
  • 24% of older pet owners insure their animals
  • 34% of pet owners feel pet insurance is too expensive
  • Most expensive vet bills, on average, cost €2,600

New research from Allianz Ireland, who have been insuring pets across Ireland for more than 17 years, reveals that 70% of dog owners and nearly 90% of cat owners do not have pet insurance. Irish pet owners have cited cost, lack of information, and distrust in insurers as the biggest reasons why they don’t have pet insurance.

Research from Allianz Ireland, conducted by Coyne Research in May 2018 amongst 536 adults revealed that many of Ireland’s cherished pets aren’t covered in the event of an accident or injury. The research finds that older people are much less likely to insure their pets, with only 24% of 45-54-year olds covering their dogs compared with nearly half (46%) of 18-24 year olds.

However, the research uncovered a broad range of reasons why a pet owner may not insure their animal. These were identified by pet owners as

  • Too expensive (34%)
  • Didn’t know you could insure a particular animal (19%)

Pet Expenses

Owning a pet can add significantly to household expenses. Amongst Irish pet owners, the overall average monthly spend on a pet is €104, bringing the total annual cost to approximately €1,250.

Food is the biggest expense, with the average pet owner spending €35 a month on pet food. Other expenses include:

  • Pet toys and accessories (€24)
  • Grooming (€16)
  • Treats (€16)

Vet bills can also drive up the cost of owning a pet. Pet owners spend, on average, between €100-€249 on typical vet bills, and €2,600 on their most expensive vet bills.

Procedures are much more expensive than the average vet bill, and are often unanticipated:

  • Pacemaker Insertion: €4,300
  • Cataract Surgery: €1300 - €1500 per eye
  • Spinal Surgery: €1600 - €3,000
  • Hip replacement: €3,000 to €4,000 per hip
  • Cruciate surgery: €1,500 - €2,300 per leg
  • MRI Scans: €1500.00 - €2,200 per scan depending on how many parts of the body are scanned
  • CT scans: €600 - €900 per scan depending on how many parts of the body are scanned
  • Radiotherapy for brain tumours (done in UK as there is no facility in ROI): €5,000 - €6,000

Chronic medical cases also cost a lot per year such as skin allergies, diabetes, arthritis, and kidney disease. These require regular prescription medicines throughout the year and frequent vet visits for check ups, blood tests, IV drips, X-rays etc.

While pet owners are busy with day-to-day routines of keeping their pets healthy and happy they could be leaving themselves exposed to potentially expensive veterinary bills. A person would not skip health insurance for family members and that should ideally extend to the family pet. With pet insurance from Allianz, pet owners can have some piece of mind knowing that if their pet becomes ill or injured we will be there to assist.


Information correct as of date of publishing. This blog will not be updated or edited so the information may become outdated.

Alix Carman
Helping to break down Renter's Insurance cover.