What are you most likely to need to claim on your dog’s pet insurance policy for?

What are you most likely to need to claim on your dog’s pet insurance policy for?

Health & Safety

Dog insurance can help you to cover the cost of any unforeseen veterinary emergencies your dog might face, either because they get ill or become injured. It also often covers third party public liability claims against you as the dog owner, and if you think the cost of veterinary care is expensive, even vet’s top-end figures come nowhere near the sort of money you might be looking at for a third party claim!

Many dog owners enjoy the peace of mind of having their dogs insured and consider this to be a reasonable trade-off for the price of their policies, although of course not everyone thinks that insurance is worth it or a good deal, or even in some cases financially viable.

It is also worth bearing in mind as well that whilst dog insurance is designed to cover unexpected and unforeseen accidents and illnesses, it doesn’t cover everything. Particularly, dog insurance does not provide coverage against conditions that you already knew about at the time you bought the policy, conditions that could reasonably have been foreseen or prevented, and those that result from planned events that come with risk such as breeding from your dog.

If your dog is insured or if you’re considering taking out a dog insurance policy, there is a lot to think about, and getting to grips with dog insurance can be a very steep learning curve.

Comparing policies, coverage levels, pay out rates and a wide range of other variables will factor in, as well as of course what you could actually afford to pay for your policy. But you might also wonder what type of conditions you might eventually end up having to claim for, or what types of things will be covered by the average policy.

With this in mind, this article will tell you the ten most common illnesses and conditions that dog owners make a claim on their pet insurance policy for each year, and which are honoured and paid by their policy provider. Read on to learn more.

Stomach issues

By far the most commonly claimed for illness or health condition in dogs is stomach issues. This is a catch-all header that encompasses a wide range of problems, some of which might be caused by underlying or congenital issues, but a great many of which will relate to dogs eating things that they shouldn’t!

29% of the most commonly claimed for health conditions in dogs stem from stomach issues.

Skin conditions

The second most common health condition in dogs that owners claim on pet insurance policies for is skin conditions, accounting for 20% of the top ten most common claims.

Once more this encompasses a range of different conditions, but goes some way towards demonstrating how common skin conditions in dogs are overall.

Ear infections

Ear infections are another common and often recurrent problem in dogs, particularly in breeds with long, drooping ears that close off the ear canal and are also apt to pick up dirt and debris from the floor, like the ears of the Bassett hound.

11% of the ten most common conditions claimed for on dog insurance policies are ear infections.

Eye conditions

Eye conditions come next, and 7% of dog insurance claims across the ten most common insured conditions relate to the eyes. Once more, this encompasses a wide variety of potential conditions ranging from cataracts to physical injuries to the eye, the latter of which are more common in dogs with prominent eyes like the pug.


Pain is of course a very generic term, and pain has a root cause that could be either an illness or an injury, making this a very broad area for dog insurance claims. Presentations of general pain account for 7% of dog insurance claims across the ten most common canine heath conditions insurers cover.

Unusual growths

Unusual growths on dogs can be very alarming for their owners, and for most of us, cancer is apt to cross our minds if we find an odd lump or bump that we cannot explain. However, by no means all or even most unusual growths on dogs are cancerous, and some such growths are entirely harmless. Unusual growths account for 6% of the ten most commonly claimed for health conditions in dogs.


UTIs or urinary tract infections are also common in dogs, accounting for 6% of claims made across the top ten list. These can affect dogs of any age or breed, but can usually be resolved fairly simply with appropriate antibiotics.


Dogs can be allergic to a huge range of different things, and diagnosing the cause of an allergy can be very difficult in itself, before your vet even gets as far as managing or treating it.

Allergies in dogs account for 5% or one in twenty of the ten most common conditions dog insurance policies pay out for.

Ligament injuries

Ligament injuries in dogs can be very painful, as well as time consuming and complicated to treat, all of which means vets’ bills for them tend to be very high! The good news, however, if your dog is insured is that this is a condition that most policies pay out for, as ligament injuries account for 5% or once again, one in twenty of the most commonly claimed for canine health problems.


Finally, limping in dogs can be caused by a range of things from an injury to a thorn in the paw to a strain to a hereditary health condition, or more or less anything else you can think of. Limping is the last entry on our list of the top ten most common canine health conditions dog owners claim on insurance policies for, and makes up 4% of all such claims.

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