Pet owners taking out cat and dog insurance now are beating an imminent boom in the cost of vet bills arising if their pets suffer illness or injury - with the typical cost of treating broken bones for a cat being anything up to 2,500.
Technology making its way into the veterinary surgery is making treatment of formerly fatal diseases or injuries far more successful - but at a huge cost to vets practices.
"It's a dilemma for a pet owner: people naturally think it's never going to happen to me or my pet, but when it does, the cost can be shocking. But the other issue is that where there was once little hope for a pet's recovery, now the chances are much higher so treatment can also take longer," said Mark Effenberg, Chief Executive of Healthy Pets Insurance.
"But with that better chance of recovery comes a much bigger cost, because it is largely down to new and expensive technology or medication - and vets have no option but to invest in that technology.
"We're a nation of pet lovers who are also conditioned to having our own medical treatment for free - but there is no such mechanism for the vast majority of pets in households which have any level of income.
"We all know how much technology costs to install in hospitals, but very similar equipment is used in the treatment of pets. Vets have to invest, but they also have to cover the cost of that technology investment - so the cost of treatment is going to start to rise.
"If a human goes to hospital with a broken bone, it's treated for free in most cases. If a cat or dog needs to have a leg pinned, it's often a far more complex operation involving just as much technology. Treating a cat with a broken leg can cost anything up to - or even beyond - 2,500; generally the older the cat, the costlier it is because bones get more brittle with age. We have seen claims for up to 6,000 for treatment following injuries sustained in road traffic accidents, where cats have benefitted from treatment making previously unsurvivable injuries survivable thanks to modern technology and techniques.
"Cat and dog insurance has never been more important to pet owners."
Healthy Pets, an award winning online insurer, is the biggest independent pet
. It consistently offers the most competitive prices, and has amongst the
highest customer satisfaction ratings.