FAMILY pets are being mutilated or killed by owners to claim insurance payouts.
The sick scam swindled British insurance firms out of an estimated £2 million ($3.21 million) last year – a 400 percent rise on 2009.
Under the terms of most pet insurance owners get a payout if their animal either suffers an 'early death' or is maimed in an 'accident'.
The Association of British Insurers says the pet payouts swindle is now the fastest growing area in the industry.
Fraud investigator Carys Clarke said £420,000 in bogus pet claims was detected in 2009, but this jumped to £1,929,900 last year — and the true scale is probably far higher. She added: “The deliberate destruction or maiming of an animal can be disguised as an accident.” More than 2.3million cats and dogs were insured in Britain in 2010.