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High Premiums And Recession Affecting Pet Insurance Market

A YouGov SixthSense report has revealed many British pet owners are deterred from pet insurance by perceived high premium costs and the impact of the recession.

The report on consumer attitudes to pet insurance showed that cost was preventing many from taking out policies for their pets, while a high number of pet insurance policy cancellations have occurred during the recession.

Of those who claim to have cancelled pet insurance policies in the past, 29% say that the cover provided was not worth the cost, while an additional 18% claimed that they required the policy but could not afford it, according to the report.

In addition to problems of cost, the report found that half of cancellations are due to cover-related issues, where the consumer no longer needs a specific policy to cover the risks or the cover is provided by another product.

The report showed that out of approximately 20.3m UK residents with pets, an estimated 6.6m owned pet insurance.

James McCoy, research director for YouGov SixthSense, said: “Pet insurance policies currently do not provide the same extra benefits we have come to expect from other types of insurance.

“Health and dental plans offer a number of ‘one-offs’ in the form of checkups, teeth cleanings etc in addition to coverage for grievous injury or disease. The maintenance or cosmetic element is missing from most pet policies that might encourage a greater sign-on rate amongst owners. Why can’t a pet insurance policy, for example, include an annual booster or regular flea or worming treatments?”

The report found the most popular brands on the market are Tesco Pet Insurance, with 24% consumer penetration, and Pet Plan with 15%, while Allianz holds approximately 40% of the premium market by GWP and RBS Insurance holds around 30%.

The report also found that pet insurance ownership is skewed towards affluent consumers between the ages of 40 and 54, and that policyholders are also likely to have bought their house on a mortgage.

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