Research from UK consumer group Which? recently drew attention to rising premiums for pet insurance policies. The survey of more than 1100 Which? members revealed that 70 percent of pet insurance policyholders reported soaring premiums since their last renewal, with price being the most common complaint that pet owners have about their insurance.
More pet owners than ever
Unsurprisingly, this is something close to many people’s hearts. During the pandemic and ensuing lockdowns, more people chose to welcome a new pet than ever before to provide companionship and to alleviate feelings of isolation. Despite the best intentions for their pets, the survey suggests that spiralling costs are putting people off buying pet insurance. Nearly half (46 percent) of the pet owners surveyed without insurance said they thought it was too costly, with many choosing to fund vet bills from their own pockets. The PDSA has also raised some concern that many lockdown pets will fall into pet poverty with owners suffering financial hardship and unable to afford vet bills in forthcoming months.
We love our pets at Aquarium and believe that holding a suitable insurance policy is a prudent way to plan for and safeguard your pet’s future. Pet owners need to be wary of cheap premiums when renewing their policies; these are not always cheerful and may not provide the required level of cover. Yet we fully understand the concerns that people have about budgeting for pet insurance.
Insure young and insure smart
Advice regularly highlights the benefits of insuring an animal at a young age before they develop health conditions or require ongoing medication, both of which bump premiums up. Which? noted that owners of dogs aged 10-12 years paid up to 80 percent more for their policies compared with owners of canines under four. It is a similar figure for cats, where owners of older cats pay 76 percent more for their policies than felines under three.
Something else a pet owner can do is choose an insurer that uses digital technology to manage the insurance process. Not only does this make it easier for you to make claims if required, it can also help match the right policy to the individual pet.
Our platform is used by pet insurers to analyse data in real-time using machine learning and artificial intelligence. This enables an intelligent and flexible approach to determine the most appropriate policy and premium for each pet. Although a digital platform may not necessarily vastly reduce premiums, at least pet owners can be sure that they have appropriate cover in place and one that is less likely to provide shock price hikes further down the road.