E-cigarette poison chalice for pet insurance policy prices
Big Data’s positive influence in helping drive down long-term pet insurance premiums is being threatened by a new negative driver, in the form of e-cigarettes, says technology specialist, Aquarium Software. Aquarium says ‘vapers’ may have a lot to answer for in the pet insurance world, if pet parents don’t take action to protect their pets. As the use of e-cigarettes become more widespread, the number of pets becoming ill after biting into poisonous e-cigarette refills containing nicotine and other toxins, soars.
New research reveals that the number of pets becoming ill after biting into refills have risen nearly 7-fold (from 17 in 2013 to 113 in 2016). Whilst the numbers may not sound huge, individual stories highlight the extremely serious nature of the escalating problem. A 14-week-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier puppy recently died just hours after ingesting the poisonous substances from an e-cigarette; this is a shocking example of how deadly e-cigarettes can be, especially to small animals. E-cigarettes add to the list of poisonous substances to keep away from your pet - such as lilies, painkillers and chocolate.
Aquarium’s Director, Mark Colonnese, said: “It is always concerning when premiums have the potential to be impacted by unexpected external factors. Big Data is making significant and positive strides in policy pricing; yet out of the blue, e-cigarettes pose a threat to cheaper pet insurance.
“This is a short-term set back and it’s sad that pet owners and the general public would expose pets to this new risk. What we can be sure of, is that healthy pet ownership and Big Data will win out in the long-run. We may be at the start of a curve that will see an owner’s own health choices impact on the price of their pet insurance. That perhaps may not be a bad thing, and the diligent owner could then benefit from even lower premiums, in return for providing their pet with the healthiest lifestyle possible.