Mark Harrop Business Development Manager

Feb 26

Animal lovers are over three times more likely to have a pet policy (38%) than PMI (11%)

As another year began with an NHS crisis dominating the news, YouGov research commissioned by insurance technology specialist Aquarium Software, suggests this has not encouraged more of us to invest in Private Medical Insurance (PMI), with British pet owners over three times more likely to have pet insurance than PMI.

While a rise in PMI sales was reported in 2017, it was from a relatively low base and still represented only 10.6 percent of the population; this ties in with Aquarium’s YouGov findings that only 11 percent (of 998 pet owners surveyed) have PMI - contrasting with nearly two fifths (38%) of people who have their pet insured. Yet even this number is generally considered far too low by industry commentators, given the inexorable rise in vet bills as new treatments come on line; more should be done to encourage pet insurance take-up, says Aquarium.

“There is no NHS for pets and given rising treatments costs, pet insurance makes more sense than ever,” said Aquarium Software Director, Mark Colonnese. “It could be argued we care more about our pets than ourselves, but the figures can also be viewed as a wake-up call for both Pet and PMI vendors to do more to demonstrate the value of their products to consumers,” Mark added.

A typical PMI policy for a healthy 30 year-old costs around £650, compared to an average annual pet premium of £286 for a dog; but a Great Dane could cost a wallet wrenching £1,440 to insure. So, while pooch policies can be cheaper, this is far from always the case. Brits happy to accept the NHS, could be unaware of the benefits of PMI, or simply desire to cover their pets first, as 69 percent see pets as just as important to the family unit as humans. Whatever the reasons, technology has a key role to play in changing attitudes.

“As with pet insurance, price is always going to be a factor with PMI, but we know that cost concerns lessen when people see the benefits. Technology has a huge role to play here, and the onus is increasingly on the industry to explain to consumers the pitfalls of non-insurance which can prove extremely costly in the long-run,” concluded Mark.