Britain’s obese pets could lead to rises in premiums unless steps are taken
Britain is a nation of pet lovers but some owners may well be overindulging their animals. A health report on the nation’s pets by the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA) has found that 10million of them are being fed fatty treats that damage health and mean more costly trips to the vets.
Elaine Pendlebury, PDSA senior veterinary surgeon, said: "Sadly, seeing morbidly obese pets is now an everyday occurrence in vet practices across the UK; it is one of the biggest welfare concerns facing the nation's pets. Pet obesity significantly increases the danger of developing major health problems such as diabetes, arthritis and heart disease and can also bring about the onset of these chronic diseases much earlier.”
This crisis may lead to higher pet insurance premiums for all as negligent owners try to exploit the system warns Mark Colonnese, VP Sales and Marketing.
Colonnese fears that owners who have over fed their pets with unhealthy food may try to recoup the costs of treatment through fraudulent pet insurance claims and that providers may not be adequately protected against this potential fraud.
“If an irresponsible ‘pet parent’ commits pet insurance fraud then that cost has to be recouped from somewhere, it is a real concern that fraud by these owners could lead to higher premiums for people who look after their pets properly and that would be a real shame.”
Colonnese believes that part of the solution lies in insurers better protecting themselves against fraudulent claims from pet owners: “Software has been developed that evaluates the validity of a claim based on previous cases, flagging up potential fraudulent activity with astonishing accuracy.”
Pet insurance is an area where fraud is common and sadly, often goes undetected leaving insurers and honest owners out of pocket. “Ordinary, decent pet owners should not be burdened with extra costs because of negligent owners exploiting the system. We have systems that can reduce the risk of this happening, giving owners piece of mind and preventing losses for insurance companies.”