Digital doghouse is a good place to be

Digital doghouse is a good place to be

Feb 26, 2015

The launch of the Samsung Dream Doghouse reflects a growing trend of just how far many of us will go to look after our four legged friends. While the development of this kennel could be seen as extreme, it is backed by research by the Korean firm into the habits of 1,500 dog owners, clearly showing our dogs are now an established part of the family.

Pet strategists at Aquarium point out this is potentially good news for those in the pet insurance sector, as pet owners look to spend more on Fido and Felix, and become more receptive to the idea of pet insurance. Insurers who tune into this new breed of pet parents will win-out in the end, according to Aquarium; conversely, those who ignore the obvious trend are stacking up a potential problem for the future. 

The £20,000 dream kennel (on display at Crufts this year) may be out of reach for many, but the research showed 64% of us believe our dogs would benefit from more gadgets and 24% admitted having made a social media profile for their dog and over half (56%) of British dog owners said they would be more upset if their pet passed away than if a family member did.

“Some 85% of people in this research consider their dogs fully fledged members of the family and this very much backs what we are seeing in the growing pet insurance market,” said Sales and Marketing Director, Mark Colonnese. “Increasingly our pets exert increasing influence on spending decisions and insurance providers are going to need the right technological solutions to cope with the upsurge in demand.”

Concerns over pet insurance profitability has led some like AXA to pull out of the UK market, but this Samsung research is another indicator that such moves could be premature. Demand for Aquarium’s pet insurance software is growing in new markets overseas, (particularly in the US) and here in the UK, the Samsung research also showed we are spending on average over £13,152 on our pets in their lifetime.

“We are shelling out more and more for our pets and while a £20 grand kennel may be pushing it, pet insurance is something that makes a lot of sense,” added Mark. “Providers are now getting their act together and as premiums become more realistic this market is only going one way.”

The latest niche technology insurance platforms allow insurers and vets to track welfare issues and cut premiums for responsible owners and ultimately deliver healthier pets. With all the necessary ‘big data’ being only a click away, this allows insurers to track specific animals and breeds and identify common health problems. The Aquarium pet insurance platform employs ‘management by exception’ designed to give users pertinent information when they need it, rather than reams of data that may not be immediately relevant.                                                                      

“While it may come as a shock that some care more for the death of a Great Dane than a grandparent, I think it rather reflects our long standing love affair with our pets,” added Mark. “Pet parents want the same features from their pet insurance policy as they have in their own health cover. Yet with different breeds to consider, pet insurance is a complex animal and insurers need to be on top of their game and deliver a cost effective competitive process, without being out of pocket. Good technology now makes this possible.”

The elephant in the room is many insurers are still engaging in a ‘one size fits all’ form of forecasting; and some have pulled out of the market altogether. Accurate forecasting the health of our furry friends allows us to tailor their insurance policy and healthcare needs, delivering a better experience and a brighter future for all concerned. The software needed isn’t science fiction; its science fact and increasingly the more innovative pet insurance providers have shown it is proven to work.