New tricks for old dogs as pet insurance falls for pet pensioners

New tricks for old dogs as pet insurance falls for pet pensioners

Feb 13, 2015

Aquarium software have welcomed the news that not just one, but seven UK insurers are now offering affordable insurance for older animals, pointing out that with the right technology platform in place, driving efficiencies throughout the process, there is no reason why more insurers cannot do likewise.

While insurance policies have always been available for pet pensioners, this option has traditionally been seen as prohibitively expensive for many pet parents. While some insurers have pulled out of the market due to fears over profitability (AXA) this latest news has shown companies are now prepared to offer this type of comprehensive cover and at a competitive price.

“All of us who work in the pet insurance recognise the traditional thinking behind many insurance companies refusing to insure dogs over eight or making it prohibitively expensive to do so,” said Sales and Marketing Director, Mark Colonnese. “While true that as pets age, treatment becomes more likely, it should not mean that cover is unavailable by being effectively unaffordable. The latest application software with integrated ‘Quote and Buy’ facilities allows policies to be drawn up to take account of the health of different breeds, allowing premiums to be costed more effectively. Thankfully, we are now starting to see this happen.”

MoreThan insures dogs up to any age, with prices from £11.69 per month. This is a basic policy, but still offers cover up to £1,500 of vets’ fees; while for £31.49 a month, their Premier policy covers £12,000 of vet bills. John Lewis also offers a lifetime policy for £24.28 a month. While premiums are now moving in the right direction, Colonnese points out work remains to be done and pet parents need to do their homework.

“Premiums are coming down, but the advice to shop around remains as true as ever,” added Colonnese. “Some premiums can appear cheap at first sight, but look out for large excess payments or others expecting that you will pay a percentage of the vet fees. There is nothing wrong with this, so long as you are aware of what is happening and those insurers with professional software that delivers a positive customer journey will already be doing this.

Part of the problem with pet insurance has been people expecting the same standards of openness and transparency as they get in traditional human insurance and while that is starting to happen, insurance software is essential in improving this aspect of the customer journey across the pet insurance spectrum.

This journey has been seen by some as a throw-away line, but it is essential to both the policy holder and insurer alike. No-one likes to have the wool pulled over their eyes and if any excess fees or other clauses are presented to consumers up front, they are less likely to be upset by the costs (or the insurer) later down the line. For the insurer this means higher customer satisfaction ratings and repeat business.

“If renewals go up every year, it is a natural reaction for consumers to believe the insurance industry is taking advantage of them, knowing full well how hard it can be to switch suppliers, yet on the other hand, statistics don’t lie and the older an animal gets, the more likely it is to need treatment,” added Colonnese. “The point that matters here is transparency. Insurers that are up front with the realities are likely to receive a better response from pet parents, who in turn are more likely to fork out for insurance.  Providing of course it is realistically priced and does what it says on the tin.”