Canine claims on pet insurance leave other pet parents in the dog house
Pet Insurance software specialists Aquarium Software is urging more of the nation’s dog owners to insure their pets, as the latest ABI research reveals dog owners are most in need of insurance and the most likely to claim. The statistics show pooch parents make the most of pet insurance, with 1.2 million claims each year (31 per cent), but out of an estimated nine million pet dogs in the UK, only 43 per cent are insured. The figures confirm man’s best friend is still the nation’s most popular pet, with eight million pet cats being Rover’s nearest rival, but there are many reasons why it makes sense to insure a dog above all other types of animal.
“Cats are classed as ‘free spirits’ and as such carry a lower insurance risk,” said Mark Colonnese, Sales and Marketing Director at Aquarium Software. “Dogs carry a higher premium but they tend to need it, as dog owners can be held liable for damage caused by their pet in a way a cat owner cannot.”
This seeming good news for feline friends can be a double edged sword, as motorists are obliged to stop for an accident involving a dog, but not for a collision with a cat. A dog in an accident is much more likely to find itself requiring vet treatment and the owner footing the bill. Colonnese recommends the 57 per cent of uninsured dog owners consider third party insurance at the very least too, or risk a financial shock should their pet cause an accident - and not just for an injury to their animal alone.
“There have been many recorded cases of pets1 causing accidents that could cost thousands, if not millions, but you don’t see much in the news,” added Colonnese. “If your dog causes a serious accident, it could take a big financial bite from your back pocket; making insurance premiums seem like birdseed in comparison.”
2.4 million drivers have had an accident with a dog running in front of their car and 190,000 have sought costs to repair a damaged vehicle. People injured in a road traffic accident caused by a dog are entitled to claim compensation; while the cost of treating the injuries suffered by the animal are typically 50-70 per cent higher than the average vet bill – all making the case for pet insurance a compelling one.
“Sophisticated software, coupled with the latest technology means Insurers can now have all the information they need at their fingertips to make a pet insurance premiums as competitive as possible,” added Colonnese. “This matters because the more cost effective the premium, the more likely people are to insure their pets and in the case of dogs, no insurance at all is not worth the risk.”
Next generation insurance technology platforms are playing a pivotal role in redefining the risks of insuring different types of animal, with specialists like Aquarium ensuring pet insurance is tailored to suit the insurer, individual pet and owner alike but also throws up interesting anomalies. A pedigree animal, even with a traceable history can cost more than a mongrel if the breed is known for certain medical conditions. Rare animals can also be expensive to insure, having unique medical needs and more likely to be a target for thieves.
“Technology is delivering pet insurance premiums that reflect reality and while this is driving a fall in premiums, consumers still need to do their homework,” added Colonnese. “If a dog is your choice of pet, full insurance is a must. The figures suggest the 24 per cent of UK households can’t afford not to, but having your pet covered makes sense for all pet parents.”