When man sneezes…man’s best friend catches a cold
The latest survey showing pet parents believe their animals have developed conditions more associated with humans, serves as another timely reminder that we need to get better at insuring our pets. That’s the view of Aquarium Software, as Direct Line Pet Insurance research revels 42 per cent of respondents believe their pet has a human psychological disorder.
Separate YouGov research commissioned by Aquarium Software, revealed 69 per cent of us see our pets as important to the family as the humans - and with pets living longer - diseases such as cancer and heart disease have followed. Sophisticated new treatments are available, at a price, and only pet insurance can make high quality care affordable to all. With an estimated 80,000 pet behaviour related claims made last year alone, and one in four dogs suffering from depression, the potential for behaviour related pet insurance claims to rise is significant.
“This latest research is interesting, and yet again affirms the incredible bonds and relationships that exist between pets and their human owners,” said Aquarium Software Director, Mark Colonnese. “As pets have become an integral part of the family unit, the tendency for them to mirror human behaviour has become more pronounced. So as the human obesity crisis has deepened, for example, 1 in 4 pets are on a diet. It would now seem pets are taking cues from us on modern illnesses such as anxiety, stress and heart disease, too.” Even a few years ago, the very idea of claiming for a pet on psychological grounds would not have been taken seriously; but today, treatment can start from £100 to boost a pet’s mood, to thousands to reduce aggression in a rescue dog. Such cover can add 10 per cent to a typical premium, and technology enables insurers to reflect such emerging trends – ensuring premiums remain both fit for Rover’s purpose, and profitable.
“The problem for insurers is determining the validity of unusual new pet medical condition claims, and intuitive technology is a vital in determining how to handle them,” added Colonnese. “Psychological claims may only be covered by the most comprehensive policies, but tools are also needed to efficiently and effectively process genuine claims, whilst eliminating the spurious ones,” Mark concluded.