Has divorce gone to the dogs?
Pet insurance technology specialist Aquarium Software is reminding insurers of the importance of tapping into the emotional link between pet and pet parent, as key to the long-term viability and prosperity of the pet insurance market. The call comes as research by More Th>an pet insurance shows couples prepared to stay in unhappy relationships, rather than see their pets suffer from a broken home; 11 per cent of respondents would fight harder for custody of their pet than their possessions.
From a stuttering start when pet insurance was treated as little more than an afterthought by insurers, the market now boasts 80 brands selling pet policies, up 15 per cent on a decade ago and while 72 per cent of owners still do not have insurance, those that do are on the rise. YouGov research commissioned in 2017 by Aquarium demonstrates that 69 per cent see pets as just as important to the family unit as humans, while a fifth of respondents said pets understand them better than their partners.
“This latest research shows just how far many of us would be prepared to go to protect our pets and perhaps explains why the annual UK pet insurance business is expected to grow to £1.6 billion by 2021,” said Aquarium Software Director, Mark Colonnese. “Our pets have never played a bigger role in our family lives and insurers using the latest technology to tap into this are reaping the rewards of a market which is still enjoying significant and sustained growth.
“Modern technology has the potential to offer pet parents an all-encompassing customer journey, if deployed and used correctly; this can be a powerful marketing differentiator when you consider, for example, that eight per cent of us would be impressed by an insurer remembering our pet’s name and birthday and 12 per cent want more timely information. It used to be said that getting a pet was a baby substitute and clearly, even if our relationships go to the dogs, we are determined our pets will not.”
In addition to pet insurers, many savvy companies have started to tap into this emotional bond between pet and parent in all sorts of imaginative ways. Co-op funeralcare now offers pet parents a card providing details of who should be asked to look after their pet in the event of accident or death, while even doggie bus tours of London have been devised to capitalise on the pet power trend