RSA plc, one of the UK’s leading providers of pet insurance, today announced an 11% increase in pet insurance premiums within its interim management statement for the first half of 2012. This gain was the highest single increase reported by the insurer within its UK personal lines, outpacing the performance of household and motor, the traditional mainstays of its UK business. In addition, the company has announced that it is close to providing pet insurance to the John Lewis Partnership, a further indication of the growing seriousness with which significant insurers are taking this market.
At the same time, the Peoples’ Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA) has released the latest results from its annual dog obesity league table. This shows that, on average, one in three (35%) of its survey* were overweight, up from 21% four years ago. At this rate of increase, the PDSA estimates that half of all dogs in the survey will be overweight by 2013. As it highlights, the implications of this situation are stark, with an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease and arthritis for those suffering.
Petloan.co.uk. believes that there are important implications for the cost of pets’ health from these two news stories. UK insurers, under pressure from Government to address rising motor insurance premiums and the risk of flooding, are likely to look to other forms of business to maintain profit growth. Pet insurance remains a source of considerable momentum. With many pets facing increasing health issues, as shown by the PDSA research, the scope for rising insurance costs is real and significant.
Commenting on the news, Ash Sethi, Founder of Petloan.co.uk, stated;
“Pet owners are at risk of facing ever increasing health costs for their animals. Not only is the dog community experiencing high levels of health-threatening weight gain but UK insurers are likely to use this situation to raise premiums, as they have done for motor and household insurance in the last few years. That the insurers are facing pressure to reduce motor premiums and may have to contend with increased flooding exposure, suggests that pet insurance could offer a means of maintaining or raising profits. While insurance is one means of ensuring a pet’s health costs are paid for, it is by no means the only way. We would ask all pet owners to closely monitor the cost of their insurance as policy renewals come around and do the maths.”
* The PDSA surveyed 30,000 dogs across the UK to construct its annual dog obesity league table