Forget 9 out of 10 cats, nearly 9 out of 10 owners of cats and/or dogs think having a pet is getting more expensive - and nearly half are consistently (21%) or sometimes (27%) worried they won’t be able to afford their furry friend.
Consumer Intelligence Research Manager, Matt Mather, put together the survey. He comments: “We know that pets are part of the family, and it’s distressing to see how many people are being forced to make decisions that put their pet’s health at risk, like lower quality food and avoiding vet visits. And 3 out of 10 are cutting back on insurance - the very thing that could make things like the vet more affordable if something does go wrong.
“We can see that 15% have got that message and are taking out MORE insurance to help cover unexpected costs, but overall coverage is still low. 40% of cat and dog owners told us they don’t have insurance at the moment, and 68% have never taken out a policy. That’s going to lead to potentially heart-breaking situations where people literally can’t afford to help their pets get better.”
Of those who no longer have pet insurance, nearly half cancelled it to save money. 1 in 5, though, said they’d had a bad experience with it, and not got what they expected out of the product.
Overall, understanding of pet insurance products remains patchy. The range of cover-types are often more complicated than other general insurance products, and people often just don’t know the difference between Lifetime, Time-limited, and Maximum Benefit. 12% didn’t even take a guess, and admitted they don’t know what type of policy they originally purchased.
When it came to existing medical conditions, there was even more confusion. Only 26% of people understood that a new policy would not cover something already identified as an existing problem with their pet.
“The need for greater choice, more freedom to switch, better value for money and improved clarity is evident. Providers not paying attention to the needs and understanding of their customers could see increased cancellations, as well as finding themselves on the wrong side of Consumer Duty regulation.”
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