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Pet Insurance - UK - August 2019

Covered in this report

This report focuses on the United Kingdom (UK) pet insurance market. Pet health plans are also mentioned (specifically in the consumer section Interest in Pet Health Plan Features), although these products are not covered as part of the Market Size, Market Segmentation or Market Share sections of the report.

Pet insurance is designed to cover medical expenses if the insured pet becomes ill or is injured in an accident. Most products cater for cats and dogs, although there are policies available for horses and ponies, rabbits, fish and more exotic pets. For full definitions of the different levels of cover, see the Report Appendix.


“Following a period of significant growth, the pet insurance market stalled in 2018. Despite this, a large number of pets remain uninsured, and there is room for greater uptake of cover in the near future. Developments related to wearable technology and how this can be used to track a pet’s health and wellbeing will appeal to younger pet owners. Online claim solutions, and 24/7 online vet consultations are also adding value to the market.”

– Douglas Kitchen, Financial Services Analyst

This report examines the following issues:

  • New technology will encourage younger pet owners to take out cover
  • Bespoke policies and benefits for multi-pet owners can help boost sales

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Products covered in this Report
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • Pet insurance market stalls in 2018…
              • Figure 1: Value of pet insurance gross written premiums, 2014-19
            • … but is forecast to reach £1.6 billion by 2024
              • Figure 2: Forecast of pet insurance gross written premiums, 2014-24
            • Ownership of multi-pet policies increases in 2018
              • Pet ownership is becoming increasingly expensive
                • Figure 3: Average UK weekly household expenditure on pets, by component, 2014-18
              • Claims ratio rises in 2018
                • Figure 4: Gross claims incurred and claims ratio, 2013-18
              • Companies and brands
                • Allianz continues to dominate the market
                  • Figure 5: Estimated Market Share of pet insurance by GWP, 2018
                • New technology is improving the claims process
                  • Petplan and MORETH>N drive advertising expenditure to its highest level for five years
                    • Figure 6: Total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on pet insurance, 2014/15-2018/19
                  • The consumer
                    • 60% of people own a pet
                      • Figure 7: Ownership of pets, May 2019
                    • 77% own high-level or mid-level cover
                      • Figure 8: Type of policy held, May 2019
                    • Accident and injury cover most appeals to pet insurance holders
                      • Figure 9: Interest in basic accident and injury cover, by pet insurance ownership, May 2019
                    • Price comparison sites are the preferred source of information
                      • Figure 10: Most influential sources used when choosing most recent pet insurance policy, May 2019
                    • Discounts and rewards can play a major role
                      • Figure 11: Interest in pet insurance features and incentives, May 2019
                    • Pet health plans of most interest to the insured
                      • Figure 12: Interest in pet health plan features, May 2019
                    • What we think
                    • Issues and Insights

                      • New technology will encourage younger pet owners to take out cover
                        • The facts
                          • The implications
                            • Bespoke policies and benefits for multi-pet owners can help boost sales
                              • The facts
                                • The implications
                                • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                  • Pet insurance market stalls in 2018…
                                    • …but is forecast to reach £1.6 billion by 2024
                                      • Ownership of multi-pet policies increases in 2018
                                        • Pet ownership is becoming increasingly expensive
                                          • Claims ratio rises in 2018
                                          • Market Size and Forecast

                                            • Little growth in pet insurance premiums in 2018
                                              • Figure 13: Value of pet insurance gross written premiums, 2014-19
                                            • More pets are insured despite a fall in the number of subscribers
                                              • Figure 14: Size of the pet insurance market, by exposure, subscribers and gross written premiums, 2014-18
                                            • Pet insurance premiums forecast to reach £1.6 billion by 2024
                                              • Figure 15: Forecast of pet insurance gross written premiums, 2014-24
                                              • Figure 16: Forecast of pet insurance gross written premiums, at current and constant prices, 2014-24
                                            • Forecast methodology
                                            • Market Segmentation

                                              • Number of subscribers falls across the market
                                                • Figure 17: Number of pet insurance policy subscribers, by type of pet, 2014-18
                                              • More pet owners are holding multi-pet policies
                                                • Figure 18: Exposure* and exposure to subscriber ratio**, 2014-18
                                              • Dog policy premiums fall…
                                                • Figure 19: Pet insurance gross written premiums, by type of pet, 2014-18
                                              • …as well as the average premium paid
                                                • Figure 20: Average pet insurance premium (based on exposure), by type of pet, 2014-18
                                            • Market Drivers

                                              • Household expenditure on pets continues to rise
                                                • Figure 21: Average UK weekly household expenditure on pets, by component, 2014-18
                                              • Average claim value increases while the number of claims fall
                                                • Figure 22: Number of claims notified and average claim value, 2013-18
                                              • Claims ratio rises in 2018
                                                • Figure 23: Gross written premiums, claims incurred and claims ratio, 2013-18
                                              • Pet insurance complaints reach an all-time high
                                                • Figure 24: Number of pet insurance complaint enquiries, new cases and the percentage of cases upheld, 2015/15-2017/18
                                              • FCA proposes greater transparency on claims data and complaints process
                                              • Companies and Brands – What You Need to Know

                                                • Allianz continues to dominate the market
                                                  • New technology is improving the claims process
                                                    • Petplan and MORETH>N drive advertising expenditure to its highest level for five years
                                                    • Market Share

                                                      • Allianz remains the major player in the market…
                                                        • …while RSA, Animal Friends and Direct Line together account for over 30% of the pet market
                                                          • Figure 25: Estimated market share of pet insurance by GWP, 2018
                                                      • Competitive Strategies and Innovation

                                                        • Significant developments in online claim solutions…
                                                          • From major players
                                                            • And new challengers
                                                              • …as well as online veterinary consultations
                                                                • New telehealth services enter the market
                                                                  • While pet health app Joii is hoping to shake up the pet health market
                                                                    • Developments in pet activity trackers
                                                                      • Through fitness trackers
                                                                        • And new collaborations
                                                                          • New technology can help treat pre-existing conditions
                                                                          • Advertising and Marketing Activity

                                                                            • Advertising expenditure at its highest level for five years…
                                                                              • Figure 26: Total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on pet insurance, 2014/15-2018/19
                                                                            • …driven by Petplan and MORETH>N
                                                                              • Figure 27: Top 10 pet insurance advertisers using above-the-line, online display and direct mail channels, 2016/17-2018/19
                                                                            • TV expenditure accounts for the vast majority of advertising expenditure
                                                                              • Figure 28: Total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on pet insurance, by media type, 2018/19
                                                                            • Nielsen Ad Intel coverage
                                                                            • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                              • 60% of people own a pet
                                                                                • 77% own high-level or mid-level cover
                                                                                  • Accident and injury cover most appeals to pet insurance holders
                                                                                    • PCWS are top source of information
                                                                                      • Discounts and rewards can play a major role
                                                                                        • Pet health plans of most interest to the insured
                                                                                        • Pet Ownership

                                                                                          • Dog ownership is rising
                                                                                            • Figure 29: Ownership of pets, May 2019
                                                                                          • Multi-cat owners are more common
                                                                                            • Figure 30: Number of dogs or cats owned, May 2019
                                                                                        • Pet Insurance Penetration

                                                                                          • Over 40% say they have pet insurance
                                                                                            • Figure 31: Penetration of pet insurance, by type of pet, May 2019
                                                                                          • Over 55% of multi-cat owners do not own insurance
                                                                                            • Figure 32: Penetration of pet insurance among multi-pet owners, May 2019
                                                                                        • Level of Cover Held

                                                                                          • Ownership of high-level and mid-level cover is equally split
                                                                                            • Figure 33: Type of policy held, May 2019
                                                                                          • Multi-pet owners need flexible options
                                                                                            • Figure 34: Type of policy held, by repertoire of number of different types of pets insurance is owned for, May 2019
                                                                                        • Interest in Accident and Injury Cover

                                                                                          • Accident and Injury cover most appeals to pet insurance holders
                                                                                            • Figure 35: Interest in basic accident and injury cover, by pet insurance ownership, May 2019
                                                                                          • Millennials and owners of younger pets are most interested
                                                                                            • Figure 36: Interest in basic accident and injury cover, by pet life stage, May 2019
                                                                                        • Influential Sources when Choosing a Pet Insurance

                                                                                          • PCWs are the most influential source
                                                                                            • Vets play a limited role in influencing choice of insurer
                                                                                              • Figure 37: Most influential sources used when choosing most recent pet insurance policy, May 2019
                                                                                            • Social media channels more likely to influence those with high-level cover
                                                                                              • Figure 38: Most influential sources used when choosing most recent pet insurance policy, by level of cover held, May 2019
                                                                                          • Interest in Pet Insurance Features and Incentives

                                                                                            • Discounts on pet medication hold wide appeal
                                                                                              • Millennials are most likely to find pet fitness trackers appealing…
                                                                                                • Figure 39: Interest in Pet Insurance Features and Incentives, May 2019
                                                                                              • …and those interested in accident and injury cover
                                                                                                • Figure 40: Interest in Pet Insurance Features and Incentives, by interest in basic accident and injury cover, May 2019
                                                                                              • Rewards and discounts are most appealing to older pet owners with cover
                                                                                                • Figure 41: Pet Insurance – CHAID – Tree output, May 2019
                                                                                              • Discounts on pet medication and 24/7 online pet consultations appeal to multi-pet owners
                                                                                                • Figure 42: Interest in pet insurance features and incentives, by single pet and multi-pet owners, May 2019
                                                                                            • Interest in Pet Health Plan Features

                                                                                              • Pet health plans are of most interest to those with pet insurance
                                                                                                • Significant interest in emergency pet health services
                                                                                                  • Figure 43: Interest in pet health plan features, May 2019
                                                                                                • Opportunity for providers to build pet specific plans
                                                                                                  • Figure 44: Interest in pet health plan features, by pet life stage, May 2019
                                                                                              • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                • Product definitions
                                                                                                  • Abbreviations
                                                                                                    • Consumer research methodology
                                                                                                      • CHAID analysis methodology
                                                                                                        • Figure 45: Pet Insurance – CHAID – Table output, May 2019
                                                                                                    • Appendix – Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                                        • Figure 46: Forecast of the value of pet insurance gross written premiums, 2019-14
                                                                                                      • Forecast methodology

                                                                                                      Pet Insurance - UK - August 2019

                                                                                                      £1,995.00 (Excl.Tax)