2015 saw the UK pet insurance market continue to grow, with gross written premiums (GWP) increasing by 6.3% from POUND 853m in 2014 to POUND 910m in 2015. Medical inflation remains the underlying factor driving GWP, with the quality of medical treatments and veterinary procedures influencing cost greatly and sparking inflationary pressure. Product penetration has also grown, with the number of policy subscribers continuing its upward trend from 2012 to reach 3.4 million-an increase of 8.7% from 2014. The market has been battling to increase product take-up and is vying to maintain distribution output by increasing the availability of policies on direct propositions and price comparison sites. Aggregators still serve the pet space, but while many of the smaller providers continue to place more of their business onto these platforms, the major players are still refraining from using price comparison sites as a means of product distribution-with good reason.
Medical costs and pet care continue to influence the cost of claims significantly, and as a result encourage insurers to raise the price of their premiums.
The pet insurance market is expected to break the POUND 1bn mark for the first time in 2016 as insurers continue to battle rising costs.
Pet insurance is not well served on price comparison sites and is not typically viewed by customers as a “commodity”-more care and attention is required before purchasing.
Much of the available data with regards to the UK pet population and pet ownership suggests dogs now lead the way over cats, after the roles were reversed in 2014.
Verdict Financial’s “UK Pet Insurance: Market Dynamics and Opportunities 2016” report provides in-depth analysis of the UK pet insurance market. Among the points discussed include how the pet insurance market continued on an upward trend in 2015. GWP grew in line with the increase in product penetration and number of policy holders, but at the same time the market was blighted by significant increases in the number of reported claims, which grew to record levels in 2015. The ongoing growth in overall market GWP has been driven by a combination of both the response to a tough claims environment through rising premiums and policy volume, as insurers look to improve returns and generate better business. The report also provides a thorough overview of the external factors driving the market, along with future forecasts.
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