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Brits pamper pooches as pet insurance hits new highs

17 September 2008 / by Rebecca Sargent
Brits really do love their pets new research from Datamonitor has revealed, as a quarter of all pets in the UK have a pet insurance policy.

According to the research the pet insurance market is one of the fastest growing insurance markets in the UK and is set to expand further. In fact the market grew by almost 17 per cent in 207 to an all time high value of £440million.

The growth doesn't stop there though; Datamonitor forecasts that the market will grow a further 58 per cent by 2012, making the market worth £700million. Commenting Andrew Haslip, financial service analyst at Datamonitor said:

"Increased consumer uptake of the product along with premium rate increases to cover high claims inflation have combined to make this one of the fastest growing insurance markets in the UK."

According to the statistics, 26 per cent of pet owners had taken out pet insurance during 2007, Mr Haslip added, "Pet insurance has evolved to become a more mainstream insurance product with a diverse and varied distribution network that includes direct insurers, retailers and veterinarians."

However, an increase in premium rates brought on by a higher number of claims could damage the markets success so far. Speaking of how the pet insurance industry must be cautious amid a credit crunch, Mr Haslip said: "Controlling claims costs and limiting premium rate increases is the principle challenge facing the market going forward."

Meanwhile, according to Sainsbury's Pet Insurance, those pet owners who do have insurance but are facing a separation at home, may want to check that their pet insurance policy covers for behavioural problems.

According to estimates from Sainsbury's Finance, more than 60,000 cats and dogs in the UK may suffer from 'Master Separation Syndrome' in the next year as their owners go through a separation.

Commenting on the new phenomenon, Sainsbury's Pet Insurance manager Neal Devine said: "If a couple separating have pets, their animals can also suffer from the anguish and stress caused by the breakdown. Cats and dogs can be very susceptible to their owner's feelings and if they sense they are unhappy they can easily become agitated and depressed."

© Fair Investment Company Ltd