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Pets suffer as pet insurance falls prey to the credit crunch

12 March 2009 / by Rachael Stiles
Concern is rising that Brits are trying to economise by cutting back on their pet insurance premiums, or cancelling them altogether.

Petplan insurance says it is increasingly concerned that pets will suffer the effects of the recession as their owners cut back their spending by reducing the care they can receive.

While it understands that many consumers are struggling to make ends meet at the moment, Petplan insurance urges them not to sacrifice the wellbeing of their pets in the process, or potentially create even bigger financial problems for themselves.

Pet insurance is a much cheaper alternative to paying expensive vet bills, it says, and owners should carefully consider cancelling their pet insurance if it means they would be unable to pay for their pet's care if it needed treatment.

The pet insurance provider works closely with rehoming charities to promote responsible pet ownership, and Clarissa Baldwin, from the Dogs Trust charity, told Petplan: "Sadly we are seeing the results of the deepening recession at some of our rehoming centres, and especially an increase in dogs with medical problems whose owners have been unable to pay for ongoing treatment.

"We fully appreciate that it's really difficult for people not to make cutbacks in their spending, but we would urge the public not to see insurance for their pets' health as a non-essential."

Alison Andrew, marketing manager from Petplan , said that the company pays out more than £2 million pounds every week in claims, which shows "how much cheaper it is for people to keep paying insurance than run the risk of losing their pet or watching it suffer."

"It's genuinely worrying to us when we hear people talking about cutting insurance as a moneysaving tip," Ms Andrew said, "because we understand the heartbreak people can suffer if they suddenly find they can't afford to treat their pet any more."

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