Sainsbury’s Bank has re-launched its pet insurance with a range of cover options and a maximum level of vet fees cover of £13,000 per condition, one of the highest on the market of its policy type(1). New research commissioned by Sainsbury’s Bank highlights a worrying shortfall in cover for pet insurance customers as some policies have not kept pace with rises in vet fees.
As significant advances in veterinary treatment continue and with animals living longer, the supermarket bank is encouraging pet owners to ensure they choose the right pet cover to ensure they have access to the medical treatment their pets may need.
Analysis of claims data indicates that over 98% of all pet insurance claims involve veterinary costs(2), but despite fees rising by around 12% a year(2), research from Sainsbury’s Bank reveals that many pet insurance policies are not providing levels of vet fee cover that are keeping up with rising vet fees. Its findings reveal that the majority of per condition policies (which provide a maximum level of cover per condition) offer less than £3,000 per condition. The £13,000 cover per condition offered by Sainsbury’s Bank is one of the highest available on the market for this type of policy(1).
Other types of pet insurance policy are also failing to keep up with rising vet fees; the Bank’s research(1) reveals that since 2008, vet fee cover on policies with time limits has fallen by 9.6%.
In light of these findings, the Bank is highlighting that a combination of rising vet fees and the failure of pet insurance policies to keep pace with them increases the risk of owners facing a shortfall on their veterinary bills.
To help its customers with rising vet fees, Sainsbury’s Bank has re-launched its pet insurance proposition and is now offering three different types of policies with cover against vet fees of between £3,000 and £13,000. After choosing the level of vet fee cover, customers can also opt to add on one, two or all three additional benefit packages:
Scott Gorman, Head of Sainsbury’s Pet Insurance said: “The veterinary profession has made huge advances in diagnosis and treatment including the treatment of chronic conditions and this is expected to continue. However, these advances come at a cost some pet owners may find increasingly difficult to pay for.
“We estimate that pet owners spend approximately £5.3 billion a year on their animals and this has risen by around 4.2% a year since 2008(4). A growing proportion of this cost is likely to be attributed to vet fees and the pet insurance industry needs to do more to raise awareness of this and ensure pet owners have access to adequate cover.”
New research among vets(5), commissioned by Sainsbury’s Bank, reveals that in the past 12 months alone, 63% of vets have come across cases where they had to administer a treatment that was not their preferred choice, because owners did not have adequate cover on their policy. Similarly, 83% of vets said that they had encountered situations in the last year where owners had to pay towards the cost of treatment because of insufficient cover(5).
In addition to the large number of pet owners who have had to pay medical expenses due to insufficient cover, an estimated 69% of cats and 48% of dogs in the UK are not insured(6).
Over the next five years, 96% of vets expect vet fees to rise(5).
For further information about Sainsbury’s Bank Pet Insurance call 0808 172 6502, visit www.sainsburysbank.co.uk or pick up a leaflet in-store at Sainsbury’s.
For further information, please contact:
Tom Wilson/Ian Morris Lorna Gilmour
Citigate Dewe Rogerson Sainsbury’s Bank
0207 282 2842 0131 338 2863
Notes to Editors:
(1) Average cover statistics based on market analysis conducted on behalf of Sainsbury’s Bank by Independent Research Company Defaqto, 8th August 2013
(2) Analysis of Sainsbury’s Bank pet insurance claims data, 2012
(3) Estimates for average premium increase, rising vet costs, current pet insurance market size and growth potential taken from Mintel’s Pet Insurance market report, November 2012
(4) Sainsbury’s Bank analysis of the ONS Family Spending Report 2012 and August 2013 CPI figures (5 year average)
(5) Sainsbury’s Bank commissioned telephone interviews with 76 UK vets, conducted 5th, 6th August 2013
(6) PDSA Animal Wellbeing Report (2011)
ABOUT SAINSBURY’S BANK’S NEW PET INSURANCE PRODUCTS
Sainsbury’s Bank’s new pet insurance offers core cover that focuses on veterinary fees, which are responsible for the vast majority of all pet insurance claims it receives. This will be available at three levels: Standard (£3,000 vet cover per condition for 12 months); Premier (£7,500 vet cover per condition); and Premier Plus (£13,000 vet cover per condition). All three policies also provide cover for overseas veterinary treatment; complementary treatment; physiotherapy and behavioural problems.
Customers can also choose from three different sets of additional features:
Customers can select one, two or all three of these additional features, depending on their individual requirements.
Allianz is the underwriter of Sainsbury’s Bank Pet Insurance.
To view our latest press releases and product information, please visit the Sainsbury’s Bank online media centre at www.sainsburysbank.co.uk/media
Sainsbury’s was the first major British supermarket to open a bank, commencing trading in February 1997. Benefiting from a fantastic, trusted brand that enables us to combine the shopping experience with personal finance, Sainsbury’s Bank provides a range of quality products including insurances, credit cards, savings and loans. Our proposition is to make shopping more rewarding by offering customers great products at fair prices, while consistently rewarding shoppers for their loyalty and being easy to do business with at all times. Our products consistently top best buy tables and regularly win awards for quality, price and service.
So far in 2013, the Bank has been awarded ‘Personal Loan Provider of the Year’ – Consumer Moneyfacts, ‘Best Loan Provider’ – Money Supermarket Supers and ‘Best Credit Card for Rewards’ – Moneynet and ‘Best Card Provider’ – Moneyfacts.
Sainsbury’s Bank has its own banking licence, is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (register no. 184514), except for Credit Cards and Loans where it is licensed by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) license no. 421897. The Bank has an independent membership to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.
Allianz Insurance is one of the largest general insurers in the UK and part of the Allianz SE Group, one of the leading integrated financial services providers worldwide and the largest property and casualty insurer in the world.
With approximately 144,000 employees worldwide, the Allianz Group serves approximately 78 million customers in more than 70 countries. The mission of Allianz Insurance is to be the outstanding competitor in our chosen markets by delivering products and services that our clients recommend, being a great company to work for and achieving the best combination of profit and growth.