Pet Owners Choosing To Spend More On Pooches And Moggies

30 June 2014

Pet owners are choosing to spend 13% more on their animals than just two years ago, according to new research(1) from Sainsbury’s Pet Insurance. The findings reveal that almost three quarters of pet owners (74%) see their furry friends as part of the family, with many furnishing them with a range of treats from birthday parties to holidays and designer collars.

Dog owners are the most likely to spoil their pet, with 48% admitting they like doing so compared to 38% of cat owners and 39% of other pet owners(1).

Four in 10 pet owners (41%) say they give their pets Christmas presents and one in five (19%) celebrate their birthday. One in seven (14%) make or buy them special dinners on occasions, 16% take them on holiday with them and 4% like to dress them up in special pet clothes or collars. Some 3% of owners even take their pets to a pet spa(1).

Over a third of pet owners (35%) say their pet shares a bed with them or another member of the family(1).

However, while the majority of pet owners are happy to spend money on their pets, some pet costs are giving them cause for concern. Sainsbury’s Pet Insurance analysis(2) reveals that the overall cost of owning a pet has risen a third faster than inflation over the past decade.

The survey(1) reveals that the cost of medical treatment is by far the biggest concern of pet owners. Over two-thirds of pet owners (69%) with financial concerns about their pets say veterinary costs are the biggest of these worries, over five times more than any other category. Sainsbury’s Pet Insurance says that significant advances in veterinary treatment coupled with animals living longer means that it’s more important than ever for pet owners to ensure they choose pet cover that gives them all the access to medical treatment they might need.

Scott Gorman, Head of Sainsbury’s Pet Insurance said: “Almost all of our claims (98%) involve veterinary costs(3) and with vet fees rising by around 12 per cent(4) a year due to some fantastic medical advances, it’s essential pet owners shop around and pick pet insurance that will provide sufficient cover should their animal fall ill or suffer an injury. Unfortunately, pet insurance policies vary significantly so the pet owner must take care.”

Research commissioned by the supermarket bank last year revealed that many pet insurance policies are not providing levels of vet fee cover that are keeping up with rising vet fees. Its findings(5) revealed that the majority of per condition policies (which provide a maximum level of cover per condition) offer less than £3,000 per condition.

To help its customers with rising vet fees, Sainsbury’s Pet Insurance offers three different types of policies with cover against vet fees of between £3,000 and £13,000. After choosing the required level of vet fee cover, customers can also opt to add on one, two or all three additional benefit packages:
• Loss cover – which covers death from injury, death from illness and cremation
• Safe return – which covers theft or straying, advertising & reward and emergency boarding
• Holiday cover – which covers trip cancellation, quarantine & loss of documents, and repatriation

Sainsbury’s Pet Insurance is currently offering a 25% discount for Nectar card holders who apply online, plus 5,000 bonus Nectar points(6). In addition, the Premier and Premier plus policies offer double Nectar points at Sainsbury’s for two years. For further information about Sainsbury’s Bank Pet Insurance call 0808 172 6502, visit or pick up a leaflet in-store at Sainsbury’s.

Sainsbury’s Pet Insurance is sold, underwritten and administered by Allianz Insurance plc


For further information, please contact:
Calum MacDougall / Tom Wilson
Citigate Dewe Rogerson
020 7282 2874 / 2842

Lorna Gilmour, Sainsbury’s Bank: 0131 338 2863

Notes to editors:

(1) Research commissioned by Sainsbury’s Bank and carried out by ICM Research. ICM interviewed a random sample of 2,035 adults aged 18+ in GB online between 9th – 11th May 2014. Surveys were conducted across the country and the results have been weighted to the profile of all adults. ICM is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Further information at
(2) Sainsbury’s Bank analysed Consumer Price Index data between 2003 and 2013. In 2003, overall CPI was 96.7 and in 2013 it was 126.1, a 30% increase. In 2003 CPI for pets, related products and services was 96.2, and in 2013 it was 134.7, a 40% increase.
(3) Analysis of Sainsbury’s Bank pet insurance claims data, 2013
(4) Estimates taken from Mintel’s Pet Insurance market report, November 2012
(5) Average cover statistics based on market analysis conducted on behalf of Sainsbury’s Bank by Independent Research Company Defaqto, 8th August 2013
(6) Customers will receive a 20% online discount as standard. To achieve the maximum discount of 25% when applying online, please quote a valid Nectar card number. 5,000 Nectar points (worth £25 to spend) is an introductory offer available to new Pet Insurance customers with a Nectar card who buy direct via Sainsbury’s Bank online or by phone up to and including 28th July 2014. Points will be issued 60 days after the policy start date and are in addition to current offers. If you cancel within this period your points will not be issued.
(7) Offer only available to customers who take out a new Pet Insurance Premier or Premier Plus policy. Quote must have originated by the Sainsbury’s Bank website or by the telephone. Quotes and subsequent accepts from price comparison sites will not be eligible for double Nectar points. Customers must renew their policy on a Premier or Premier Plus policy at first renewal to continue collecting double points. If the policy is cancelled, double points will cease from the cancellation date. Only the first Pet Insurance policy registered against each Nectar account will qualify for double points. You may qualify for additional points by taking out other qualifying products. Base points on qualifying spend in Sainsbury’s will be collected as normal. A bonus equal to the total of these points each calendar month (subject to a monthly maximum of 2,500 points) will be credited to the Nectar account by the 10th of the following month, for up to 24 months from the policy cover start date. Excludes all Bonus points offers and points from Sainsbury’s Energy, Telecoms, Digital, Bank and all other Sainsbury’s services. The monthly bonus will only be calculated on, and credited to the Nectar card nominated at the time of application. The nominated card must also be used at the time of each Sainsbury’s purchase and points will not be allocated retrospectively. The Nectar loyalty programme is operated independently of Sainsbury’s Bank by Aimia Coalition Loyalty UK Ltd; and the collection and use of points is governed by the Nectar Collector Rules, set out in the registration pack and available at’s Bank reserves the right to alter, cancel or withdraw the offer without prior notice.

About Sainsbury’s Pet Insurance

Sainsbury’s Bank’s 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:
• Loss cover – which covers death from injury, death from illness and cremation
• Safe return – which covers theft or straying, advertising & reward, and emergency boarding
• Holiday cover – which covers trip cancellation, quarantine & loss of documents, and repatriation

Customers can select one, two or all three of these additional features, depending on their individual requirements.

Sainsbury’s Pet Insurance is sold, underwritten and administered by Allianz Insurance plc

Sainsbury’s Bank
To view our latest press releases and product information, please visit the Sainsbury’s Bank online media centre at

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.

Sainsbury’s Bank is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (register no. 184514). Sainsbury’s Bank is a member of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

Allianz Insurance:

Allianz Insurance is one of the largest general insurers in the UK and part of the Allianz SE Group, the largest property and casualty insurer worldwide. Around 83 million private and corporate customers rely on Allianz’s knowledge, global reach, capital strength and solidity to help them make the most of financial opportunities and to avoid and safeguard themselves against risks. In 2013, around 148,000 employees in over 70 countries achieved total revenue of 110.8 billion euros.