UK Buyers of Pet Insurance Highlight a Static and ‘Unfair’ Market
Shreyas Vasanthkumar, Duck Creek Technologies Managing Director, Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), reflects on a sample of feedback from UK pet insurance buyers which highlights a need for significant improvements in this market
A recent survey by Duck Creek Technologies surveyed pet insurance buyers in the UK about their feelings on pet insurance pricing, availability, products and service offering – and what they said showed a market under-delivering for its policyholders and their pets.
The feedback not only shows that this is a market ripe for transformation but one which presents insurers with a golden opportunity to provide customers with products that are relevant, affordable, transparent, and easy-to-access and manage throughout the product life cycle.
None of the pet insurance buyers we spoke to said that they were completely happy with the coverage they could get at a price point they could afford, leaving many to purchase a more basic plan than they would have preferred, which would only cover emergencies.
One UK buyer we spoke to who routinely rescues senior dogs that are considered high-risk pets said, “Even the most inexpensive [full coverage] plan I could find was wildly unaffordable, so my dog is only covered in emergency situations but not if he becomes ill or develops a medical condition. It’s unfair.”
Another pet insurance buyer said that the moment their cat became sick and required a small operation their insurance premiums “skyrocketed” and became unaffordable.
One other bugbear that was pointed out by many of the customers we spoke to was the difficulty in adding non-standard coverages and building modular policies. Not only is the process often cumbersome and impersonal, they also told us that by the time they had added on everything they wanted to cover, the premium had become even more unaffordable.
An holistic view
While anecdotal, the strength of the responses from this sample of pet insurance buyers goes to show that this is a market that many policyholders have become disillusioned with and is ripe for disruption. This highlights the significant opportunity for insurers to enhance the end-to-end experience for customers through, for example, data enrichment, a much simpler digital experience, streamlined online web support, and far greater personalisation, tailoring and bundling of products.
What is very clear is that while price and affordability are key issues, customers are not always thinking about or being made aware of other factors in the purchasing process – including, for example, a vaccination plan for a pet, the wearing of a smart collar or online veterinary consultations which are as important as simply taking out insurance to cover the costs when a pet needs veterinary treatment.
What consumers want is a holistic, seamless service that covers all eventualities – not multiple products and touch points with their insurance provider. The key for optimum customer experience is having a ‘single view,’ simple bundled products and seamless interactions with their insurer where the customer can clearly see the value-add and benefits. Insurers need to deliver all of this rapidly and easily through multiple channels of choice.
Connecting the dots
The solution lies in modern, cloud-based, low-code configurable core systems that deliver the agility and data granularity needed to make pet insurance policies more relevant, affordable, transparent and easy to engage with (including digital self-service) over the lifetime of a pet. Such systems make the policyholder’s user experience not only more efficient but also stress-free and streamlined.
Modern core systems that connect the data dots from the inception of a policy to renewal, add-ons and claims can help deliver the transformation that this market needs. Cloud-based SaaS systems with open API architecture can also give insurers the option to easily tap the insurtech ecosystem and integrate cutting edge innovations such as AI into underwriting and claims processing to improve profitability, reduce claims costs and make products more easily accessible, affordable and relevant for consumers.
There is an abundance of opportunity for the application of low-code solutions and cloud technologies to transform the pet insurance market. At Duck Creek, we connect insurance providers with pre-built industry content for pet product and coverages, the option to cover smart collars and vaccination services, access to a wide ecosystem of online veterinary services, and real-time access to policies, coverages and customer information 24/7 to pet owners and agents – and in doing so, giving customers a single view and ensuring they have easy access when they need it most. Learn more here.