We designed our pet insurance based on thousands of comments from pet owners. Their input was vital and we acted on it to improve the quality of pet insurance.
When we created our insurance products, we asked our members to tell us what frustrated them about their renewal experiences with other insurers and we received a great response - a big thank you to our members for their help.
Price is the biggest frustration
Price-related issues caused the biggest frustrations. These included:
- Annoying practices like new customers getting cheaper deals than loyal customers
- Having to haggle with insurers to get prices reduced
- Massive price increases
We know it’s common for insurers to make big price hikes (especially for those that have needed to claim) but it was valuable for us to understand how many customers are fed up with these tactics.
Why do prices go up at renewal?
It would be wrong for us to say prices shouldn’t increase but we believe this can be done better. Most customers will find their price goes up at renewal because of things outside of their control that need to be factored into the cost of insurance.
Your pet’s age
Pet insurance acts as a private healthcare plan for your cat or dog and as they get older there is a greater chance they will develop a health issue that needs vet treatment.
Your pet's risk of illness or injury is low between the age of 6 months and 2 years. From the age of 3 upwards, the risk of illness and injury increases. If your pet has had its third birthday or older in the past 12 months, it's likely that your premium will increase.
Cats and dogs age much faster than humans so a single year can make a big difference to their health.
Vet fee inflation
The cost of treatment tends to cost more each year due to advancements in veterinary medicine. Vets can do more for pets than ever before but it comes at a cost.
In 2018, pet insurers paid out £785m in claims - the highest figure on record. The Association of British Insurers (ABI) said the average veterinary fee claim hit a new peak of £793, while average claim pay-outs have increased by 75% in the past 10 years. These figures clearly show the growing cost of pet insurance.
Insurers continually review the claims customers make and look for patterns in the data to predict future claims.
We use our claims data to calculate the risk associated with each policy and change prices according to this information. This means that we might increase prices for some customers but decrease prices for others to reflect up-to-date predictions for someone’s circumstances.
For example, we might reduce prices for specific postcodes if the cost of vet treatment in that area goes down.
Alternatively, we may increase prices if our records show that illnesses linked to a specific breed of dog are increasing and this will change the price of insurance for that breed. This prediction is crucial to making insurance pricing fair for everyone.
Insurance is founded on the principle that the small contributions of the many, pay for the big unforeseen cost of the few and this prediction ensures the right contributions.
How Bought By Many is doing pet insurance renewals differently
We try to change prices only where we have to and to make increases in a fairer way than others. Based on feedback from our customers, we’ve developed principles to improve the renewals experience.
1. At renewal you won't pay more than a new customer
We understand how frustrating it is to get your renewal price just to find the same product cheaper if you get a quote as a new customer.
That’s why our existing customers won't pay any more than new customers for the same policy.
2. We don’t single customers out for making a claim
It can be difficult to find cover for pre-existing conditions so if you’ve made a claim you could feel trapped with your current insurer.
While previous claims can suggest your pet is more likely to need treatment again, sometimes your pet can just be unlucky.
That’s why we will not be charging customers extra at renewal simply because they made a claim. We’re here to support you when your pet is ill and we don’t want customers to be worried about the financial repercussions on their insurance.
Why doesn’t everyone do renewals like this?
These principles challenge the normal approach to pet insurance and they're difficult for some insurers to adapt to. We’re passionate about our mission to deliver better insurance and we believe this is the best way to support that.
We’re confident this approach will improve insurance for our customers and our aim is to make insurance better for as many people as possible.
Our approach is unique and we want to learn from our experience and refine renewals over time. When we do make changes, we will be open and transparent and share the basis of our decision.