Insurer makes further push into pet business with acquisition

Insurer Legal & General (L&G) has agreed to buy privately-owned UK pet insurance broker Buddies Enterprises Limited for an undisclosed sum.

The acquisition, which is subject to FCA approval, will help L&G grow its pet business. The insurer said there is a “significant opportunity” for further growth in pet by combining Buddies’ product and distribution expertise with L&G’s multi-channel distribution and customer base.

L&G already offers a pet product, which is underwritten in house and arranged and administered by broker Ultimate Pet Partners, part of the Markerstudy group.

The Buddies pet products are underwritten by Gibraltar-based insurer Zenith, also part of the Markerstudy group.

Buddies is currently owned by managing director Marianne Metaxas and chairman Jeremy Sharman. It is based in Corby, Northamptonshire.

L&G general insurance chief executive Cheryl Aguis said: “Buddies is ‘best of breed’ in the pet insurance sector and bringing their expertise into Legal & General will enable us to give pet-owning customers, a wider choice of insurers and products with which to address the sometimes surprisingly high costs of pet ownership.”

Metaxas added: “With Legal & General’s reputation as a highly focused customer brand and its strength in direct sales, we are in a great position to deliver a range of innovative products across this growing market.”