’A regulatory review could be warranted,’ says head of marketing

A significant number of insureds believe they are covered for things that are typically excluded from standard pet policies, according to Consumer Intelligence.

In a statement released yesterday (10 October 2023), the consumer insights firm said over a third policyholders think their insurance covers pre-existing conditions or preventative care when it may not.

And two in five (42%) believe they are covered for regular check-ups, while 38% think their policy includes vaccinations and boosters.

The data also revealed that many pet owners are unclear about the type of policy they hold – for example, around 50% believe they have lifetime cover, although Consumer Intelligence warned that the actual figure was likely closer to 80%.

Meanwhile, 14% believe that their policy does not cover standard features such as injuries or illnesses when it may do so.

As a result, Consumer Intelligence questioned whether pet owners understand what they are buying.

“The data highlights a significant gap between consumer understanding and the actual provisions of pet insurance policies and therefore high potential for consumer harm and financial detriment,” head of marketing Catherine Carey said.


Meanwhile, where people were aware that certain features were not included in their policy, there was an appetite for these to be added. 

For example, some 73% said they wanted dental treatment to be covered, while 63% wanted regular check-ups and vaccinations or boosters to be included. 

The data led to Consumer Intelligence questioning whether the sector is meeting the FCA’s Consumer Duty regulation.

This was introduced earlier this year (31 July 2023) and sets out updated regulations that firms must follow.

Essentially, it requires insurance firms to review their products and services against a new standard of fairness.

”A regulatory review could be warranted to ensure that firms are acting in the best interests of consumers, providing clear information and offering products that genuinely meet their needs,” Carey added.