The UK lockdown has caused an increase in new pet owners and subsequently a surge in new pet insurance policies being purchased due to the ongoing uncertainty of the pandemic

The pet insurance market is seeing an uptick in policy onboarding during the UK’s lockdown.

This is according to Bought by Many’s chief executive and co-founder Steven Mendel. He told Insurance Times that over the last few months people have spent more time at home than ever and with this unlikely to change anytime soon, more and more people are considering the commitment of getting a pet and subsequently insuring it.

He said: “We recorded a 194% increase in new pet insurance policies during lockdown, compared to the same period last year – it’s clear those who were on the fence can now see a future where they have more time to dedicate to a pet and no longer have to worry about leaving them home alone.”

According to the ABI, 4.8 million pets in the UK are insured, of which 2.8 million are dogs, 1.3m are cats and 700, 000 classified as ‘other’

Meanwhile, Instech London’s partner Matthew Grant, told Insurance Times: “Pet insurance is one area that we are seeing a lot of success in. Bought by Many doubled down on pet insurance, and Lemonade has [launched] in pet health insurance.”.

Back in July, Lemonade launched into the pet health insurance market, and at the time its chief executive and co-founder Daniel Schreiber said that this market was valued at a couple billion dollars in the US.

Age shift

There has also been a noticeable shift in age of pet owners during lockdown according to Mendel, with a 74% increase of people in their 20’s purchasing cat insurance and 42% for dog insurance.

Mendel has also become a proud new dog owner.

Steven Mendel's new dog Ted

Steven Mendel and his new Goldendoodle, Ted

“I’m pleased to say that I’m one of the thousands of new dog owners and Bought by Many pet insurance customers (even I don’t get a discount!),” he added. ”My family felt it was right time to adopt a new dog and we welcomed Ted, a standard sized Goldendoodle, into our home in June.

“The time we spent confined to our homes gave new pet owners the opportunity to train and integrate their new addition into the family, which previously might have required time off work. This has clearly inspired the millennial generation, who usually have hectic schedules, to commit to a pet.”

Cost increase

But this increase in demand has also led to an increase in the cost of pets Mendel pointed out.

“The average cost of a puppy and kitten rose by 22% during lockdown, and some dog breeds have even doubled in value. A puppy will now set you back £1,123 on average, compared to £907 in the same period last year, while a cat will cost you an average of £283, up from £238,” he added.

Read more…Bought by Many chief executive sets sights in Sweden

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