Pet Insurance Survey

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At BVNA in October 2013, we asked your veterinary nurses how much choice they thought their customers would like when looking for pet insurance. We also asked them how much choice their practice actually provided.

Around 200 nurses completed the survey and the results revealed some interesting differences between the way practices consider insurance and the way in which they promote it.

What your nurses said …

First we asked whether practices thought their clients wanted help choosing between insurance policies.

  1. A significant 65% thought that pet owners could decide for themselves
  2. Around a third felt that pet owners could use some help in reaching a decision
  3. Only 1% indicated that pet owners needed specific advice on which policy to take

We then asked the nurses how much choice between insurance brands their practices were offering to clients.

  1. Only 20% offered as many brands of pet insurance as possible
  2. 40% of practices offered a selection of policies that they thought offered best protection
  3. Almost 40% offered only one brand of insurance because they were involved in a tied relationship

Finally we asked how practices decided what brands of insurance to display.

  1. 20% considered the client perspective and assessed what their clients might like to see
  2. 43% decided what insurance they thought was best for their clients and displayed just these brands
  3. However, 37% felt their tied relationship meant they could only display 1 provider

What this means for pet owners

Veterinary practices recognise that they have a strong impact on pet owners when it comes to buying pet insurance. However, the aspiration that practices might have to give customers a good choice is being exceeded by the perception that they have a responsibility to influence insurance decisions.

Most alarming, the understanding that regulatory constraints should be allowed to reduce customer choice is an unwelcome and over-restrictive influence on the buying decisions that pet owners have to face.

Promoting choice

Agria have always maintained that customers should be given a choice and most practices have supported us in that view. In reality, choice is not so freely available and we would encourage you to reveiw your approach to insurance and make sure that it is consistent with your approach to your customers.