A cat and dog insurer which acquired its first online policyholder a year before Google was founded says pet insurance could well be the performing product of 2014, with smaller insurers raking in customers as the big insurers back away from the market.
"Pet insurance is a 700 million market heading inexorably towards 1 billion. Thats nothing for the big insurers, but creates vast potential for the smaller and newer insurance firms who can make good margins even on highly-competitive prices - its the low maintenance terrier running rings through the big dogs legs," said Mark Effenberg, chief executive of the biggest independent pet insurer Healthy Pets Insurance, based in Petersfield, Hampshire.
"Healthy Pets is quite possibly the original online pet insurer, launched in 1997 - a year before Google - now with tens of thousands of customers, and policy purchases increasing fast.
"But, importantly, with minimised and optimised costs, there is inevitably a capability of providing high-quality insurance at highly competitive prices. Were not in the least bit surprised the big beasts are shying away from cat and dog insurance in particular as a new breed of insurer moves in - insurers who simply dont have the legacy cost of traditional insurance.
"You have to go no further than stand outside the front door of virtually every big insurer: they have huge legacy costs in terms of buildings and other liabilities, and, for them, pet insurance is a
low margin business because they simply cant chip their administration cost.
"Smaller insurers, and particularly those which are online-based, do not have the costs to worry about, but can provide an equal or even superior product, whether direct, or potentially as white label, affinity or partner products. We, for instance, can easily undercut big-name insurers considerably on direct sale premium prices."
Healthy Pets, an award winning online insurer, is the biggest independent pet insurance
provider in the UK, focussing exclusively on cat insurance
and dog insurance
. It consistently offers the most competitive prices, and has amongst the highest customer satisfaction ratings.