One in ten pet owners told Quidco that theyd had to delay or not get treatment for their pet because it was too expensive either because they were uninsured or because of a high excess on their insurance policy.
Most of those who had bought a pet insurance policy (84%) said they had shopped around for the best deal, but fewer than half had ever switched insurer. Although some had never tried, one in five pet owners with an insurance policy had discovered that they were unable to switch to a better deal because their pet was too old or had an existing illness or condition that wouldnt be covered by a new policy.
More than half (54%) of people with pet insurance had made a claim on it, with a successful payout in almost every case*.
Nicola Frame from Quidco says:
With vet bills said to be rising at twice the rate of inflation**, pet owners could find themselves being hit with a hefty bill if they dont have insurance or if theyve got an unsuitable policy. People can make big savings by shopping around and checking for cashback when they buy pet insurance, but they also need to make sure they check the type of cover theyre getting, the excess and other restrictions, so that they dont find themselves having to delay treatment for their pet or stuck with a poor value policy.
Pet owners can currently get cashback of up to £50 or 5% of the policy value when they buy an insurance policy from one of the 20 pet insurers listed at www.quidco.com/insurance/pet
Notes to editors
Survey of 1,055 Quidco members, March 2010
National Pet Month runs from 3 April 3 May 2010
* 96% of claims were successful
** Source: Saga, March 2010
Pet insurance policies may provide lifetime cover for each condition but a maximum benefit each year, a maximum benefit for each condition with no time restriction, or a maximum benefit and time period for each claim. Most exclude vaccinations and routine treatments and have an excess per condition. Existing conditions when the policy is taken out are usually excluded.
Case studies are available including:
* University administrator from Bristol, aged 23, who took out a maximum benefit per condition policy for her cat, but is unable to switch to lifetime cover because it has developed a heart murmur
* Housewife from Southampton, aged 47, who took out a maximum benefit per condition policy for her dog, but had to put him down as she could not afford treatment for OCD of his elbows and hip dysplasia
* Retired manufacturing consultant from Huddersfield, aged 59, who discovered he could not change insurer when his 7 year old cat suffered from a heart condition, but continues to pay the ever-higher premiums to remain insured
* Pharmacy Dispenser from Bristol, aged 39, who took out a maximum benefit per condition policy for her dog and spent more than £1,000 on additional treatment that turned out to be unnecessary; she now cant claim for a genuine skin condition and had to delay treatment.
Quidco is the easy way for people to save money on every purchase. It pays cashback when people click through and make a purchase at any of the 1,900 retailers listed on its website, by paying 100% of the commission it gets from the retailer, directly into the shoppers bank account. Members pay an annual fee of £5 which funds the site.
Quidco was founded in 2005 with a mission to help people save money and is the UKs leading cashback website (Source: Hitwise Jan 2010). The site is free to join and currently has more than 790,000 members who will save a total of £35m this year.