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Brits protect their beloved pet over themselves

Swindon, September 6, 2017

- British adults are more likely to have pet insurance over income protection and critical illness cover
- Over 9 million pets are insured, compared to 5.5 million adults who have critical illness cover and almost 3 million who have individual income protection 
- Price and not understanding the benefits and relevance of insurance are the main barriers to purchasing a policy. 

Brits are more likely to protect their pet than themselves, according to new analysis by Zurich.

Highlighting the bond between a pet and its owner – alongside a tendency to put individual financial wellbeing to one side – research of more than 2,000 British adults conducted by YouGov found that an estimated 10 million pets are insured. 

In comparison, many Brits do not have individual protection insurance, so most likely have not protected themselves should they unexpectedly lose their income due to an accident, sickness or unemployment. Just 5.5  million people have critical illness cover and just under 3 million have individual income protection cover.

Nearly a fifth (18%) have pet insurance, whereas only one in ten (11%) have a critical illness policy and just 6% have individual income protection cover. Despite the nation choosing to insure their pets over themselves, nearly a third (30%) of Brits are preparing for the worst by taking out a life insurance policy to help those they leave behind – equating to an estimated 15 million people.

Chris Atkinson from Zurich, comments, “We are a nation of animal lovers, so it’s not surprising that we do all that we can to protect our beloved companions. While we’re able to access some health support via the NHS for ourselves, we shouldn’t underestimate the impact of illness or injury on our lifestyles and those of our families, including our pets. 

“As we continue to weather turbulent economic conditions, with inflation forecast to increase alongside rising debt, it’s vital people don’t put their own protection to one side. Having an income protection or critical illness plan in place ensures a financial cushion should the unexpected happen, allowing us the peace of mind to truly enjoy our time with pets and family.”

The most popular types of insurance policies purchased: 
1.Home contents insurance – 70%
2.Motor insurance – 68%
3.Home buildings insurance – 57%
4.Travel insurance – 38%
5.Life Insurance – 30%
6.Pet insurance – 18%
7.Critical illness cover – 11%
8.Income protection (individual policy) – 6%
9.Income protection (via employer) – 5%

The research also found price and not seeing the relevance of critical illness and individual income protection cover as the main barriers preventing people from taking out such policies. Whereas, price (72%), transparency (63%) and the likelihood of paying out (58%) are the most important factors for Brits purchasing an insurance policy.