Pets may suffer as recession bites deeper Insurers and charities voice concerns

10 March 2009

The economic downturn could be affecting peoples' ability to guarantee the wellbeing of their pets. 

Cutting pet insurance could be false economy

Britain's biggest pet insurer and Which? pet insurance Best Buy, Petplan, says it's increasingly concerned that many people are trying to economise by reducing their insurance premiums or cancelling them altogether, and may unwittingly be creating greater problems for themselves.

The insurer works closely with rehoming charities to promote responsible pet ownership and has joined with them to alert pet owners to the long term cost to their animal of cancelling pet insurance. 

Sick pets abandoned

Clarissa Baldwin from the Dogs Trust said 'Sadly we are seeing the results of the deepening recession at some of our rehoming centres, and especially an increase in dogs with medical problems whose owners have been unable to pay for ongoing treatment. 

'We fully appreciate that it's really difficult for people not to make cutbacks in their spending, but we would urge the public not to see insurance for their pets' health as a non-essential.'

False economy

Alison Andrew, marketing manager from Petplan added: 'Last year eye disorders in dogs were one of the most frequent claims we had to deal with. 

'Reoccurring conditions like glaucoma can cost more than £1,000 pounds per year to treat.'  

Which? advises that cost cutting and money saving shouldn't involve skimping on insurance as this can have a more negative impact in the long term.

Martyn Saville, Which? pet insurance expert said: 'Cancelling your pet insurance policy could be a false economy - unless you have sufficient savings to pay for emergency treatment for your pet, you should think twice before cancelling. 

'As well as the heartbreak involved if you can't afford to get treatment, cancelling your insurance policy now could cost you more in the longer term.'

Get the latest money news

Which? news RSS Feeds

For daily consumer news, subscribe to the Which? news RSS feed here. 

If you have an older web browser you may need to copy and paste this link into your newsreader: . 

Find out more about RSS in the Which? guide to news feeds.

Get news of the top money Best Buys as well as advice and money saving tips delivered to your in-box by subscribing to the Money Email