The Digital age of… Pets?
As the average age of pet owners decreases, the transformation into the digital era becomes a prominent figure in pet ownership. The impact that digital technology could have on pets, pet owners, and pet insurers could be huge, and is an exciting topic to cover. More and more pet wearables are coming to market, all with the goal of keeping our pets healthy and happy. After all, a happy pet means a happy owner…means a happy insurer, right?
Pet insurance has become more and more popular in the recent years, and with that, there have been three key drivers contributing to the rise of pet insurance costs; inflation of veterinary fees, increased risk of illness and accident, and the increase in number of pets. To combat this, pet wearables have become a large player in the pet markets.
Today, wearables are the latest and greatest technology. Most people on the streets are wearing some form of activity tracker, tracking their daily steps, calorie burn, and activity levels to better monitor their health. People aside, pet wearables are taking over the pet market as well. Pet wearables act much the same as our activity trackers do, tracking an animal’s activity levels and calorie burn, eating habits, heart rate, exercise, and even use GPS to track their movements and location. In addition to that, they can track an animal’s medical history or chronic conditions, animal’s weight, species and breed, location, whether it is an indoor out outdoor pet, and much more. These wearables not only give more insight on the health of their pet to their owners, but to vets and pet insurers as well.
With obesity as the main contributor of serious ailments and conditions for pets and pet obesity continually rising, it is an important factor to a pet’s health that owners and vets are trying to avoid. To pet owners in the UK, health problems associated to their pet’s obesity costs £215 million per year. Wearables can help to pinpoint the exact root of the pet’s obesity, whether it be overeating, lack of activity, or indicating an internal problem that needs help. By tackling this one major problem, pet owners and insurers could see a massive drop in costs.
By using pet wearables and gaining more insight into animal health and behaviour, insurers will be able to personalise premiums and policies on a more individual basis. From a GlobalData survey in 2018, 11% of dogs were using a wearable to track their dog’s fitness, while nearly 52% of surveyors said they are open to using a device on their pet. With more and more pets using these wearables and more data being collected, it will become easier for insurers to adjust premiums accordingly. Insurer’s will be able to personalise premiums based on an animal’s breed, lifestyle and fitness levels, age, and weight. This can leave a lasting impact on claim costs, vet costs, and premium prices for customers. Devices like these have the potential to bring a change to the world of pet insurance one animal at a time.