Pet insurers saw claims volumes and payouts hit record highs last year, leading to growing losses for the sector. In an effort to tackle this problem, CRIF, the risk management solution provider for the financial services industry, has launched ‘Pet Check’.
UK pet insurers received 1.3 million claims in 2022, a 28 per cent increase since 2021, which coincides with £42million loss in 2023. Despite the rising cost of living, new owners are increasingly likely to want to insure their pets and do their research beforehand, with increased demand for comprehensive products and streamlined customer services concluded a CRIF roundtable discussion.
Hoping to ease concerns for pet insurance companies, CRIF’s latest launch aims to help them validate the details of the UK’s pets in real time and insure them with greater ease and confidence. ‘Pet Check’ is a tool to be used at the point of quote, and enables insurers to instantly verify a pet’s details – including age, breed, sex, species, breed and pre-existing conditions – as well as their policy holders’ claims history.
The Pet Check service provides insurers with a broader, more accurate understanding of what insuring that pet could entail, helping to improve the loss ratio, and the policy underwriting process, to effectively address the risk of potential underwriting fraud and misrepresentation.
Sara Costantini, regional director for the UK and Ireland at CRIF, explained: “Insurers appreciate these are tough financial times for many pet owners. They are committed to providing policies that are priced appropriately and give people peace of mind. Pet Check will help them to avoid making a dog’s dinner of the risk assessment process.
“We’re pleased to be offering pet insurers next-generation solutions that give them the opportunity to retain and grow their customer base profitably, and in the face of increased competition from new market entrants.”
Pet insurers play catch up
While much of the insurance industry has embraced enriched, third-party data to improve risk models and identify additional factors, pet insurers have often lagged in adopting this technology.
In many cases, this has meant struggling to validate the consistency of pet and pet owner information disclosed at the quotation stage, or at the inception of a new pet policy. CRIF hopes to solve this for pet insurers, leveraging new data to maintain and grow their market position.
Pet Check also enables insurers to drill down to the finer details, permitting the underwriting team to assess any discrepancies found with the pet’s owner early in the policy lifecycle, ensuring the policy is underwritten according to the true risk involved. This early detection enhances the customer experience by reducing disputes with genuine customers later at the claim stage.
The solution is specifically designed to support a hybrid approach for insurers looking to minimise the API integration effort. Whilst pet information is automatically submitted via an API, further analysis is possible through an easy-to-use app.
The launch of Pet Check further bolsters CRIF’s market-leading suite of solutions for pet insurers, which includes the first centralised pet claims database and bespoke fraud detection tools and Pet Score – launched in June this year – which is a sophisticated pricing tool based on geographic location.