New research has revealed that only a “very small number” of Australian pet owners have pet insurance, presenting a major opportunity for brokers and insurers.
Roy Morgan’s Single Source survey found that roughly 609,000 pet owners had pet insurance in the year to March 2018, accounting for only 6.0% of some 7.3 million Australians who own a dog or cat.
Of some 5.4 million dog owners, only 7.1% have pet insurance, compared to a mere 3.8% of an estimated 3.4 million cat owners with pet insurance – representing only 6% overall for cats and dogs.
Roy Morgan said the low uptake appears to be affected by issues concerning household finances.
Survey results showed that 77.4% of those with pet insurance were employed people – well above their population proportion (57.5%).
“Income obviously plays a major role, as shown by the fact that individuals with an income of $50k or more per annum account for 56.4% of those with pet insurance and only represents 35.5% of the population – indeed those earning over $200k per annum are four times as likely to have pet insurance as the average Australian,” Roy Morgan said.
The Melbourne-based market research company said also identified life stage as another factor that has an impact on pet insurance.
Findings showed that 46.7% of pet insurance holders are paying off their house (population share 31.0%), 42.9% are families (population share 30.3%), and 38.9% are from Generation X (population share 23.9%).
Females also appear to be more concerned about pet insurance, accounting for 59.8% of the market (population share 50.8%).
“This research has shown that very few pet owners have insurance coverage for their pets, giving a major growth opportunity for those companies involved,” said Norman Morris, industry communications director at Roy Morgan. “With the high potential cost of some veterinary procedures, it appears that most pet owners are either prepared to take the risk or perhaps are unaware of the potential high costs involved. The annual cost of the insurance is also likely to deter the take up of pet insurance for many.”