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Why do people insure pets before their family?

Why do people insure pets before their family?

Category: Insurance

Updated: 23/07/2014
First Published: 23/07/2014

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

It may come as a surprise, but people are twice as likely to insure their pets than their family. Research from Friends Life has revealed that 21% of people hold a pet insurance policy while just 12% have critical illness cover, and an even smaller number (9%) hold income protection.

The figures are even more surprising given that family and health are the top concerns for the majority of respondents, and although 34% had life cover, it wouldn't help in situations where the individual was unable to work.

In fact, 19% of mortgage holders (according to figures from Scottish Widows) admit that they'd have no idea how they'd cover their household bills if they or their partner couldn't get into work. And, with men aged 20-40 having a one in four chance of suffering from cancer, a stroke or heart attack before retirement age, these statistics are particularly troubling.

The Government wouldn't be able to adequately step in either. Yes, you may be entitled to Employment and Support Allowance if you were unable to work through illness or injury, but this pays a maximum of £468.65 a month. Could you, and your family, live on that? Probably not.

Looking at the facts, it's hard to see why people insure pets instead of their family. Pet insurance is of course a sensible option – vet bills can quickly add up and could put a strain on your household budget should a lot of treatment be required – but protecting your income stream is perhaps even more important. It needn't cost a fortune and you don't even need to go it alone, as seeking expert advice can save you up to 40% on the cost of your premiums.

Richard Eagling, head of protection at Moneyfacts, comments:

"It is a sad fact that, when it comes to financial planning, taking out protection is often the last consideration and frequently overlooked entirely. Making the most of an ISA allowance or topping up a pension often takes precedence over securing adequate financial cover in the event of death or a serious illness.

"But, in particular, income protection should be the cornerstone on which all financial planning is built. After all, anyone with financial commitments should make protecting their income against the likelihood of being unable to work due to an accident or long-term sickness a priority.

"However, despite the logical case for such cover, recent figures from Swiss Re show that take-up of all protection products (including term assurance, income protection and critical illness) fell last year. Cost is often given as a reason for not taking out protection products, but 21p a day for £100,000 worth of life cover should not be beyond the affordability of most people. Some of the statistics included in our infographic will hopefully serve as a wake-up call and highlight the need to take this issue seriously."

So, your pets may be part of your family, but that doesn't mean you should forget about everyone else. You'll want to make sure your furry friends are covered, of course, but having additional protection should never be overlooked, and considering that suitable cover can cost from as little as 21p per day, it makes a lot of sense to look into it.

For more information why not check out our Infographic:

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