People three times more likely to have pet insurance than critical illness cover, survey finds

People are three times more likely to have pet insurance as they are to have critical illness cover for themselves, a survey has found.

Around 18% of people said they had taken out insurance for their pets, compared to just 6% with personal health cover, according to the Halifax.

It suggested a rise in pet sales during the COVID lockdown has encouraged owners to protect their animals’ health.

Nearly two fifths (37%) of those surveyed also reported they had experienced a loss of income since March 2020, when the first UK lockdown started.

More than half (52%) said in the event of the household’s main earner falling critically ill, they would not be able to stretch to their savings beyond six months.

Some 17% responded that they or a family member have been diagnosed with a non-COVID related serious illness since March last year.

Rose St Louis, protection director at Halifax, said: "Protecting our possessions, technology and even our beloved family pets are all sensible safeguards and necessary – the issue is many people are not protecting against the worst happening to themselves."

The uptake in personal health insurance remains low, the survey found, with the main reasons being time and affordability.

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Around six in 10 (61%) people believed the language used by insurance companies was too complex, while a third said they find it difficult to contact their insurer.

The two surveys, each involving more than 2,000 people, were conducted in January and February this year.

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