The UK pet insurance sector now accounts for £1bn of gross written premiums and has grown at a compound annual rate of 9% over the last 5 years.
17 Oct 2017
However, more than half the pet owners in the UK still have no insurance cover against vet bills and other associated costs.
Legal & General’s Petonomics report, which looks at how the pet market contributes to the wider UK economy, has found that the typical dog owner spends £198 a year on medical expenses, with cat owners paying on average £97 a year. There is therefore a significant opportunity for further growth to be achieved by combining Buddies’ specialist product and distribution expertise with Legal & General’s multi-channel distribution and broad customer base.
Buddies Enterprises Limited is a privately owned, UK-based provider of pet insurance products and specialises in working with breeders and their customers.
Cheryl Agius, CEO General Insurance, Legal & General, said:
“We are delighted to announce our acquisition of Buddies – part of our continued expansion into broader distribution channels across the pet insurance market. Buddies is ‘best of breed’ in the pet insurance sector and bringing their expertise into Legal & General will enable us to give pet-owning customers, a wider choice of insurers and products with which to address the sometimes surprisingly high costs of pet ownership.”
Marianne Metaxas, Managing Director, Buddies, said:
“We are thrilled to be part of Legal & General and look forward to further developing the successful business we have established. Regulatory focus on the pet market and the desire for increased consumer choice mean that there are exciting opportunities ahead. With Legal & General’s reputation as a highly focused customer brand and its strength in direct sales, we are in a great position to deliver a range of innovative products across this growing market.”
The acquisition by Legal & General’s General Insurance division, is for an undisclosed price and will complete upon receipt of FCA approval.
Buddies is owned by a small entrepreneurial management team who identified an opportunity in the market to offer an insurance product to pet breeders. They are one of the few players in the point of entry market and have built up an attractive distribution market through their network of around 1,500 active breeders.
The Buddies management team have a deep understanding of this area of the market and have established a strong e2e distribution/servicing capability. Their knowledge, growth ambitions and entrepreneurial approach will complement L&G’s capabilities & market reach.
The team have created a lean operating model, consisting of a field and desk-based salesforce, an in-house support function and a cost effective outsourced claim review model with Capita (utilising Eastern European vet nurses within their operations.)
Established in 1836, Legal & General is one of the UK's leading financial services groups and a major global investor, with over £1.2 trillion in total assets under management* of which a third is international. We also provide powerful asset origination capabilities. Together, these underpin our leading retirement and protection solutions: we are a leading international player in pension risk transfer, in UK and US life insurance, and in UK workplace pensions and retirement income. Through inclusive capitalism, we aim to build a better society by investing in long-term assets that benefit everyone.
*at 31 Dec 2022