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Pet Protect Targets Pet Insurance Head On

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

1 July 2008 - A new specialist pet insurance company is promising to reduce the $236 million a year that Kiwis currently spend on vet bills and to shake up the pet insurance market here.

Pet Protect Limited, formed through the acquisition of Pet Medicare, has been established by Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Harris, and will be led by former Pet Medicare Managing Director, Bryan Nunweek. It has also appointed well known vet, Keith Houston, as its Clinical Director.

The new company is underwritten by IAG New Zealand Limited and plans to expand into Australia within the next two months. According to Nunweek, the domestic pet market in New Zealand is chronically under-insured with less than 2% of the country's pets insured.

"Unlike other Western countries, New Zealand has significantly low levels of policies in force yet it also has some of the highest pet ownership levels per capita," says Nunweek.

"We're not sure whether people just don't think to insure their pets, have not had a good experience to date, or are under the misconception that pet insurance is only for pet owners of expensive pedigree breeds," says Nunweek.

"Whatever the reason, our aim is to help pet owners afford to look after their animals and reduce voluntary companion animal euthanasia due to unexpected and costly vet bills that owners simply can't afford.

"It might surprise people to know that our typical policy holder owns a domestic cat or dog and that Accident Care cover for a moggie can be less than the cost of an average visit to the vet."

Mr Nunweek says that unlike some other pet insurance companies in the market, Pet Protect will provide affordable, reliable polices written in plain English and with no hidden insurance exclusions.

"The Pet Protect brand voice is straight talking and our policies, transparent," says Nunweek.

The changeover from Pet Medicare to Pet Protect, with IAG as its underwriter, will have only positive effects for New Zealand pet owners, he added.

Current policies will remain with Pet Medicare until renewal time, when customers will have the opportunity to take up a Pet Protect policy.

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